In December 2014, I spent a few days in the country of Mozambique.
I had a five days between
our annual Safari in South Africa and the time I needed
to be in Rwanda to carry out some work with gorillas for the Rare Species Fund.
As an avid SCUBA diver, I decided to check out Mozambique and the warm waters
of the Indian Ocean. The brief stay was enough to make me decide that Mozambique
is definitely on my list of places to spend some more time. The photos below are
from my time in Mozambique above water.
(If you'd like to see the SCUBA photos from Mozambique, click here.)
Boarding the LAM airplane in Johannesburg, headed to Inhambane, Mozambique.
My first view of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique.
Deplaning in Inhambane, Mozambique.
This building with two small rooms makes up the entirety of Inhambane International Airport.
The welcome sign waiting for me at Tofo SCUBA.
Tofo SCUBA is located on the beach and provides not only dive gear, they have kayak, surfboard and kiteboard rentals available.
Tofo SCUBA on the right. Aquatico, my accommodation, on the left.
The view from my room in Tofo.
My room included a small kitchen and bathroom, very comfortable, very clean, with a hell of a view. . . .
. . . . and approximately 16 steps to the dive shop.
This is a radio I bought from a guy on the beach. It even plays mp3s with a USB stick or SD card.
The view behind Aquatico.
The gas station/convenient store/bank located between Tofo and Inhambane.
The local lumber yard.
The local market in Tofo.
A local restaurant.
A store for locals.
Buildings made with hand woven palm leaves.
Local "Tyre Repair".
Fishing nets and boats on the beach. The local go out on almost a daily basis.
A hut on the beach.
Walking down to the market.
A train car on display.
Part of an afternoon spent kite boarding.
The Puppy Incident
I flew from South Africa to the town of Inhambane, Mozambique and then drove to the tiny town of
Praia do Tofo. There are probably less than 1,000 residents in the town and it takes about 12 minutes,
at a leisurely pace, to walk from one side of town to the other. Upon arrival in Tofo, I checked into
my accommodation and proceeded to the dive shop next door to fill out the requisite waiver forms.
I was sitting at a table, enjoying a Coke, filling out my forms and watching the divers
returning from their morning dive, when one of the wetsuit clad, saltwater drenched divers walked
over to me and said "Hi". To my amazement it was a friend named Helena from Switzerland
who was in Tofo with her boyfriend Marco for a few days.
I had arrived in a tiny town in the middle of
absolutely nowhere, had been there for a full 15 minutes and had already seen someone I knew.
The world is getting smaller!
After a brief and unexpected reunion, I said I hoped I would see them in town that evening.
I proceeded with my afternoon dive, came home, cleaned up and walked down the beach
to the very small collection of restaurants and bars that cater to the tourists and locals alike.
The first place I walked past, I saw Helena and Marco sitting at a table along with the owners
of the hotel they were staying at. It was apparent from the onset that a few drinks had already
been imbibed The invited me to join them, so I pulled up a chair and ordered a Manica,
one of the local Mozambican beers. In a town as small a Tofo, the locals know EVERYBODY.
One of the locals walked buy with a small puppy and of course all the girls were following him
and petting the puppy. The small "pocket size" dog seems to be much more of a rarity in Africa
and a pet that is quite desired. The hotel owner sent a young man over to talk to the man with the
puppy and asked if it was for sale. The young man returned with the reply that, "no, the dog was
not for sale." The hotel owner said, with his very prominent South African accent, "Just you watch.
He will pass back by here in a little while and want to negotiate." Sure enough, not 15 minutes passed
before the man returned with the puppy and the haggling began.
Over the next 45 minutes, all manner of discussion was had about the value of the puppy, where he
would be better off, if the dog was sold, would there be visitation rights? etc, etc. . . . .
all the time the waiter returned with more and more drinks. Before I knew it, money
was laid on the table and the serious negotiations began. In the end, a price was agreed upon and
the puppy was left in the care of our able, if not somewhat inebriated, group. The three pound
canine was passed from person to person and spent a while in the middle of the table. To
welcome the pooch properly to the family, he ordered a steak cooked rare, something, I'm sure,
he had never had before.
This is how I spent my first day in Mozambique.
Helena with the "puppy man".
Marco with the hotel owner talking about the dog. . .or fishing. . . .or whatever crossed their minds at the time.
The hotel owner with his potential new dog, which he promptly named "Lilly".
The cash was on the table. Things were getting serious
The doge was on the table. Things were more serious.
The hotel owner's wife with the puppy.
Lilly even made her way over to me for a while.
The negotiation of visitation privileges was under way.
Unexpectedly meeting up with old friends. . .a good afternoon of scuba diving. . .meeting up at a bar where
an impromptu purchase of a puppy occurs. . .and a cold beer. . . what a great way to spend my
first day in Mozambique.
During this year's trip to Africa, I brought my DJI Phantom helicopter, which was designed to carry a GoPro camera.
Here are a few of the aerial shots I took while in Tofo. Not only did I get some good pictures, the local villagers
were in absolute amazement. None of them had seen anything like the little helicopter.
Some of the kids would
chase it down the beach and I would turn the helicopter around and chase them back up the beach.
Everyone had a great time.
The main beach in Praia do Tofo.
Looking south along the Indian Ocean.
Looking north-east towards Madagascar.
Flying down the beach over the rolling waves.
One of the many fans of the DJI Phantom.
Some of the kids running from the helicopter.
The locals checking out the helicopter in the main square of town.
Checking out the controller.
Flying through the market
Everyone came out of their shops to look.
This is the center of town, where all the action happens.
Notice the palm tree decorated for Christmas.
A couple shop girls "running for their lives!"