When you arrive at the private island of Quilálea, it’s as if your DNA has recognised paradise. The helicopter flight from Pemba is an airborne appetiser to a platter of barefoot luxury, indulgent service and gourmet food.
Azura Quilalea Private Island
Quilálea is nature’s pièce de résistance of the Archipelago – the only island in Mozambique with a house reef, accessible directly from the main beach, making it the perfect destination for scuba divers and snorkellers. Snorkel off the beach at night as the water on the reef morphs into a soft velvet, and you become gentle gate-crashers into the overnight party on the reef. The reef glows with its own soft light and the coral comes alive in tentacles of feeding frenzy. You are likely to see a hawksbill turtle - one of the oldest creatures on earth - moving unperturbed towards the surface.
The activity is enough to build up an appetite to enjoy the cuisine. While fishing trips often produce a delicacy for dinner, named after the guest who lands it, there is a constant supply of fresh seafood. The food is sublime. For light lunch think chilled avocado and lime soup, spinach and pomegranate salad with honey lime oil, mangrove crab claw tempura with wasabi mayo, fresh white snapper ceviche with lime and chilli, topped off with home-style organic mango sorbet.
Or a dinner amongst the giant 1200-year-old Baobabs, the lights reflecting off the grey, wrinkled bark not unlike the skin of an elephant, cocktails on the beach or dining at the water’s edge with the stars as natural fairy lights.
Quilálea means the ‘resting place’ and it is that and so much more.