MozambiqueWritten by admin on March 9th, 2009
Wednesday 11 February
We plugged Vilanculos (our destination in Mozambique) into the GPS, and left Malawi through the nearby Milange boarder post and entered Mozambique with little trouble. However, the route that the GPS followed was little more than what a bumpy farmhouse track would look like in the UK for much of 250km until we reached the ferry crossing over the Zambezi. We decided to call it a day once we had crossed and looked for somewhere to stay in Caia.
There are not many places that we have stopped at that we would call a dump during our trip, but this was – wet, creepy, mosquito hell and a place we couldn’t wait to leave. At one point we woke in the night and took ages to get back to sleep, as a squadron of mosquitoes kept screaming and flying kamikaze at the netting of our tent trying to get to us.
Thursday 12 February
After debating whether we should extend our stay at one of Africa’s shittest campsites we agreed to stick to our plan, chucked on our clothes and legged it. Finally on tar, we decided to hammer the remaining 700 km in one day.
We happily arrived at Vilanculos in the daylight and after asking around decided we would camp at a recommended place a little out of town. First though we decided to splash out and treat ourselves to some hearty pub fare at Smuggler’s – apple pie and ice-cream on the specials had clinched the deal.
Saturday 14 February
We cut a deal to camp at Blue Waters for a couple of nights and enjoyed the large horizon pool, overlooking the sea and ended today with some red wine, watching the moon rise over the ocean.
Sunday 15 February
Today we took a dhow boat tour out to one of the nearby Bazaruto islands. It was a brilliant day. Sailing across to the island the waters are shallow and turquoise for much of the way and we spotted a manta ray, which after a short while flicked its wings and darted off.
We stopped on a deserted white beach, had a quick wander and then went for a snorkel. The snorkelling was great, as the coral wall is literally right at the edge of the island and we drifted slowly with the current back toward the boat with lots of tropical and some very large parrot fish.
After a delicious fish lunch we had another snorkel before sailing back to Vilanculos and meeting up with the guys from the project here.
Tuesday 17 February
We said our farewells and headed to our next stretch of beautiful Mozambique coastline at Tofo. On the way speedy Gonzales Milligan managed to get herself on to the speed fine scoreboard. We attempted to have a bit of light-hearted banter with the first police officer until his extremely grim looking buddy strolled around to Felicity’s window, at which point all smiling ceased!
Wednesday 18 February
In the late morning we went out on an ‘Ocean Safari’ to try to locate some of the whalesharks that are found just off the coast. After quite some time searching we thought we may be in for a similar experience to the one we had at the dolphin project in Zanzibar! But on the way back a large, dark shape was spotted alongside and we all quickly slipped off the boat into the water to spend an absolutely amazing 20 minutes snorkelling with a 6.5 metre whaleshark. We had barely clambered back on the boat when we spotted another and were back in the water for another really long swim. These are seriously huge fish, but possibly their disproportionate size and the very slow speed that they move at makes them in no way scary and it was very peaceful swimming along, keeping just a couple of respectful metres from them.
After a beach afternoon we went to a talk on the whalesharks, which was pretty interesting, even though it turns out no one knows much about them at all. We then rounded off a great day by chucking a few shrimps (actually really big, delicious prawns from the local market) on the baaaarbie.
Thursday 19 February
Nothing happened, except we went into Inhambane to use internet and Bob was broken into! Fortunately we had put his alarm on and when we went out to investigate it seemed someone had picked the front passenger lock and the alarm had not gone off, but then lent across to unlock and open the driver door, as both were unlocked when we got there. This had set the alarm off and the thief had probably shat themselves that the vehicle actually had an alarm and legged it, fortunately and much to our surprise and confusion taking absolutely nothing!
Saturday 21 February
Marc had a dive with Manta Rays yesterday morning and then due to the sweltering heat and humidity and lack of any decent kiting winds we decided to carry on to S.A. today. We had a last minute change of plan and rather than driving along the coast toward Maputo we decided to cut inland and into Limpopo National Park, crossing the border into S.A. through the recently formed Transfrontier Park and into Kruger. After a massive drive we camped overnight at a pretty site overlooking a huge dam in Limpopo.