Curated exclusively for National Geographic
Dive into the culture and marine-rich waters of the Mozambique Channel. Go on snorkeling and scuba excursions, explore Benguerra Island on horseback and guided drives, and glide across turquoise waters on a paddle board, sea kayak, or traditional dhow.
Your experience at the lodge will be tailored to your interests. The sample itinerary below was designed for National Geographic travelers and can be customized as you wish.
Land at Vilanculos International Airport and board a helicopter to Benguerra Island, bordering Mozambique’s only marine reserve. Enjoy a fruity welcome drink and get settled in your thatched cottage along the lodge’s private stretch of golden sand. Go for a dip in your own saltwater plunge pool, swing in your daybed while gazing out over the ocean, or wash off any travel weariness in a large outdoor shower shaded by swaying palms. Meet fellow travelers at the oceanfront bar, built from a traditional wooden dhow sailboat. In the late afternoon, get a primer on island culture from your skipper as you glide across the bay on a dhow at sunset.
Spend the day among the dazzling marine life that teems in the shallow reefs just off the coast of Benguerra. Grab snorkeling gear from the lodge and head out to an active reef patch for an underwater adventure. Alternatively, divers with a full PADI certification can gear up with the lodge’s equipment. On a scuba excursion to Two Mile Reef, explore pristine coral gardens and encounter sea turtles, rays, and an array of colorful tropical fish, and watch for whale sharks, dolphin pods, and the elusive dugong. Take a midday break and sink into a “castaway picnic” delivered to a remote sand shoal. Later, trace the coast on a lodge paddle board or sea kayak.
Saddle up and ride across the island on horses rescued from abandoned Zimbabwean farms. Accompanied by a professional guide, follow trails that match your experience level. Try riding bareback in the ocean shallows, canter along the water’s edge, or stick to the inland tracks. Later, continue your island explorations on a guided drive. Discover the lakes and dunes of the north, meet locals in the main village, or venture to the island’s wild eastern end.
Set out with a guide in search of some of the island’s 150 bird species, from unusual tropical species such as the paradise flycatcher and green pigeon to inland flamingos that can be spotted wading in freshwater lakes. Then join a marine conservationist or expert guide on a boating excursion in search of the elusive dugong. Learn about conservation initiatives such as the Dugong Emergency Protection Project, and snorkel or swim in waters inhabited by these rare creatures.
After breakfast, bid farewell to Benguerra Island. Board a helicopter for your scenic ride back to Vilanculos International Airport, where you can connect with your flight home or continue on to your next destination.