The second leg of our honeymoon was 4 nights at Machangulo, where we stayed at Machangulo Beach Lodge, right on the point between Santa Maria and Inhaca, also known as Hell’s Gate. My darling husband chose this exact spot purely for the awesome fishing … I don’t think he quite bargained on me catching the first three fish.
We set off from Bhanga Nek, and after one last top up at Manguzi, we crossed over the Kosi Bay Border and into Mozambique, where that holiday vibe instantly kicks in, if it hasn’t done so already. We travelled up through the Elephant Reserve, along many sandy roads through forest and dunes. This was not our first trip through the reserve to Santa Maria, so it was made all the more easy knowing where we were going (this time). We are yet to spot the elephant, but we saw many tracks and ele-destruction along the way. The prospect of coming head first with an elephant along the narrow sandy tracks tends to keep you wide awake!
We eventually arrived at Santa Maria about 5-6 hours later, unloaded our belongings and fishing gear, parked the car and waited for the lodge to collect us in their boat. We had no choice but to support the Dow Bar and have an R&R (rum & raspberry) or two.
We were welcomed by Greg, Racquel and a few of the lodge staff on the beach, and after a refreshing drink we were taken to our room. The view was absolutely amazing, and Erik could barely get his fishing gear out fast enough.
Our room overlooked the Bay, the mouth over to Inhaca, and far out to sea. The bedroom and bathroom were spacious and comfy; we had a double outdoor shower and our own deck. There is wifi in the lodge and the rooms, but luckily for us it was not working in the room – much easier to switch off! There are two bar areas at the lodge, one near the beach with a bar and hammocks, and the other at the top near the dining room with comfy couches and armchairs. It was absolutely stunning!
The Reserve is just a quick paddle in a kayak or zoot in the lodge boat over to the island. The snorkeling here is unreal and well worth a visit. We spent a lot of time fishing off the beach and from the kayaks in the mouth. There is no shortage of things to do at Machangulo, on your own steam as well as through the activities centre, where they will set you up with fishing & snorkeling gear and you can do your PADI underwater dive course too.
Staying at Machangulo Beach Lodge was a total honeymoon treat, but we fell in love with the location so much we have booked the Beach House at Camp Carlos so we can return next year. Can’t wait!