Jill's African Adventure
* Island Hopping
* Tofo, Mozambique
* The Golden Lion Film Festival
* St. Lucia
* Coffee Bay
* Hiking in Nature's Valley and Hogsback
* Adventures in Oudtshoorn
* Cape Town
* The Problems of Zimbabwe
* Visiting Isabel
* A Day by the River
* Practical Stuff (But please read!)
* The Elephants Don't Want Me to Eat
* Its a Small World (Blantyre and Beyond)
* The Night Bus: From Nkhata Bay to Zomba
* Lake Malawi
* Reflections on East Africa
* The Long Road to Malawi: Part 2
November 29, 2005
Mozambique is only a few hours mini-bus ride away from Swaziland, so I figured that I might as well go there for a week or so. I'm not much of a beach person and beaches are Mozambique's main attraction, so I was not sure how much I would like it. Turns out though, that I really loved Mozambique. Except for the capital city (Maputo - where the only thing i found interesting was the art gallery displaying works by artists who had turned old land mines and AK-47s into sculptures), I did spend all my time near the beach. The first beach town I went to was Tofo.
I didn't actually do a heck of a lot in Tofo. I sat out on and walked along the beautiful beach quite a lot. Looked at shells, avoided the many, many jellyfish that had washed up on shore. At night, I went stargazing a lot. There weren't many lights around and most nights the stars were brilliant. The milky way was very visible -- its much more visible here than in the Northern hemisphere -- and there shooting stars every night.
One of the best things about Mozambique though was all the other cool travellers. I have met up with and travelled a lit bit with others many times on this trip, but Mozambique is the only country I have been to where I never travelled alone. I travelled up to Tofo with Alex, a guy I had met in Maputo. We were soon hanging out with Haigan, another guy in our dorm room and Keiran and Phil, two other guys staying at our lodge. One really memorable night was simply all of us making dinner together. Buying prawns on the cheap by the kilo, braiing them over borrowed charcoal, using aluminum foil, lids and whatever else we could find in the not-so-well-stocked kitchen as plates.
My time in Tofo wasn't all bumming around on the beach though. One day I went on an ocean safari to go find whale sharks to snorkel with. Unfortunately, we didn't get too lucky with the whate sharks. We were on lhte quite a while looking and looking and after a while I was pretty sure that we were not going to see any and then...our guide siad he spotted one and although none of the rest of us saw anything we all jumped in the water and headed in the direction he was pointing. As soon as I got my mask under the water, there it was. The back half of the whale shark anyway. I was too far behind it to see its head. And, unfortunately, the whale shark proved to be a faster swimmer than I so I never did get to see its head. Still, it was pretty cool. Big, brown with black spots, a very sleek body. That was, sadly, the only whale shark we spotted that day. We did also manage to spot two humpback whales, a mother and a calf which was pretty cool. But not as cool as the whale shark.
The other thing worth note in Tofo was a wonderful afternoon I spent walking. I decided that for a change I wasn't going to walk on the beach and I wasn't going to walk into town. When I turned out of our lodge and headed North I really didn't know what I was going to find. What I ended up finding - amazingly, and only about five steps away - was rural Africa at its finest. It was a little slice of Africa that I had not seen before, more tropical and beachy than other places I have been to, but still distinctly Africa. The area was totally uncommerial, unlike all the beach lodges and town surrounding it. There were lots of palm and coconut trees and fields of what I'm pretty sure was cassava. The evening light was streaming in between the trees making the fields glow. The villagers were friendly and quick to greet me with "hola." (Portuguese is the western language of choice in Mozambique.) The people clearly weren't used to seeing many tourists. They seemed to be wondering where I was going and why I was out there and they didn't even try to sell me anything which is very unusual for somewhere so near a tourist area.
Posted by Jillian on November 29, 2005 10:57 AM
Category: Southern Africa
Email this page