Ola Mozambique was the 4th Out of Town/Country hike for Bantu Hikers. With 20 members subscribed for the trip, the occupying spaces squad began the journey to Mozambique in earnest on Friday morning of the 9th. The FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) squad enticed the rest of us, arriving in Durban the day before.
Packed and ready to go we set off for Maputo to return on the 11th of August.
The long 7-hour drive was rewarded with a night of local seafood and dancing at a restaurant where a local live band was playing. With sing along hits played one after the other and satiating stomachs filling up, the next best thing was to hit the dance floor. We lost our minds when Zahara and Freshly Ground made the playlist and the dance floor became our home briefly for the night.
On Saturday it was all systems go. Refreshed and looking forward to the hike ahead, the journey would not start off well without a photoshoot.
The long 2-hour drive to the start of the hiking trail did not dampen the mood even though we got lost and had the help of a friendly local along the way. Cascata meaning waterfall was the trail of choice and the closest to the main town of Maputo. The trail is easy and may be too easy for the fit and adventure seeking. It is nestled in the northern hills of the Maputo province surrounded by a small town and homes dotted along the way. There are also remnants of a sad and difficult past, homes which were burnt from previous conflict in the region. The waterfall is impressive in summer when there is higher rainfall. The river feeding the waterfall has also been dammed downstream. The water cascades down the hill and fills up small pools formed giving the impression of one infinity pool after another. The more advanced hiker may take the unmarked path to explore further beyond the pools. We stopped by the first dam and turned back to the car.
A late lunch was enjoyed at the Maputo Fish market boasting a variety of seafood like crabs, lobsters, prawns, fish, octopus, clams and oysters.
The late night gang waited for the perfect hour to hit the town and immerse in the vibrant nightlife scene. Maputo’s nightlife reputation lives up to the hype, the gang danced until 4am and fatigue was not the reason for our departure, the prospect of a long drive back to South Africa was the motivating factor.
With our departure set for noon, the morning was open for more adventures. With a sizeable number of hikers into running, the Maputo promenade was the perfect place to to start the day running with the sun rising and illuminating the Indian Ocean. The rest of the morning involved last minute souvenir shopping, walking around town while sipping on coconuts.
Leaving Maputo was bitter sweet, saying goodbye to the friends we met there and the friendly city. One last major stop completed the trip, photos on the Katembe bridge was a must. Oh boy, did we make the most of the last few hours of our Moz vacation transforming the bridge into our catwalk ramp .
On our way out of Maputo towards the South African border, we came across an accident where a car capsized on the side of the road a few minutes before we arrived. Luckily someone witnessed the accident and stopped to help. The car was not very visible from the road and could have been easily ignored. Without any hesitation, the BH car emptied to offer assistance to the people trapped in the car. With professionals in the medical field on hand and great leadership displayed, team work saved they day. Other drivers also stopped to help turn the car over and release the passengers from the wreckage. Everyone managed to get out of the car with only minor injuries. The display of courage and team work in an emergency, something that you can not prepare for, and the selflessness embodies the BH family.
The rest of the drive was long and sobering, reflecting on our journey and the beautiful people we met and relationships formed. Our driver Thami was more than that, he became our link with his strong command of the local languages. Friends from Moz recommended places to go to that would add to the fantastic experience we had. How BH responded to the accident proved that we are better and stronger together. There is no better group to be on an adventure with than Bantu Hikers.
Ndza nkhensa Maputo. Obrigado Mozambique!