Vilankulo and the Bazaruto archipelago
From Maputo we proceeded northward on the way to Vilankulo and particularly to visit the spectacular unspoilt Bazaruto archipelago. Famous for its white sand, unspoilt beaches and clear blue rivers.
To get there I decided to take the local bus. We arrived very early at the bus station sometime between 4am-5am when it was still dark for or bus leaving around 5.30am.
The driver helped us get the right bus. A Mozambican bus is cramped and, if not one of the premium ones, also not air-conditioned. It is an experience, and filled with friendly people who will be curious and kind (offering us food, talking if they can speak English in any case smiling). If you can put up with air conditioning on a hot day do. We took the air conditioned bus back (because Jinhee could not cope) and people did not talk but mostly slept. The buses are bigger but the people don’t communicate just sleep.
You miss that interaction.
However If there is something not to do that I did it is don’t take a bus in the rainy season!
Until the day of our departure we had sunny dry weather but it was officially the rainy season.
The roads in Maputo, the main ones anyway, are in relatively good condition and paved. However the further away from Maputo it is no longer the case.
In fact the roads turn to dirt ones.
Along the way it began to rain and then some trucks got stuck in the mud and couldn’t move! It ground the whole journey to a halt and in the hot sunshine we were stuck. When we did arrive that day (which was no certainty as the conditions were very muddy and treacherous indeed) it was late at night and 18 hours later!
Fortunately two of the guys we met on the bus (and were to also meet by chance later in Vilankuko) helped us. And a taxi took us to Zombie cucumber backpackers.
By staying at the hostel we were moving from a ‘4’ star accommodation to a hostel of $7. (we later stayed at the 5 star Cardoso as well).
The rooms at Zombie back packers are outside and the use of mosquito nets are absolutely necessary (there are plenty of mosquitoes). Fortunately those are supplied but it didn’t make sleeping easy initially.
The showers are also outside and so insects, and dirt gets in. I felt just as dirty taking a shower as before. It took a few days of settling in before either of us felt comfortable there.
Zombie Backers is in a nice location close to the beach.
We went to Vilankuko primarily to go to Bazaruto but the beach at Vilankulo is OK for walking by.
You can see fisherman boats and walk in nice scenery with palm trees.
The town itself is small without anything to see but the restaurants are quite nice and there is a market which is fairly interesting. The town is a nice place to relax while going to excursions to the nearby islands.
It is also quite safe, we even walked at night around the town. The lack of sufficient lighting doesn’t make it particularly wise but we never felt threatened at any time.
One thing I did notice though throughout my whole stay in Mozambique is that the restaurants I saw the groups offering excursions to Bazaruto , guest houses etc seemed to be owned by foreigners.
I wonder if a Mozambican has the opportunity to reach the top in their own country.
Bazaruto is known for being an unspoilt paradise. It is one of the best places I have been. The clear white sands and unspoilt scenery with clear turquoise waters all apply to the island.
We could try some snorkelling but as swimming is not my forte I spent more time exploring the beach and island.