One of the many victims was the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, and another, was the endangered green turtle. They came across several discarded turtle shells, upon which, there were markings that were evidently from harpoon points. What made this discovery even more alarming was that, unlike many locals who harvest turtles purely for sustenance, these poachers were selling the turtle meat to a Chinese buyer. They were also catching and smoking hundreds of fish to sell as food, with no regard for sustainable species.
Previously, we were going to build prefabricated units made from timber, waste sand, steel and glazing. However, due to our remoteness and the rugged roads we travel to get to our boat launch site, we realised that this type of construction would be a particularly problematic undertaking.
It would also create a far larger ecological footprint than we had initially anticipated. Instead, we have opted to build only four timber units, and the rest will be exceptionally comfortable, ensuite, tented accommodation.
The best thing about this ‘glamping’ type of stay, is that you are truly immersed in nature. Guests have all the modern conveniences of electricity, running water, furniture, and plush bedding, while deepening their engagement with the surrounding environment.
We have begun construction of the four timber units, which will be fabricated from sustainable Msasa (Brachystegia spiciformis) wood, sourced from Mozambique’s Miombo forest, through the company LevasFlor.
This is the only FSC certified company in the Mozambican natural timber industry, and we aim to exclusively use their products across our Southern African eco retreat properties, should we require any timber, flooring or furniture.
We are also busy with the expansion of the kitchen. Our head chef, Hannibal, is eagerly awaiting the new space, where he can hone his craft, creating amazing, delicious and eco-conscious dishes. He recently underwent training with renowned chef, Francois Ferreira, of the Francois Ferreira Academy, and will be utilising his newfound techniques.
Suffice to say, each of these developments is being carried out under the watchful eyes of our project managers and our COO, to ensure that the impact on the island habitat is always kept light. The island will run solely on solar power, providing our guests with a clean, renewable energy source. We have also created an environmentally-friendly decentralised wastewater treatment system, which uses very little energy, while protecting the land and ocean.
We are envisioning the completion of the retreat in June 2022, at which point, guests will be able to exclusively book SCUBA trips here on this blissful, private island, described by all who visit as “the best island in Mozambique”.
If you’d like to be one of the first to experience this bucket-list adventure to Ilha do Fogo, or need any more reasons to visit Mozambique, please get in touch.