Trip Report South Mozambique

Marc Holland created the topic: Trip Report South Mozambique

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Trip report Southern Mozambique
Period: 12 October – 16 November 2012
Who: Marc & Angelique The Netherlands.
Mode of travel: 4x4 Toyota Highlux/rooftent (rental-Bushlore).

In general: we enjoyed it very much!!!!
The selling point for Mozambique must be “Beach & Bush”, what a perfect combination!

All roads we travelled were OK, or even very good. Tarmac between Vilanculos and Save river, and last 20 KM to Gorongosa NP very bad/potholed. Also between Catembe and Maputo Special Reserve being bad. Other threads: wild drivers and overloaded vehicles (trucks!) on the main (tarmac) roads.

We had the place (campsites and beaches) to ourselves almost every were!

Supplies in Supermarkets limited outside bigger places like Chimoio (we dumped a lot of wine that turned out bad). Did most of our shopping in SA.

No problems with police always very polite. Only were stopped once, at about 10/15 checkpoints.

Got a bit more rain & cloudy days than expected; 3 full rainy days in total on our 4 week stay in M’bique.

Highligts: Pafuri-Vilanculos route, Bazaruto, Gorongosa NP, Chimanimani Ndzou camp, the happy people.

Details/Route:
First week traversing Kruger south/north. Pafuri being a very beautiful region of the park, arguably the most beautiful.
Punda Maria-Pafuri – Mapai-Machaila-Vilanculos;
Border crossing straight forward and easy (SARS; temporary export permit on SA side not available, but we had no problems coming back through kosi bay). Road condition pafuri-mapai OK, slow going though, 3-4hrs. Still fairly dry only small pools. Camping at Parque Limpopo Mapai Entrance (Namphule) good clean camp, basic facilities, hot showers, lovely bush setting.
Road condition Mapai – Machaila (3-4hrs.): Limpopo crossing was dry (20 October, 50Rand in stead of 70R discount?). Good gravel/sand. Camping at community camp 2km outside Machaila. Nice camp basic, long drop, cold water only.
Road condition Machaila – Vilanculos (8-9hrs.): good gravel/sand/tarmac. Slow going for 5Km or so just before Lake banamana, an undulated part.

Vilanculos: Luxury camping at lodge Villas do Indico, nice grassy camp spots and perfect ablutions. 4x4 only, deep sand for last 4km. Restaurant serving very tasty prawns and a “spaghetti camarones al dente” that even got credits from the Italians!
Visited Bazurruto on a day trip: the most perfect beaches in the world!, a must see! Plus perfect two mile reef (snorkeling), climbing beautiful dunes and flamingo’s.

Gorongosa NP (long drive from Vilanculos 9hrs. but is was a rainy day so we did not bother for a stop over): Truly a gem! Teeming with wildlife, do not expect the big 5, seen elephants and a lot of waterbuck, warthog, no lions. Scenery is very beautiful; palms, fever tree’s, pools & plains. Stayed at family van Zyl’s bush camp, 3km before the Park entrance. Great atmosphere and they really run the place with passion!. Met Carol & Husband (mozguide member) from SA, whom invited us for a chat and a great white wine, Thanks again Carol also for tipping us on Ndume park what a birdlife and scenery!
Park camping (Girasol) looked also very good, they were busy upgrading the place.

Chimanimani: Ndzou Camp / Bush Elephant trek. Very scenic drive via Chimoio / Ndzou camp /Dombe. Very Nice trekking, no elephants for us, but lots of other stuff: butterflies, snakes, scenery and the excitement of the trekking elephants. (only Portuguese spoken, luckily we had some company from Brazilian people who could translate). Still roadwork’s going on, on the road between Ndzou/Dombe.

Morongulu: Again a Perfect beach, dangerous campsite though; falling coconuts!, make a delicious in-between natural snack. A Very nice stop over.

Tofo: Stayed at Bamboozi backpacker for convenient ocean safari trip’s, typical backpacker place not really our cup of tea (hip & normally a lively bar, as said now we had the place to ourselves). Good facilities and Very helpful staff. Two ocean safari’s no whale sharks, but breaching humpback’s and Manta instead! High sees/waves! November being whale shark high season did not prove true. TofoScuba and Diversity both being good companies for ocean safaries.
The place to camp, according to us, is at the light house, perfect location high on cliff!

Chidenguele stayed at the very nice Sunset Beach Resort camping with different levels of facilities e.g. private ablution. Locate just behind the dunes in very nice green garden like setting with lots of trees.

Marracuene Lodge, nice stop over on the river bank very helpful staff.

Crossing Maputo to Catembe straightforward via ferry.
(Skipped Maputo special reserve in favor of Tembe in SA……)
Ponto Malongane: much nicer setting (campsite and beach) than “touristy” Ponto D’ ouro. Perfect beach for swimming, cristal clear water, nice waves. Seen logger head laying eggs on beach, what a treat!

We finished visiting Tembe (great tuskers!) and Ndume (scenery & fantastic birdlife) in SA.

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mozman replied the topic: Re: Trip Report South Mozambique

  • Posts: 5006

Hi Marc and crew.

Ssh! Don't speak so loud about how great your trip was - I want the place to myself too!

Thanks for taking the trouble to post a trip report - very much appreciated.

From a warm and wet Joburg.

Mike

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