Casa Rex - Paradise in the Bazaruto
Vivid pink bougainvillea’s overhang the charming Italian styled villa. Steep vines cling to the walls as they crawl upwards, following the sun. The view from my balcony is to forever as my gaze lingers on the inviting Bombay Sapphire waters of the Indian Ocean. The Bazaruto Archipelago islands scattered on the horizon. I sip on my champagne and remove my watch. I am at Casa Rex and here, time no longer matters.
My skin tingles as the ocean breeze flows between the plantation shutters - that view. That turquoise water. It is beckoning me. I must explore.
Climbing down the steeps stairs, the beach is at my feet. The water like a bath, warm and inviting. The tide retracting quickly. Small pools between sand ripples form, capturing unexpecting sea delights. Shells, invertebrates and small fish flit about. Local children squeal and chase each other, playing hide and seek around the hull of a rusty fishing boat. Tilted on its side in its final resting place, the water gurgles out of its eroding hull.
Walking to the water’s edge, fisherman return to shore in their flaking, rickety wooden boats. Sweat drips from their brow, nets dragging behind them. Calling to one another to assist with their catches, buckets are passed from person to person, larger fish are threaded on ropes or sticks and are carried to their next destination. Proud grins spread across their faces as they catch me watching them. I know I am going to like this place.
Situated approximately 750km north of Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, and 500km south of Beira, the town of Vilanculos is accessible and convenient. It retains its coastal charm and vibrant culture with its unique blend of African, Portuguese and Arab influences.
Casa Rex, my home for the next five nights, is located just outside the centre of the colourful town of Vilanculos, nestled perfectly within the bay. A stunning villa styled property, hunkered within lush gardens, this alluring beachfront accommodation provided more than an idyllic setting.
Wooden carvings and local handiworks speckled throughout the property provided a sense of cultural respect and pride, the coconut and zesty flavours floating on the air from the award winning kitchen made my stomach growl in anticipation.
The sun begins to set. I stake claim on a wooden deck chair by the sparkling pool, tropical cocktail in hand. Drinking in this view, drinking in my cocktail, my breath is taken away. The tide is now turning and slowly rolling back in. A cool breeze filters through. I connect to the free WIFI and post a picture of my piece of paradise to share with those who questioned, ‘Why would you go to Mozambique?’
The sun begins to dip. My stomach tells me it’s hungry and it’s time to taste some of the local Mozambican flair. Heavily influenced by Portuguese flavours combined with some of the freshest seafood, my mouth waters in eagerness.
Coconut prawns, curries, fresh fish, tapas style dishes and peri-peri chicken are laid in front of me. The food is delectable. Paired with local wines, I know I won’t be going to bed hungry tonight!
The indulgent deserts will need to wait until tomorrow as I desperately try to find room to squeeze in one last mouthful.
Walking back to my room, the click of geckos against the gentle surge of the lapping tide fills the still night. Lamps glow in my room, welcoming me. An elegant mosquito net is draped over my plush bed. I feel like royalty and float off into dreamland, conjuring up images in my mind of what is to come over the following days…
Awoken by my alarm early, I wanted to capture the sunrise. And capture it I did. Golden splashes paint the sky, orange swirls nudge their way in and together they dance as the swaying silhouettes of the palm trees groove with the ever changing sky.
As the light filters through, that blue water appears before me again. Calling me. Demanding I explore its dazzling marine life.
An adventurer at heart, this tranquil property drew me in with its vast array of water and cultural based activities on offer. It was time to explore and discover the wonders of this blissful region.
A traditional dhow trip with the locals was how I began my day. The rickety wooden boat with its flaking bright paint, gliding with the breeze out to Margaruque Island.
Home to crystal clear beaches and white sand dunes, this island was infectiously beautiful. A thatched beach hut provided shade between drift snorkelling trips over the vivid coral reefs. This is barefoot luxury at its best.
Kite surfers zipped by in the distance and dive boats zoomed out beyond the heads in search for the elusive whale shark. I made a mental note to include these activities in my time here.
Horses clip clopped along a beach front on a nearby island as several dolphins danced not far off shore. Truly magical.
The tide began to turn, it was time to head back to Casa Rex, where the smiling staff would be waiting to hear about the days adventures whilst I sip on a refreshing cocktail on the terrace.
What would tomorrow bring? A relaxing spa treatment followed by beach bar hopping? Perhaps a market tour and visiting a local orphanage? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
But first, it was time to head back to my little piece of paradise that is Casa Rex, to unwind and soak in that view again.
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