Kisawa Sanctuary Opens in Mozambique

Kisawa Sanctuary, sprawled across 300 hectares of beachfront and coastal forest on Benguerra Island, Mozambique, has launched with 22 spacious bungalows across 12 residences. While some lie on the calmer cove side, others shelter in the dunes on the ocean side. All residences are positioned within a secluded plot of at least one acre of beachfront, sand dunes and forest, providing maximum privacy. Each bungalow can accommodate two persons. Some stand alone, while others are positioned in groups, so groups can enjoy a balance of privacy and togetherness. 

A 24/7 personal service team, plus a colorful fleet of electric Mini Mokes allows guests to choose between privacy within their bungalow and surroundings, or to adventure at their own pace throughout Benguerra Island and the Bazaruto Archipelago.

The first hospitality project by entrepreneur, creative director and philanthropist Nina Flohr, Kisawa’s approach to craftsmanship and commissions are designed to involve and create work for as many people from Benguerra and the neighbouring islands as possible. The work of local weavers, thatchers, carpenters and textile makers is showcased in the sanctuary.

Art and antiques are sourced from across Africa, ensuring the preservation of heritage artifacts and their remaining provenance within the continent. These works sit alongside locally made bespoke furniture, providing an authentic sense of place, and a connection with the natural environment. Colorful patterns and prints, evocative of the region, add a graphic element and intrigue while contrasting textures provide layers of tactility.

Kisawa Sanctuary

Around 80 percent of the construction workforce belonged to Benguerra Island, half of which were women. Today, Kisawa is run by a team of 220 staff, with 90 percent of the operational team from Africa and the remainder combining expertise from around the world.

At the heart of the resort, guests can discover shared spaces dedicated to relaxation, dining and well-being, along with an expansive Natural Wellness Center. Located amongst dunes, the wellness center offers guests individual treatments or personalized programs rooted in Ayurvedic medicine, in collaboration with the guest’s private chef and the Kisawa team. A Japanese Iyashi dome sauna uses gentle infrared heat to promote healing. Within the fully equipped gym, Pilates reformers are available for guests to use alone or under professional guidance.

Throughout the seven culinary locations at Kisawa, the ethos remains the same: A commitment to sanctuary-grown produce, the practice of organic, seasonal gardening methods, operating a zero-waste policy and no use of processed ingredients. Kisawa has built a network of farmers and producers ensuring fresh local produce daily. The multiple venues, including the Main Terrace, Baracca and two Mussassas, offer a wide variety of dishes, with a focus on African and Mozambican flavors, including an ever-changing selection of seafood inspired by daily conversations with local fishermen.

Besides founding Kisawa Sanctuary, Flohr launched its sister property, the Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies (BCSS), also located on Benguerra Island. It is Africa’s first permanent ocean observatory. Their parallel operations create a new, symbiotic business model whereby hospitality contributes directly to marine science and research. The data and knowledge output of BCSS informs the environmental decisions of the sanctuary, ranging from design choices and ocean awareness, to meaningful guest experiences, such as spending the day tagging sharks from the deck of the research vessel. Coined "resort to research," this is an authentic, active, day-to-day relationship that allows for the harmonious existence of Kisawa Sanctuary and BCSS.

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