Roar Africa

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

TravelScope documentary, Part II

Travel Scope Travels with ROAR AFRICA to Mozambique:
This is Part II of the trip we hosted the TravelScope documentary team on. (Read Part I here.)

We left Kruger National Park, in particular Camp Jabulani and Lion Sands Private Reserve and escorted Joseph and Julie Rosendo of Travel Scope to a very different eco system – namely the Bazaruto Archipelago off the east coast of Mozambique.

The archipelago is made up of five islands –

Magaruque Island which unfortunately was not visited.
Paradise Island (Santa Carolina) which is now a deserted military base. Not that long ago it was considered to be a gem of a holiday resort, now unfortunately the buildings are deserted. The snorkeling off the coral reefs is still outstanding.. (Read our more detailed post on Santa Carolina here.)

Bazaruto Island which is the largest boasts Indigo Bay, a resort of 100 beds. The highlight of our stay at Indigo Bay was being able to ride a horse up the 300 ft dunes – not for the faint hearted! This heart stopping feat was followed by swimming with the horses in the ocean. If this is not for you relaxing on extensive white beaches, fishing and snorkeling are also available. To finish a perfect day we recommend a sunset cruise in an original hand made Dhow.
Benguera Island is situated just south of Bazaruto and we were fortunate to stay at the ultra luxury Azura Lodge which is made up of 30 chalets – each leading directly onto the beach. As expected each chalet has all the quality amenities plus each boasts its own infinity pool. Between the pool and the waves is a relaxing palm frond thatched boma where it is heaven to relax on the reclining sofa.
Pansy Island is a tidal island so access is limited to low tide. Pansy Island offers the best snorkeling - guides lead swimmers on specific routes so that no damage is done to the coral reefs. We do not guarantee sightings but you have the chance of seeing turtles dolphins and dugongs. A Dugong is a large marine mammal which, together with the manatees, is one of four living species of the order Sirenia.

Bazaruto and Benguera Islands have populations of less than 2000 each. They have managed to retain their various indigenous languages, but the Portuguese way of life has been imprinted on them. They speak mostly Portuguese, cook and eat Portuguese style of food and follow Roman Catholicism. Schools and odd small ‘tuck shops’ exist on each island but lively hood is gained from employment at the tourist resorts or by fishing. The main shopping area is situated on the main land at the small town of Vilancoulos - about 45 min away by boat.

Apart form the day to day battle just to survive and feed their family the islanders have a word ‘kutakalia’ which means ‘lay back and relax’. This is there watch word for day to day living and this is how they exist successfully on these little isolated islands.

Anyone one wishing for a relaxing topical beach holiday far away from the madding crowds Mozambique is the definitely the place to go.

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