I don't like to sell trips to places that I have not been, from our many
awesome holidays , that ignited our love for Africa and the Indian Ocean
Islands, we were very aware that not all places turn out to be what you
On a last minute decision i decided to take a family trip and go and spend
some time at Quilalea , a private island just off Pemba Mozambique. Its a
place we had not been before, warm weather was appealing to escape the cold
winter in Cape Town, very low risk of malaria, a house reef for snorkeling
and the ease of getting there.
The Azura Quilalea staff meet you in the airport and assist you with your bags and
all necessary paper work and as soon as you realise it you've been whisked
through the airport and boarding a helicopter. The Azura staff were fabulous
in this regard as observing the 'other' travelers negotiate their way
through customs, we were grateful to have this pain removed from our journey
(they also assisted us on our return trip). I was a little apprehensive of
the kids (they are 7 and 4) going in a helicopter as it was a first for all
of us , what a waste of worry, it was such a highlight for them, they
couldn't wait for the return trip. It's a quick 20 minute flight of gorgeous
views. The only way to the island is by helicopter, so sit back and enjoy.
A very warm welcome awaits you on arrival at Quilalea , where your bags will
be carried to your room and you'll be sipping on a cool coconut and quick
rundown of island life.
Management and staff are always available with a friendly smile and happy to
help in any way they can. Staff catered for our every needs. If you want
drinks or a meal, you simply have to ask and they went out of their way to
make it possible (note: some things can be challenging considering due to
We have very fussy eaters and hubby and I don't eat seafood so we were not
easy to cater for on an island that far removed from everything yet they
went above and beyond every day to discuss the meals for the day and
We love snorkeling especially on a house reef where we can go out as often
as we want for as long as we want without paying or relying on anyone. The
Quilalea house reef was in good condition and one is likely to see to many of the
typical small reef fish and some bigger fish are often seen.
What a highlight for us as we really enjoyed it and the minute my 7 year old
saw a turtle she asked to snorkel and she is now hooked. This is the only
island in Mozambique with a house reef and it is really impressive and will
just get better.
For the kids it was such a fun trip, every morning they rushed outside to
look in rock pools and catch hermit crabs , beautiful Baobab walks, swimming
for hours, you can do as much or as little as you want. There are kayaks,
floating pillows , stand up paddle boards and access to all diving and
As we were there during spring tide, the tides change drastically during the
day. Low tide is great for snorkeling and high tide for swimming. They also
have a swimming pool for those wanting to learn to dive or just laze by the
pool and be close to the bar (and wifi).
They have really great bird life but it does depend on the time of year and
breeding patterns so depending on your interests I would confirm the
weather, breeding patterns, wind etc.
We stayed for 7 nights and I can honestly say that we could easily have
stayed longer, the accommodation was gorgeous, we loved our Villa which was
close to the restaurant and everything else as with kids you end up going
back and forth regularly.
There are only 9 villas, 1 is a honeymoon villa , 4 kaskazi villas (the
cheapest option) and 4 Kuzi villas which have plunge pools.
It's only an All Inclusive option which is great as everything is included
so you can relax and enjoy your holiday. We enjoyed going to the pool/bar
area every evening and watching the sunset with a sundowner in hand , we
were lucky one evening to see dolphins go by. We're told that they do see
whales (in season) too. It's also a good place to mingle with other guests
or chat to the bar man, we miss the super friendly smiles at the bar every
day and our fabulous host Nelson who looked after us at meal times.
All in all an unforgettable island which we may have to visit again.