Mozambique = Paradise
#Mozambique is a seldom visited country that neighbours South Africa, and has an exceedingly long coastline.
Whilst South Africans frequent the country a lot, it is little know internationally, which is a shame. The people are some of the nicest you will meet and the place is a #tropicalparadise. This is just a small montage of our trip there, as we did not really film it to be a full edit. I hope it gives you a small glimpse and makes you want to experience it for yourself. If you like our video, please subscribe to out fledgling channel that we are busy growing. We have traveled for many years, but are only starting to document it with vlogs now.
"I just love the open space in Southern Mozambique, if you look for it. It can be really busy in some areas and completely deserted in others."
We crossed the border at Manguzi, in the far south, and had Santa Maria as our first destination. To get there, you have to traverse the Maputo Special Reserve (formally known as the Special Elephant Reserve), which is 60km of tough terrain in very thick sand. 4x4 and high ground clearance is a must.
But our story starts a bit earlier. Leaving the small town of Hluhlue, early in the morning, we experienced car trouble where our vehicle would go into a kind of limp mode.
We go most places with tools in case of such issues, so I quickly sprung into action to see if I could fix the problem. The challenge was, it was not clear where the actual issue lay!!
I checked all fuses, ABS sensors, diesel pump, engine sensors, all the usual suspects for something like this. We got back on the road and everything was fine for 10 minutes, then problems again. After an hour of stop start, we decided to drive the 40kms back to Hluhlue to seek help. Problem was, it was a Sunday!! We found a backyard mechanic who checked all the same things, and could not find a problem. We decided to go an fuel up, and see what happened. Low and behold, the car ran just fine, so we decided to head for the border.
The border crossing and Manguzi can be REALLY time consuming, but we flew through in the early afternoon and were on our way.
We got to the gate of the park at around 3 and knew we had to hustle. The average speed in the thick sand is often less that 20km/hr, and with 60kms ahead of us, we were running the risk of arriving in the dark. The main challenge with this is the navigation. There are so many small tracks, and no signs, that it is really easy to get lost.After letting our tyres down to better handle the sand, we pressed on.
We came across some travellers who were stuck in thick sand. After we helped them all get unstuck, they drove off, and we promptly got stuck in the same spot!!! Now it was serious. It was getting dark, we still had far to go and we were all alone. (We being myself, Katie and our two kids Sophia and Josh)
After a lot of digging, placing branches under the tyres and letting our tyres down even further, we managed to drive ourselves out of the predicament, but lost a valuable 45 minutes. And then the car stopped again..........man it was not our day.
Long story short, we finally made it to Bemugi's camp at Santa Maria well into the dark, and after a quick camp set up, enjoyed a local 2M beer at the bar before collapsing into bed.
Waking up at a place you arrived at in the night is always a great feeling, and we rushed down to the beach to see what everything looked like. We were not to be disappointed. Santa Maria is located at the end of a long peninsula that forms the Southern side of the Bay of Maputo, which is VAST. It forms a formidable geographic phenomenon known as Hell's Gate, referring to the gap between it, and Inhaca Island, only a few hundred meters away.
When the tide goes out, it seems like the entire Maputo bay drains out through this gap, creating radical currents more like a river that an ocean.
We spent 5 blissful nights at Bemugi's, chilling, snorkeling, kayaking, water skiing and fishing.
We can say enough good things about Bemugi's Camp. The location was great, the people incredibly friendly, swimming pool was awesome, etc etc.
A highlight for us was booking a sunset cruise on a local Dhow, an Arabic style sailboat that dates back to yesteryear when Mozambique was first traded by Arab sailors.
Sadly it was time to leave and we loaded up and headed south through the park again, this time headed for a spot called Tecobanine, which is another beachside campsite closer to the tourist hotspots of Ponta d'Ouro and Ponta Malongane, but thankn fully far from the madding crowd. Or so we tought.
The closing down on some other camping sites in the area has focused travellers on this once unknown spot, and we arrived to find there was no place for us to camp, despite having booked and paid months in advance. We finally made a plan and ended up with probably the best spot in the whole place.
In Teco, we were joined by Katie's brother and his family, along with some other friends of ours from home, and we enjoyed 7 great days and nights camping, chilling on the beach, and trying our best to get out of the midday heat. Tough problems......
All in all, we highly recommend a trip to this part of Mozambique. It is pristine, for now, and has some of the best beaches we have seen anywhere in the world.