We can all take a page from Mother Nature’s guidebook. From hungry herbivores to tiny turtles … the animal kingdom is forever dropping everything to travel great distances in search of kinder climates, warmer waters and greener pastures. These world-famous animal migrations have stood the test of time and hey, if they can do it, then so can (should) we!
So, with tropical weather, turquoise water and lush scenery on the brain, let us help cure your wanderlust with some island-inspired travel inspiration. Did you know that we are island experts, with not one, but three luxurious island properties on Africa’s eastern coastline? In addition, we operate on many other islands (15 to be exact) around the world, including the tropical Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles, the picturesque islands off India and Sri Lanka, the mysterious and remote Easter Island in Chile and the remarkably biodiverse and wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands in Ecuador.
The great news here is that, with the addition of three luxury private islands in our portfolio, we are now able to extend the success of our 3Cs impact model of caring for the land, wildlife and people through the delivery of extraordinary experiences to include our oceans as well.
Our Oceans Without Borders initiative, in partnership with Africa Foundation, expands our longstanding dedication to the conservation of 9 million acres of wildlife land to include the much-needed protection and preservation of our oceans. We are now able to influence an additional 3 000 km of African coastline through our marine activities at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve and the three islands within our growing portfolio.
Image © Vivanta by Taj.
So, which &Beyond island are you? Are you the uber-romantic and unashamedly relaxing and idyllic &Beyond Mnemba Island? Or do you consider yourself more the family-friendly, conservation-focused and privacy-preferring &Beyond Vamizi Island? Neither of those suit you to a T? Then perhaps you’re a mix of both – the adventure-loving, luxurious yet active &Beyond Benguerra Island. Read on to see which island suits you best.
Romantic barefoot beach paradise
Best described as a barefoot beach paradise, &Beyond Mnemba Island is a small, private island off the warm, tropical shores of Zanzibar. It boasts just 12 beachside bandas and you can walk the entire circumference of the island in a mere 20 minutes. This (literally) heart-shaped island nirvana is by far one of the most romantic, relaxing and carefree places in the world.
Soak up the sunshine, swim in the sea, have breakfast in bed, scuba dive the magnificent Mnemba atoll, watch endangered sea turtles hatch and/or lay eggs, catch a glimpse of a forest-dwelling suni antelope or endangered Aders’ duiker, indulge in a sundowner cruise on a traditional dhow, learn how to make impossibly fresh sushi, tuck into a festive beach barbecue, sip cocktails on comfy white couches at the beachside bar, or just laze away the hours in complete, unapologetic privacy. Just think of yourselves as Robinson Crusoe-like castaways, with luxury accommodation, world-class service and unexpected spoils around every corner.
Ultimate privacy in a conservation haven
Although an equally luxurious and romantic retreat for couples, &Beyond Vamizi Island in Mozambique is certainly more geared towards families and small groups of friends travelling together that crave their own space, the privacy to do what they want when they want, and the friendly, helpful yet unobtrusive service of their own personal chef, butler and housekeeper.
Relax and truly unwind in one of the island’s six spacious luxury villas; each with its own unique character and charm, no two villas are the same. Explore the long, seemingly-endless stretches of beachfront. Swim in the crystal clear azure waters. Scuba dive one of the world’s top dive sites, Neptune’s Arm. Eat, drink, snorkel and catnap at your own castaway picnic. Kayak the calm waters of a mangrove forest. The options are endless … or choose to do nothing at all.
A conservation success story in itself, &Beyond Vamizi Island has a long history of marine conservation and community development. Its waters boast some of the most significant and endangered habitats and wildlife in the western Indian Ocean, with over 180 species of pristine coral and over 400 species of reef fish. It has been deemed one of the healthiest coral reef ecosystems in the world, enticing diving and marine enthusiasts from around the world. The island is also a sanctuary for mangrove forests, one of the earth’s most threatened habitats.
Guests can delve deeper into this fascinating conservation story and enjoy hands-on experience on our Oceans Without Borders small group journey. Guided throughout by Oceans Without Borders Operations Manager, Dr Tessa Hempson, this week-long impactful journey offers insight into the unique importance of the diverse reef systems surrounding the island, as well as the key challenges we face in protecting them.
Romance & adventure all in one
If you’re looking for a balanced blend of island romance, sunny adventure-filled days, mouth-watering Portuguese fare and just the right amount of privacy – be it for a family or small group of friends, or a couple craving some alone time – then &Beyond Benguerra Island in Mozambique is the island for you.
Swim, snorkel and scuba dive to your heart’s content. Steal away on a catamaran cruise. Ride horses along the beach and into the ocean or try your hand at deep-sea or fly-fishing. Take a scenic helicopter flip over the turquoise archipelago and spot a rare dugong if you’re lucky. Toast the sunset on an unforgettable traditional dhow cruise. Later, sip beach cocktails and snack on moreish pre-dinner bites around a blazing fire on the beach at the cheerful Dhow Bar. Your days will be filled with adventure, and your nights filled with island romance. The best of both worlds..
So now that you know which island you are, it’s time to take a timeout and migrate to the beach for some much-needed rest, relaxation and vitamin sea. And if you still aren’t sure which island suits you best, the only way to really know is to visit them all and decide for yourself!
If you love these tropical island escapes as much as we do, then why not join us in taking a pledge to help save our oceans? Together, we can leave the world a better place than we found it.