Discussion in 'Southern Africa' started by dundeeulster, May 15, 2009.

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  1. Evening guys just wondering if anybody has any experience of Mozambique in the last few years. I have two friends doing missionary work out there at the minute and I am hoping to organize a group(30) to go out next summer to dig a well or help build a school etc. So if anybody has any info especially regarding British Army personnel in Mozambique and the accompanying problems or dramas, your opinions would be very greatly appreciated!

    Thanks Scotty
  2. Was out there last summer.

    If you plan on going on the road, don't be suprised to be stopped by the police often. A small tip will soon get you on the way.

    Apart from that, it is very good, they are a Commonwealth country so my group (we were teaching in a school in Mozambique and doing some traveling too) didn't have much trouble. They are generally pro-British.

    Try not to stay too far off the beaten track though as there are still lots of mines lying about as in most other old war zones (Afghan, Angola etc).

    Any other questions and I will be happy to answer to the best of my ability.
  3. A few of us did some landmine clearance there just after the war and until about 1999. Its a stunningly beautiful country with lots of wide open spaces and reasonably good roads. Maputo (formerly Lorenzo Marques) is a modern city now just like many others. If in Maputo go and have a drink or two at the Polana hotel.

    Known as the "Old Lady of Africa" its a colonial style building with a wonderful swimming pool down a flight of white steps and a beautiful view of the Indian ocean at the rear. It's rumoured that Lord Lucan stayed there for a while after his departure from UK. Beira is another great place to visit - if you go, let me know if the restaurant with the top hat wearing huge, smiling black bloke doorman is still open.

    From Beira you can drive to Zimbabwe, I did it a couple of times, its a long drive but worth it for the scenery. A few hours drive North of Beira (6 I think) you can turn off for the Gorongoza, formerly a famous game reserve. But when I was there all the game had been eaten by the locals who were starving during the famine and drought that followed the war. In the township of Gorongoza there was a little hotel owned by two portuguese brothers with the biggest noses I have ever seen on humans, who had kept the place open all through the war. The hotel had bed sheets made from white flour sacks and was clean and tidy. Dinner was meat n two veg and bread and the red wine was drinkable, the white wine was toilet cleaner.

    A couple of hours drive North of Beira there is a turn off to a town called Caia. This is one of the roads we cleared of mines. Further up that road is a place called Inhaminga (the Thorn Bush in Shangani(sp)) which has a large railway facility (deserted when I was there) as it used to be a sugar trading place.

    The town of Caia was ringed by minefields and under seige for 18 years during the civil war. Our lads cleared a route through the minefield around the city and saved the last 10 metres of clearance til I got there a couple of hours later. I walked through the last few metres of cleared safe lane to be met my the towns Mayor, military leader and doctor. People were passing me going in the opposite direction with baskets of goods for sale on their heads in Inhaminga a long walk away. They told me that I could have anything I wanted but they didnt have much to give. I said I wanted nothing but to stand on the bank of the mighty Zambezi river. They cautioned me against falling in (crocs and bull sharks infest the river and the Hippos are extremely bad tempered) and sent a soldier with the familiar AK47 to watch over me. Its worth a visit just to drive over the vast plane and then stand and look over the vast expanse of the Zambezi.

    Lovely people the Mozambiqans. Occasionaly you might see a grey or blue eyed light skinned person, evidence of the Russians sojourn there.

    The drive South from Maputo to Kommatipoort (sp) is also a good one and of course beyond the border there is Nelspruite and the Kruger national park.

    You will enjoy Mozambique. I did! Just dont drive at night. The mozambiqans are careless driver during the day, at night their carelessness becomes lethal.