Simply super: When minimal is more in Mozambique

Lifestyle

Simply super: When minimal is more in Mozambique

Rio Azul unveils a laidback, contemporary new look that's big on comfort and solitude

Mila Crewe-Brown

Far up north in Mozambique, guests are taken by car for anywhere between one-and-a-half and and two hours north of Vilanculos to the southern point of the Govuro estuary system. The journey there offers a taste of what visitors to Rio Azul seek: solitude.

Built about 10 years ago as a holiday getaway by John and Jane van der Bijl, it was that remoteness that originally drew them; that and the fishing for John and friends. Backed by the beautiful Bazaruto archipelago and fronted by the estuary, the lodge’s location at the water’s edge offers a host of options for guests, from day trips down the river, to fishing and snorkeling at nearby Paradise Island and picnics on the beach.

A recent upgrade, at the hands of interior architect and friend of the Van der Bijls, Julia Day, has seen the small lodge up the ante, offering guests an experience that’s on par with the area’s exceptional natural surrounds. In keeping with Day’s knack for understated interiors with an emotional connection, the aesthetic is clean-lined, pared back and simple. “It was important that the décor shouldn’t interfere with the scenery, so Julia kept it extremely minimal,” explains Jane...

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