Travel + Leisure (USA)

Kisawa Sanctuary

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When Nina Flohr was planning her ecoresort on Mozambique’s Benguerra Island, the entreprene­ur (and former creative director of VistaJet, founded by her father, Thomas) couldn’t stop thinking about the environmen­tal impact. This is a place of towering dunes and ocean vistas; developmen­t would naturally compromise that. “Wouldn’t it be a shame if our structures interrupte­d that sweeping view?” she asked herself. “What if, instead, we embedded them?”

Flohr’s what-ifs led to a gorgeous example of biomimicry: using nature’s shapes and processes to inspire solutions to modern problems. At Kisawa Sanctuary, elegant buildings with rolling thatched roofs mirror the surroundin­g dunes. The undulation­s not only help the buildings blend into the landscape but also make them more wind-resistant—a

helpful feature in a tropical region prone to powerful seasonal cyclones—and provide airier interiors.

Thoughtful solutions are imprinted throughout the 740acre property, which is built from sustainabl­e materials including recycled plastic (as a base for the sandcovere­d roadways) and native grasses (layered to create the domed roof of the wellness center).

Benguerra artisans collaborat­ed with Flohr on the sliding doors inside the bungalows, created with a traditiona­l flatpalm weaving technique. Façades and floor tiles were 3D printed using a durable amalgam of sand and seawater. Anything that couldn’t be found on the island was imported by dhow, to minimize emissions.

Kisawa also employs an unusual “resort to research” business model: its profits fund the Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies, a marine observator­y and research lab on Benguerra also founded by Flohr. Guests are invited to assist Bazaruto scientists—some days, that might mean tagging or tracking sea turtles (Benguerra has five species), while others might be spent collecting data about fish.

“The idea behind all of this,” Flohr says, “is to create relationsh­ips with our surroundin­gs—in a human way and in a physical way.” kisawasanc­tuary. com; doubles from $5,700, all-inclusive. — J.C.

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 ?? ?? Admira Roberto Huate, a member of the resort’s constructi­on team, holds a piece by artist Frances Costelloe.
Admira Roberto Huate, a member of the resort’s constructi­on team, holds a piece by artist Frances Costelloe.
 ?? ?? The wellness center at Kisawa Sanctuary, a resort on Benguerra Island, Mozambique, is thatched with native grasses.
The wellness center at Kisawa Sanctuary, a resort on Benguerra Island, Mozambique, is thatched with native grasses.

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