Upon arrival to Benguerra, the sun was shining, the skies were the clearest blue imaginable and I felt no need to check the weather forecast because I had never expected the weather to be any less than perfect. This area of Mozambique only gets about ten days of rain each year, most of which occur during February to March.
With that in mind, you can probably understand how I didn’t factor the possibility of rain during September/October into my travel plans!
However, during our short stay on the island, we endured two days of light rain accompanied by extreme winds. It should go without saying that this isn’t exactly the right weather for a small island, as it seriously limits how much a person can get out onto the water, which is kind of the entire point in Benguerra.
However, weather is something that is completely uncontrollable, so if it isn’t good, you just have to suck it up and make the best of it.
So, when you can’t get on the water, it makes sense to try and explore the island. First on the agenda was to walk along the beach and see what we could find.
Benguerra is far from simply being a ‘resort island’. There are many Mozambican locals who call this home, and many live within a stone’s throw from Azura Benguerra. After not long at all we had come across this absolutely gorgeous family!
With them not speaking English and us not speaking Portuguese, it should go without saying that communicating with them wasn’t exactly easy! However, the lady with the gorgeous grin standing second from the right motioned at my camera and said ‘photo’. She was so excited to see her family on the tiny screen of my Olympus! Usually I find photos of locals a bit questionable (especially when they haven’t been taken with permission) but when the locals are the ones requesting a picture I think its fine.
These young girls also asked for a photo and they were also so excited to see themselves on my screen! When I return to Mozambique one day, I think that I’d like to travel with a Polaroid camera so that I could give them actual photos of themselves to keep.
The weather was rather strange, because even though it was raining intermittently and quite obviously windy, the ocean in front of the resort looked… calm?
I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t go snorkelling when the water looked so flat and inviting! However, we went on a little drive around the island later that day and things became rather obvious.
The resort doesn’t have a house reef, the best reef systems are about a 15 minute boat ride away as they reside on the other side of the island.
Well, as it turns out, Azura Benguerra lies in a kind of protected little bay, so the weather doesn’t affect it anywhere near as much as on the other side of the island. When we arrived on the other side and saw the truly ridiculous swell I decided that not being allowed to go snorkelling was probably a good thing!
Despite the waves being beastly, the sun had at least started shining, which was all that was needed to put enormous grins on these two faces!
We spent a little longer exploring more of the island, learning about the local flora and fauna, local villages, schools and some of the island’s most unique features, such as this enormous sand dune that seems to appear out of nowhere!
Going on this island drive on a weekend meant that we had the opportunity to finish things off with a local game of soccer. There are a small handful of resorts on the island, all of whom have teams, and each week locals gather to watch them play. The Azura team just so happened to be playing on this day, and even though they kinda got their butts kicked (my sources tell me that the usual goalie was on leave from work) it was a helluva lot of fun to watch.
That evening was rainy again, so we settled in for another delicious meal and said a little prayer that the weather would improve the next day. We desperately wanted to go snorkelling, and I really didn’t want to leave Mozambique without properly getting in the water!
The next morning I woke up and to my complete surprise and delight, the weather really appeared to be clearing. The sun was shining again, the trees were still and the ocean looked like the paradise I had imagined that it would be.
At this point I had no idea what the day would have in store, but I decided that while the weather seemed calm it would be the perfect opportunity for my little drones maiden flight!
If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember earlier this year that I accidentally got drunk in an airport lounge in Singapore and whilst under the influence somehow managed to buy a drone…
Up until this point I had been so nervous to fly it that I was really starting to regret that purchase; I really needed to use it so that all the lugging it around (and the money I spent on it) wouldn’t go to waste.
As far as maiden flights go, I think I did alright!
Benguerra is undeniably beautiful from the ground, but looking at it from above allowed me to capture its gloriousness in a totally different way.
Just like that, I had no regrets about splashing out on Droney boy! I was so happy I had bought him, and so pleased with the images he allowed me to capture.
In this next picture you can see a kayak and stand-up paddleboard. I love how they stand out against the sand and also how they make it easy to see which villa was ours!
In this picture you can see two people – one of them is my Handsome Dan out for an early morning run.
Up until this point the weather had been far from ideal, but we had still managed to have an amazing time in spite of this and luckily, the good weather continued and allowed us to have one seriously wonderful last day in paradise.
Getting to Vilanculos: This is one of the least well connected airports, you will need to get yourself to Johannesburg in order to arrive here
Getting to Benguerra: From Vilanculos the best option to travel to Benguerra is via helicopter transfer. These transfers are on the pricier side, but the unbelievable views they provide you make it well worth the money
Azura Benguerra: One night in a beach villa starts at $1390 USD for two persons including all meals and drinks. For more information about Azura Retreats, click here
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lenses and a DJI Mavic Pro
Remember: Bad weather is an unavoidable part of life, if you travel long enough, you will get some terrible weather! You just need to be able to make the most of what you do have