Machangulo Beach Lodge, Southern Mozambique
Why we love it
Perched up on the hill overlooking Inhaca Island is this idyllic beach lodge. Wood and shaggy thatch structures nestle in the indigenous forest with the monkeys and wonderful bird life. We loved its private location, with the wild deserted beaches to the East, and the calm Maputo Bay to the West. Great for the fit and mobile, it is built on many levels, necessitating stair climbing to reach the living areas. But when you get up there, the views are wide and wonderful. Swimming in front of the lodge is not advised due to strong currents, but there are nearby swim spots that are wonderful in the warm water, and you are a mere hop and a skip to the snorkeling in Inhaca's calm waters.
What to expect:
Expect barefoot beach-style comfort. There are two family villas ( sleeping 4) and one large villa ( sleeping 8) tucked in the indigenous forest on the lower level, and 5 sea-view units for couples, set up high near the eating areas. There is a lower bar deck with a pool, then a steep climb up to the main dining and lounge area. The villas all offer basic food preparation areas, spacious living areas, air conditioning and lovely outside decks with private simming pools. Meals are very informal and plentiful. There is a full time spa therapist, and the spa offers magical sea views.
What to do
Canoes and SUPS are available anytime for guests. You can enjoy long beach walks where you see nobody, snorkeling with a picnic at Inhaca island, whale watching, turtle tracking in season, dune and forest walks, canoe trips in the mangroves, village tours to Santa Maria. There is heaps to do, and a dedicated crew to help organise your daily activities. Deep sea fishing is also available. Ask about the gin tasting!
When to visit
Mozambique is hottest between October and March. Humidity is high then. The winter months are cooler but still balmy with water temperatures tropical. Expect occasional dramatic tropical storms.
Kids: Our kids loved every minute at the lodge. Our famlily villa offerd privacy and the pool there was a hit. They loved snorkeling right off the beach, fishing off the rocks, climbing up the dunes and they loved the friendly staff who all becaome their best friends! Meal times are informal and relaxed. Small kids or parents carrying small kids may find the steep stairs and walk ways tricky.
Getting there: From Maputo it is an easy 1h15 boat transfer when the sea isn't rough. Arrival times are dependent on tides. Alternatively you can arrive by helicopter or fly in to Inhaca.