Natural Wellness Center at Kisawa Sanctuary

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Welcome to Vogue’s first-ever spa guide—a compendium of the 100 best spas worldwide, pulling from the expertise of our global editors. There is a lot out there in the world of wellness, and we are here to sort the cryo from the cold plunge, the infrared light treatment from the IV infusion. Or if your path is a more holistic one—there’s something for you here as well.

Why go here?

Any guest embarking on the journey to get to this remote resort, must have a desire for exploration. And yet, Kisawa has also built up a well-developed, thoughtful menu of offerings for those who want to spend at least part of their time staying put.

Kisawa Sanctuary doesn’t use the word spa. It’s a Natural Wellness Center that encompasses their beachside compound with a yoga studio, a 25-meter lap pool, a reformer pilates studio, and yes, treatment rooms. (Massages and facials embrace local ingredients, like coconut oil and wild honey.) Treatments are based on the ideals of Ayurveda and include healing techniques that focus on massages, acupressure, and holistic medicine.

The facilities are spread over several thatched circular domes on a pristine, sandy expanse overlooking the turquoise tides of the Indian Ocean—without another soul or structure in sight. “The aim of the Natural Wellness Center is to ensure a progressive holistic experience that can be curated to the needs of the individual, helping to make them feel connected to the spectacular nature that is surrounding Kisawa. It leaves guests with a deep sense of inner peace amid the environment. A feeling of reconnecting, rather than disconnecting,” Kisawa’s general manager, Mathieu Hellec, says.

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Photo: Courtesy of Kisawa Sanctuary

What’s the vibe?

Bohemian beach. The Bazaruto Archipelago—officially a national park—comprises five islands renowned for their white beaches and diverse marine life. The second-largest of them all, the Benguerra Island, has quietly emerged as a wild and stealthy getaway. Kisawa founder Nina Flohr took cues from the tropical modernist movement, as well as the work of local craftsmen, for Kisawa’s integrated ambience. “It’s a modern-day interpretation of Mozambique,” she says. Due to the size of Kisawa Sanctuary—it’s over 700 acres—each hotel guest is given their own moke (like a mini Jeep Wrangler) to traverse from their villa through the dunes. When I visited, I wore airy linens and lots of sunscreen—and basically never put on my shoes.

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Photo: Courtesy of Kisawa Sanctuary

The history?

Flohr opened Kisawa Sanctuary on Mozambique’s Benguerra Island in 2021. Her goal was to create a five-star resort that combined service and conservation. Ninety percent of the 180-person operational team is from Africa, and the sanctuary has partnered with the nonprofit ocean conservatory Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies.

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