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Swimming Pool View At Coral Lodge Near Ilha De Mozambique

Coral Lodge

Personal and friendly barefoot beach retreat in a nature reserve
Nampula ProvinceMozambique· 10 Rooms · ££

A stunning beach location surrounded by rich cultural history

Tasteful beach villas a stone's throw from the UNESCO site of Ilha de Mozambique, perfect for romance and families alike

At Coral Lodge they have a saying - "anything is possible" - a sure sign of a place that wants you to have the holiday of a lifetime. Yes, the lodge is spectacularly set in a nature reserve on one of Mozambique's most stunning beaches, and yes, the waters are the bluest of blues and the sunsets nothing short of sensational, but what really sets it apart is the warm and welcoming family feel. This is a lodge that has heart.

Coral Lodge is as much about families as it is romance. Whilst there are opportunities for private candlelit beach dinners, secluded picnics on deserted islands, and sailing off into the sunset on a traditional dhow (whilst sipping cocktails and keeping an eye out for dolphins and whales), it's a fun place for kids too. Lodge guides can arrange a marine safari for youngsters, exploring the tidal coral pools down on the shoreline, or even hunt to find buried treasure using a map that has been 'discovered' nearby. Maybe it was left by pirates in ye olde days? Or perhaps it was mermaids? And if parents want a little quiet time to themselves (perhaps a relaxing massage is in order), the lodge even offers a babysitting service. This is what authentic Mozambican hospitality is all about, and with the hard-working staff team coming from the local village community, you know you're getting the real thing.

Now let's talk about the villas. There are 10 of them, each of them elegant and colourful with an intriguing blend of modern and traditional design. They fit well into the natural landscape, and make the most of cooling sea breezes, as well as the views out across the mangrove forest and of course the ocean.

If you can bear to drag yourselves away from the villa, there's an exotic world just waiting to be explored. To swim with the fishes all you have to do is step into the ocean and go for a snorkel. Keep an eye out for lion fish and pipe fish that dart past as you languidly float in the warm Indian Ocean. Or take to canoes and pretend to be explorers, drifting with the tides and paddling through the mangroves in search of birds, crabs and adventures. If you want to take on the elements, there's windsurfing to be done, or learn a new skill by going out fishing - the chef will even cook your catch for you to eat. For your history fix there's the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ilha de Mozambique, just a 30 minute boat ride away, where you can discover the country's colonial past, including a 16th century fort and a rich trading past.

Back at the ranch, where the lagoon meets the ocean, you'll find the pool and drinks on the sun deck waiting to welcome you home. You'll have probably worked up a bit of an appetite after your busy day, but don't worry, a feast is in sight, with everything from freshly caught seafood from the local fishermen to t-bone steaks and Mozambican lamb, all served with regional flavours, and Portuguese and Asian influences. Have you ever tried Octopus before? Or barracuda? Well now is your chance.

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