A few minutes from the village of Santa Maria is a beach of golden sand dotted with mangroves facing the Inhaca Island. The beach, which takes its name from one of the lodges located on the coast of Nhonguane is beautiful and ideal for swimming, as it is in the bay of Santa Maria and the water is very calm. Although the beach is completely wild, and it obviously does not have any services, it is possible to buy drinks and something to eat at a snack bar, which is hidden among the trees. The lodge, is usually full of South Africans who love the fishing here, it is one of the best beaches in the area.
Bathed by the warm Indian Ocean and completely unspoiled and desolate, the 22-mile coastline of Machangulo Peninsula is a paradise. It's difficult to match. It has the highest maritime dunes in the world. They go from the beginning of Machangulo to its narrowest point and protect an idyllic coast. On the beaches you can walk for hours in complete solitude. You may run into some lucky owner of one of the few houses on the sea or a local person walking the beach looking for crabs. The coast, however, is teeming of life. From November big loggerhead and leatherback turtles come to nest on the beach. You usually see huge jump whales not far from the surf. With its golden sand and wild sea, Machangulo is one of those places where nature is simply at its best.
Santa Maria is located in an idyllic bay on the northwestern tip of Machangulo, it faces the island of Inhaca. The largest town on the peninsula is home to about 400 people, who live in the village itself and scattered around it. The place is very humble, most houses are built in a very precarious way with wood and esparto, and there are no streets, and no one has a car. Only the school and the hospital are quite new and modern, and are built with bricks. In Santa Maria there are two barracks and a outdoor market where women sell a few products grown in their gardens. A quietness inhabits the village. Women, surrounded by children, sit on the floor and men kill time listening to music and drinking at the bar where they sell alcohol. The only visible activity in the Bay. The children-the village is full of beautiful children who love you to take pictures of them - play on the dock, large colored boats with gaff sails go to and from Maputo loaded with goods. Despite the charm of the place, in Santa Maria there areno places to stay. A few lodges - much frequented by South African fishing enthusiasts can be found on the sea side, but only outside the hamlet.
Fishing has been the livelihood of the people of Machangulo for centuries. Despite the changes brought by modernity nothing has changed here and fishermen use the same fishing methods as their ancestors. In heavy colourful barges with trimmed sails, the men go out in groups of three or four, just powered by the wind. Seeing the boats sail through the bay of Santa Maria is a beautiful show. Without a motor, they make long lines with sails filled with wind. They seem to dance a slow dance.
Fishing has been the lifeblood of the inhabitants of the Machangulo Peninsula for centuries. Despite the changes brought on by modern technology, here nothing has changed and fishermen use the same fishing techniques of their forefathers. In heavy barges of colors and very trimmed sails, the men go out in groups of three or four, only powered by the wind. You can see the boats sail through the bay of Santa Maria and it is a beautiful show. Without a motor, they make long passes with full sails and seem to dance a slowly across the water.
In this distant paradise called Machangulo, there is amazing countryside and there is also the sad poverty of its inhabitants. Santa Maria is the only town on the peninsula. The rest of the natives live in scattered hamlets made up of a few huts without running water or electricity. Walking through the forest, you see few signs of human life. Some women are burning vegetation to plant a garden, or at some crossroads there may be a bar, but it's closed up tight, having been built in the wild hope that someone would come and buy something. Amid so much silent solitude, it is endearing to discover a humble chapel. The natives profess animism, but somehow they combine it with Christianity. These small churches, used only when a priest visits the area, are very visible and have high corners. They are built with straw and wood, with a dirt floor and log benches. Air enters freely. They have no windows or doors. There are no embellishments, or pictures. There's not even a cross. Still, thy are extremely suggestive.
In the distant Mozambican paradise of Machangulo, the locals live in an amazing and virgin countryside in sad poverty. As I mentioned, Santa Maria is the only town on the peninsula and the natives live in scattered hamlets made up of a few huts without plumbing or electricity. In the forest, there are few signs of human life. Sometimes there are women burning flora to make room for a garden, or at some crossroads there is a small hut that is closed up tight, built in the wild hope that someone would come there and buy something. Amid much solitude and silence, it's really endearing discover a humble chapel. The natives profess animism, but somehow are also Christian. These small churches, used only when a priest visits the area, are in very visible and high places, surrounded by grass. They are made of straw and wood, with a dirt floor and log benches. Only air enters, because there are no windows or doors. Nor do they have any decorations, pictures, or even a cross. However, they are still extremely suggestive.