Kisawa Sanctuary, situated on the stunning white sands of Benguerra island just off the coast Mozambique, is a new standard in luxury hospitality. With environmental conservation firmly at the forefront of this ground-breaking project, Kisawa’s ambition is to bring natural wilderness and customer service together, inviting guests to discover their own rhythm of wellbeing in a spectacular natural setting. Kisawa – meaning “unbreakable,” which defines the resort’s overarching commitment to build a bond between people and place, and life and land – seamlessly balances the ease of feeling at home with all the benefits and amenities of an ultra-luxury resort.
Accommodation at the Sanctuary is comprised of 12 one, two and three bedroom bungalows, plus The Kisawa Residence, positioned within a 300-hectare stretch of forest, beach and sand dunes. Each bungalow is uniquely designed within its own one-acre plot, offering maximum privacy and optimum appreciation of the natural environment. Uninterrupted views extend across the beach front, while guests can make full use of a private swimming pool, massage hut and outdoor kitchen.
For those who don’t want to cook for themselves, Kisawa has multiple dining venues across the whole Sanctuary, including two beach “cozinhas.” Other facilities open to guests include the lagoon-style swimming pool, a beach bar and a library. The Sanctuary additionally benefits from a stand-alone spa, specialising in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic offerings, with striking architecture inspired by the island’s thatched village houses. For the more active, there is also a sand clay tennis court and a diving centre.
Located in part of the Bazaruto Archipelago, this WWF National Marine Park is home to some of the richest and least explored subtropical ecosystems in the Indian Ocean. A dramatic 150 metre high sand dune overlooks the Sanctuary; a place more than 145 bird species – including flamingos – call home. Orca, marlin, manta rays, whale sharks and an assortment of dolphins are either regular visitors or permanent residents. The island’s warm, crystal clear waters are also a globally-significant nursery for mother and calf humpback whales, along with five species of nesting sea turtles.
Kisawa Sanctuary is the brainchild of Creative Director and Founder, Nina Flohr. A name most commonly associated with VistaJet, where she worked as Creative Director for ten years leading on everything from customer experience to brand strategy, Flohr has turned her attentions to the conservation and celebration of this unique part of the world.
“My mission for Kisawa is to create a level of hospitality and design that, to my knowledge, does not exist today,” she says. “We have used design as a tool, not as a style, to ensure Kisawa is integrated, culturally and environmentally, to Mozambique. We have studied the local vernacular, its materials and techniques, making the best use of local craftsmanship and what is available in sustainable supply.”
The design that Kisawa’s architecture incorporates is a patented 3D printing technology, commissioned specifically for this project, created by a mortar comprised of the island’s sand and seawater. This revolutionary eco-friendly building material is used throughout the property. At Kisawa, this innovative technology is merged with Mozambican weaving, thatching, carpentry and textile skills (with patterns and prints inspired by regional traditions), involving artisans from across Benguerra and its neighbouring islands.
In addition to the construction of Kisawa, the 3D printer will also spend time on the other end of the island, printing sand coral reefs and marine habitats for the property’s non-profit organisation, Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies, of which Flohr is also the founder. This marine research facility is home to the first long-term African Ocean Observatory, monitoring multiple ecosystems and ongoing climate change across the Western Indian Ocean.
Flohr adds: “We have designed Kisawa with our heads, hands, and hearts to create a sanctuary that brings nature, culture, and service together. In all that we offer, we want to support and enable our guests to do as they wish, when they wish.”
Rates start from 5,000 Euros per night for a 1 bedroom Bungalow, including a dedicated team of staff, private chefs, all food and beverages, access to the spa and other activities such as diving and marine safaris, plus your own electric vehicle and e-bikes to navigate the property. For more information, go to www.kisawasanctuary.com.