The review:

Kisawa Sanctuary

Barefoot luxury goes next level at Kisawa Sanctuary on the southern tip of Benguerra Island, part of the Bazaruto Archipelago which are dotted like pearls off the Mozambican coast.

An earthy yet utterly chic style permeates the thatched residences scattered around the low-lying dunes of Kisawa Sanctuary.

"In a similar vein to North Island, Kisawa is deliberately low-key, unmanicured and natural but with a highly stylised eye for detail, in a pared-back mish-mash of African art and craft from Senegal to Ghana. Matched with specialist staff and an excellent spa, this far-flung retreat is the ultimate castaway dream"

Things to do

Once you’ve gazed at the jaw-slackening Indian Ocean views, marvelled at the baby soft sand, dipped your toes in the warm waters and settled into your exquisitely decorated Residence, you’ll find days fall in a steady rhythm. Using your electric mini-moke, explore the tip of Benguerra Island where the resort resides within 750 acres of scrubby dunes and swathes of white sand, bordered on each side by the Indian Ocean. With no motorised water sports, beach life is peaceful and paddle boards, kayaks and snorkelling kit are left at your residence for your use – head out to spot dolphins, dugongs and tropical fish. Finish lazy days with dhow cruises at sunset, take a yoga class on a remote sand dune or enjoy the spectacular spa, staffed with Ayurvedic experts who can knead away any remaining stress.

Sleeping

The residences at Kisawa are extremely impressive, with a huge amount of space, both indoor and outdoor. Set within at least one acre each, the thatched villas are large airy structures within which are a huge sized bedroom, bathroom and living room. Beautifully blended into the surrounding nature, the one-, two, or three-bedroom abodes are totally private with no neighbours in sight and outside is your own pool, plus standalone thatched living area. Inside, ceilings soar and bay windows flood with colours of nature; this is driftwood chic, dialled up with a soothing palette of muted tones, fringed by the overhanging thatch. To obtain seclusion, there is a distances between locations – but Kisawa have this covered with your own mini mote e-buggy to whizz around the island.

Food & Drink

With a personal 24-hour butler on call, you can eat and drink exactly how and when you’d like to. It’s also good to note that staff here quickly get to know your tastes, and before you know it, morning tea arrives as you wake, your favourite sun downer will appear just as begin to think about wanting one and snacks magically materialise when you’re starting to feel peckish. With food and wine included, feel relaxed about dining including excellent African cuisine at Baracca restaurant or ceviche at Ocean Mussassa. You can even arrange the woodfired pizza tuk-tuk to come to your residence, have a picnic in the dunes or dine under the stars lit by moonlight.

Stand Out

Aside from having one of the most perfect locations in the Indian Ocean, what also makes Kisawa Sanctuary stand out is its spa – architecturally designed, it’s a wondrous temple to wellbeing with a sharp focus on rejuvenation. It has a top team of international trained spa experts, which is quite unusual for this part of the world. From India and Bhutan, staff tailor wellness programs and you can enjoy experiences such as sound healing, Ayurveda therapy, Tibetan techniques and Reiki healing plus yoga and Pilates in a custom designed dome. You might even be lucky enough to pair this with some whale and dolphin watching for complete meditative bliss.

Best For

This would be an absolutely dreamy setting for an unforgettable honeymoon; that said Kisawa has plenty of ways to entertain little ones from pizza-making, mini camping to shell hunting. The main factor here at Kisawa is space, everyone has plenty of it so it would work, whatever your group. If you’re interested in environmental science, you might find Kisawa has the edge over other African island properties. The hotel helps fund the Bazaruto Centre for Scientific Studies which you can visit as well them collect data on underwater diving surveys or on catch and release fishing expeditions.

The Verdict

As far as we’re concerned Kisawa is the last word in castaway chic. Large expansive residences give two of life’s greatest luxuries: space and privacy, while the surrounding sand dunes and azure Indian Ocean make up that other important component: natural beauty. Add in on-the-ball staff, a top-class spa and myriad ways to enjoy the ocean, and Kisawa Sanctuary gets full marks. With the chance to add on a safari in Kruger first, this could be the most perfect holiday imaginable.

Ben Oxley-Brown

Personal Travel Designer

01488 689700 Read Ben’s profile
Ben Oxley-Brown

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