‘Kisawa’ resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into Mozambique’s dunes

Kisawa sanctuary in Mozambique combines innovation and tradition

Set in the lush tropical landscape of Benguerra Island in Mozambique, Kisawa Sanctuary immerses its guests in a world where innovation and tradition meet. this Rest area It consists of eleven thatched-roof bungalows located on 300 acres of forest, beach and dunes. Organic beachfront villas designed by NJF Design offer expansive ocean views and gently bring guests closer to the natural environment.

‘Kisawa means ‘unbreakable’ and this defines our commitment: to establish a bond between people and place, life and land.’ Kisawa team writes on the official website of the sanctuary. ‘Our mission is to bring wildlife and well-being together in a mindful and relaxed way. In everything we do, we want to support and enable our guests to do what they want, when they want.’


the town is taking shape as a cluster of organic thatched-roof villas | all images courtesy of Kisawa Sanctuary

cementless construction and traditional techniques

NJF’s vision was to integrate the facility into its environment rather than disrupt it. Kisawa Conservation Area adopts new ‘conscious’ construction methods that replace traditional techniques, leaving only a small footprint on the land, thus reducing the impact as much as possible. The construction involved artisans from Benguerra and neighboring islands, using techniques such as weaving, reeding and carpentry that celebrate Mozambican heritage. this refuge based in Mozambique it is also an example of cementless solutions in construction.

The team worked closely with the community to create the contrasting textured, undulating, biophilic forms used to create the thatched roofs of the residences and the impressive “domes” of the Wellness Centre. Craftsmen carved chairs and tables from local Jambir and Sambiri trees. Kisawa’s own craftsman, Andre Antonio Zivane, created decorative objects from wood, from miniature figures to oversized organically shaped sculptures.

'Kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into Mozambique's dunes
beachfront bungalows offer expansive ocean views

INTERIOR DESIGN celebrating African heritage

Unique artworks and antiques were sourced from all over Africa for the interior to ensure that the historic monuments are preserved and their origins remain in the continent. This includes locally made, custom furniture that provides a thoughtful and authentic place and connection with the natural environment, while supporting local craftsmanship. This kind of revolutionary hospitality combines respect, connection and heritage with thoughtful and purposeful design. No two residences are alike, each featuring different furniture items, antiques, objects, ceramics and an individual color scheme. The works are complemented by selected works from young African and international artists.

Nina Flohr, lead designer of the NJF team, supplied the clay water pots made by the Nupe tribe in Nigeria and the chairs hand-carved by the Makonde people of Tanzania. The wood is East African mahogany, often carved from a single piece to pay homage to an important member of the tribe.

'Kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into Mozambique's dunes
the resort gently brings guests closer to the natural environment

'Kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into Mozambique's dunes
each residence has an open-air deck with pool

'Kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into Mozambique's dunes
view of thatched structures

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