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Villa Ukuthula

Imagine a high-end exclusive East-African Style lodge, superbly located on dunes offering breathtaking views over the Indian Ocean. Yeah, those are a lot of superlatives… But that’s what we felt like after arriving starved, dusty and sweaty at the former holiday home of the Dutch King and Queen, having survived solely on tinned sardines in tomato sauce for the past two days. Fumbled logistics…

Since I was doing an assignment at Maputo Special Reserve, I was kindly invited by Paul Richter to come to shoot and stay at his beautiful ‘Villa Ukuthula’ at next-doors Machangulo Peninsula. Paul and his very welcoming family were in the process of making it operate as a lodge and quality photographs are always welcome. Being a wildlife photographer it was fun to try my hand at lodge photography, although arriving late and leaving again very early we had few precious hours to work in. It was great to spend some time with the Richter family and their guests and we enjoyed a tasty braai.

Villa Ukuthula can accommodate 14 guests and includes seven spacious bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, outdoor showers, various living rooms, and a private swimming pool. It is located in the Machangulo Private Nature Reserve overlooking a pristine beach and the Indian Ocean. On the other side there is dune forest and further away – being a peninsula – mangroves with flamingoes. This place not only offers guests excellent privacy but the kind of privacy that involves watching whales and pods of dolphins swimming by. And in the right season turtles come ashore to lay their eggs right in front of the lodge. Machangulo Private Nature Reserve is situated in the north of Maputo Special Reserve, so that means you’ll have plenty of safari opportunities as well. Guests arrive after a 1.5-hour boat trip from Maputo. Check out for more info.

My travel mate and international renowned underwear model posing on the pristine beach.

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