We explore Vilanculos and Inhassoro

From Barra, we drove back to the N1 via Inhambane and followed the road to Vilanculos. On the way to the center we discovered the VIP-Spar-Market. This supermarket also offered many of the products that Europeans like to buy and declared war on the dreariness of the usual products available. We gladly accepted the offer and stocked up on groceries there a few times.

Christmas at the Mangal Beach Lodge in Vilanculos

Traditionally, we like to spend the festive season in a fixed accommodation and treat ourselves to a real bed. Sonja explored the booking offers and we decided on Mangal Beach Lodge. We booked there for a week. Our room was nicely furnished and had a small private terrace. Overall, the lodge was in very good condition and the air conditioning kept us cool during the hottest part of the day. The restaurant at the lodge served very tasty food. Unfortunately, the menu was very limited in terms of variety.

The lodge was built on an elevated site and offered a wonderful view of the sea from the bar. However, swimming was more of a problem. There was neither a beach – the name was probably more marketing – nor any decent access to the sea. There were only mangroves around the lodge and these did not make swimming pleasant. We had to walk about 25 minutes through deep sand to get to the first acceptable bathing spot. This was a real negative point of the lodge.

 Fresh Sushi

We discovered a sushi restaurant in the center of Vilanculos. Not just a sushi restaurant, but in our opinion actually one of the best in southern Africa. It was a jackpot, so to speak, and we enjoyed the creations twice.

Inhassoro was only a stone’s throw away … and yet completely different. Without booking in advance, we drove the short distance (approx. 55 km in total) to Inhassoro and booked into the Goody Villas campsite. The site was located directly on a beautiful sandy beach several kilometers long. Many South Africans visited Goody Villas with their own boats. When we arrived, there were hardly any guests left. Inhassoro is one of the northernmost points to which South Africans go on vacation. We enjoyed our time there, bought freshly caught fish almost every day and enjoyed the Indian Ocean. The site was in a great location and as we were not right next to the fence, we were not bothered by the hawkers.

Better safe than sorry

Although Mozambique is considered very safe, we witnessed a robbery on New Year’s Eve. Unknown people stole an iPhone from our neighbors’ (ground) tent on New Year’s Eve. It was lying right next to their heads. Other guests were robbed of their cameras. Although Guido helped the thieves to locate the iPhone – he managed to name the specific address around 30 hours after the theft – it was no use, as the police were not interested in tracing it and the iPhone was already in the capital Maputo at the time. About two weeks after our departure, a well-known traveler was attacked there and the man was knocked unconscious when he climbed down the ladder from the roof tent. Fortunately, this incident had no lasting consequences for him. The campsite security guard was found sleeping.

 Back to South Africa 

We drove comfortably back to South Africa and left Mozambique with a time buffer of two days before our 30-day residence permit expired. Mozambique is definitely the best place in the region to spend carefree days on the Indian Ocean. We didn’t like the many mangrove trees along the coastline. If we go to Mozambique again, we will concentrate on the Inhassoro and Tofo/Barra region. There we could enjoy the sea, buy fresh fish and seafood and relax. We drove to Komatipoort early in the morning and managed to cross the border into South Africa in just under an hour. That was a record-breaking time and we were happy with it. Ahead of us was another crossing of the Kruger National Park from south to north. More about this in the next post!

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