If you’ve dreamed of the perfect desert isle, the kind you think is only possible in Photoshopped screen-savers, it exists and its name is Medjumbe. Rani Resorts claimed this serpentine sandbar hovering above the turquoise water in Mozambique’s Quirambas Archipelago and made this private island into a 13-chalet honeymooner’s paradise.
Upon arrival we were treated to welcome drinks in the heart of the hotel. This thatch-roof lounge always supplied to-die-for views, a cool breeze, and blissful cocktails.
Inspired by the island’s history and location along the spice route, Medjumbe’s decor had a hint of Arab, African, and Portuguese flair. Antique lanterns, weathered wood furniture, tribal pottery, and sea-glass colored pillows all mixed for a sexy coastal vibe.
After our delicious cocktails and a tour of the resort and its water sport facilities, we were escorted to our beach-front villa. Charming interiors aside, the cabana’s wrap-around porch came complete with hammock, outdoor shower, private pool, and the Indian Ocean at its feet…what more could one ask for?
With views this mesmerizing at every meal, the chef could have given us gruel and we probably wouldn’t have noticed but instead Medjumbe served up some of the best meals we had during our entire 100-day African honeymoon. Lobster and mango salads, coconut seafood paella, peppered Trinhado steak—-the swimsuit diet happily went out the window.
Our Perfect Desert Isle
To get a feel for the half-square kilometer that comprises the island, we started our visit off with a leisurely stroll to the western tip, where waves crash from both directions and the sand slips back to the sea. During the walk, our encounters with feisty one-armed crabs, graphic seashells and bright red chunks of coral along the beach got us excited for some underwater exploration.
The following day we took the sea kayaks out for a spin. Snorkel gear at the ready, we charted a course to a nearby shallow reef and enjoyed the company of some playful Puffers and Angelfish.
One of the most important skills they teach you at Safari Etiquette School is how to properly enjoy a sunset. I hope we did Sabi Sabi proud with our Savanna Dry sun-downers on our private slice of heaven.
From shallow water dives packed with colorful Sweetlips, Triggerfish, Anenomes and a plethora of other sea critters to the 40-meter deep wall reef dives like “Edge of Reason” and “Cliffs of Insanity,” Medjumbe has something for every diver.
On our dive through the coral reef, we saw a slew of Tangs and Trigger Fish but this neon stripped Regal Angelfish was one of our faves. In the distance we could hear the first songs of the season from the migrating Humpback whales.
On our 500-day honeymoon we’ve stayed everywhere from five-star resorts to the scrubbiest of hostels, though if were going to have a “normal” honeymoon where we just picked one beautiful beach to veg out after a wedding, this may just top the list.