Mozambique never really appealed to me, in all honesty I wasn’t really sure what it had to offer.
We had traveled to South Africa a number of times, as are lucky enough to have family who live just outside of Johannesburg. Throughout these trip we have continued to fall further and further in love with Africa. Throughout these tripos we have been able to extensively explore South Africa, and move further afield to Namibia, Botswana and Zambia.
So when the next opportunity arose to visit Africa, it was a debate between Kenya and Mozambique. Mozambique was the easier option as we could amalgamate a visit to Swaziland and spend some time with our family in Johannesburg.
I researched the trip and was pleasantly surprised from what I saw and read…
The highlight of the two-week trip was a weekend sail trip from Vilanculos to the Bazaruto archipelago in a traditional African dhow.
Our first perception of the boat was not great (slightly worried would be an understatement), as it didn’t look as if it could even float let alone take a group of 15 to the outer reef. The weather appeared ominous, with bouts of rain forecast and no shelter in this very open floating piece of wood. You know what they say about first impressions – how they matter right? Well our first impressions were wrong. The dhow was incredible, and moved swiftly from the mainland into the sea.
What we were privy to on this journey was just phenomenal beauty. The ocean glistened a turquoise green colour either side of the dhow with hundreds of sand bank islands appearing. These islands were simply stunning, newly formed each day as the tide rose and fell. The sand was golden and incredibly inviting, so much so, that swarms of sea birds had made it their resting point for the afternoon. Oh I wanted to be one of those birds – what a life! My images will not do it justice and I bet from the sly it looks very Maldivian.
When the sun eventually appeared, the location took on a new level of radiance. The ocean changed to crystal clear, the sand glistened and it was as close to paradise as we had ever seen.
As the boat elegantly cut through the crystal clear water, we caught sight of our destination – Bazaruto Island. Known to many of the African community as a luxury destination for the South African elite, we were only visiting the southern tip. Mooring up on a deserted beach, next to an impressive sand dune was like entering a deserted island. It was sensational! Now we have visited many islands in our lives but this really experience was something very special.
The dune was conquered within the first 20 minutes of landing, and the view from the summit was unparalleled radiance. The height made it possible to have a full panorama of the island and its beautiful seas. We could virtually see where we had come from, the boat simply a spec in a huge beautiful turquoise sea. The sand islands I referred to earlier littered the bay, however the real prize was to the east.
The eastern view showed off a large sand island with ocean inlets meandering into its very core.The colours were just like something out of a dreamscape, nothing had compared to what we were seeing at that very moment. Once again our pictures don’t do it justice, and my words would not be adequate to describe it. You really had to have been there to fully appreciate the natural beauty. The mixture of the warm breeze, the hot orange sand, the silence and the view were just astonishing. Nothing could compare in that moment – Megan and I were on top of the world with elation and wonder.
The desire to be part of this sublime beauty overtook, I wanted to explore
The adventurer in me wanted to run down the dune to this phenomenal image, be a part of the dramatic landscape we were witnessing – the urge and feeling was overwhelming. The landscape was literally calling to me, my inner explorer took over and we descended the dune to explore the sublime beach.
Exploring this paradise was exciting, thrilling and filled my whole soul with calm. The sand was warm to the touch as was the crystal clear inlets, it was as close to paradise as I had seen.
Unfortunately conditions were not ideal for diving the reef, therefore we BBQ’d on the beach, snorkeled in the nearby shallows and even had a meeting with a huge local soldier crab. As the tides started to turn, the sand islands started to disappear and the inlets became cascades of ocean water. Watching the water swallow these beauty up, I felt sad however even watching it was a pleasure. This was unfortunately our time to leave this paradise, but it will always live in our photos and our stories as one of the most beautiful locations we have visited.
I will of course be blogging more stories of our adventure in Mozambique and all of our other African experiences Current blogs here. As they all have held some true Wandering Memories that just need to be shared.