Mosambik 2018
Top of page
Some 30 million people live in Mozambique, making it one of the 50 most populous countries in the world. About half of the population is teenagers. The picture shows women from Namlula.
Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique Island) is an island in Northern Mozambique.
Although it is an island measuring only 3.2 km in length and 500 m in width, it is historically one of the most important places in Africa. So when it comes to historical relations with Europe.
It was the capital of Mozambique for nearly four centuries under Portuguese colonization before the move to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), and had been used as a major base for the Arab traders since around the 8th century, long before the arrival of the Portuguese.
Illha de Mozambique became a World Heritage Site in 1991. Surprisingly is still bizarrely overlooked by tourist, although in many ways reminiscent of the world - famous island of Zanzibar.
Probably the biggest difference from Zanzibar is the fact that Illha du Mozambique is a completely sleepy hole, where visitors are still relatively attractive to the natives and not prey.
Stone Town streets, the center of the whole island.
Fort São Sebastião was built during the 16th century and the settlement became the capital of Portuguese East Africa.
The Portuguese built the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte in 1522. The chapel is considered the oldest European building in the Southern Hemisphere.
The atmosphere on the island is wonderfully African.
The playground obviously does not need investments in the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, as is common outside Africa.
For four centuries it was the capital and trading centre of Portuguese East Africa, a rich bazaar of European, Arab and Indian cultures dominated by the continent’s most formidable fortress.
The system of dhows traversing along the East African, Arabian and Indian coasts had an enormous cultural and economic impact on this area. It made possible a steady flow and interchange of ideas, goods, religions, flavours, and skills.
From a distance, the dhow looks more romantic than close. From a distance, the observer avoids the often horrible stench of rotting fish remains.
In addition to dhows, of course, boats without sails and with an engine are also widely used. Romance of exhaust gases.
Peoplewatching is my favourite activity. And Illha du Mozambique is one of my favourite location for this deviation.
Wooden dhows glide silently sails in a serene cameo of Indian Ocean. Life unchanged for centuries. Almost, of course.
Fishing is one area of the economy that is immune to rural insecurity.
Mozambique’s offshore waters contain lobster, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies but are best known for the shrimp (prawns) that are an important export commodity.
The island is an island and the offer of restaurants on the island of Mozambique corresponds to this. Fish, seaweed or shrimp caused me to stay on the island longer than I had originally planned.
There are several travel agencies on the island. But without any problem, I arranged a day trip to a traditional dhow directly with local fishermen.
Waves, wind, blue sky. Skill of fishermen. It's a paradise made for a fat white visitor from Europe (me).
The art of directing a dhow is passed down from generation to generation, there are no schools for it. Fortunately.
Dhow is the traditional wooden sailing vessel that is used for centruries (at least) as main boat to transport people and cargo. Dhow is also the preferred boat of the local fisherman.
The lifespan of modern boats can range from 40 to 100 years, but dhows are famed for their longevity. A traditional dhow can last up to 120 years.
For 20 dollars a day. And I didn't fight for the price hard.
Ilha de Mocambique is a crescent-shaped coral island that seems lost in time and space.
There are many uninhabited islands around the island of Mozambique, where fishermen will gladly take you. A few tens of square meters of sand, no civilization, not even an Irish pub. Paradise.
Metangula, a small town on the way to Lake Malawi. If a city can be said without embarrassment that it is the ass of the world, it must be Metangula.
The only interesting place without dogs with scabies, without rats, without cockroaches and without rot flowing through the streets, is the local beach.
In the words of UNICEF:

”Mozambique has some of the world’s worst social indicators on children and adolescents, particularly girls, largely due to limited access to resources and services as well as harmful socio-cultural practices.”
Public transport in Metangula. Transportation of goods in Metangula. Welcome to African Africa.
The picture does not show an attack by bandits, but a relatively calm boarding of passengers. Metangula.
Of course, Metangula is not the end of the world, there is civilization in Metangula. For example, a gas station.
Traditional African activities include refueling cars after passengers have boarded. If the operator does not smoke during a refueling, than at least some passengers will certainly smoke, usually close to the tank.
Another nice example of a gas station in Mozambique. This time in the town of Cobue on the shores of Lake Malawi.
At 801,537 km2, Mozambique is the world's 36th largest country.This means that if the visitor does not choose to travel by plane, he will have tens and tens of hours in various means of transport.
The picture shows the most important traffic artery in Mozambique, the famous north-south highway.
Outside the capital Maputo, shopping malls are .... so African. The picture shows shopping mall "Colored slippers".
Shopping center "Cheap mango". Mango is available almost everywhere in Mozambique. Extra cheap.
The country’s white sand beaches are an important attraction for the growing tourism industry. Mozambique is a popular destination, especially for tourists from South Africa.
Although it is one of the most touristy places in Mozambique, compared to similar places elsewhere in the world, it is a place where you can meet natives, backpackers and travelers. Definitely not tourists accustomed to five-star resorts.
Praia do Tofo, a charismatic beach town beloved by backpackers and scuba divers.
Tofinho Point is renowned as one of Southern Africa's best surf spots.
Most surfers are local children and teenagers.
There are more than tourists and plastic rubbish on the beaches.
Of course, there are a lot of crabs on every beach. It is fun to throw a crab on the bust of a sunbathing tourist. And run away quickly. Silly but fun.
In addition to the usual diving and snorkeling, Tofo can also run one specialty - snorkeling at a maximum depth of a few tens of centimeters.
In addition to starfish, there are many seahorses to see here.
Sure, starfish are boring. But I still like them.
Stepping on moray eels and sea urchins at the same time, this is one of the specialties in Tofo.
While snorkeling, it is also possible to observe local shellfishers.
Extremely modern equipment consists of a catch bag, shell peeling rods and especially extravagant shoes.
Whale shark, one of the main reasons to go to the village of Tofo. The biggest fish in the sea are almost a fixture in the Tofo area.
By the time they reach full maturity at about 30 years old, whale sharks reach can 18m in length and 34 tons in weight. But these leviathans of the sea are rarely if ever seen in the Tofo area. Instead the region appears to be a critical one for juveniles in the range from 5-10m.
Snorkeling with a whale shark is ... yes, just amazing.
Lake Malawi It is the eighth largest lake in the world and the second deepest lake in Africa, with a maximum depth of over 700 metres.
When Livingstone asked his staff members, who were not from the area of the lake, to state its name for him, they said the word “nyasa”, not realizing that this was the local word for any large body of water (such as a lake). In effect, “Lake Nyasa” literally means “Lake Lake”.
Just a few hundred meters from the dirty town of Cobue is a fishing village. An example of how life can only be lived in the company of shacks, fishing boats, fishing nets, fish, solar panels and mobile phones
Child labor fighters would have had a heart attack after five minutes in Cobue. For locals, the participation of children in the functioning of the family is, of course, normal. And participating in the functioning of the family does not mean staring at television.
Fishing is, of course, the main way of life on the shores of Lake Malawi. The picture does not show the artwork of a mad electrician. The picture shows a light installed on the ship. At night the light attracts fish.
In the town of Cobue on the shores of Lake Malawi, many boats are equipped with light. Although rumors claim otherwise, local fishermen really do not use hand grenades as a fishing method.
Cobue is a border crossing between Mozambique and Malawi. In the picture, soldiers and customs officials are waiting for passengers arriving from Malawi.
Typical interstate traffic between Mozambique and Malawi. Between Cobue (Mozambique) and Likoma Island (Malawi).
On the horizon the island of Likoma, Malawi. Arriving from Mozambique in Cobua to Likoma, Malawi, is like moving from a junkyard to a tropical paradise. But that's another story.