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“Wonderful”
Review of Guludo Beach Lodge

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Guludo Beach Lodge
Reviewed May 27, 2009

So much more than a hotel - an inspiring development project, aiming to provide income and education to the local community.

Rooms are superb, and the location is wonderful - on a long, and otherwise deserted strip of beach. A great range of excursions are offered, from trips to Ibo island to whale watching (and we did see whales).

Food is delicious, and the staff were wonderful. The lack of electricity changes your pace of life - up early, afternoons lying in your hammock watching the monkeys play on your porch, and early to bed.

The best thing is the ability to interact with the local community (a great football game, and walks through the village). Can't recommend it enough.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank fionaroach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 - 99 of 115 reviews

Reviewed April 21, 2009

We had the most perfect honeymoon! The beach is endless and we had it completely to ourselves. Diving was magic: variety of sites and dive centre had tip-top gear. The friendly staff were always on hand - especially Idris, who spoilt us with a tray of tea on the beach at 7am every morning! We had delicious meals: fresh fish, local dishes and freshly baked cakes at tea time, not to mention romantic moonlit dinners on the beach! The bandas are comfy, spacious and perfectly hidden in indigenous bush (with amazing open-air bathrooms!) Best of all - the lodge is genuinely eco-friendly and does wonderful work in the local community.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank toktokkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2008

Guludo is not only a romantic getaway but also a stunning project: environmental sustainability and local community support.

Great things are: bandas design (you should see the shower!!), monkeys everyday in front of the room, showering under the stars, great food, great staff, humpback whales (yes, yes... we said whales!!! if you go whale watching of course) and a local village close by (do go and visit it... it's an incredible experience). Sea view is ensured, even from the toilet (actually, you can get a stunning view from there!!!). From the bandas (accommodation) you can feel the wind, hear the sea, see the stars... you are not closed into a room but you become part of nature, even if pampered by exclusivity and total privacy. We went barefoot the entire of our stay!

Important to know for those used to switching on tv when they get back to their room and keeping in contact with the outer world through their mobile that this is not the place to be. Guludo has no electricity (even though you can charge your cameras/electric equipment in the manager office for a few hours a day) and therefore also no tap water running. No mobile connection is available.

That being said, we found the place amazing...

The new bandas are recommended: some friends staying in the tents were not as lucky as we were as the tents can be too exposed to the weather and you have to share toilet.

Drawbacks are: activities cost a lot (so make sure that you account for them and be aware that you are definitely going to go for them), breakfast is a bit slow (account for 1h), sea is not so beautiful (but a very nice island and beaches are a few minutes away... unfortunately these are activities you have to pay for).

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank clato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2008

I chose Guludo for a bush/beach weekend break from the busy city (Pretoria, SA) routine and was more than happy with my choice.

They have the perfect tropical paradise (12 km long!) beach setting.

And being on the mainland you miss on the claustrophobic feeling that comes with small islands.

The lodge is not far from local fishing communities, so you do mingle with them on the beach, and I do see this as a bonus. Apparently my stay there contributes both directly and indirectly for the local communities' well being. And they are very friendly in return and one feels very safe.

This lodge is also my type of lodge being rusting and lacking electricity and running water. One gets private bushshowers, which are more than enough. I remember I preferred staying in one of their tents, but did not regret at all being accommodated in on of their new designer's "eco-bandas". I can appreciate the excellent taste of the architect/designer of these.

The lodge is run quite effectively by a bunch of young British people, most of them on 1 or 2 year contracts, very enthusiastic about their jobs (and the good causes supported by the lodge) an very professional. Service was immaculate. Which may mean that serious improvement has taken place since 2006 (judging from some older reviews)

Diving was also great.
In terms of number of turtles encountered :-)

Well, one thing that I aslo enjoyed a lot, was the lodge being quiet this time of year. It was only me and another very nice couple from Canada . I can imagine, that during peak times, it could get a bit overcrowded in the bar/dining area. Especially if it starts raining and everyone tries to fit in the limited roofed space. But this is compensated by the space one gets on the beach when it's not raining.

The transfer from Pemba is quite a pleasant 4 hours scenic drive on good roads. Unfortunately my flight arrived 1:30 hours late, so most of the drive was in the dark.

You don't have much of choice when it comes to the dining experience. You can expect the catch of the day. And you don't expect sophisticated cuisine in a bush environment. And there comes the nice surprise - the cooking was so good, so it wins my gold medal among several similar class establishments in the area.

Bottomline - this lodge is excellent. I can only wish them to keep the good work.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled solo
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Thank domosed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2007

My fiance and I stayed at Guludo for 5 days in November 2006. I took detailed notes on the experience but let me just share the bulletpoints. First, the good. The owners/operators of the lodge are trying to do something truly fabulous - that is, develop a luxury experience run in concert with, and actually run by, the local communities. This is extraordinarily hard to do - I know, because I work in development in Africa. So kudos to Guludo for taking this on. The location is definitely beautiful, the local villagers are nice, pleasant, and seem very happy to be a part of this.
Now, the bad. As of November 06, Guludo had some serious problems it still had to iron out. Overall, our experience was not a very positive one. The biggest problem is that they don't have the staff on the ground to manage the place properly, so the service is not very good at all (even though those who work there try very hard and are very pleasant) and you feel like you are imposing on everybody whenever you need water, food, or service. Let me make clear, I wasn't expecting the lap of luxury - I've worked in Africa for years and I had what I think were very fair expectations of this place, given its cost and socially-responsible mission. Guludo failed to meet what I considered fair expectations for the price.
Worse, as of Nov 06 Guludo had apparently tried to cut costs by having volunteers/researchers run the camp. This, of course, failed miserably, and I spent 4 days talking to the volunteers/researchers about how unhappy they were and how they hated having to run the lodge while doing their research on the side. We even got a ride back to Pemba from a researcher/employee who was leaving his post months early because he was so unhappy with the experience! If we had spent 100US or even 200 a night on this place, I might understand. But 400US a night? No. We were quite disappointed with the organization, management, and service within the facilities. Much work needs to be done.
I truly hope Guludo succeeds in what it is trying to do. And I don't necessarily recommend that people not visit - to the contrary, I would encourage you to support their endeavors. But I DO highly encourage you to A) find out whether they have improved management of the facility, and B) find out whether the service has been improved such that it is worth 400US a night. If not, you are better off staying elsewhere. If you want to spend 400US a night for a 150/night experience and feel good about yourself for having supported the socially responsible endeavor, then go for it. But just know what you're getting ahead of time so you're not disappointed.
Best of luck to Guludo, and to all others who wish to build socially responsible and community oriented tourist destinations on the great continent of Africa!

  • Stayed: November 2006
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6  Thank oreagano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2007

We stayed here for a week in May which is a gorgeous time to be in Mozambique - the rains have finished and it's sunny but not humid. we travelled overland from Tanzania (apparently the first guests to try this...) which took about 2 days, there are easier ways to do it but we enjoyed the journey and experiencing the bigness of africa. Guludo is 'barefoot' luxury - no electricity, safari style tents but comfy beds and very atmospheric - a major highlight is being able to see the moonlight on the sea when you're in bed. the fresh sea food was delicious (not a place to go if you don't eat seafood!!) and the service charming. Does help the guilt of enjoying your holiday to know that the lodge puts something back into the local community and it was great to see some of the projects in action on a trip to the village.

Stayed: May 2007
2  Thank flashpackerLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2006

We visited Guludo Base Camp, which is an ecolodge on the coast of northern Mozambique, in November 2005. It is run in conjunction with a small charity called SERF with the income generated by the camp being used to cover the charity's admin costs. The lodge was built with local materials and labour from the nearby Guludo village and continues to train and employ local staff. The accomadation itself is spacious, imaginative and has won awards for its originality.

You need to be aware that it is not an easy place to get to, we flew to Pemba from Maputo with Air Mozambique (not as scary as it sounds!) and then had a 3.5 hour road transfer, but it really is worth it. Everyone we met on the journey there and during our stay was so incredibly helpful and friendly. A trait that we found common throughout the country.

Don't go expecting the last word in hi-tech luxury and all mod cons, do go to swim in beautiful blue ocean, walk on unspoilt beaches, dive round pristine coral, eat excellent seafood and wake to most amazing sunrise from your tented banda.

It is a genuinely innovative and wonderful place, not only is it one of the most idyllic locations in the world, the work they are doing to preserve the environment whilst helping the local community to benefit from tourism is something for which they deserve a great deal of praise and recognition.

13  Thank ifa448
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Guludo Beach Lodge

Address: Guludo | Cabo Delgado, Quirimbas National Park, Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique
Location: Mozambique > Cabo Delgado Province > Quirimbas Archipelago > Quirimbas National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Quirimbas National Park
Price Range: $333 - $590 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Guludo is a tropical, barefoot beach paradise; 12km of deserted powder-white sand nestled between the dazzling azure Indian Ocean and wild African Bush. Accommodation provides everything you need and nothing you don’t. With high roofs, gentle sea breezes, alfresco en-suite bathrooms with a stunning “loo with a view”; barefoot luxury never felt more indulgent. The essence of Guludo is relaxation and discovery. Time is spent drifting over magnificent coral reefs, watching humpback whales, visiting islands and mingling in the local village. Guludo is also responsible tourism at its finest, even while snoozing in your hammock you are helping to relieve poverty. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Guludo Beach Hotel Quirimbas National Park
Guludo Beach Lodge Mozambique/Quirimbas National Park

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