Together with Adam Humphreys, Sarah has created a beautiful off-the-grid oasis in Southern Mozambique called Sussurro - a consciously designed space to reconnect with nature and immerse yourself in a more meaningful travel experience.
Images: Sussurro Mozambique
How and when did you decide to give life to Sussurro?
Adam began developing the concept of Sussurro in 2016. We felt jaded by the industry in Africa where more is more and wanted to create something with real integrity that is in authentic dialect with its surroundings, be that natural or social.
We know Sussurro revolves around mindful and responsible travel - how so?
Our dedication to hyper-local sourcing and being 100% African made is a commitment that Sussurro remains true to since the very first simbiri pole was laid in building. Our construction was almost only solar powered, built by the community, with sustainable vernacular building techniques. It is now serviced by members of the community that went through that process with us.
The hotel aesthetic is stunning, where did you take inspiration from?
We took inspiration from East African architecture and our Mozambican province’s local architecture which is remarkably intelligent in its natural cooling systems. We still lie in wonder every night looking up at the palm-woven makuti roof lining. It’s deeply beautiful Mozambican craftsmanship.
How long did it take to build the hotel and which was the hardest part?
It took 5 years to build Sussurro. The hardest part was little access to fresh water as we are flanked by the ocean and a saltwater lagoon. We are also remote and island like, meaning that access to us is dictated by the tides which was interesting to manage during constuction!
The best time of the year to come visit you?
Between April through to September we have beautiful milder evenings; if you enjoy the heat visit from September to December.
Everything on the property is 100% African sourced and made. Can you tell us about some of your favorite items?
Woven Mozambican esteiras are the traditional mats for sleeping, communal eating, and portable shade in Mozambique. We use them across the property and on excursions with guests, they are extraordinary. The local coconut fiber hand brooms used by housekeeping are really wonderful expression of our local craft. There’s a poetry in using something so exquisite for everyday tasks and practicalities.
To properly experience this side of Africa, which are the best activities you’d suggest to your guests?
The Sunset Dhow experience with us is an encapsulation of the romance and adventure of East Africa. An excursion on one of our fleet of dhows into the nearby river tributaries, where guests experience our unique ecosystem’s marine and bird-life and get to travel deeper into the mangrove forests, gently passing by remote river villages and having a picnic set up on a quintessential Mozambican tidal sand bar.
Any restaurants nearby to taste the local food or shops by local artisans?
We are very remote, within a small rural community so no shops or restaurants but the residence is shoppable with wares from our craft partners and members of our team.
What is your relationship with the local community like?
Sussurro was entirely built and is now serviced by the stars of our community. Their work in creating Sussurro and welcoming guests into the spaces that they personally created is what makes Sussurro what it is.
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