Welcome to Sava Dunes Eco-lodge
Sava Dunes offers private, tranquil, luxury accommodation. Sava Dunes used to be called Blue Footprints, but now has new owners & a new name! It is a perfect base from which to explore the area’s bountiful marine creatures, rich cultural heritage, or just immerse yourself in the natural surroundings and relax!
For those who want to make a difference, know that by staying at Sava Dunes, this lodge is completely off-grid and has minimised their carbon footprint without compromising on service and luxury.
Nestled among the sand dunes between Barra and Tofo is Sava Dunes Eco-Lodge. The view over the Indian Ocean is the most amazing vista along this stretch of beach, from the lodge and the individual villas. There are no buildings to the North or South – It’s just private beachfront and ocean right in front of you.
Sava Dunes Eco-Lodge is perfectly situated to provide tranquility and exclusivity to guests. The beach in front of the lodge is perfect for evening strolls and is seldom occupied by anybody other than the odd local fisherman. The bush surrounding the lodge is alive with an increasing amount of birdlife and a brisk walk to the top of one of the nearby dunes affords magnificent views in all directions.
If that may be too energetic, relaxing on your private day bed, on the pool deck, or in the sunken lounge watching the Indian Ocean, may re-unite you with nature and reawaken your soul.
The lodge has a completely solar efficient power supply that doesn’t sacrifice any of the luxuries.
The five exclusive Sava Dunes Villas have been specifically designed to maximize the spectacular views of the ocean, and to give the privacy and solitude each guest deserves.
The rooms are elegantly simple and offer a unique mix of rustic and luxury elements. All rooms have open plan, en-suite bathrooms with basins, toilet and frameless inside shower with an ocean view. Distinctive features include an outdoor shower and daybed. Enjoy the sun, sea and stars, as you get close to nature with an underlying sense of relaxation and rejuvenation.
The rooms are approximately 10 metres from each other and each room can be configured as a twin room with two single beds, or a double room with a king size bed. The rooms all have large 4-post Mosquito nets, spacious deck, with outside showers, seating and loungers.
- All rooms have open plan, en-suite bathrooms with basins, toilet and frameless inside shower with an ocean view. All villas also have an outside shower on the open deck.
- Two hand towels and two bath sheets per villa are provided, as well as two beach towels.
- Each villa has its own hammock, hanging chair and outside seating.
- Each Villa has a resettable coded/key safe for valuables etc.
- Bathrooms are stocked with shampoo / conditioner / soap
- Tea and coffee are provided in the rooms and hot water is provided with flasks but there is no kettle. Upon arrival, guests can inform us what time they would like their morning beverage and a flask of hot water will be delivered to the room.
- Tea and Coffee is available in the lodge lounge throughout the day.
- Due to the solar power, the lodge is unable to sustain air-conditioners. There is a standing fan in each villa which can be put under the Mosquito nets when it is hot. The rooms are designed so that the natural breeze can be utilized to cool the rooms down.
- There are two electrical plug sockets in each room with a three pronged round hole socket. There are also adapters in the rooms with a two-pronged small round holed socket.
- Please note that the bathroom has a very open-plan design and there is no door separating it from the room. We can provide hand-crafted wooden room dividers for those preferring more privacy.
Having only 5 rooms, Sava Dunes can offer options for the exclusive use of the lodge. Whether for weddings, corporate events, family reunions or just complete privacy, the lodge offers private and exclusive accommodation with options of fully inclusive or self-catered.
Feel free to contact us for an experience custom made to fill your requirements.
Fully exclusive use of Sava Dunes bar/restaurant/ pool
Designated chef… let the chef surprise you or choose your own menu
Designated transfer vehicle and driver or hire your own vehicle
The restaurant is built overlooking the ocean with folding doors opening onto two decks in the front and onto the pool deck at the back.
Inside is a laid back atmosphere where our guests can relax, recharge and soak in the magnificent views, while enjoying the unique flavours of food that only Mozambique has to offer. The menu selection is carefully planned to meet the needs of all guests and to introduce them to the exotic flavors of the region. Great care is given to creating meals that are a reflection of our commitment and hopefully leave a lasting impression on every guest, creating moments that are unforgettable.
Breakfast consists of fresh, seasonal fruits, cereals, yoghurt, fruit juice, coffees/teas as well as a cooked English breakfast. For dinner, a choice of two starter courses and two main courses are offered each night, as well as a dessert. Menues are planned according to what is locally available at the time to ensure the food is always fresh, as well as trying to support local suppliers rather than import food. Most vegetables are locally sourced from local famers and are completely organic.
A light lunch menu is offered for guests wanting to stay around the lodge during the day.
For the most memorable romantic moments, all you need is yourselves, some privacy and beautiful surroundings.
For transcendence, come to Sava Dunes to find yourselves in our luxurious, secluded sanctuary and let us add a little more to the basics:
With only five private villas, this is an ideal setting for the perfect honeymoon. Each room has breath-taking views overlooking the Indian Ocean, complete with outside shower, hammock and daybed. Each villa is perfectly placed to provide all the privacy you require.
With this perfect location, on a quiet stretch of beach, you will have the exclusivity and privacy you may need after your busy wedding. Alternatively, should you wish to have a more adventurous honeymoon, the towns of Tofo and Praia Da Barra offer a range of activities to keep you entertained for days. From snorkelling with whalesharks, quad bike adventures to cultural tours and kayaking, there will be something to keep you busy.
The stretch of Indian Ocean, between the beaches of Barra and Tofo, has become a world renowned scuba diving haven. This area of Mozambique is fast becoming one of the most famous places in the world to visit for many reasons, but namely for the outstanding diversity of marine life.
Sava Dunes is lucky enough to be situated close to Tofo where there are 4 professional, safe and friendly dive centres that will be able to cater to your diving needs. They offer a full diving service, from an array of courses and dives to full gear rental and Nitrox fills.
It was here that Dr. Andrea Marshall discovered that there are two different species of Manta Ray, and it is here that Dr. Simon Pierce is conducting his research on the world’s largest aggregation of Whalesharks. Both these magnificent animals are on every marine enthusiast’s wish list, and we have the honour of being able to offer the possibility of encounters with both. During the Mozambique winter months, from the end of July until November we have the privilege of being located on the Humpback Whale’s migratory route. You can even watch their acrobatics and displays from Blue Footprints Lodge.
This coastline is also home to two species of Dolphins, the much loved Bottlenose and the more elusive Humpback Dolphin. Unbelievably, this is the only place in the world where the legendary Smalleye Stingrays, which are the largest of all the sting rays, have been seen and photographed alive, a curious and friendly animal. There are also Leopard Sharks, White-tip and Grey reef sharks, and often Devil Rays and Ribbontails. The pelagic fish life is also spectacular with huge schools of Big-Eyed Jacks and Barracuda.
The local reefs are made up of a volcanic rock base and are covered in a variety of hard and soft corals. These not only provide a healthy splash of colour but are home to all the usual reef fish and special small creatures. Rare and colourful Harlequin Shrimps. The incredibly powerful Peacock Mantis Shrimp. The transparent Periclemines Shrimp. There are also Frogfish, Paperfish, Octopus, Squid, and big fish and big eels, and small fish and small eels.
If you would prefer not to scuba dive, there is an ‘Ocean Safari’. On this excursion with the same boats used for scuba diving safariers are equipped with mask, snorkel and fins. The boat will have a Skipper and a DiveMaster, both of which are very experienced in finding the big animals listed above. The minimum age is eight years old. There is no maximum age for this trip, but it can be quite adventurous.
The waters off the Mozambican coastline are some of the most nutrient rich and diverse marine environments. The Inhambane area in particular boasts a wealth of marine life from the largest fish in the sea, to the smallest crustaceans.
What makes the scuba diving here even more exciting is the extremely variable and unpredictable dive conditions. Some of the scuba diving here can be challenging depending on the conditions and there is more to offer the Advanced diver. However, the more protected, shallower reefs offer a treasure trove of macro-life as well as a kaleidoscope of colourful reef fish and corals, and some of the bigger marine life such as Whalesharks, Manta Rays and Humpback Whales can sometimes be encountered just as easily on the ocean safaris. The scuba diving here has something to offer every level of scuba diver, as well as non-divers.
With such diverse landscape and friendly surroundings, the possibilities to explore this area are endless. Whether by foot or horse, kayak or quad bike, Blue Footprints sources a range of activities to submerge you in this wondrous environment.
Get on board a motorized 8 metre RIB, race through the waves and cruise gently along our beautiful coastline in search of the abundant marine life it holds. This two hour safari aims at getting you up close and personal with dolphins, whale sharks, Manta rays, turtles and Humbpack whales to see them thriving in their natural environment. If the moment is right and you are feeling up to it you could experience the chance of a lifetime, to be in the water and snorkel with these gentle, magnificent creatures.
Slowly and subtly and sneakily nestled in the thick green sea-grass of the Barra estuary lie the shy seahorses with their contrasting colours of yellow, brown and purple. A short walk on the estuary shores followed by a plunge into the fresh flowing water will soon get you a shy and charming glance from our seahorses – with their fluttering eye lashes and the way they look over their shoulder, your heart with melt instantly with these rare little creatures.
It is one thing to visit a country, it is another to truly experience it. Allow yourself the opportunity to meet with the locals, see their ways, discover their knowledge and share laughs in the grace of their lifestyle. This informative experience will have you eating, dancing and living like a true Mozambican in a magical moment.
The people of Inhambane are extremely friendly and hospitable. According to history and Legend, Vasco Da Gama made land-fall in Inhambane and referred to it as “terra de boa gente”, land of the friendly people. Apart from those employed in the tourism industry, most of the local population still lives a subsistence existence.
On your kayak, steady yourself, paddle in hand and off you go. Gently stirring the still waters of the mangrove, you look up to the realization that it is only you, the invincible mangrove bush and its rivers of water systems running like veins, feeding this immense biodiversity with the life it holds. So alive and vibrant, the mangroves are an incredible jungle to the birds and first home of many of our oceans fish life, bringing a serenity you deserve on your holiday. This is a must for any bird enthusiast.
QUAD BIKE TOURS
Feel free on four wheels as you see the layout of the land and wavingly pass the friendly villagers from Tofo to Barra and back. This guided quad bike tour is a great way to see it all and ask the questions on your way. Informative and fun, this two hour trip will have you rolling through the Mozambican scenes with a fresh understanding of the Mozambican ways.
With Inhambane being one of the oldest cities in Mozambique, the history it holds is magnificent. Inhambane, named “Land of the friendly people” by Vasco Da Gama, holds the perfect mixture of the Portuguese influence in the architechture and the local flare with its colourful fish and fruit markets. New revival is seen in this growing city whilst scars from the war are still evident on the older buildings. Experience this contrasting lively city and feels the essence of its past.
Trot long the white open sandy shores of Barra / Tofo beach, with the cool breeze in your hair and waves swooshing gracefully, rolling up and down its shell filled sand, singing that beachy jingle that leave s smile on your face as you suddenly realise you are on a horse, on the beach, in Mozambique!
The Barra estuary runs vast, flowing high and low as the oceans tides turn. From the days of the Arabian traders, the wooden sailing dhow was left behind, useful now to the Mozambicans for fishing in the estuary, this marvel of patched sales and hand crafted wood, sails gently along the estuary’s waters, stopping off at the coconut covered Porkos Island, where local food, song and dance is shared, hosted by the island’s chief. The stillness of the calm waters and whispering of the Dhow’s sails brings a sense of ease as the rudder calmly guides this ancient vessel.
To top off the beauty of Mozambique and the luxury of Sava Dunes accommodation, lay yourself down for a soothing massage to enhance the releasing feeling of freedom of relaxation in Mozambique. In the comfort of your peaceful villa, with its breath – taking views, allow yourself to be further pampered at Blue Footprints Eco Lodge.
Whether or are a beginner or long time surfer, the warm Indian Ocean waters of Barra and Tofo have the perfect wave for you. Have your first surf lesson and experience the feeling of walking on water, or rent a board and play in the waves yourself. Feel like testing your already founded surf skills?….. Challenge one of the world’s top surf spots with a continuous right hand point break off the Tofhino point, or the thrill of dropping into that shivering clear blue barrel.
Responsible sports fishing is a great way to experience a thrilling ocean adventure on the bountiful Mozambican coast. Pelagic fish, such as Barracuda and Yellow fin tuna are vastly spread in the waters and with the alluring possibility of hooking a marlin, the fight out on the water will leave you ready to come home to Blue Footprints and relax, feet up.
‘If you want to go fast, walk alone, if you want to go far, walk together’. Blue Footprints is situated perfectly with Barra and Tofo bay on either side, allowing for the most relaxing stroll along the lush sand dunes and crystal clear waters. If you are feeling fresh and want to walk further walk any sand track or through the villages, up the dunes or into the mangroves and discover where the many tracks Mozambique may lead.
MANTA RAY AND WHALE SHARK PRESENTATIONS
The Barra / Tofo region of Mozambique has become world-renowned for the large number of both Manta Rays and Whale sharks. Dr. Andrea Marshall has been conducting ground-breaking research on the Manta Rays in the region and is now considered to be the world’s foremost expert on Manta Rays. Dr. Simon Pierce is the lead scientist for Whale sharks in the area and most of the world’s recorded whale sharks have been identified here by Dr. Pierce and his team. By request, we can organize trips to the Whale Shark and Manta Research Centre on Monday and Wednesday evenings to find out about the latest research and information being learned about these magnificent creatures and the conversation efforts to protect them.
Whalesharks: The whalesharks visit the Inhambane area as a result of the concentration of plankton in the waters here. They can be seen in the area all year round. When they are here, they are predominantly at the surface feeding. Although lucky enough to encounter whale sharks on some dives, often times the best encounters can be snorkeling with them while they feed at the surface.
Humpback Whales: These amazing mammals pass by every year on their migratory route from mid June until October, during this time on almost every dive you will hear their haunting song, and boat rides to dives sites can take a little longer as you stop to watch them leaping and jumping with their babies or just gently cruising up or down the coast! It is the most awesome sight and a few divers have had the wonderful experience of seeing these beauties fly overhead while they were diving!
Manta Rays: The Inhambane area has the highest number of recorded Manta Rays in the world. Furthermore, this is one of the few places in the world where both species of Manta Ray can be seen on the same reef and even on the same dive! The Manta rays are here all year round but sightings can be affected by environmental conditions that are not seasonal. The best encounters with Manta Rays are on the reefs that they use as cleaning stations as they circle over diver’s heads.
Dolphins: There are 2 different species of dolphins that are often seen here. The more common of the two is the lovable Bottle Nose Dolphin which can be seen in large family groups. There is also the rare and shy Indo Pacific Humpback dolphin. Dolphins are here year round and love to play in the boats bow wave, kids love them as do adults and if they are not busy or travelling too fast it is possible to get in the water with them too.
Seahorses: don’t forget the small stuff! There are Seahorses in the lagoon, which is an awesome dive, the only thing required is low tide and it doesn’t matter if that comes during the day or night, as night dives are a very special experience. Make sure you bring your macro cameras and that your buoyancy is good!
The lodge is situated on the beach between Barra and Tofo beach approximately 30km from Inhambane airport in Southern Mozambique. Sava Dunes is about 5km to the north of Tofo beach and 1.5km to the south of Barra beach. The lodge is located on a quiet stretch of beach and surrounded by natural bush, but Barra and Tofo beach are close by and offer a number of restaurants, bars and activity operators.
GETTING TO SAVA DUNES
LAM (Mozambique’s National Airline) offer flights to Inhambane from both Johannesburg International Airport and Maputo.
LAM and SA Airlink offer flights to Vilanculos which is located 4 hours away from Inhambane. It is possible for us to arrange transfer to and from Vilanculos, please contact us for these transfer prices.
Sava Dunes is located about 25km from the Inhambane airport, the last 4 km of which is a sand track and only accessible with 4×4 vehicles. We can arrange transfers from Inhambane Airport to Sava Dunes Eco-Lodge and back. Booking for these transfers is essential and there is an additional cost for transfers.
Inhambane is situated 460 km north of Maputo. If you are planning on driving to Sava Dunes, please contact us so that we may send you road maps, directions as well as important self-drive info. Please note that the last 4 km is only accessible with 4×4 vehicles. To maintain privacy, the lodge is not sign-posted at all. If possible, we will arrange a representative to meet self-drive clients on the turn-off to the lodge on the main road to assist with deflating tyres for the sand road.
508 km from Maputo
1035 km from JHB through Komatipoort border gates
1080 km from Durban through Swaziland Goba and Lavumisa border gates
CREDIT CARD FACILITIES:
The Mozambique currency is the Metical. Sava Dunes also accepts payment by VISA but does not accept Traveler’s Cheques or Master cards.
INTERNET ACCESS AND TELEPHONE
There is strong cellular phone reception at the lodge. There are no landlines in the lodge. Internet access is available through USB internet sticks with SIM cards loaded with data at an additional charge.
Mozambique has a typically tropical climate with hot and humid conditions along the coastal lowlands during the summer months, especially from December to March, and pleasantly warm during the winter days with cool evenings. Rainfall, mostly in the way of tropical thundershowers, tends to fall between November and March. Cold fronts, continuing up the coast from South Africa, occasionally affect Inhambane, with a few days of cold weather and rain, mostly during the winter months.
The coast of Mozambique is occasionally affected by tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean. These tend to start with tropical depressions east of Madagascar. From time to time they move south or north, entering the Mozambican channel, where they can make landfall on the Mozambican coastline, but the majority pass east of Madagascar and hardly affect Mozambique. These cyclones bring heavy rain and strong winds and can cause large swells.
Having said this, we can take no responsibility for erratic weather patterns as Mother Nature tends to make fools of us when we try and become weather forecasters, but here are some averages over the last few years.
|Average Temperature and Rainfall – Inhambane Province|
|Month||Min Average Temp (oC)||Max Average Temp (oC)||Record Max Temp (oC)||Average Rainfall (mm)|
PRECAUTIONS AGAINST MALARIA:
The Inhambane area located in central Mozambique is considered to lie within the malaria belt. It is advisable that you take some form of prophylactic drugs. Always get the latest advice from your doctor at least a month before travel.
Divers need to be aware that there are a number of malaria prophylactic drugs which are a contra-indication to scuba diving and are considered not safe for scuba diving. Please ensure that you find out from your doctor or DAN (Divers Alert Network), which option would best suit your needs.
Please ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers you for repatriation home in the event of emergencies, and if you are scuba diving, ensure it covers you to the depths you intend to dive to. Remember to bring copies of your policy together with emergency contact telephone numbers and policy numbers.
Tofo beach is located 5km to the south, it takes an hour to walk there along the beach and about 20-30 minutes in a vehicle.
Barra beach is located 2km to the north. It takes 15 minutes to walk there and around 10 minutes by vehicle.
Transfers are offered to Barra and Tofo beach, as well as to and from Inhambane airport:
There is a lodge vehicle that is used for the transfers and transfers are co-ordinated to try and best accommodate all the guests in the lodge.
Breath in life and breath out stress. Find…or lose yourself in barefoot luxury in our hidden paradise. The awe-inspiring natural surroundings at Sava Dunes Eco Lodge create a feeling of spontaneous relaxation. Soak in the energy, power and spirit of the ocean and join one of our retreats. We host a number of retreats throughout the year, including Pilates, Yoga and Free Diving. Shed your worries at the door, along with your shoes, and remember what living is all about. Allow us the privilege of sharing this small piece of paradise with you, with authentic experiences and lifelong memories. Please contact us for details of upcoming retreats.