Published: March 18th 2007January 5th 2007
They say you should save the best for last, and that was the intention with Mozambique. The promise of beautiful sandy beaches, warm water, great seafood, and even better diving. Well, I can gladly say, we weren't disappointed!
We started in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. The change from being in South Africa was huge, and it felt like the real Africa again, only with another small hurdle... they speak Portuguise! Luckily Anto's Spanish helped us out. So after setting up our tent at the hostel, we found out about the 'must do' fish market that everyone raves about, and we took our empty stomaches straight down there for a feed. The place was amazing! You bought whatever seafood you wanted, Prawns, Calamari, Lobster, Oysters, Fish, Fish, Fish, then took it to one of many restaurants behind the market for them to cook it for you. We indulged ourselves to say the least. And it's all so damn cheap! Although, you do have to watch them in the restaurants as we're certain they 'stole' one of our Calamari's and a handful of Prawns from us to sell back to the fish shop.
Next stop was the place that Chris
had been raving about for months... "TOFO BEACH". It's famed for its beautiful beach, great diving, and more importantly, Whale Sharks! So we made it to Bamboozi's where we were staying and after about being there for an hour or so, Chris bumps into a mate from London. What's the chances of that happening! Small world indeed. Well, Tofo was pretty damn good, and we could see why it had the reputation it had. We spent Christmas here, and feasted on an All You Can Eat seafood buffet. After a few days chilling on the beach, we got stuck into the diving. First dive was a refreshed, which was in shallow water, but after that, we went to the famed Manta Reef, and as the name suggests, we saw Manta Ray's. Now these were your typical run of the mill Manta's, they were huge! Like the size of a car! Absolutely amazing sight! Manta Reef is a cleaning station where the Manta's come in to have a scrub down with the help of the remora's and wrasses. You would be minding your own business, diving along the ocean floor when suddenly everything goes dark. When you look above you to
see whats going on, you see this huge Manta cruising above, blocking out the sunlight. Top dive!
Next was the Whale Sharks! since we didn't spot any while we were diving, we booked an ocean safari with Diversity Scuba to go and find some of the gently giants. Unfortunately for us, we chose the wrong company as out of the three companies doing the safari, we picked the only one that didn't have a spotting chair on the boat, which is crucial to finding the sharks. We spent and hour following in the shadows of the other companies boats waiting for them to spot the sharks. And when they did spot them, we had to wait until the other boats had had enough time with the sharks before we were allowed into the water, and by that time, the Whale Sharks had dived, so all we got to see was a distant outline of the sharks cruising the floor of the ocean. Total disappointment, and a waste of money for us both. The next day, after umming and arghing about it, Chris decided to do the trip again, but, of course, with another company. The day was fantastic. Chris
swam with at least 11 Whale Sharks. They were everywhere! Such an amazing experience. It also was Anto's birthday, so we went, for the first time in months, out to have dinner and dance with the locals in a pretty good place called Dino's.
Next stop was Vilanculos, another must do location on the Mozambiquan coast. We did a day trip out to the Bazaruto Archipalego on a small boat, and seafood on the beach and snorkelled on the reef there. Next was New Years Eve. Unfortunately the weather turned foul and we were lashed with heavy rains. Fortunately, our tent didn't float away. The night was a bit of a quiet one, sitting on the beach, watching distant fireworks on the islands and talking to a local boy about 10 years old, who was out trying to get some food for his family. His parents had both died of HIV and he and his sister were living with his grandmother. His life dream was to be either a sweeper or a water colector. It really brought home what life in Africa was really like for most.
After 4 months in Africa, the inevitable day had come. It
was time to say goodbye. But not for ever. We've both shared so many amazing experiences on this continent. It's a place like nowhere else in the world. So we took the long road back to Maputo, another feed at the fish market, without getting ripped off, then on to Johannesberg, where we flew to Perth, Australia...
There are more photos below