Each day at low tide in the Bazaruto Archipelago, the waters of the Mozambique Channel recede just enough to reveal sandy shoals that stretch far into the ocean, blurring the boundary between land and sea. The thatched beachfront cottages of andBeyond Benguerra Island look out over this inviting swirl of pearl and turquoise, which is bordered by Bazaruto National Park—Mozambique’s only marine reserve. While the sparkling waters always beckon on this tropical isle, inland excursions reveal an unexpected paradise—one of towering sand dunes, flamingo-filled lakes, and traditional fishing villages dotted with beached dhows. During downtime at the lodge, the program is all ocean dips and hammock naps, capped off with lantern-lit meals at the water’s edge.
When andBeyond purchased Benguerra in 2015, they set out to transform the property from a rustic fishing lodge into a multifaceted eco-retreat. The new owners began with an environmentally conscious remodel, then took their sustainability initiatives out to sea. Though the surrounding waters were already protected by a marine reserve, inhabitants of the undersea were still facing significant threats from the nets of traditional fishing dhows.
The lodge took a two-pronged approach to the problem, partnering with Ocean Without Borders to fund marine patrol programs, while also helping islanders establish alternative food sources to reduce their dependency on the ocean’s resources. In the process, Benguerra has taken care to honor fishing as a defining tradition of the island, encouraging locals to target more abundant species and hiring them to skipper catch-and-release excursions for guests.
Each of our lodges has created a special complimentary experience offered exclusively to guests who visit on a National Geographic expedition. At andBeyond Benguerra Island, you’ll set out on a boating excursion in the Mozambique Channel to seek out the dugong. Learn about this marine mammal from an expert guide, and hear about conservation initiatives that the lodge is involved in, such as the Dugong Emergency Protection Project. Then dive into the turquoise waters for a chance to snorkel or swim with these elusive creatures.
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