Mozambique – Inhassoro


Our route from Barra Dica Resort to Inhassoro first takes us to Inhambane. Inhambane is one of the oldest cities in Mozambique. This is where the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama first landed on the East African coast on January 10, 1498. He called the place “Terra da Boa Gente”, “Land of Friendly People”. Inhambane has probably been an important trading center for Arab seafarers since the 11th century. In the 17. and In the 18th century, Inhambane developed into a transshipment point for ivory. The city experienced its economic peak during this time. Under Portuguese colonial rule , up to around 15,000 slaves a year were also shipped from here all over the world. As Inhambane was not affected by the civil war, many colonial buildings have been preserved.

Mozambique was a Portuguese colony, which is why Portuguese is still spoken as the official language today. Mozambique only became independent in 1975. However, the exodus of white settlers weakened the country’s economy to such an extent that it fell into a 16-year civil war.
Well, I don’t really want to talk about that here, because we’re talking about something much more important, namely bread! So if the Portuguese lived here, then you should also be able to get those wonderful white bread rolls in Mozambique that are available throughout southern Europe (à la baguette). And indeed – although the bakery has just closed – we get the last 6 white rolls for very little money. For hygienic reasons, we bake them again before eating them and then they are wonderfully crispy!

On the way to Inhassoro

It is a good 300 km to Inhassoro, where one of the most beautiful campsites in Mozambique is said to be located.
We set off in good time. A small church at the side of the road. Many people stream out of the church. But by the time we’ve parked, they’re all gone. But someone is still there. Apparently the second service is already being held. Unfortunately, I don’t understand a word, but the pastor speaks loudly and insistently. This little country church is more of a makeshift hut and thus an expression of modest life in the countryside.

We need bananas and potatoes. Shopping at the roadside is more fun than in the supermarket. On the one hand, the goods are usually fresh and cheap, but on the other hand you sometimes get a spectacle. In any case, at least you get in touch with the population. I scrape together what little Spanish I know and try to convert it into Portuguese, which often makes me smile and I’m not the only one who says “no comprendo”.

We had actually planned to spend one or two nights at the impressive Morrungulo beach. At the entrance to Morrungulo Beach Lodge, however, the cables are hanging so low that we have to lift them manually over the MAN. Afterwards, the branches of the lodge hang so low that we are worried that something on our roof could be damaged. After the staff asked for more than 20 USD for staying overnight in the parking lot, we say goodbye again and drive on to Inhassoro.


Goody Villas

Shortly before sunset, we reach our destination campsite, Goody Villas. Apart from us, there are only one or two other campers on the site and they are all enjoying the peace and quiet.
Goody Villas is located about 4 km south of the town center. of which 3 km are a good sandy track.
We feel like we’re in paradise here. The course is located directly on the beautiful sandy beach and is very well maintained. The toilet and shower facilities are also in perfect condition and always spotlessly clean. The exotic vegetation, the grassy ground (not golf turf), the constant sound of the waves and the cooling wind from the Indian Ocean are perfect.

Shopping in town

We stay 12 days / 13 nights at the Goody Villas campsite. In between, we have to go shopping again. In addition to some products from a supermarket, we also buy white rolls from the local bakery and fruit and vegetables from various market stalls. When I photograph people, I usually ask for their permission. One of the sales clerks, Mariana, doesn’t speak English – but she is a talented actress. Even her colleague next door can’t contain her grin. You come across talent like this again and again in Africa.

Life is good at the campsite

Fishermen regularly come by to sell us fish or crayfish. The fish is enough for three meals – Lorenzo fillets it perfectly on the spot. I use the days to finally edit a movie about our trip from Zurich to Cape Town and together we simply enjoy this place of peace.

Inhassoro – Chimoio – Zimbabwe

Our visa expires in six days. As we don’t know how much time we’ll need to cover the 500 km, we set off. Apparently the N1 is supposed to be “impassable” after the bridge over the Sava River. We imagine road conditions similar to those on many roads in Zambia and know from experience that the average speed on such roads can drop to perhaps 15 km/h.
We would have loved to stay at Camp Goody Villas for another week. But for Mozambique you can currently only get a visa for 30 days. We don’t want to be too close to the border, because illness or a vehicle breakdown could delay our departure and lead to incalculable problems.

Save bridge

The bridge over the mighty Sava River is being rebuilt. There are permanent police and military checkpoints before and after the bridge. Horror stories are told about these checkpoints. For example, the vehicles are examined in detail or a reason for a penalty is sought, even if this reason is invented. During the last vacation season, all Zimbabweans had to show their international driver’s license, which of course no one has because it is not a requirement. The result was the payment of hefty fines. It is said that the police officers did not shy away from using their firearms. In the previous case, a young boy sitting in the back seat of the car secretly filmed the scene and then broadcast it on Mozambican television. The police officers in question were immediately removed from duty and imprisoned.

Nevertheless, we are a little “jittery” about the controls before and after this bridge. But the policemen are very friendly, just want to see our passports and that’s that (we only ever give them laminated copies of the first page of our passports).
The military checkpoint on the other side is also friendly, “He just wanted to say hello” and “if we had a cool drink for him”. We didn’t have a cool drink, not even a Coca Cola, but we give him a 5dl bottle of drinking water, which he gladly accepts.

N1 after the Sava bridge

For about 150 km after the Sava bridge, the N1 is badly damaged, but with intact sections. The damaged stretches have so many holes in the surface, some of them deep, that it is sometimes better to drive on the side of the road, which is often not much better.
We drive through relatively unpopulated, dense dry bush. A bleak journey – and there is rarely an opportunity to take a break in a quiet corner.

We reach the small town of Muxungue at around 4 p.m. and drive straight to the police station (the sun will set in an hour and a half). Our friend Thomas gave us the tip. We asked if we could spend the night on the square in front of the police station. Communication takes place via Google Translator on the smartphone. And after the data on our passports has been copied, we receive permission.
The night would have been quiet if a group of locals in a Mercedes Sprinter bus hadn’t come to the campsite to spend the night.

Via Chibamo and Dombe to Chimoio

The next morning we continue on the N1. The first few kilometers are good road, but then the old game starts again. Fortunately, after the bridge over the Buzi River, near the village of Chibamo, we can turn left onto a dirt road to Dombe. The slope is quite good and the riding is more relaxing. Everywhere in the dense bush we see small homesteads and mini villages with their typical huts. No one calls out for “money” here, instead they wave to us spontaneously and cheerfully. No begging here.
We stop in a mini village and are even able to communicate with a younger man in English. We buy some bananas and are also allowed to take some pictures. We are the Sunday attraction here. Exactly, right Mzungus – people you don’t know where they are from.

Woman with bicycle

I was allowed to take this picture, I had permission to do so. The only thing that was important to me was the subject: “Woman with bicycle”. So I pulled the trigger. It was only afterwards that I realized the sad, exhausted look on his face in the picture. Why did I just pull the trigger without noticing the person? Instead of pulling the trigger, I would have asked her how she was feeling and whether she was missing anything. I would have loved to go back there. But it was too late for that and we might not have been able to find them again.

Over the mountains to Chimoio

Africa always has a surprise in store. In Dombe we turn right towards Chimoio. The road is paved and in quite good condition. Suddenly the road climbs so steeply that I misjudge my gear. I shift down from 5th gear to 4th and then to 3rd and only just make it off the line. It goes up this steeply again and again for quite a while. These are certainly gradients of 15% and more. To the left and right of the road, deforested jungle, planted with banana trees, mostly standing close together. What a shame, this deforestation. It is said that 80% of Mozambique’s primeval forests have already been cut down, as the population is constantly increasing and more land is needed. But also because the virgin forest soils only yield for a few years.

Camping by the lake

In Chimoio we drive to the campsite by the lake. However, it is not a campsite but a dilapidated farm that was bought years ago by a Mozambican who had earned some money in Germany. The sanitary facilities are almost non-existent. But you can park down by the lake, a somewhat larger, dammed-up pond. Vehicles with their own infrastructure are just right here. As it is too uneven down by the lake, we stand up next to the farm. The border with Zimbabwe is still 90 km away and we prepare to cross the border.
Before we leave, a neighbor starts a fire to burn down his dry meadows. This is common practice here (and not only in Mozambique) and quickly leads to fresh grass sprouting again – but also to small creatures perishing in the flames.
On September 21, the time has come – we fill up again because we don’t know how well diesel is available in Zimbabwe – and take the remaining 90 km to the border under our wheels.


Great country, lovely people, no problems with the frequent police checks, Indian Ocean and many beaches simply wonderful, internet amazingly good. It’s a shame that you can’t stay longer than 30 days. We would definitely come back again.

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