- High-end private island resort
- Excellent facilities including wine cellar
- Superb marine and bird-life
- Water sports, dhow cruises, island walks
Azura Quilalea is a secluded, luxurious island resort located on Quilalea Island, one of over thirty islands that make the Quirimbas Archipelago, a collection of pristine islands known for their rich marine life and unspoiled natural scenery in the sparkling Indian Ocean off east-coast Mozambique. Quilalea has no permanent population which lends it a particularly private, exclusive feel and, along with ten other islands in the southern part of the archipelago, it forms part of Quirimbas National Park, a protected area that includes a significant part of the Mozambican mainland. In keeping with this, the property presents itself as an eco-retreat and is involved in community initiatives to maintain and improve local community life.
There are just nine beautifully-presented beachside villas with thatch roofs, exposed wooden beams and a ‘designer’ feel. All of them come with plenty of facilities and amenities including air conditioning and a ceiling fan, a mini bar and tea and coffee making facilities. There’s also an energy control system which allows guests to determine how much or little energy they use during their stay. The villas are grouped into three categories: there are four Kaskazi Villas, four Kusi Villas which are larger and have an outdoor shower, and the superb Villa Quilalea which is the largest and most luxurious by far, was designed with honeymooners in mind.
The resort has its own open-air restaurant with complete with an extensive wine cellar and a bar with an accompanying lounge area. There’s also a swimming pool, a boutique selling beachwear and souvenirs, a spa and a dedicated centre for water sports.
Aside from relaxing and soaking up the beautiful scenery, there’s plenty to do on and around the island. The Indian Ocean is home to a colourful array of marine life meaning that the scuba diving and snorkelling here are both very highly rated. In fact, Quilalea is the only Mozambican island to have a ‘house reef’ which can be accessed directly from the island’s main beach. Kayaking and sunset dhow cruises are popular, as are whale and dolphin watching expeditions; whales can be spotted in the waters from July to October, while dolphins are in the vicinity year-round. Island hopping, mangrove kayaking and coconut plantation visits are also great fun, and for something more ‘chilled out’ there are beach picnics, scenic island walking trails and even baobab baths!
Children are welcome, and while there are no designated kids activity clubs or babysitting services, there is plenty for all age groups to enjoy on the island. Given the waterside nature of the property, parents are reminded to keep their children under constant adult supervision.
- Luxury boutique property
- 14 rooms set in restored historic mansions
- Snorkelling, diving, mangrove excursions
- Multi-day island-hopping dhow cruises
- Multi-day island-hopping safari
- Flexible itinerary choices
- Sail in traditional 12-metre dhow boats
- Sleep in tents on beautiful beaches
- 12 beachside villas with stunning views
- Star beds for open air sleep outs
- Seasonal whale-watching, cultural visits
- Variety of water sports, dhow cruises
Thanks for getting in touch. We had a great time in Namibia, in no particular order, some thoughts:
Oberland Lodge was the accommodation we liked the most: well designed, privacy, good setting, convenient, good food.
Etendeka Mountain Lodge was stunning, in terms of setting, and the tents were the most high end tents I’ve ever stayed in. Dennis shared some spectacular views of the night sky through his telescope which was really interesting.
All our guides were good, professional, knowledgeable, personable. Can’t praise them enough.
A highlight was the catamaran tour, both our boys had this as their top excursion I think. I’d have preferred a tour with a few less people but not a big issue.
Sossusvlei was one of my highlights, climbing the dunes was good. Actually, across the whole holiday, I’d have liked to have done more hiking / walking safaris but that’s probably down to my planning.
Mushara Lodge had excellent service and the staff performed a few African songs after dinner one night, which was lovely. The lodge itself could do with a refresh, in terms of physical product.
The Elegant Guest House was clean and comfortable. And nicely close to Joe’s Beerhouse. Plus it had the best wifi and so a hit with the kids.
The car we got (Toyota Hilux) was excellent, I’m trying to find an excuse to buy a one.
The Cornerstone Guesthouse was probably the least glamourous place we stayed (it was all clean and safe though) but actually the two owners (I forget their names now) gave some of the best/friendliest service.
Logistically everything went off without a hitch, guides showed up on time, all the accommodation was right and they were expecting us. We had some requirements around our son’s medication being refrigerated, everyone was very helpful with this.
I’ll let Sarah chime in with anything I missed and at some stage I think we’ll be in touch about a trip to Botswana Or maybe Peru.
All the best,
Philip A reviewing Highlights of Namibia - Classic Self Drive on 28 July 2022
The trip was fantastic thanks. difficult to really make any suggestions for changes.
Everything ran smoothly from a logistics point of view and all food and accommodation was great. The owner of Pure Riads came and introduced himself while he was visiting and made some recommendations for restaurants etc.
The mountain guide picked the ideal route for our level and was very informative on the journey.
On the return airport pickup from Marrakesh, we initially didn't see the transfer bus and the local contact mobile number did not appear to be in service which might be worth checking but it was no issue as the driver spotted us.
My wife is already dreaming of her next trip with a different group of friends so no doubt I'll be in touch
Chris B reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek - Value on 27 July 2022
Finally arrived back in Sydney yesterday after a great trip. We all enjoyed Morocco immensely and your organisation was top notch. Some highlights were;
Essaouira, really enjoyed this town and a great introduction to Morocco for us with a more relaxed vibe. The riad we stayed in was fabulous and the female manager Hyat (probably misspelled) couldn't of been more helpful with both suggestions of things to do, places to see and restaurants to eat at. A very friendly team in general and a lovely lady.
The High Atlas, again a real highlight despite the issues with early season snow & ice. The guest house in Imlil was great with again a very friendly owner who was keen to provide as much assistance as possible. The changes to our itinerary were well handled and in the case of the extra night at basecamp post climbing Mt Toubkal, worked in our favour. Only 3 of our group managed the climb due to the icy conditions and those of us who did the summit day needed crampons which were provided free of charge. We were the first group camping at basecamp that year and our preference to do so was accepted without complaint. The only issue I might raise was the lack of anything to sit on in camp, though I guess using the sleeping mats is closer to the Berber tradition. I brought my own mat along which was a good option. Our guide Mohammed was great and really helped us to adapt to the altitude despite some sickness amongst the group. He also managed to get us all through some very difficult ice & snow conditions, putting his body on the line on several occasions when people went flying out of control. This was both on summit day and the prior day when he had to contend with all 6 of us. The food was also excellent and the cook very friendly despite limited English. The whole team worked very well together.
The desert camp was a real experience and very luxurious. Sundowners up on the dunes, the dinners & facilities available and the camel ride were highlights. A long drive was well split by our stays at the Kasbahs which were both fabulous & highly recommended. Hassan & his offsider Khalid were good drivers, friendly and helped us enjoy the whole experience. The excursions along the way were also excellent. The full second day at the desert camp was maybe too much with very high temperatures but they moved us to another cooler camp with shade & more basic facilities during the middle of the day. Again I guess we really got to experience the full nomad lifestyle with a long hiatus during the hottest part of the day.
Marrakesh, again an excellent riad with a nice meal the first night. Good location, very friendly staff and a lovely place to retire to after a day exploring. A very interesting & bustling town.
Chefchaouen, what a wonderful place to spend some time. Another exceptional riad with some great facilities with a perfect location. Again staff were exceptionally friendly & helpful and the city was an absolute pleasure to explore. We all loved this extension & Mustafa our driver was exceptionally helpful as well. We decided to do some trekking 1 day in the nearby Rif Mountains and he was only too happy to drive us there & back through some amazing scenery. He was always concerned for our welfare and even came up to check on us while we were out exploring Chefchaouen.
Tangier, an interesting city and once again the place we stayed was exceptional with a very friendly & helpful French Canadian hostess. The town was a bit more touristy with some issues with touts, 2 nights were enough. Mustafa got us to the ferry up the coast in plenty of time.
A great trip overall and one that we all enjoyed immensely. Thanks for all your organisation & efforts especially after all the Covid delays and civil war made our trip to Ethiopia impossible.
Chris S reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit on 27 July 2022