Where do you start. I suppose i knew it was going to be a good week when as we walked across the runway there's a very big smiley Liz waving a blue footprints board at us. Before we've even cleared passport control Liz has already gathered our bags for us. What a start!
Liz quickly introduces us to another couple from aus who has arrived just before us on another flight (our Lam flight was delayed and apparently this happens often so give your connecting flights some time in between. Locals call the airline late and maybe, says it all). We then had a lovely drive out of inhambane with Liz pointing out stuff as we went. you really can't tell your there till Liz proudly proclaims we are here after fighting up the sand road in the landrover. As we get out of the car the whole team are there to welcome us, it's a lovely touch if not slightly overwhelming in a good way.
We were then sat down in the bar area and given some homemade coconut chips spiced with curry and fresh juice. That may sound awful but they are very moreish trust me. Liz then explains the set up of the place and about what time we wanted dinner etc which was very useful. We were then taken down to our huts/cabins/rooms (take your pick what you want to call them) we were given no 5 right at the end. Some people might say this is the best as your more secluded but honestly I think all 5 have a real good personal space around them, its not as if you can pop ya head over the balcony for chat.
We were then shown where everything was and how things worked in the room plus there was a lovely sparkling chilled bottle of wine for us as it was our honey moon. The rooms are lovely , yes you will find more luxurious (remember its an eco lodge and its off grid) but you probably won't find many with as much charm or better views. The mosquito nets make you fell like your sleeping in a four poster,plus the beds are really big and very comfortable. You get a flask of hot water for tea/coffee which is dropped off every morning between 7 and 8, also a cold water flask to keep you hydrated. All the water comes from a bore whole which is tested and we drank from it through out and had no issues. The rooms are big so your luggage never feels in the way plus there's plenty of space in the wardrobe to hang your stuff. Power is generated by solar and yes you can charge your gadgets but they ask you to be sensible and only do it at peak sun levels. Phone coverage was ok and allowed us to phone home no problem. You also get a lovely double indoor shower with solar heated water which was always piping hot if needed, each room has its own tank. The thing some people might struggle with is the toilet. It's a normal one no worries there, but there is no proper divide from the bedroom so it is hidden just by the wardrobe so if your a bit prudish then you may struggle plus you get a good view of the beach as you sit on it ha ha. There's also a sink for washing too and a programmable safe underneath for valuables. You get bed side tables and lamps which easily give enough light to read by at night. the rooms come with a wind up torch which you will definitely need as you go to and from dinner..
Outside there's a huge veranda with outdoor shower with chairs and a place to sling up the hammock. There's no aircon as its an eco lodge but seriously the breeze off the sea is very cooling and you won't miss it. You can get to the beach from the pool/bar area but be warned it's a mighty climb back up that dune to get to the stairs back up to the lodge
The food worried me before we got there as i'm very fussy, but my wife had informed them of this and every night there was food i could eat. normally there's 2 choices of starter, 2 choices for main and a home made dessert. Bread and dips are laid on the table to start and mains always come with a lovely fresh salad as well as what comes with the main course. We had lunch quite often at the lodge and also found this very good as well. As for evening meals we had steaks, tuna, prawns, chicken etc, plenty of seafood it that's your thing. The braai on sunday was brilliant a highlight of the week for me.
Service was always good by orlando and mercede (i think). Good choice of beer, cider and wine (mainly south african). If your coming from SA the alcohol is more expensive but after seeing where it has to get to you can probably see why! The only thing i would say that could improve the evening meal would maybe be the inclusion of some type of sauce for the steak. they also do a mean apple cumble!
Breakfast was great too from cooked to a help yourself cereal/museli and juice/tea coffee. The bowl of fresh fruit each morning was so tasty and fresh. It was great to sit there in the morning with a coffee and watch the whales frolic in the waves.
i could waffle on for hours. the beach is lovely and empty and goes for miles. its about a 45 min walk to Barra and double that to Tofo. Liz or Lisa can organise to pick up and drop off if you don't fancy the walk. If you need cash there's an atm at barra lodge and payable wifi. However in high season they have frequent power outages at Barra lodge as there not on solar so be warned after you hike it may be in vain. We did 2 trips, ocean safari and kayaking the lagoon, both good in different ways and worth doing in my opinion. The green turtle i thought was excellent for food and is run by a french couple. Mad mozzies was good for a drink but not for food. You can get internet at blue footprints but only through a modem line connection in the bar area at a charge so mobile devices/ tablets will be very costly on 3g.
Pool and the beds around are lovely to chill out on if you don't fancy chilling on your own chairs outside your room. Then there's the doggies, all very lovable and cute and bringing a smile to your face as you watch them playing in the dunes. Its off season at the time of our visit but it was still lovely and warm with no rain and you can't ask for more than that.
All the staff were fantastic, and the main folks Liz , Liza and the other gentleman and lady ( please excuse me as i cannot remember there names) always asking about your day and what plans we had and could they help with anything. you really do feel very special as at most they only have 10 guests at any one time.
Inhambane airport is nothing more than 2 rooms and is the smallest airport I've flown into and i would strongly recommend you get your visa before entering Mozambique, will save you lot's of time.
After 1 week we were totally chilled and relaxed and can honestly say we loved every minute. Well done to you guys for building this place and making it work and for making your guests feel like one big family, long may it continue and that not to many folks find this secret hideaway as we don't want it spolied for when we come back.
All the best
Neil & Rebecca
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Blue Footprints Eco Lodge offers barefoot luxury accommodation between Barra and Tofo, Mozambique. Exclusive scuba diving with Mozambique's Manta Rays and Whale Sharks. The lodge is off-grid and powered by the sun's energy. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Blue Footprints Eco-Lodge Mozambique/Inhambane