My One Day Mozambique Trip
Most African countries experience an unsettled and often violent change after independence and Mozambique was no exception. But the good news is that this incredibly beautiful country is returning to peace and tourism is helping drive the restoration. A quick trip into Mozambique is a great way to test the waters.
This is a guest article by intrepid traveler, Pat Noakes. She journeyed into Mozambique for a quick one-day, whip-round and shares her impressions and pictures with us here. When she’s not making quick forays into neighboring territories, Pat is the postmistress for Marloth Park, a unique holiday town inside a conservancy in Mpumalanga, South Africa. So, take it away Pat…
Would highly recommend that you use a tour Guide for starters. Lot less stressful all round. No need to worry about possible “Police blocks, etc.”
Border crossing into Mozambique was easy, considering it was a Friday morning just after 08:30. Learnt my first word in Portuguese “Obrigado” (thank you).
Driving through Mozambique, destination Maputo, a delightful coffee house on route with the best bread rolls ever and the most delicious pastries available. And the aroma of good coffee, a must to start out the day.
In Maputo (the capital of Mozambique) the local traffic, with total lack of any road sense (it’s actually organized chaos) ignore traffic lights that have changed red; six or seven cars still continue to proceed. Four lanes of motor vehicles going all over and not to mention the pedestrians walking in between the cars, some on their way to do whatever.
At the same time, others are trying to sell goods to you through the car windows. Biggest surprise of all is NOT one hooter (horn) could be heard! On mentioning this to our Tour guide, he just smiled and said “no, they only use their hooters for emergencies”. My nerves were finished; I am not the best passenger.
Maputo has some really old colonial buildings but also hosts some very modern, stylish ones as well. The Catholic Cathedral stands white and tall, well within walking distance of blocks of flats. A church known by the locals as the Lemon Squeezer, and you can clearly see why, stands on the corner of a little back road. The High Court (department of Justice) is very impressive.
The Train station brought back many childhood memories as only a train station could do – the smell of a train station I do believe, is the same anywhere in the world. Well, especially from as far afield as Zambia to SA is concerned. Memories with large clocks and old trains on display for all to see.
The craft market offers a large variety of curios, woodcarving, woven baskets, and beautiful hand painted cloths. Don’t be shy about battering with the local stall holder, they are very negotiable. Rands, as well as the local currency are both acceptable. Or just stop off at one of the many little eating houses available, to have a local 2M beer and give your feet a rest.
A Mozambique must-see is the Polana Hotel, built in 1922. It is just breath taking, right from the start. The very decorative doorman, with his big smile to greet you, is always happy to have a photograph taken with you. The large ballroom and its crystal chandeliers and the sandblasted glass works are just lovely.
Lunch at the restaurant on the beach front, with its view of the ocean and the local tradesman, trying to catch your attention to sell you their goods while dining all adds to the ambiance. One cannot fault this restaurant on its service and high quality of food, ranging from Seafood platters to prawns and local beer. Credit cards welcome
Ending the day off with a slow Ocean drive, before heading back to Marloth Park, in a very comfortable microbus with aircon, a very knowledgeable Nick Du Bois, from Nick Du Bois Lodge, Tour Guide, and a full tummy, made it a day to remember.
R.S.A. Citizens need no Visa
A Guest Post With Images by Pat Noakes