Barra Beach accommodation Guide - information and photographs of Barra Estates Barra Beach Mozambique.
Barra Estates Barra Beach Mozambique
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Barra Estates, situated right on the main Praia de Barra (Barra Beach) - surely the closest to paradise one would ever find with its unspoilt, palm fringed beaches edged with turquoise waters - Mozambique self-catering accommodation at its finest!
Barra Estates Reservations: email@example.com
Swim in the tropical, crystal clear seas and lakes. Unlike other coastal areas in South Africa, you can always swim in Barra, even during July, since the ocean is always much warmer than elsewhere. It is also very safe - the seas are calm with low, placid waves most of the time, and side currents very seldom occur. You can have peace of mind when the kids are swimming. And you do not have to worry about sharks - in Barra's history, no shark attacks ever occurred.
It is a paradise for diving and snorkeling, with a famous reef a mere 200 metres from the shore. The young and fit normally simply swim out to the reef. Or you can dive the world famous Manta Reef at Tofo (Praia de Tofo), bordering Barra to the south.
Barra is also a famous deep sea angling spot, where an abundance of game fish roam: Marlin, Sailfish, Barracuda, Dorado, Kingfish and Tuna.
So, if you are fed-up with your normal holidays, where you are only one of thousands of others, having to go to movies, restaurants and shopping malls, or standing in endless queues, come to Barra and have a REAL holiday.
But be warned - Barra is addictive, and you would be drawn to it for the rest of your life!
Accommodation at Barra Estates, Barra Beach
Barra Estates consists of two separate Lodges, known as Barra Inn and Barra Resort, situated next to each other.
Barra Inn has a 6 sleeper, a 4 sleeper and two 2 sleeper chalets, sleeping 14 people and Barra Resort two of each, sleeping 24 people. The 6 sleeper units consist of three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the four sleepers two bedrooms and a bathroom and the 2 sleepers one bedroom & bathroom.
The 6 and 4 sleeper units have a double bed in the main bedroom (King size) and all the other rooms have single beds. We do not believe in cheap quality mattresses and they are all 20cm. high density foam ones, ensuring a good night's rest. The bathrooms consist of shower, wash basin and toilet. Both Lodges have electricity with electric geysers, so you would always have warm water (not that this is necessary in summer).
All the beds have mattress covers, a fitted sheet, top sheet and a cotton throw and two pillows. Fleecy blankets are supplied for cooler nights. And they are obviously fitted with mosquito nets as well - not the types which tuck in underneath the mattress, but nice large ones hanging from the roof to the floor, allowing ample moving space in and around the beds.
Each chalet is a self-catering unit and has a kitchenette with gas stove (2 sleeper units have a two plate gas stove) and fridge. The kitchens are well equipped with new and modern utensils of a high quality.
All units have large windows overlooking the sea and allowing good ventilation in the hot summer months. Each unit has a covered wooden deck where you can enjoy your meals, have a tan or sip your sundowner.
At Barra Inn, the two 2 sleeper units are situated on level ground next to the entertainment area, with the 6 and 4 sleeper units built on stilts on the back dune, allowing a magnificent elevated view of the sea. At Barra Resort one 6 sleeper, one 4 sleeper and one 2 sleeper unit is situated on level ground next to the entertainment area, and the other three units also on stilts on the back dune.
Each Lodge has a large communal entertainment area, consisting of a fully equipped large kitchen, dining room, bar, washing area and ladies/gents toilets with wash basins. And of course a lovely covered wooden deck where you would enjoy your meals most of the time. This is ideal for large groups who prefer to mingle and eat together. The entertainment areas are equipped with a fridge and freezer as well as a chest freezer for additional meat etc.
There is also a large communal braai area - please note that NO braaing would be allowed outside this area and NO gas braais are allowed. This is merely to minimize the risk of fire, which is our greatest risk here.
All units are serviced daily - cleaning, making of beds and washing of dishes. Clothes are washed by hand and our servants would be quite happy to do your washing (no ironing) for you at a pre-determined fee.
There is ample parking for vehicles and boats.
The Lodge consists of a 6 bed chalet, a 4 bed and two 2 bed chalets:
6 BED CHALET
4 BED CHALET
2 BED CHALETS
Chalets can be rented individually or the Resort in it's entirety. It is ideal for couples, families and groups of up to 14 people. Our rates are very affordable and one just cannot have a quality holiday like this at these rates elsewhere.
There are two 6 bed chalets, two 4 bed and two 2 bed chalets:
6 BED CHALETS
4 BED CHALETS
2 BED CHALETS
Chalets can be rented individually or the Resort in it's entirety. It is ideal for couples, families and groups of up to 24 people. Our rates are very affordable and one just cannot have a quality holiday like this at these rates elsewhere.
WHAT TO BRING ALONG
Fresh vegetables are available at the Inhambane market, 23km. from Barra. Freshly baked Paos (traditional Portuguese buns), are also freely available, and can be bought in Barra. You would be approached daily by hawkers selling prawns, crayfish, calamari and crabs. They are normally on ice and fresh, but freshness should be checked first. And use your own scale to weigh - they have a tendency to use old scales which are not accurate, and rip off the holiday makers!
The underground water is clean and fresh and is regularly tested for human consumption. Most holiday makers prefer not to consume this water except for cooking. If you maybe do not consider it safe, bring enough of your own fresh water or purifying tablets.
DO NOT bring too much food - we see it every time that holiday makers just bring too much food which they take back all the way or give away. This is a total waste of money and it just takes up unnecessary space. The same with clothes - you are going to be in a very casual and relaxed environment and you really do not need bags of clothes. Washing is done on a daily basis, so pack only a few items. It is senseless to dress to kill - no-one would notice it!
Leave your valuables like expensive jewelry at home. Although we have lock-up safes for these, they just create a temptation.
Make sure that all your meat is vacuum packed and hard frozen. Pack it in a decent cooler box with enough ice bricks. All other foodstuffs which must be held cool, should be packed in a separate cooler box with enough ice bricks.
Do not attempt to take fresh milk - it would not last. Take the boxed long life milk in instead.
If you want to take bread, take one loaf only. Pão (Portuguese buns) are freely available in this area.
Fill your vehicle with fuel at the closest filling station to the border post. Most people use the Komatipoort border, and there is a BP service station to the left just before the border. If you take along a boat or Jet ski, fill their tanks as well. Take enough two-stroke oil for these vessels.
Fuel now costs about R14 per litre in Mozambique. Some people bring cans of fuel as well, but the Mozambican customs department jacked up their act, and if caught, you would be liable for import duties, forms to be completed and waiting in long queues. It is just not worth all the trouble.
Change some of your currency for Meticais at the Bureau de Change at the BP service station. You would need this to pay toll road fees, for fuel and refreshments en route. Although South African Rands are freely accepted in Mozambique, it always works out cheaper to pay in the local currency. The current exchange rate is MTN 3.5 for 1 Rand. Be careful of people changing currency at the side of the roads - they offer a higher rate, but they are also very sly, and chances are good that you would loose some money this way. You can also safely change money at the Inhambane market at good rates. Banks in Mozambique no longer change money, unless you have an account with them. One can also draw money at most Auto teller machines in Inhambane.
You must have your vehicle, caravan and trailer's original registration documents with you at all times, as well as your driver's license. Have enough copies of your ID / Passport.
You also need two triangles per vehicle, as well as a prescribed reflective vest should you have a breakdown along the way. There are always people at the border selling these.
If making use of the Komatipoort / Ressano Garcia border posts: Once you have cleared the South African side, you would find a number of offices to the left of the Mozambican clearance offices. Go to the Global Alliance office and ask for Ivo, Jumbo, Miguel, Ricardo or Ben. They would issue your compulsory 3rd party insurance, and assist you with the whole clearance process. You must have your passports stamped personally and all the passport holders must be present.
Your vehicle would be searched by customs officials: Alcoholic drinks are limited to 1 Litre of spirits, a case of beer and 5 Litres of wine per person. All brands of alcoholic drinks are available in Inhambane, but you would obviously pay more for it than in South Africa. You are also limited to one carton of cigarettes per person.
Stick to the speed limits and obey the traffic signs. Do not overtake on solid white lines. The fines for any contravention are hefty and payable on the spot. Always be friendly, even when caught, and do not aggravate the authorities. You would be in a foreign country and have to treat the people with respect.
The roads are generally in very good condition and the whole road up to the Inhambane turn-off is in excellent shape. From there to Inhambane the road is reasonable but with the occasional pothole. From Inhambane to Barbalalaza the tar road is constantly maintained, but it is normally in a bad state during the December holidays due to the much higher traffic. Extreme caution should be taken there. From Barbabalaza to Barra, the road is a gravel one which is presently in reasonable shape.
Good news for fly-in guests is that there is a new car rental company between Barbabalaza and Tofo, where you can rent a 4X4 vehicle. They also do airport transfers.
If you love the outdoors & action, there are an abundance of activities:
Deep sea fishing: You may charter a fishing trip with the following qualified charters:
Baloo Charters: Gert Cronje
You may also bring along your own boat. Please note that it should be seaworthy - they are checked by the authorities on a regular basis. Ensure that your safety equipment is functional. Lately, you would also need a fishing license - regular checks are carried out by Department Fisheries on the Beach where boats are launched, so make sure you obtain this beforehand to prevent aggravation and fines. These can be obtained in Inhambane. At Barra, you would have to pay a launching fee which is a once-off fee, valid for 30 days.
Diving / snorkeling: There are an abundance of reefs at Barra and neighboring Tofo. If you have a rubber duck, bring it along for this purpose. The sea is placid enough for rubber ducks most of the year. Barra Reef Divers, Barra Lodge Divers and Sunset Lodge Divers offer diving courses and daily excursions.
Wet-biking / Jetski-ing: An absolute paradise for this sport. With a placid sea you can play all day long. Or go to to White Sands and play on the lake. There you can race to Pansy Island where an abundance of the Pansy shells can be found. Please do not abuse this, and only take a few, so that there would be enough left for generations to come.
Quad biking: Only allowed when used responsibly - this past time has created a menace for holiday makers due to the constant irresponsibility and ignorance of many riders.
Our rules are simple here:
NO starting of quad bikes on the property before 8H30 in the morning - should you wish to do so, please remove the quad bike from the property first.
NO riding after 20H00 - if you arrive after this time, please switch
off the quad and push it into the property.
Any person not sticking to these rules would be asked to leave the resort.
Wind surfing: Bring yours along - you would have a great time on the sea or on the lake at White Sands.
WHAT TO DO?:
Fortunately, there are no movies, shopping malls, discos or games rooms. Spend the time with your family and friends - it is worth a fortune. If you want to go out, we can recommend the following places:
- Visit the Inhambane market for a real African experience.
- Pay a visit to the Inhambane Museum - it is rich in very interesting history.
- Take an ancient Dow to Maxixe from the Inhambane harbour, and have something to eat at the One-Stop restaurant in Maxixe.
The Mangroves: Take a very informative tour of the mangroves with Ivor, who would explain the very intricate eco system which exists here, and how the local population is endangering this delicate area in their quest for food.
- Visit neighbouring resorts and pubs to socialize and savour local cuisine and fresh seafood like no other.
Normal visas are valid for 3 months, but are single entry only, and can only be used once.
So, do not be foolish and strictly use your anti-malaria medication. The most widely used are Mefliam and Larium. These two tend to have mild to severe side effects, and some people cannot use it al all. It is advisable to discuss the Malaria medication with your Doctor. There is an alternative anti-biotic treatment available with very little side effects.
All medication is estimated to afford one 95% protection against Malaria.
Some fools would recommend that you do not use any medication at all (the reasoning being that Malaria is not easily detected when using medication). Do NOT heed their advice. Malaria is a KILLER and prevention is always better than cure.
Take enough Mosquito repellant and use it on exposed body areas, especially at night time. Make sure your mosquito nets are properly secured when going to bed.
Take your full first aid kit including pain killers, Immodium, Kantrexil, disinfectants, plasters and bandages.
HOW TO GET THERE
The tar road from the turn-off to Inhambane is also not in a good state, with numerous patched and open pot-holes. From Inhambane to Barra, the tar road is presently (Aug 2008) also in a poor state, with BAD potholes at very regular intervals - go off the road with two wheels if you have to. The gravel road from Bar Babalaza to Barra is always in a varying condition, but generally not that bad.
Directions from Inhambane:
When Inhambane is entered, carry on until you see the harbour and jetty on the left hand side. Just after the jetty, turn right and carry on up to the circle. Go 90 degrees around the circle to the end of town. The road turns to the left there and you would find a sign reading:
Aeroporto / Tofo / Barra
Carry on straight out of town and keep to the right where the road splits. This is a tar road and after about 16 km. you would find a place on your right called Bar Babalaza. Carry on straight onto the gravel road which would take you to Barra, a further 7 km. away. At Barra, the main gravel road turns towards the left towards Barra Lodge and Barra Reef.
Where it turns left, go onto the small sand road to the right, past Paraiso de Barra and Anda Ca Lodge. Carry on straight past the double story house on your left and carry on for about 800M. You would now see a lake where you should bear right towards the dunes and follow the road running between the lake and the dunes. You would pass a couple of houses on your right. Once you get to the end of the lake, Barra Estates is on your right hand side. This is a fairly large Lodge and the only one there with a log cabin finish which can't be missed.
Barra Estates Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographs of Barra Estates
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