Guludo Beach Lodge ,where the bush meets the beach, where elephants feed off mangrove trees just metres from the ocean.
It's a resort that’s bucking the trend, with the accent on simplicity rather than luxury, but that no longer means rustic.
The spacious bandas built of mud brick and thatch using traditional methods to keep it naturally cool, with ceramic floors hand-crafted by local women.
The bandas are as environmentally-sound as can be, combining local materials with modern technology and design to negate the need for air-conditioning. The high roof scoops in the sea breeze; the walls ‘breathe’ naturally and keep the room cool. Only five bags of cement were used in the construction of each banda.
Each banda has an en-suite bathroom; water is solar-heated, and the showerheads are made from coconuts! The enviro-loo is in its own reed hut, raised high to make a loo with the most spectacular view!
There is no electricity in the bandas, but guests can charge electrical appliances on the solar power system. The paraffin lamps contribute to the feeling that you really have got back to the essentials of life. Your private verandah faces the beach and has a Swahali-style seat, a hammock and sun loungers.
And you can even see the sea from your king-sized bed which is raised upon a platform. Everything that can be is made locally, as the lodge employs local labour whenever possible. Instead of an uninhabited island, the young English owners deliberately went for a mainland site, about a mile from Guludo village, a typical African village of 1500 inhabitants. In May 2006, lodge founder, Amy Carter was voted Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year at an event hosted by the New Statesman.
This is a place where you will feel at home and also energized by your participation in an endeavour whose whole raison d’etre is to contribute to community upliftment.
What to do at Guludo? Relax and enjoy 12 kms of pure white beach. The usual treats are available - diving (there is a well-equipped PADI dive centre, and the dive sites are less than 20 minutes by boat), snorkeling, fishing, visits to Ibo island (just 40 minutes by boat), but with the addition of mainland activities. Because it's not the beach that makes Guludo such a special place, it’s the village. The resort was built by the locals. Villagers have been trained for employment there, and nearly all the staff are from the local area.
Guludo operates several education programmes and community projects in the village. 5% of the accommodation revenue goes to the Nema Foundation, the local social, environmental and rehabilitation fund. The first major projects have been to develop access to clean water supplies in the surrounding villages, and to educate how to avoid deaths in infancy from malaria (there are more mosquitos on the mainland than on the islands, which are virtually mosquito-free). Currently they are helping to build a new village school, and there is a scheme to give mosquito nets to every child and pregnant woman in the area. It is estimated that eight lives are saved per 1000 nets distributed. In 2009 the Nema Foundation is funding 79 secondary school scholarships, thanks to the generosity of past Guludo guests. Guests often get the opportunity to assist on community and conservation projects. The villagers love the Lodge and this shows in the welcome you will receive there.
Beauty on the beach
The local women’s co-op do a range of beauty treatments, including the characteristic white face mask, on the beach.
There is no airstrip at Guludo, so the easiest way is by light aircraft transfer from Pemba to Matemo. From there it is a short boat ride to Guludo beach. Four people sharing, makes a 40-minute heli-hop from Pemba economic. Guests can also drive in from Pemba – this rather bumpy four-hour drive through the Quirimbas National Park, provides a great opportunity to see more of everyday life on mainland Mozambique, which is still the most economicaly way.
Nema currently works with 16 communities around Guludo, approximately 24,000 people. Some of Nema's current activities and achievements thus far include:
- Feeding 800 children one nutritious school meal every day
- Providing clean water for over 12,000 people from 30 water points.
- Providing over 8,000 mosquito nets to mothers of young children.
- Currently fund 129 Secondary School Scholars.