Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
As mentioned we are avid divers and the focus of this part of the trip was to get some diving in. Our original choice was on another island, farther south, but it was hit by a hurricane over the winter and was not ready for guest. Renee moved us to the Indigo Bay Resort and Spa.
To get to Indigo Bay you fly from Johannesburg to Vilanculos, and then a ten minute flight to the island. Upon arrival in Vilanculos, Mozambique you are met by an Indigo Bay employee where they take your passports, clear you through customs, and get you sorted for the puddle jumper to the island.
The flight into the resort is beautiful. Even with all the diving, we have never been in a landscape so dominated by massive sand dunes. The combination of the blue water and the towering sand dunes is mind-blowing. As we entered the property, we knew we were set to be spoiled. The grounds are lush and tropical but surrounded by dunes and endless sandy beach. All the dining areas open to the incredible views of the ocean and are sumptuously appointed.
Our room rivaled and exceeded rooms we have had at hotels including the Hong Kong Peninsula and Bangkok Shangri La. There is an indoor shower, private outdoor shower, patio, cabana in the shade, and cabana on the beach. Need a drink? Just put out your “flag” or call the bar.
Indigo Bay is apparently well known for its incredible buffet breakfasts and dinners. Your choices were overwhelming and all excellently done. This is one of the few places we have been, where even a vegetarian would be happy without needing to make any special requests. Lunch was served from a menu with a very nice selection. There were maybe 20 people at the resort and on one night no more than 6. That evening we had to “suffer” thru with a 5 course set menu. Once again the service was impeccable. Every napkin folded if you left the table, every crumb swept up, all while you lounged in shorts and t-shirt. For dinner I would “dress up” putting on pants, of all things.
Most of the guests we met at Indigo Bay were there to relax, and it seemed a popular location for honeymooners. They do have a variety of activities available including sailing, tennis, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, 4x4 island tours, and of course diving. We only took advantage of the diving, which is extra and the inexpensive island tour. The island tour is worthwhile to get a better feel for the landscape
We love to dive, and to date, all of our trips overseas have been dive trips, typically on live-aboards where you are diving 5 times per day. To be frank, Indigo Bay is a luxury resort were you go to relax and “can do some diving” if you choose. To be fair, their goal is not to be a dive resort. That being said, Indigo runs a very competent dive operation. We only brought our computers and masks and rented all the rest. It was good quality and in good condition. For us Yanks, be aware that tanks are steel and pressure measured in Barr.
The 27ft speed boat accommodates 6 divers plus the DM, are comfortable and fine for the diving they do. The dive sites are about a 20 minute ride with nice views of the islands as you zip along. You do a back roll in, and to exit you take off gear, hand it up and then use a small ladder to board the boat.
You do two morning dives with the surface interval being done on a remote sand spit which we found to be really unique. Drinks, fruit and fresh baked snacks are provided. Due to a daily tidal exchange of 6ft, there is always Cozumel level currents and decent surge in some areas. It is easy diving and anyone can do it. The dive guides say the visibility averages about 30ft year round. Water temperature averaged between 71-74 degrees and I was happy they had 5mm wetsuits for diving. Julie, who runs cold in any water less than 80 degrees, brought her fleece jacket for the 20-30minute ride home.
We dove North Point, South Point and The Potholes. The reefs themselves have some colorful soft and hard corals with decent fish life. The topography is “spotty”: most of the reefs seem to be swept fairly clean of life on top but the fronts and sides of the formations have plenty of life. There were large schools of tangs, many different species of box fish, angels and schools of anthias. Due to the currents we did not really stop to look for small stuff so I would consider this a medium to wide angle destination. We also saw several potato cod, turtles, sting rays and a brief encounter with a Zambezi/bull shark. Humpback whales were traveling thru the area, and on most dives their songs were our background music.
We will go back in 09 and will probably opt for Sodwana Bay or Tanzania. A couple of people we dove with raved about Tanzania. That said Indigo Bay Resort and Spa is a great destination for a diver with non-diving family members who like to be pampered.
Edited by NWDiver, 25 October 2007 - 07:02 AM.