Europe has the clock. Africa has the time.

Now for Mozambique. Our first stop would be Vilankulos on the coast – famous for the Bazaruto Archipelago. Miles of low lying sand banks which are exposed when the tide goes out creating a majestic backdrop.

Scaling sand dunes

We spent a day out on the islands – climbing sand dunes combined with two dives. The visibility was not superb but the marine life was spectacular. Currents bring plankton which bring lots and lots of fish circling the reef. – Potato grouper, parrot fish and lots of stunning emperor angel fish. The highlights were a blue spotted puffer fish, two honeycomb morays and both a loggerhead and green turtle. Not to mention the dolphins that accompanied us home. We had had the place to ourselves all day – the only other sign of life was the fishermen out on their dhow – wooden boats with patchwork sails – amazing they float!

We booked our diving with Odyssea which I would recommend. Not the sort of dive school where you feel like family but Christina was a very good guide and the outfit was professional enough.

Vilanculos

Vilanculos itself was a sleepy town, quiet and ramshackled. We stayed at Zombie Cucumber which was very homely and Sabrina is a fountain of knowledge about the area, most importantly what to eat where and when. That is when Sabrina isn’t cooking herself – her crab curry was to die for. Varanda a few blocks down ocean drive also shouldn’t be missed. One afternoon we also took a great stroll south along the beach when the tide was at its lowest to reach the Archipelago Sun which has a very nice terrace for a beer, lunch, the view and even a dip in their pool.

Happy Kids at Happy Africa

Aside from diving, our other mission in Vilanculos was to meet the leaders from Happy Africa to deliver the 20 kilos of children’s books, colouring pens, paint, magazines and toys we had collected from friends. We found them on Stuff Your Rucksack and were determined to deliver to them by hand. Not only did we meet Kerrie and Poppy but we had the chance to join them for a morning at the pre-school they run for the local children. Seeing what they achieve on a daily basis reaffirmed my belief in the fantastic work these organisations can do. As soon as we arrived at school we were ambushed by intrigued youngsters all wanting to shout “hi” and play. Climbing, jumping, clapping, playing football or just holding hands and wearing our sunglasses.

The pre-school runs from 8-11am five days a week, and provides each child with a nutrient enriched breakfast drink, 2 class sessions, play time and a bowl of rice to end the day.

It was such a great experience and a highlight of the trip. Thank you guys. See AI Mozambique to find out more.

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