What a contrast: within two days we drive from the high-altitude Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe to the tropical palm beaches of Mozambique! The border crossing into Mozambique is relatively easy, despite the large and heavily frequented border – if not for the brand-new software for issuing tourist visas. We are the very first “victims” and after more than an hour of unsuccessful trying they decide to change back to the proven, old software. Less is sometimes more!
The N6 along the Beira sector is brand new and built with Chinese help, only annoying are the many police blogs. Policemen in Mozambique are said to be among the most corrupt in Africa, and creativity seems to be limitless w/r to hidden speed measurements (from garbage cans or bushes). Accordingly, we drive very concentrated, but we are always waved through easily. 150 km before Beira we turn south onto the N1 – the only road that crosses Mozambique from north to south and thus actually a main traffic artery. However, the potholes, even in relation to Shujaa’s giant tires, have crater-like dimensions. Consequently, we are progressing slowly and are happy to find a protected wildcamp on the side of the road just before dark. Incredible as on this road also buses, cars and other vehicles try to move forward.
We are happy to reach Inhassaro on the Indian Ocean the following day. The Goody Villas campsite is a dream: lawn, lots of shady palm trees (but with coconut hazards for Shujaa’s solar panels on the roof), right on a dream beach and very importantly …. we are the only ones there. We spend three nights here, make a full day boat / snorkel trip to one of the islands of the Bazaruto archipelago (which is quite rightly called “Paradise Island”), try to work on our fitness with sports and long beach walks and buy fresh fish from the Beach, which we put on the barbecue in the evening.
Since we are curious, and you never know what other dream beaches are up to come, we continue south after three nights to Vianculos, It is also very nice, but we do not like the pitch at our lodge so much … there is no sea view. Since Mozambique bans wild camping, especially on the coast and high penalties must be paid, we must unfortunately refrain from our beloved wild camps in this country. In Morrungulo, on the other hand, we hit a bullseye again in terms of our overnight place: as our actual destination is not accessible to us due to low-hanging branches, we asked the security officers of a currently closed luxury lodge if we can simply stand on the dunes high above the sea in front of the chalets. Since the guys like to improve their salary with some camping fees, we have an absolute dream place for the next two nights. Unfortunately, the dune has quite deep sands, so that Shujaa has to plow well through the ground to get to the destination …. There is still a lot to do for the security guys until the manager of the lodge comes back and our tracks must be blurred.
One of Karin’s dreams was always to dive with whales. It’s whale season and in Tofo there are some of the best diving spots in the Indian Ocean. What is closer than doing a diving course there for four days? The first day is a bit tough with theory and exercises in the pool. Karin chatters like crazy, because the pool is always in the shade, it is winter and therefore the water is pretty cold. In the afternoon of the second day we head to the open sea to a beautiful coral reef. Unfortunately, I have big problems with the pressure balance and need ages until I am getting down to 15 meters depth. Since the problem does not improve on the next dive and the ear pressure does not really diminish after the dive, I have to cancel the dive course. Very unfortunate! But Karin continues with enthusiasm … only she has to wait and wait and wait for the whale. The animals have not arrived here yet and are a bit late for this year. We always see isolated humpback whales leaping far out of the sea on the horizon. But we’re heading south, with chances of seeing more wales … However, swimming compensates with a whale shark, the largest fish on earth, during a whale safari we booked following our diving course. It is fantastic to swim next to this big animal in the sea, even if you have to paddle a lot to keep up with him. Karin is extremely annoyed because the Actioncam pictures did not turn out as expected. Because the control of a screen is missing, some pictures are a bit too high and others cut off the animals. Since we need some practice …