Fishing Mozambique by Bus
Fishing Mozambique by Bus: Giving myself ample time, I arrive at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg. Only to find that my flight has been cancelled. LAM. Late and Maybe. Mozambique’s airline. Their excuse? No aircraft this time.
And so I gallop across the expanse of the international airport, fuelled by adrenalin, only to find that Safair, the only other carrier, is fully booked! No flights available. For the next week and more. Chokkablok.
My clients arrive this same day, in Inhassoro…a short hop from Vilankulos airport. So now what do I do?
So, I take the remaining flight that is available, to Maputo, and arrive at 10am. Now it’s on. Where do I go next? So I call up The Sardine’s Maputo connection – Marta Luisa Santos – and rally for her assistance. Sharp as always, I am soon directed to the Junta.
1100 Mets later, the equivalent of about R250, and I have a ticket!
I am going to be a day late, but at least I will make my charter, for the good weather the next day.
I just never realised how far it was!
And so the next morning, 4am, I taxi along to Junta. The bustling hub for all public transport heading north.
And there is my bus. In all her glory. She is huge. Single story though. But a huge improvement over the old models. I take the seat I presume to be the right one – without a chair in front of it, so I can lean over and sleep my well-aimed hangover well away.
At 8am! The bus is finally full enough to depart, and off we go.
Man, it’s far to Inhassoro! After we reached Inhambane province, I was well comfortable that I was going to get there in time. Sort of. What I never realised, is just how far Inhassoro is from Inhambane! It’s miles! In fact, it’s much the same distance from Inhassoro to Inhambane (336kms), that it is from Maputo to Maxixe (460kms)! Give or take an hour or two.
I have bussed a lot. And so I melt into my seat and try grin and bear it.
Around me are all sorts. Including tourists. Some also skunked by LAM. A delightful elderly couple and I chatted at every chance. Some were visibly grumpy about the prospect thrust upon them. But then I met two gorgeous French girls. They had rented a 4×4 and on their own did Etosha and Okavango! After Cape Town they had bussed along the coastline. And now were headed to Vilankulos to do some diving and island exploring. They chose the bus. It was safe they said. Cheap. Convenient. AND. The lightest method of travel for the environment! They did have a flight back as they were gonna be in a hurry. But were considering cancelling to avoid the drama all their fellow passengers had just gone through. Including me.
The journey gets underway. And this bus flies. It’s a big and powerful coach recently imported from China. Chinese decals and all the warnings are in Chinese symbols. But in great condition. The toilet was not working, but the bus stopped regularly enough. With passengers off and on taking a good few minutes. And a few official toilet and food stops.
On the bus the interactions are all pleasant. Bus culture. People politely keep to themselves. But are real enough to strike up one of those unforgettable very temporary friendships that becomes indelibly etched in your memory. Every time you pass a place where you chatted, or broached a subject in the scape, those pleasant memories flood back.
With some help, I sleep and sleep and sleep. A few nice stops barely interrupt my slumber.
8pm. I wake up, and I am the last person on the bus. And we are in Inhassoro!
A taxi to my guests at Cashew Bay lodge, and the next day we are out there catching a marlin!
But some trips don’t go as well as others. And so after the first marlin and nearly another one, and some real bad weather, I left my guests with Captain Derek Flaxman, and headed south. On another bus!
This one took forever, but only cost me 500 Meticals, including my huge bag of fishing tackle! That’s R120 or so. To go 600kms!
When I got to Maxixe, a taxi took me across (At this stage I couldn’t be bothered with a slow water taxi and all the carrying that goes with it). Then another taxi to Tofo and in one day, for 600 Meticals or less, I traversed Inhambane province.
So. For 1700 Mets (about R400 right now) plus a few taxi rides, I travelled a solid 2000kms!
That is less than 1 met per kilometre!
Considering my flight cost R3700 one way from Jhb to Vilankulos. This is one seriously cheap way of travelling.
And the most friendly on the environment. By far!
Definitely more reliable than LAM!
Mozambique by bus! And these busses go everywhere! Chimoio and Zimbabwe. Or north to Beira and beyond. In fact, you can go just about anywhere in Africa for a few hundred Rand! From Durban, the international taxis charge about R300 including a surfboard, to Maputo. Maputo a night at the friendly and safe Fatimas. Then 1000 Mets to Tofo or 1100 to Inhassoro. So, R600 for your transport to Bazaruto waters! You can spend all those savings on boat trips! Because that’s expensive!
The busses are not allowed to travel at night, so it’s daytime only. They are big and steady and safe. Almost comfortable. But one thing is for sure…Africa is being opened up even more for the much-needed tourism business, by bus.
Check out our fishing experiences and packages you can enjoy with all the cash you will save by traveling this way…