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Along the historical Moçambique channel lies tropical Ilha de Benguerra. Benguerra Island is the second largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago, and is less than a kilometre south of Bazaruto Island. Like its neighbour, it also has high dunes, inland lakes and beautiful beaches. The tide fluctuates up to 10 metres here, exposing sandbars up to a kilometre in length.

Benguerra has a total of 164 species of birds and the small patch of indigenous forest near the north point thrills with their sounds and those of squirrels and monkeys. Tucked away in the forest are the charming wooden chalets of Benguerra Lodge, while further south on the more exposed western side of the island is Marlin Lodge. There is also a campsite, but it's not government sanctioned and those who stay there could conceivably fall foul of the law.

The island has a rich cultural life with dhows regularly sailing past the northern point of the island dragging nets, or going to nearby reefs. Wake up early and you might see them sharing their catch on the beaches. Two Mile Reef, which lies two miles east of Benguerra, offers the best reef diving in Mozambique with beautiful staghorn corals and tropical fishes from tiny clownfish to moray eels and black-tipped reef sharks. Its large, protected pool, called the Aquarium, is a must for snorkellers.

Fishing by lure and by fly is also very popular and the lodges host annual big-game fishing competitions. In Mozambique, fishing is carefully monitored and all catches are tagged and then released. Benguerra is passionate about conservation and dedicated to the involvement of the local community in conserving this idyllic corner of the world. This is barefoot luxury at its very best!

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