Vamizi is an eight-mile long finger of jungle covered island, fringed by idyllic sandy beaches and pristine coral reefs. It also happens to be about the most idyllic barefoot luxury destination on the planet.
It might seem odd to start with the 'negatives' but when the positives of a place are so overwhelming, it starts to make sense. So, there is no pool (why would there be, with the stunning warm waters and soft sand of the Indian Ocean on every doorstep?), no official spa (but the lodge can rustle up massages, treatments and yoga sessions), and not a huge range of activities (Vamizi is all about diving, fishing or not having an excuse to do anything but chill right out).
The lodge consists of thirteen enormous and supremely elegant thatched beach villas, set well apart from each other to ensure privacy. Each faces its own stretch of beach complete with Swahili day beds and also has a private sun deck so large you could land a helicopter on it. A walk along the beautiful fine white sand beach to the main lodge, watching fishing dhows return as the sun sets, is pretty much guaranteed to relax both body and soul.
At the main lodge, the restaurant serves good quality contemporary cuisine, with fresh seafood supplied from the fishing village on the other side of the island making up a good part of the menu most days.
If you can muster the energy to do anything except relax, marine activities include sea kayaking, dhow sailing, deep-sea fishing (on a tag and release basis), snorkelling and world-class diving (Vamizi has a fully equipped dive centre). Over 350 species of reef fish are found in these waters, as well as humpback whales, whale sharks, and the endangered dugong. Two species of endangered giant turtles also nest on the island’s beaches.
Vamizi is part of the Maluane combination of conservation projects aimed at promoting sustainable, low-impact tourism. The conservation area comprises three Indian Ocean islands (one of which is Vamizi) and a 33,000-hectare inland wildlife safari region – the Messalo area - used extensively for scientific research.