Sunday, April 28, 2013

Azura Quilalea, Mozambique, a private island retreat

Getting to the island resort of Azura Quilalea was half the fun! My adventure started with a 3 hour flight on SA Airlink from Johannesburg to Pemba, Mozambique. Cleared customs formalities and climbed into the waiting 4-seater prop plane for the 20-minute hop over to Quirimba island. Brilliant blue Indian Ocean water sparkled below. Landed in a grassy field. Met by driver to take me to the other side of the island where a boat was waiting to whisk me off to paradise. It was a quick 15-minute boat ride to the private island resort of Azura Quilalea. The planes, boats and automobiles were totally worth the trip!

Quilalea is located on an uninhabited island in the Quirimba Archipelago, at the northern end of Mozambique and not far from southern Tanzania. It makes for a wonderful stop before or after an African safari. A perfect way to overcome your jet lag before you embark on early morning game drives or a perfect, relaxing way to end an action-packed vacation.

There are only 9 villa suites, each offering beautiful views of the sea and sky. Depending on location, they are called either Sunrise or Sunset Villas and all are very private. For the utmost in privacy, you can choose the Villa Quilalea. This larger villa is perched high on a cliff with spectacular views and its own infinity-edge pool. The decor of the rooms can be called beachy Afro-chic. They are in keeping with the island surroundings, not over-done, but just very comfortable with calming colors. Every villa has it's own private deck with sun loungers and umbrella.

I arrived to my Sunset villa just as the sun was beginning to set, all of the doors and windows were open, the curtains billowing in the the gentle breeze, a bottle of chilled champagne on ice - it was heaven!

Days here are very relaxed with most activities centered around the water. Diving, snorkeling and deep-sea fishing are among the most popular offerings. Not surprising as the marine life is incredible around here. You can whale watch and observe nesting sea turtles in season.

Dining is a sublime experience here at Quilalea. Meals are served al fresco, tables scattered around the beach or pool, assuring guests a private experience while dining. Your personal butler brings a giant chalkboard displayed with the menu selections each day. At breakfast, I enjoyed the freshly baked muffins, served still warm from the oven. Lunch and Dinner always included a choice of fish or seafood, locally caught that day. My favorite meal was a seafood extravaganza of calamari, prawns, tuna, and what they call crayfish but it looked liked lobster to me. All perfectly prepared and so delicious!

After a morning of snorkeling and a 2 km. walk around the island, I returned to my villa to enjoy the peaceful sounds of the waves lapping on the beach. The chaise lounge was calling me from my private deck. You know you are truly on vacation when your most difficult decision of the day is to choose between laying in the hammock or on the sun lounger. I gave them both equal time.

Good to know: A valid passport and a Visa is necessary for U.S. citizens to enter Mozambique. Current visa fee is $82.00 and may be purchased at the port of entry.
Helicopter service to the island is scheduled to start soon! 

Are you ready to book your own private island vacation? Contact the Travel Advisors at Bee Kalt Travel today!

Tel: 248-288-9600 or Toll-free 1-800-284-5258
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