"East Africa’s best kept secret" - Style Bible July 2010

Remote and untouched by mainstream commercial developments, northern Mozambique is the perfect setting for a relaxed tropical getaway. by Daniela Marchesi

Set within the picturesque archipelago of the Quirimbas National Park, for as far as I could see at Guludo Beach Lodge, there were kilometres of palm-fringed white-powdery deserted beaches. I was happily stranded, and who wouldn’t be?
 
The brainchild of Amy and Neal Carter-Jones, Guludo (along with its associated charity – the Nema Foundation) was created in 2002 as a sustainable model to help relieve poverty and protect the environment. Over the years their hard work has seen them win a range of awards commending their efforts to develop responsible tourism in the area, from ‘Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year’, ‘Best in Poverty Reduction’, to being crowned this year as the ‘International overall most Responsible Hotel’. When talking with Amy about her work, the passion that fuelled and sustained this project nearly ten years ago, is still as strong today as it was back then. 
 
With the help of Cullum and Nightingale Architects, Guludo was built using local building materials and utilised (and still does) the skills, knowledge and techniques of the local residents – empowering and developing the local capabilities. Indeed villagers have now been trained and employed to work at the Lodge. 
 
Spaced out along the empty white beach, there are nine bandas (bungalows) each with panoramic views through the nettled walls, creating a feeling of being outside while inside. 
 
The king-size beds are on raised tiled floors, sitting under an expansive palm-thatched roof opening upwards and outwards to the sea with its cooling breeze. Also, each banda has a quirky alfresco marbled bathroom with inventive showers made out of coconut gourds and cane that rely soley on sun-warmed water.  Falling asleep on my first night to the gentle sound of crashing waves was exactly what the doctor had ordered – complete relaxation. 
 
Guludo also has a well-equipped PADI dive centre along with a great team of dive masters and instructors. Being able to dive reefs where I was the only person there along, with my buddy was incredible, and of course the shoaling fish, turtles and the cute clown fish playing hide and seek amongst the anemones made it all the better. The mixture of coral gardens and the drop-offs with strong currents mean that the diving here is ideal for both beginners as well as the more advanced and those curious to discover new dive sites. 
 
Other activities also include snorkelling, beach archery, pottery with local artisans, bush walks, day trips to neighbouring islands, sunset dhow sailings (the traditional Arab sailing vessel) and for the ultimate pampering session, a selection of beauty treatments can be enjoyed on the beach. 
 
For those who want to take in the wild African bush, there is also a nearby mirador (viewpoint) which overlooks the northern part of the Quirimbas National Park, and is one of the very few places where it is possible to view elephants during the day. 
 
However, workaholics listen up – at Guludo, there is no electricity, though a generator is operated a few hours a day. So no televisions, laptops or mobile phones – bliss, non?
 
Through the Nema Foundation, Guludo also runs education programmes and projects in the village and there is the opportunity for guests to help out if they so wish. For more information on the Nema Foundation, visitwww.nemafoundation.org 
 

See the full article at http://www.stylebible.com/Establishment/Green/GreenArticles.aspx?ArtID=ea73243c-6f6f-4082-bdf0-87806808f416

Amy on July 20th, 2010

"Off the Beaten Path" - Examiner, New York, June 2010

After visiting Guludo in May our friends at Extraordinary Journeys in NYC have been spreading the word and this week Marcia Gordon included Guludo in her article about the "best places off the beaten track."

Guludo, Mozambique -- We love Guludo because this authentic, down to earth beach camp is lots of fun. It represents responsible tourism at its finest. Enjoy 12 km of deserted powder-white sand nestled between the dazzling azure Indian Ocean and wild African bush knowing that you are improving lives while swinging in your hammock. Snorkel or dive to explore magnificent coral reefs, watch humpback whales, visit neighboring islands and mingle in the local village. You'll have everything you need to be comfortable, and nothing you don't.

"Poverty Champion" - The Metro, April 2010

Guludo Beach Lodge was again featured in The Metro, London, in April 2010, after winning last year's Responsible Tourism Award in the category of Best for Poverty Relieve. Here's what the Metro had to say...

"In 2002, when Amy Carter- James (pictured) was just 22, she decided she wanted to use tourism to support a community in desperate need of help. So she headed to Mozambique with her boyfriend Neal to set up Guludo Beach Lodge, a camp that sleeps 22 people sat in 12km of white sand. ‘Mozambique was the perfect emerging destination. It had lots of potential and was also in the middle of extreme poverty,’ she says. ‘We took a translator with us and talked to the local community. Their only question was: “When can you start?”.’

"Five per cent of the couple’s income goes to their charity, Nema, which is responsible for changing the lives of the 15,000-strong community. Some highlights include setting up a school feeding programme and showing the villages how to set up their own farms. ‘Being around such poverty is heart- wrenching and it’s been a real roller coaster of emotions,’ says Carter-James. ‘I’ve seen people die and whole villages sing and dance when they get clean water. So many places claim to be green and they’re not, so winning the award gave us recognition that we’re doing the right thing. It was so fulfilling.’"

The Eco-Travel Guide

'Vast, deserted white tropical palm-fringed beaches, lapped by the Indian Ocean. It doesn’t get much better than this for a dream tropical idyll. Guludo Beach Lodge is on the northern coast of Mozambique in the Quirimbas National Park.

'This development represents a new ethical approach aimed at nourishing rather than taking away from the host community, acknowledged at the 2007 Responsible Tourism awards as contributing to reducing poverty. All efforts have been made to work with the vernacular building tradition yet meet the demands of modern travellers. The result is the thatched tented banda built on a polewood frame. This is commodious, open yet shaded space, housing lounge, bedroom and alfresco bathroom. Leisure pursuits abound, including diving, boating in mangrove swamps or visiting faded colonial Portuguese islands.

'British architects Cullum and Nightingale maximized passive cooling and shading by extensive use of local materials and orientation of the individual bandas to achieve the most benefit from the sea breezes.

'Materials: Predominantly constructed of locally available, renewable materials.

'Conservation & socio-cultural projects: British co-founder Amy Carter won the New Statesman Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 for her work embracing the local community in new development. There are many projects including the Milala palm weaving group for women, adult literacy classes, a new village water pump and an anti-malaria campaign.

'Food supplies: Fish, including kingfish and yellow-fin tuna, come straight out of the water; other local food supplies are encouraged.

'Cultural events: Integration with the local community gives many opportunities for cultural exchange.

'Employment: Local.

'Ownership:Commercial enterprise by Bespoke Experience, a Fair Trade tourism company.

'Activities:
* Swimming, water sports
* Walking, trekking, hiking
* Wildlife safari
* Diving

 

Guludo Beach Lodge MOZAMBIQUE
in 'the eco-travel guide'
Alastair Fuad-Luke
Thames & Hudson, 2008