The slender private island of Vamizi, in the Quirimba Archipelago, is a paradise of white sands and lush greenery, surrounded by a breathtaking coral reef. Getting here is easier than you’d imagine. There are daily flights from South Africa, Tanzania, and the mainland of Mozambique, with direct flights from Europe on British Airways, KLM, Swissair and Kenya Airways. There is also the possibility of organizing private flights that will take you directly to Vamizi from Pemba (Mozambique) or Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
One of the attractions that make this island so special is that there is no Wi-Fi here, but the island is home to 112 species of birds, Samango monkeys, and water turtles, not to mention the lush tropical vegetation. Considered by many the “new” Maldives, Vamizi has become a haven for relaxation within a luxurious ecological refuge. The population of about 1,500 inhabitants is concentrated in three little villages, and the local economy of this bucolic corner of Africa is based primarily on fishing and tourism. The Vamizi Island Project helps to fight poverty on the island, and funds schools and medical centers, improving the quality of life in the tiny archipelago.
Yoga on the beach, sailing aboard restored old wooden boats (known as dhows), fishing, diving in one of the world’s most impressive reefs, waters with more than 46 types of coral, and over 400 different species of fish are worthy of inclusion in your travel plans.
The luxury accommodations include a selection of 13 private villas designed by the most acclaimed South African architects, who have managed to create a particular style that blends the multi-cultural history of Mozambique with a great respect for nature. The spacious villas (with more than 1,800 square feet) provide plenty of open spaces to enjoy the ocean breezes, as well as private access to the beach. Many, such as Villa Kipila and Villa Cassamina have private chefs who prepare delicious samplings of local cuisine, using the fresh fish and seafood that is readily available. Those who wish to explore the culinary delights of the region can have their meals by the seaside at Muntu Nkulu restaurant.
The island itself is a secluded spa, offering personalized attention to body, mind, and spirit with a wide selection of facial and body treatments, massages (shiatsu and reiki), craniosacral therapy, and personal trainers for yoga and reflexology. The staff uses minerals, salts, and algae from the surrounding environment, as well as ancient local ingredients and treatments.
Actor Tom Hanks and the talented Emma Watson are regular visitors to Vamizi. The best time to come is between May and November when the climate is milder. ■