This week, Jan Braai and the team will cross the border at Komatiepoort for a visit to Mozambique, home of prawns, peri-peri and cashew nuts. For almost two decades, Mozambique was inaccessible due to a protracted guerrilla war. Now dark times are in the past, and our neighbouring country is one of Africa’s rising stars, with an upbeat atmosphere and a magnificent 2500km coastline. South-African citizens do not need a visa so after a couple of essentials where acquired (like Tabard and sunblock) the team is ready to hit the road.
First stop is Maputo where Jan explores the colourful markets and stumbles across some of the best chillies he has ever had. Regarding himself as quite the chili connoisseur, the Mozambican hot stuff serves as inspiration when Jan demonstrates how to make your own Peri-peri sauce for a nice prawn braai.
Maputo is a vibrant city and the bustling markets are well worth a visit, but the main attraction of Mozambique remain the coastline. So the team travelled by boat to the unspoiled Inhaca Island for some swimming, diving, bargaining and browsing. Inhaca is easily accessible via ferry or with daily air transfers, just 10 minutes flying time from Maputo. The team was hosted by Nahyeeni Lodge on Inhaca Island, a lovely thatched building with breath taking views. The island offers a wealth of marine life to explore, various trips and expeditions and beautiful beaches for those that just wish to lounge the days away.
So if the winter is getting you down, why don’t you join Jan for a peri-peri prawn braai, while gazing out over the tropical waters of the Mozambican shore, slowly sipping on a G&T.
Some tips for a visit to Mozambique:
- Malaria is found in all areas of Mozambique so go and see a doctor at least a month before your trip to take necessary precautions.
- Vehicles crossing the border need a ZA sticker, a reflective jacket and two red triangles. You also need to buy 3rd party insurance at the border.
- Mozambique’s currency is the metical (plural – meticais), but South African rands are widely accepted in southern Mozambique.
- Mozambique is generally safe, but there are some areas and situations where caution is warranted. Thefts and robberies are the main risks: watch your pockets in markets. More likely are simple hassles, such as underpaid authorities in search of bribes. You’re required to carry your passport or (better) a notarised copy at all times. If stopped by the police, remain polite, but don’t surrender your documents – insist on going to the nearest police station (esquadrão) instead.
- Sunshine, blue skies and temperatures averaging between 24°C and 27°C along the coast are the norm, except during the rainy summer season from about December/January through to April when temperatures exceed 30°C in some areas and the humidity is high.
- Pack your GPS – you will need it!