Last updated on Jan 19th, 2021 at 03:57 pm
How I love to visit Mozambique and once through the border posts and obligatory passport checks, the drive to Maputo is totally relaxed as well as scenic.
A person is transformed and enveloped in a different world, a world where natural beauty vs bullet-holed buildings is a sight to behold. The roads in Maputo are riddled with holes and a word of advice: the locals drive worse than our drivers in Gauteng.
The policemen are also around every little corner waiting for the GP cars to arrive and pounce on you from absolutely nowhere. The people are amazingly friendly and helpful to boot. Once you drive through town and head up the esplanade or “marginal” it is like a different world.
The Mozambique beaches are an unending stretch of sea and sand
The ocean is absolutely beautiful – miles and miles of sea and sand. Little fishing boats are dotted all over, either with fishermen catching daily wares or anchored for another day. All along the roads there are little stalls either selling food which consists of their most divine “peri peri” chicken, tasty baked bread made from potatoes or just African handcraft, which can be bought at a bargain.
A visit to the market is obligatory, if only to take in the sights or to purchase the cashew nuts which are roasted on site and sold plain, salted or spiced with yummy peri peri spices.
Even consider a trip to the fish market where you can pick and choose from a variety of crab, crayfish, fish or prawns and head for a table and chair towards the back of the market. There a jovial chap by the name of “James Bond” will descale, devein, clean and even cook your fish for a nominal fee.
The locals love to party
Driving along in the evening one cannot mistake how the locals love to party and dance and this carries on through the night and encompasses the weekend, all whilst quaffing their delicious “Dos M” beers which every little pub and side street bar sell.
On my first visit we caught a ferry and journeyed about two hours to Inhaca Island; and if you ask nicely, you can hitch a ride to the neighbouring Portuguese Islands. The people dance and sing on the ferry which makes for such a carnival atmosphere that before you know it you have arrived.
The people are so happy, which in turn makes you happy and makes you want to dance and sing along with them. Even with the surrounding poverty they are such a happy nation.
The highlight was the visit to the Costa do Sol
My highlight must be to visit the Costa do Sol, which is the oldest and most popular restaurant in town. This restaurant is home to the original LM Prawn and the only Art Deco architectural hotel/restaurant in Maputo offering exquisite views of the palm-dotted beach.
Upon arrival the waiters are beaming with smiles and carrying copious amounts of platters all with the most divine seafood. Sitting back on the deck, facing the sea and drinking tasty Caparinho’s, which is one of their signature drinks and just savouring and devouring the wonderful sights around, is a pleasure to behold.
One can almost feel and see how many years ago smart dressed gentlemen with their equally smart dressed ladies arrived and danced to the wonderful marimba sounds, as this restaurant has been going for over 70 years.
Time to order food and a great starter is the bowl of clams, which judging by the number of people enjoying this dish, must surely be a winner. Once this has been devoured and enjoyed our platters arrive, groaning under the weight. These have to be the best prawns I have ever eaten in my entire life!
Time to sit back and admire the view with the sun setting and reflecting on the good food and even better sights and enjoy the vibrancy that surrounds this wonderful adventure. I turn to my partner and say “ready to leave?” I know I am not ready to leave Maputo yet and believe there is so much to still explore and this I can see in my partner’s eyes.
This is my colourful Mozambique and I will certainly be back to paint in the remaining gaps on my palette.