The Beauty Of Mozambique
This morning I wake-up in a beautiful paradise with the ocean as my view and a big smile on my face. I have every reason in the world to smile, to be grateful, and to live out my life to its fullest. In this beautiful paradise, I believe I’ve found the key to finding joy in my which is different for each individual. But for me, its knowing who I am, what my goals are, what my believes are and knowing the risk of going after them. For one, I have realised that I am adventurous, resourceful, optimistic, I am not ruled by fear but I rather thrive on it; I don't believe in one limiting their potential because there are many opportunities for you to break all boundaries. Above all, I believe that I am a very beautiful woman, one full of passion for life!
Throughout my life, deep down in my heart and soul, I’ve always had a deep burning desire to explore the world – to reach into the unknown – to travel beyond my childhood boundaries. Today I’m living that dream!
In my previous article I mention my plans to travel from South Africa, Cape Town to Cairo, Egypt, But I then decided to start in Mozambique and not go to Cape Town. For the past couple of days I’ve been here, I’ve received texts from friends asking me questions like “Is it not expensive?" "How do you afford it?" "How long will you be gone for?" "Are you not scared?” Just to name a few.
Welcome to Maputo
On the 9th of February 2017 I took a bus from Pretoria, South Africa to Maputo, Mozambique. I chose to travel throughout the night, so as to get there first thing in the morning. I don’t like wasting time on travels. Throughout my whole travel journey I intend to use public transportation and that’s why I will not give information about flights.
There are different ways to travel from South Africa to Mozambique by public transportation. You can use Buses, taxis (mini-buses) or shuttle services. The bus I took cost R350 one way. You can check out bus lines like intercape, Grayhound, Cityliner ect. The prices for each bus line differs but I choose the most convenient and comfortable one; there are others which are less expensive. Taxis range between R200 and R300 and the shuttle services are between R1000 to R2500 depending on your destination.
Anyway, I got to Maputo at about 9:30am on the 10th and stayed with some friends that Friday. On Saturday the 11th I booked at Fatimas Backpackers in Maputo for two nights.
Maputo is located in the extreme south of Mozambique. Known for its colourful markets and a thriving nightlife, this harbour city was founded by the Portuguese and became a diverse and vibrant metropolis. On the list of the places to visit in Maputo include Baixa (port and market), the Tunduru Botanical Gardens, the Eiffel House, Notre Dame Cathedral of the Concession or the National Museum of Arts. From the culinary point of view, I recommend you taste local seafood, especially the prawns with a peri-peri sauce which are the specialty of the region. When prawns tasting is over move to the vibrant nightlife area of Fere Popolare.
Talk about Paradise! On the 13th at 4am we took a bus from Maputo to Inhumane, Tofo. One of the advantages of staying at Fatimas is that they have a bus that leaves their premises every morning at 4pm that takes you directly to their Tofo lodge and if you stay for more than 5 nights you get a 10% discount. The bus drive to Tofo took about 7 hours, yes, it’s that far but worth the drive. If you don’t want to stay at a backpackers and you have a bigger budget than mine, there are many 5 star luxury hotels to choose from.
Tofo is home to many famous scuba diving spots costing around R500 per person. It is known for sightings of big sea creatures of the sea that you can imagine. Like whales, dolphins, whale sharks, and manta rays are all known to frequent the warm, nutrient-rich waters of Mozambique. I found that boat trips where a fun and cheap way to fill my afternoon in Mozambique. In Tofo, one of the advantages of staying at Fatimas backpackers is that they usually organize a group activity for around R350 per person which include snorkelling, breakfast and lunch with the local island chief. The boats are simple, with sideways sails and rudders made out of old wood. It won’t be fancy, but it will be beautiful.
You can also rent a quad bike for villages tour in the sand dunes behind the beach which cost R200 per person. Kids run out and either wave or decide to be little rascals and try to grab onto the back of the quad bike as you ride by.
There are other activity one can do, and trust me, you will not regret going there.
Off to the Zimbabwe border
On the 19th I took a local mini-bus from Tofo, to the city Inhambane for R4 because I needed to get to a small town called Maxixi to catch a bus to the border town Shimoio. There are two ways to get from Inhambane to Maxixi, I took a fairy because its the quietest way and it only cost R2 or you can use a mini-bus that takes an hour and cost R30.
I got to Maxixi and found that there are no buses to Shimoio on Sunday. And because it’s such a small town accommodation is very expensive. The best part about being LDS is that you can find the church in most cities and our members are always willing to help out. So, for that night I slept at a church member's house.
At 6am the following morning I was already by the bus stop because I was told it doesn’t really have a schedule time so I should get there anytime from 7am to 10am. The bus drive from Maxixi to Shimoio took 11 hours with only 1 stop and it cost R280.
The border closes at 4pm, so I had to sleep over in Shimoio on the 20th. I found accommodation on the same street where I was to take the mini-bus to the border gate which cost R224. Early on the 21st at 5am I was already on my way to the border gate and we got there at about 9am and I paid R15.
It’s somewhat difficult to travel through Mozambique, with long bus journeys and overfilled mini-buses. And yes as a female solo traveller, I had to keep my wits about me because that’s always important when you travel solo. But for the most part Mozambique has the most best and most beautiful beaches; its a safe country, their seafood was delicious, and the fact that most of its part are not a tourist hotspot made it peaceful, too.
Country: #1 Mozambique
Accommodate : R1234 for 10 nights
Travel Cost : R875
Total: R2608 (That's what I paid monthly for my accommodation in South Africa)