Have you ever dreamed of a place so remote, that it would be an adventure just getting there? A place where animals roam free, coral reefs are truly untouched and the thunderous ocean takes your breath away? Well, with a little planning and a shoestring budget you can make your dreams a reality - and not backpacking or sleeping in tents either...
The adventure starts at South Africa's Johannesburg International Airport. Collect your rental car and drive through beautiful countryside on well paved and clearly marked roads to the North Eastern border of South Africa. Here you will leave your car in a guarded parking area and you will be picked up by a driver in a Land Rover.
A double track sand road takes you past crocodile infested swamps and natural lakes in this sub-tropical wonderland. A final curve beneath a canopy of Acacia thorn trees and you are there! The view takes your breath away - a sweeping desolate beach flanked by a luxurious deck and inviting swimming pool - in the middle of nowhere!
The resort consists of 16 wooden bungalows linked by a network of raised wooden walkways so as to minimise impact on the environment. The main gathering area serves as a dining room/lounge and has a well stocked adjoining pub.
The view from this vantage point encompasses the pool-deck, surrounding bush and the untamed beach where waves pound endlessly onto golden sands.
The bungalows have en-suite bathrooms, hot water, ceiling fans and comfortable beds under mosquito netting. Not a television or telephone in sight! A true Robinson Crusoe feel, with all the conveniences.
Ponta Mamoli is the name - scuba diving is the game...
The first dive of the day is early and the friendly manager will knock gently on your door with offerings of tea, coffee and freshly baked muffins. What a way to start the day!
Inflatable boats are launched from the beach where masterful skippers navigate their way through the waves to take you to some of the most unspoilt diving spots we have ever seen.
The reefs are literally untouched because until a few years ago Mozambique was embroiled in a civil war that rendered the area uninhabitable. The ensuing lack of development is a blessing in disguise for the tourist wishing to see unspoilt reefs and desolate coastline home to nesting leatherback turtles.
The diving is simply spectacular! So much so that there are plans to declare the area a National Heritage site.
On any typical dive you are likely to run into huge Potato Bass, an array of eels, lionfish, clown fish, stingrays, lobsters, nudibranchs and stonefish to name but a few; turtles abound - and of course this coast belongs to the dolphins which you can see from the beach most mornings. We had an encounter with a pod of dolphins on the way to the dive-site as well as during a dive when one came right up to us for a closer look.
This is an underwater photographer's paradise. Coupled with good visibility year round, the combination of large subjects as well as macro present endless photographic opportunities on every dive.
Just 150m off shore in front of the resort, a set of coral encrusted caverns is home to Sand Tiger Sharks (Ragged Tooth Sharks). They spend the summer months gestating here before moving south to cooler waters.
'G-Spot', 'Paradise', 'Boulders', 'Bass-City', 'Pinnacles', and 'Mushroom Rock' conjure up images of what awaits beneath the waves. New dive-sites are constantly being discovered - you might just be at the right place at the right time to name a new dive-site!
But man cannot live on diving alone! Three sumptuous meals a day prepared by a talented Mozambican chef will certainly more than fill the gap.
Other activities include long walks, bird watching, sunset safaris's, night turtle drives during nesting season, and of course the ultimate inactivity - relaxation!