Who: Zalalabeach Lodge
A beautiful Lodge on the coast of North Central Mozambique, to experience traditional song and dance from the local women's groups and hear about the many women's projects that the female Lodge owner has promoted.
While Supinho fishermen are casting nets at sunset, only birds are tiptoeing over the 30 kilometres beach lined with trees, a few steps down from Zalala Beach Lodge, situated 40 kms north of Quelimane, the capital of Zambezia province.
Leaving the10 beachfront bungalows, guests are busy kayaking, swimming, surfing, or discovering the old port town of Quelimane's smells and sounds – great during carnival-, or the wildlife in parks and reserves like Gorongosa and Gile.
For nature lovers, there are mountains, forests, hot springs and the stunning tea plantations of the Gurué region within a relatively short distance, and more beaches to visit in other parts of the province, some of which offer deep sea diving and snorkelling facilities. At the restaurant on the beach, fish is roasting and local musicians are dancing. And for those willing to bring back a hint of the culture, women are holding cooking classes and selling baskets, rugs and wood carvings. Almost all as it used to be, from the times Vasco da Gama landed in the Zambesia region.
The news is that the Lodge is making a difference for locals, and, with a trip there, you are useful to the development of families, if not of the all village and region. As Angela Hadjipateras explain in A Project in Mozambique, in fact the Lodge was build, with greatest care about environment, to improve lives of local communities. Now, women are not as occupied as men, but some of them are actually working in the hotel, in the office, or gardening.
As its founders say:<< Through bringing jobs and creating opportunities for trade in local produce, such as fish, dairy products, local crafts, we can achieve a win-win situation: tourists gain from experiencing the beauty of the unspoilt beach and the cultural riches of the area, while local people also see improvements in their living standards>>.