"...The beguiling and slowly regenerating country makes other more established Indian Ocean destinations such as the Maldives, Seychelles, Zanzibar and Mombasa seem tired and overdeveloped in comparison. While Mozambique boasts many remarkable attractions, it's the Quirimbas Islands in the isolated far north of the country, near the border with Tanzania, that offer the most luxurious and spectacularly laid-back holiday options.
Described by Africa aficionados as the continent's "last undiscovered jewels", and (more predictably) "the new Maldives", the 32 tiny Quirimbas islands have a number of exclusive lodges that, together with new international flights, have gradually opened up the region to more curious and adventurous travellers. A sprinkling of celebrity visitors - from Leonardo DiCaprio to Sven-Goran Eriksson, Sting and Trudie to Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy - has naturally followed...
... A similarly sustainable approach operates at Guludo Beach Lodge, which lies in the centre of a spectacular and untouched 12km crescent of white sand on the mainland just across from Ibo. The creation of innovative British couple Amy and Neal Carter-James, who are both in their early thirties,
Guludo brilliantly achieves their ambition to establish a lodge that provides both a unique tourism experience in a remarkable setting and a direct community benefit in an area of acute poverty.
Guludo is certainly more eco than other lodges in the region, and the food, accommodation and facilities more simple and affordable. Guests are housed in nine large thatched, beachside bush tents or "bandas" that are carefully integrated into the forest.
As well as the construction and running of Guludo providing employment in the nearby village of 1,300 people, five per cent of the lodge's profits go to Guludo's charity, Nema. The charity is actively involved in many aspects of local village and environmental welfare, from building a primary school, community centre and water pumps, to providing school meals and monitoring humpback whale migration.
In little more than five years of operation, Guludo's work has been internationally recognised: Amy Carter-James was voted Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year at an event hosted by the New Statesman, and the lodge won a Responsible Tourism Award for "Best Poverty Reduction"...