To give our guests the best experience of life on a beach and preserve the raw natural beauty of this pristine piece of paradise we have built as little as possible at Anvil Bay. Canvas tents provide shade on the beach and a thatched retreat in the forest shelter from occasional storms. The beach bar lounge and restaurant are centrally positioned on the bay with the accommodations either side so guests can book to be close to the action or enjoy even more isolation on the north and south ends.
The accommodations, called Casinhas (a little home in Mozambique) are nestled in the canopy of the coastal forest just a few steps away from the secluded white sand beach. They blend a small footprint, natural materials and local craftsmanship with simple functional furnishings and fine linen.
Designed to be your home from home you will find a well stocked minibar and beverage station, luxury indoor and outdoor showers and a private dining deck en-suite.
The thatch and canvas design takes advantage of the cooling ocean breezes and the canvas sides can be rolled up to truly get in touch with the natural surrounds. Outdoor lighting has been kept to a minimum in order to better see the majestic African night sky and so as not to disturb the turtles in nesting season.
Southern Mozambique has a tropical savannah climate. Winter months (June to August) are dry and mild, with average temperatures between 58°F (14°C) and 77°F (25°C). The summer months (December to March) are noticeably hotter and wetter with occasional thunderstorms in the afternoons. January is the hottest month with highs averaging around 86°F (30°C).
No two days are ever the same at Anvil Bay but here is a suggestion of what you could experience in a typical day:
Awaken at your leisure and join us for a delicious breakfast of fresh fruits, cereal, yoghurt, cold meats and cheeses, freshly baked muffins and your choice of hot items cooked to order and served on the beach.
After breakfast meet our marine guides and get set for an Ocean Safari adventure where you could get to swim with wild dolphins, view migrating humpback whales or snorkel over pristine coral reefs.
Back on shore you can re-live those memories and experiences whilst enjoying a scrumptious light lunch at the beach bar overlooking the ocean.
Spend the afternoon at your leisure or you may choose to explore the in-land dune forest trails, take a stroll on the beach, a dip in the ocean or simply relax on a lounger soaking up the sun and magical atmosphere.
As the sun sets join us for a pre-dinner drink before settling in to enjoy an excellent meal prepared by our chef who takes advantage of the fresh seafood and produce from local communities to prepare world class cuisine with a Mozambican flair.
After dinner retire around the campfire and enjoy the light pollution free African skies where the stars shine down on us at the end of a perfect day.
The Maputo Special Reserve
Maputo Special Reserve is home to Southern Africa’s last remaining coastal herd of elephant and was originally established to protect this elephant population in the 1930s. Its purpose in the 1960s was expanded to include the protection of other large mammal species and again in the 1990s, thanks to the growing recognition of its wider biodiversity importance.
The reserve is an important component in the protected areas system of Mozambique, as it conserves the exceptional biodiversity of a coastal zone that lies in the Maputaland Centre of Endemism. At 1040 km², it is a spectacular area that combines lakes, wetlands, sand forests, grasslands and mangrove forests with a pristine coastline. It supports an exceptionally high number of endemic species of fauna and flora and is part of the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot, thus part
of one of earth’s 25 biologically richest and most endangered terrestrial Eco regions.
In 2010 the Mozambican government began a translocation program to Maputo Special Reserve in order to re-introduce species that were historically found in the area. Over a thousand animals have been reintroduced so far.
The translocations are backed up by aerial surveys and counts, which have been taking place annually since 2011. The 2014 census indicates that the introduced populations are steadily increasing. The species found to be the most abundant are hippo, reedbuck, elephant, crocodile, red duiker, blue wildebeest and zebra, while the giraffe, nyala, kudu, bushbuck and waterbuck populations are growing.
The Indian Ocean off the coast of Southern Mozambique is home to 4 out of the 7 species of sea turtle that can be found worldwide. Loggerhead, Leatherback, Hawksbill and the Green turtle occur here. Guests joining us for an Ocean Safari adventure may be able to spot these magnificent ancient reptiles when they surface.
The coastline is also a rich nesting ground for both Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles. The turtle ‘season’ officially begins on the 1st of October each year and runs through to the 31st of March. As part of our conservation efforts Anvil Bay, Ponta Chemucane assists with the monitoring and protection of Mozambique’s southern turtle populations in association with the team from the Ponta Partial Marine Reserve. You can read more about the turtle monitoring program and the Ponta Partial Marine Reserve here and here
The majestic Humpback Whale (Megaptera Novaeangliae) and occasionally the larger Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena Australis) follow an annual migration pattern when they leave their summer feeding grounds in the Antarctic and head north to the waters nearer the equator during the winter months. The migration brings them to the warmer waters of Mozambique between the months of July and November during the breeding and calving season.
Of the three species of Dolphin which occur, Spinners, Indo-Pacific Humpbacks and Bottlenose Dolphins, the most commonly encountered are the Bottlenose, easily recognized by their cheeky smiles. The Marine Reserve, within which lies Anvil Bay, is one of the few places in the world where one can swim with wild dolphins in their natural habitat.
The great variety and richness of the habitats found in the Maputo Special reserve support a remarkable diversity of bird life with a list of around 350 species recorded.
Vast expanses of beautiful and varied countryside, include grass covered rolling hills and tracts of tall sand forest, a diversity of woodland types, coastal dune forest, a number of large lakes and innumerable smaller lakes and wetlands.
Sand-forest specials include Neergaard’s Sunbird, Pink-throated Twinspot, African Broadbill, Rudd’s Apalis, Eastern Nicator and gorgeous Bush-shrike. Coastal dune forest and dune forest in remnant dunes some way inland offers Livingstone’s Turaco, Green Malkoa, Green Twinspot, Brown Scrub-Robin, Woodward’s
Batis and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird. Extensive rolling grasslands are home to specials such as Swamp Nightjar, Denham’s Bustard, Grey-rumped Swallow and various raptors. Damp grassland areas may offer Rosy-throated Longclaw and Pale-crowned Cisticola. Large lakes and associated seasonally flooded areas hold a variety of water birds including Herons, Storks, Pelicans, Flamingos, Cormorants and ducks – and a variety of waders – particularly in summer. The woodland/wetland mosaic offers a variety of other birds including Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, African Crowned Eagle and African Cuckoo-Hawk. In summer the Sooty Falcon occurs along the northern part of the reserve in association with mangrove swamps.
Community & Conservation
One of the solutions to saving the worlds dwindling areas of wilderness relies on creating sustainable enterprise where local communities and national parks coexist. The Mozambique Government’s landmark decision to grant the Chemucane Community an ecotourism concession in the Maputo Spacial Reserve has resulted in such an opportunity. The Chemucane Tourism Company – CTC is a joint venture formed between the Chemucane community and the Bell Foundation, a philanthropic trust established for the benefit of the local community. With funding from the World Bank and the Bell and Ford Foundations,
CTC which has built and operates Anvil Bay beach camp, has already created great benefit for the community in terms of skills transfer, construction and hospitality jobs and the purchase of local materials, produce and services. In an area with little previous economic opportunity a sustainable enterprise now exists.
All benefits from your holiday accrue to the community while concession fees go to support conservation efforts in the park making Anvil Bay the perfect responsible tourist destination.