Maputo, Mozambique

It’s been so long since our return so here is a quick synopsis of our trip before I forget!
The start of our road trip to Maputo, was a 10 hour drive mostly in the rain to my folks home in Johannesburg for a quick braai and sleepover before hitting the road again early the following morning for the 6 hour drive to the border.
My folks xo

Love my mommy and daddy SO much xo

Another day spent in the rain and mist although, the drive was still very pretty.
Maputo 9

Not quite the long and winding road

Not sure why I was worried about all the horror stories I heard about the border post,  especially seeing as I had quadruple checked all our papers were correct beforehand, turns out all we needed were the papers for our car – must have been our lucky day.  Getting through the 2 border posts was a walk in the park.  Getting Pete’s local sim card took longer than both crossings.  Our return into South Africa at the end of out trip was equally as easy, all African style harry casual.

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En route to the border post

The drive through to Maputo from the border was a bit of an eye opener. I thought living in Mauritius seasoned me to the wild driving of Africa but alas. When I say there are no rules, I really mean there are NO rules. When Pete stopped at a red traffic light he very quickly had to pull to the side as a local coming up behind us would have smashed into us as he sped through the red light along with others.  My nerves! What is wrong with these people!  Why can’t people obey the rules of the road and why are there never any traffic officials in sight!  All I hear is Pete echoing in my ears, “Welcome to Africa.”  There is no respect on our roads anywhere in Africa.

Maputo 34

The quality of public transport is clearly not an issue – maybe they should seat everyone on the right hand side to try and balance the shot suspension

It is incredibly sad to see how people are living on a rubbish dump on the side of the road, sifting through the rubbish for anything of value and the thought of breathing in the  toxic fumes every day as they burn everything is frightening!  I wish I could say there was no rubbish anywhere else but the streets and beaches are riddled with non biodegradable items.  Makes me so angry.  If everyone could just pick up one piece of rubbish every day, it would make a huge difference.
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Rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish

Driving through  Maputo to the hotel reminded me a lot of the Port Louis, Mauritius, just dirtier and the buildings made me think of what the derelict buildings look like in Beirut.

Maputo 37

Beirut possibly…

If driving in the traffic isn’t bad enough, there are television screens at the traffic lights!  Where is there any logic in that?  There is definitely better and safer ways of advertising.

Maputo 45

Wonder if my favourite sitcom will come on while at the red traffic light…

There are strange contraptions on the side of the road, again more traffic hazards but anyhoo, enough about the negatives, there are vendors making sugar cane juice by squeezing lengths of sugar cane through rollers and into a bucket with ice.  It is very popular as there are a number of vendors dotted every few hundred meters.  Must be most refreshing with the all year around summer weather.

Maputo 49

Juice on the run

Then step into the hotel. Hello first world and to be spoilt with an ocean view room. Woohoo!  What a treat.  Looking out onto the beach and ocean stretching as far as the eye can see took all the stresses away from the drive.

Pete and I enjoyed room service for our first evening, eating our dinner on the bed no less in front of the telly. I felt like a kid apart from the fabulous glass of wine. What fun!
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Perfect sunset and or sunrise🙂

The extent of my Portuguese learnt while in Mozambique…
Hello – bom dias
Please – por favor
Thank you – obrigado
Although for some strange reason I kept wanting to use my French words

Maputo Hotel room

What a magical view to wake up to

I’m so pleased calories don’t count when you are on holiday otherwise I would have put on a truck load of weight (cough, cough) with all the calorie laden meals.  After all it is perfectly normal to have 5 rashers of bacon every morning with waffles and a croissant – not forgetting the healthy intake of fried eggs on brown bread toast after all it wouldn’t be right to have white bread as that would upset the healthy well balanced carb intake all this while enjoying the wonderful “as far as the eye can see” ocean view. One naturally also makes a gluttonous attempt to ingest as much smoked salmon and tropical fruit as possible especially as it is all peeled and sliced waiting for you.  I have never seen honey being served on the comb before – it was beautifully light and runny, normally I can’t eat raw honey but this was fabulous.  I forgot to ask if the hotel keeps its own hives.

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Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey

We ate a few local dishes which were all great but Mozambique is known for its prawns and I was not disappointed. We enjoyed the most wonderful prawns I have ever eaten in a local restaurant, a 2 minute walk from the hotel.  It is worth a visit just for the prawns alone!  Sadly I did not have camera or phone with me that evening to take a photo to share with you.  Sorry.

It was so nice to see the beach being cleaned every morning although sadly it doesn’t stay that way.  As with the streets, the beach is full of rubbish in the blink of an eye.

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To quote Barney, “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere, clean up, clean up, everybody do your share”

It was lovely swimming in the rim flow pool while watching various ships passing into or out of the harbour, although I wasn’t expecting to see a construction vehicle come past.  You can see in the background of the photo they are construction breakwater barriers of sorts or something like that.

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It broke my heart to see local women with babies on their backs for hours on end digging for clams, their only source of income.  It seems all other locals won’t swim in the ocean as it is very brown and if you want blue water, you need to drive 5 hours further north.
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Something that stood out to me is how many people smoke. Thought it was out of fashion and forbidden in public places but it was definitely very popular throughout every corner of Maputo.

Had we stayed longer, we could have enjoyed a number of tours to see more of Maputo, most of which left at dawn including a trip across the border to Swaziland and Kruger Park.  Maybe next time.

42 thoughts on “Maputo, Mozambique

  1. Thank you so much, lovely, for sharing this fascinating post! Loved seeing photos of your beloved mom and dad too xo

  2. Fabulous view.
    Wonderful food.
    But the rubbish makes me sad, too, and the woman w/ babies.
    Why can’t our world be better, Mandy?
    xxxx KISS and Hugs from MN.
    PS. love the photo of your mommy and daddy!!

    • I know Kim, breaks my heart what we humans have destroyed mother nature so much. I feel people just don’t have respect for anybody or anything any more. Love and hugs to you my sweet Kim.🙂 xoxo

  3. Bom Dias lovely lady! Absolutely fascinating Mandy.🙂 Hearing Mozambique didn’t muster anything like your pictures. Well, the beach scenes anyways. I never understand the rubbish and mess, how people live in that. Really informative, and interesting too.
    Good you and your Pete enjoyed some dinners in big kid style. #best
    Wishing you a wonderful week, hope settling back into life is swell.
    Hugs. Xxx

  4. I enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing the photos of your parents and the beautiful hotel. I find it so interesting to hear about others’ travels. The lack of driving regulations would have made me so nervous too! Glad you had a fantastic trip. 🙂

    Best,
    Allison

  5. Mandy, you and Pete had quite the adventure. I think I would have needed a blindfold if I were riding in that kind of traffic (and I thought Boston drivers were crazy). Looks like your parents were sure glad to see you and your Mom is a beautiful lady.
    So sad to hear about the rubbish and decay. You’re right that if everyone just did a tiny little bit it could make a big difference. I just don’t understand why that’s so hard. The hotel does look beautiful and those breakfasts would have started my day off perfectly.
    (That tippy bus cracked me up – wonder what happens when they take a left turn).

    • It was a wonderful experience Diane. I think people just don’t care and that’s why they don’t look after anything, so very sad. I am so pleased I didn’t have to travel in the bus! The breakfasts were heavenly Diane and I ate just about my weight every morning! Have a beautiful weekend.🙂 xo

  6. It is always great seeing the parents, isn’t it? Thanks for the glimpse into Mozambique. I think our buses are worse in HK. Really! Gorgeous beach photos and hope one day they will start a movement to clean up the trash or find a better low cost alternative for removing trash other than burning things.

    • I am looking forward to having my parents live down the road sometime soon Bam. Dad has finally sold his business and is in the throes of retirement – just their home to sell and then they will move here.😀 Must say the driving was no better in Mauritius either! Hopefully if ever I get to visit Hong Kong, I will better know what to expect.
      There has to be a better way to dispose of trash Bam, although all of mans’ manufactured plastic and the like will be difficult to get rid of. Have a super weekend.🙂 xo

  7. We love to travel and love your travel posts! I’m so glad you had a lovely place to stay – with zero calorie treats – the perfect vacation! Sometimes I forget how lucky we are to have a home, and food, and all the excess we work so hard to keep.

  8. What an interesting post. Such a shame there’s so much poverty and lawlessness and I’m sure it’s all caused by corrupt leadership. The hotel definitely is an oasis. What a stunning view and the pool is gorgeous xx

    • You have hit the nail on the head Charlie – corruption is rife everywhere, especially here in South Africa. We are very proudly South African but incredibly ashamed by our current government. Have a wonderful weekend.🙂 xo

  9. Now why didn’t you take me along as your translator? I can do a bit of Portuguese and I’d even have peeled your prawns for you! What a country of extreme contrasts – from the saddest, poorest and dirtiest to the most beautiful and luxurious. So glad you had a good break together and it was a great post to read. I think my favourite photo though was of your lovely mum and dad!

  10. Glad you enjoyed your trip and thanks for sharing the photos. The beautiful parts are beautiful. 🙂
    I think a lot of Brazilians vacation in Mozambique and Angola, because they share a language. Once upon a time I knew a few Portuguese phrases, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had occasion to use them. Maybe someday…

  11. Another amazing adventure! Fascinating, and so varied. So thought-inspiring. And so fun to see your parents, who radiate such warmth and good cheer and kindness that it’s no wonder whatsoever that their girl Mandy turned out so beautifully!!🙂❤
    Kath

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