Our dedication to conservation and the community lies at the heart of everything we do. Being a luxury resort with all mod cons we are not ‘eco’ in the traditional sense of the word, but have defined our own ‘eco’ in terms of our focus on the community and the preservation of the pristine environment that we find ourselves in. We are one of only a handful of resorts in Mozambique where the community are major contributors and stakeholders. Gabriel and his family, after whom the site is named, first established a tourism business here several years ago. They are major stakeholders in the resort, and continue to be involved on a daily basis.
It all started with the building of Azura. Rather than bring in outside contractors with no benefit to the local community, we trained the local islanders in vital building skills which will enable them to find new employment in the booming construction industry going forwards. They built Azura by hand. We used just one cement mixer and 1 truck in the construction, with everything other than sand for the building coming in by fleets of local dhows to help the community. The wood that was used was from sustainable sources, the window frames and doors made locally, our roofing jekka sourced from local women who we established in their own business to supply us, and some of our huge supporting beams were from trees that were downed in the recent cyclone. Many of the furnishings were handmade by the local community, and as you look around Azura a number of the things you see will have been made by disadvantaged communities across Southern Africa.
We put an environmental and community specialist on the ground at Azura before even making the first brick (we made our own), as we wanted their advice on having a minimal environmental footprint whilst not compromising on the luxury elements that our clients require. We used sustainable building materials where possible, installed solar powered showers for guests and eco-detergents in our laundry, small steps but important ones. We also have a state of the art sewerage treatment plant and recycle our grey water for the gardens to prevent environmental seepage.
Ethical sustainable tourism
Azura is seen by the Mozambican authorities as a model for ethical sustainable community based tourism. We have a firm policy of upliftment at Azura, which means all of our butlers, housekeeping staff, gardeners and so on are Mozambican. Typically they have grown up in disadvantaged communities with poor education, and are being trained by Azura. By staying with us you are helping them to advance their skills.
Please remember they are welcoming you to their home, a country which until recently was amongst the poorest in the world. In return, with your help, we do our best to make their home a better place for them and their families.
Our Rainbow Fund is the first registered charity of its kind in Mozambique. It supports a variety of social and environmental projects large and small, from building a new school, to environmental protection initiatives. We now have some 400 children in education on the island, compared with just 40 when we started out. We work alongside the National Park and local communities wherever we can and have a dedicated environmentalist and community officer at Azura.
We will add $10 a night to your stay towards our Rainbow Fund. It’s not compulsory, but we hope that you will want to be part of helping preserve what you will have discovered during your stay at Azura.