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Vamizi Island is an eight-mile long finger of jungle covered island, fringed by idyllic sandy beaches and pristine coral reefs. It also happens to be about the most idyllic barefoot luxury destination on the planet.
It might seem odd to start with the 'negatives' but when the positives of a place are so overwhelming, it starts to make sense. So, there is no official spa (but the lodge can rustle up massages, treatments and yoga sessions), not a huge range of activities (Vamizi is all about diving, fishing or not having an excuse to do anything but chill right out), and it's quite the journey to get there (but who doesn't like a scenic charter flight over the Quirimbas archipelago?)
Please note that Vamizi Island main lodge is currently closed for renovation, however the villas mentioned below remain open.
Vamizi Island is home to a collection of six exclusive and incredibly private villas: Kipila, Suluwilo, Papilio, Tartaruga, Casa Marjani and Casamina. Each villa is individually styled, and designed by award winning South African architects to ensure both creative, and sustainable design which reflects the nature and historical legacy of the island. So not only can guests completely unwind in idyllic isolation, but they can do so with their Eco Halos well and truly intact.
Villas have either five or six en suite bedrooms, sleeping from 12 - 16 guests and so offering the perfect getaway for families and groups of friends. There is plenty of space for adult lounging, whilst little ones will love the colourful children's bedrooms, and treehouse bedrooms. Each villa offers spacious drawing and dining rooms, as well as private swimming pools (except Casa Marjani - whose pool is currently being designed). A hospitality team and private chef work within each villa to tailor the perfect break, whether that involves a delectable fresh seafood grill, romantic castaway picnics, or a sunset dhow cruise.
If you can muster the energy to do anything except relax, marine activities include sea kayaking, dhow sailing, deep-sea fishing (on a tag and release basis), snorkelling and world-class diving. Over 350 species of reef fish are found in these waters, as well as humpback whales, whale sharks, and the endangered dugong. Two species of endangered giant turtles also nest on the island's beaches.
Vamizi Island is not a one trick pony, but nonetheless, there is one dive that really stands out, the aptly named 'Neptunes Arm'. A 40-minute boat ride away (accompanied by humpback whales and a glimpse of mating turtles) lies a sunken island whose surface is about eight metres down. Swept by currents, this is not a dive site for the easily intimidated or indeed novice diver (you do need an advanced ticket to partake).
The diving here is incredibly varied, ranging from the long pristine gentle house reef which you can graze over, to the more alarming but exciting Neptunes Arm - if there was ever any encouragement needed to do your Advanced PADI, the prize of Neptunes should suffice. As well as the Neptunes there are sites closer to home: Skunk Alley and Cave Wall, aka the House Reef, both offer really gentle, easy diving.
With excellent corals, turtles, schools of barracuda, nudibranchs and all the usual suspects, and given the variety and sheer quantity of marine life in these seas, you are sure to be impressed.
Nick, Original Diver