Dunes de Dovela
A 12-kilometre sandy track through coconut trees and poignant snapshots of rural Inhambane life leads you to Dunes de Dovela Eco Lodge, the childhood vision of two lifelong friends brought to life.
In the heart of a coastal forest with breathtaking views over the Indian
Ocean, the lodge is accessible by 4x4 only, though your French hosts Alexandra Polleau and Thomas Bruneau will gladly pick you up if you're driving closer to the ground.
Built mainly from local materials, the lodge strives to ensure minimal impact on the environment, while empowering the local Chope community, many of whom were employed during construction and are now impeccably
trained in hospitality.
Guests can choose from four bedded safari tents, each with a private deck and sharing communal open-air ablutions, or from one of the three luxurious bungalows scattered between the dunes (spoil yourself
with the honeymoon suite if you can).
Imbued with beachside romance, the thatch-roofed bungalows merge into the surrounding landscape, each comfortably sleeping two (two camp beds can be added for kids) with en-suite bathroom and outdoor shower.
At Dunes, the environment dictates construction: "we adapted to the land, anchoring ourselves into the dunes and keeping pathways to a minimum to limit erosion", related Thomas. Even the topsoil was recreated after pipes were laid, and vegetation was given the time it needed to regrow naturally.
The lodge recycles everything, runs a generator only when necessary (they've tried renewable but after many issues have decided to rather minimise usage), supports local agriculture in the village, recycles greywater and are working to protect the area - limiting hiking trails and working to educate both guests and the local community about conservation.
With its distinctive architecture, which merges contemporary with rustic (combining elements of traditional cement and concrete blocks with earthbag walls) it's clear that the lodge has been lovingly crafted by hand and it is this meticulous care that sets Dunes de Dovela apart - along with excellent service and sensational food.
Indeed, the French flair for gourmet cooking is evident in every meal, prepared fresh from seasonal ingredients. So all you have to do is eat, swim, snorkel, kayak the inland lake or meander along dunes and deserted beaches, keeping an eye out for humpback whales and dolphins often seen in the bay.
Dunes de Dovela Quick Facts
Accommodation type: Bungalows (meals fully catered) or tented safari camp
Where: On the doorstep of Inhambane, close to Zavora, between Maputo and Vilanculos in Mozambique, Southern Africa - 12,5 km of very sandy gravel road (4x4 required or transfers provided)
GPS Coordinates: S 24 25 591 E 035 15 030
Sleeps: 2 in bungalows (can add 1 additional adult or 2 kids) and 2 -4 person safari tents (twin, doubles and camp beds for kids available)
Rates: Bungalows from US $310 per person (about R3 350) a night full board with 15% discount for South Africans applies and tents from US$ 130 (about R1400) a person a night sharing (full board).
Secure Parking: Yes
Green in Africa Eco-rating: 4/5
+258 (0)87 262 9164 or +258 (0)82 800 0743
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