We all yearn for that off the beaten path sort of experience but with technology seeping into every crevice of our life, it seems harder and harder to do. So you may find it hard to believe when we tell you we actually didn’t look at our iPhone for an entire week while we were exploring the wilds of Mozambique at the Manda Nkwichi Lodge.
Many people think of Africa as safaris and hot, dry situations, but in Mozambique there is a hand built eco lodge right on the edge of Lake Niassa, the third largest lake on the continent whose tropical waters habitat more species of fish than any other body of fresh water on earth. Talk about serious snorkeling.
We aren’t going to lie – it is one helluva a place to get to. Our arrival included a tiny plane, two different boats and an immigration station in a hut next to a chicken coop. But isn’t that what going to Africa is all about? And it was no hassle and well worth it.
The lodge has rooms in the main building, chalets tucked into the jungle and even homes for those wanting to spend longer spells away. We had to hide toothbrushes and fresh food in our rooms since these are prized winnings to the local monkey population.
Related: Wine to Water
Manda has won countless eco awards and it is very apparent why. All the food is grown on the property or caught in the lake so every meal is sensory overload. And as the locals told us, if Manda closed tomorrow, the resort property would just fade into the jungle without a trace.
A routine day would be to wake up with the sun at 6am, bathe in the outdoor shower and then head to the lodge or beach for breakfast. Around 8am our guide, Francis, would meet us for hikes through the mountains, by the lake and even into local villages where we visited a new school being built and had a dance off with the kids. Other days we would stay put at the resort and snorkel, canoe and just lay about until dinner was served under the stars by lantern and candle light.
At the end of this trip we learned two things: there was nothing more depressing than finding your phone or pulling on a pair of socks again. Civilization suddenly seemed very uncivil.