The border crossing into Mozambique was the usual chaos and arguments with insurance touts, money changers and border officials. The following 3 days were spent making a 1500km trip from the border to Vilankulos over some of the best and worst roads I have ever come across. The grand finale came at the end with 50km of some of the largest potholes imaginable while driving on Mozambiques main artery road. Driving through them was akin to driving across the surface of the moon, with many of the over axle deep potholes causing Brenda’s chassis to slam into her rear axle, a sound that’s never enjoyable.
The only thing better than the taste of the beers in Vilankulos when we finally got there after dark was the white sand and azure waters that greeted us the next morning.
At least some of the rumours about Mozambique, it seems, are true.
The two things you hear about Mozambique from other overlanders is the endless white sand beaches and the police corruption. One we have found in abundance, the other we have hardly witnessed – yes the police road blocks are frequent, but on the occasions when they stop you they are friendly, polite and take “no” for an answer when they ask you if you have anything for them. I understand from locals that things were not always like this here, but the recent crackdown on police corruption targeted towards tourists has certainly made driving in Mozambique easier.
So we spent the next 3 weeks hopping from one seemingly perfect beach to another.
We went snorkelling with whale sharks off Tofo, went body surfing in the waves of Paindane and snorkelled on the reef at Zavora where we found some amazing corals, rays, eels and an array of tropical fish. The boys felt like they were in the pages of their tropical oceans book. We walked along the beach to Neptunes Bar in Barra and walked home in the dark playing with the phosphorescence. We slacklined between palm trees, swam in azure waters and for 3 weeks we gazed at the milky way in some of the clearest skies in Africa. In Ponta Membene we walked for 2km along a white sand beach without seeing another footprint and watched perfect waves break for 4 days wishing I had a surfboard.
We ate the tastiest bread in Africa, helped local fishermen pull in their net, drank from coconuts, burnt our feet on hot sand, lost our boardies in the waves, had waterfights on the beach and saw an elephant on the side of the road outside of the National Parks. We found snakes in our campsites on 3 occasions, cooked on the fire when the gas ran out, and got swindled by a quick handed money changer.
We fell asleep to the sounds of the waves, and awoke to magnificent sunrises.
Mozambique you were amazing. The rumours aren’t just true, they are an understatement. The wonderful people of Mozambique, the traditional way of life and the lack of tourists (outside of the usual tourist areas) make Mozambique feel like real Africa, and I love it.