Mozambique by bus. This is the Intercape bust from Maputo to Jhb. Travels day or night.

Fishing Mozambique by Bus

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…

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The Bazaruto waters are really hot right now.

Bazaruto waters really starting to boil

Bazaruto waters really starting to boil

Lucky anglers fishing the Bazaruto waters and surrounds are having an epic season with many meritorious fish being caught every day out. Captain Duarte Rato has been keeping his journal up-to-date and this is his latest instalment…

November´s first fish – 700-pound Marlin on lure

Duarte is at sea every day possible right now, so we can look forward to more of this highly motivational material soon.

A gallery of Duarte’s most recent catches…

Click on over to to learn more.

Check out The Sardine fishing travel options by clicking here. We still have a few slots available for this summer coming up.  Inhaca or Tofo. And on the KZN South Coast. Join us as we take care of your entire fishing experience. We have worked in the places we operate in for many years and know the areas really well. By coming with The Sardine Team, you will be able to maximise on the myriad of variables and options encountered when fishing each unique location. We can cater to your particular requirements and factor it all in for the best possible fishing holiday for you and your mates and/or family.

Follow the menu above to get to all our available accommodation and package options.

Releasing a marlin. A blue marlin about to swim away having learned a good few lessons

Releasing a marlin with Captain Duarte Rato

Releasing a marlin with Captain Duarte Rato

You could write a book on releasing marlin, there are so many variables at play. And if one person could write that book, it would be Captain Duarte Rato, of, operating off Bazaruto, and all round the world. Duarte gets to fish Baz through the current season, and then the rest of the year, he chases marlin from the Great Barrier Reef, to the Ascension Isles, Madeira and the Azores!

This cool little clip was shot this week as Duarte and his crew skilfully release a small black marlin for Carl Jankowitz, off Bazaruto, Inhambane, Southern Mozambique.

Releasing a marlin off Bazaruto with Captain Duarte Rato

For budding wiremen out there, take note of the successful hook extraction without even touching the fish at all. Apart from some bill grabbing, this fish never even smelt a human hand. Gloved up and using a proper hook extractor, this is the way to release a fish healthy.

Duarte has also been leaning towards using single hooks out there too. The truth is that there are so many more fish off Bazaruto, that you can be sporting and use singles, to facilitate quick and effective release. Double hooks certainly help hook up and sticking rates, but they really can damage the fish. Hooks in eyes. Gills. Not nice at all. Especially the chain gang rig. That thing is lethal. Unsporting to say the least. And then there is the potential danger to the wireman and crew. An extra hook flailing about during the fight and ultimately the release can spell sheer disaster if things go wrong.

For the newbies to the scene, take note that the boat never stops moving forward. The idea is to have the fish alongside, keeping the bill up out if the water. and therefore in control. You are literally planing the fish on top of the water as you get the tag in and the hook out.

Check back for more video and instruction by Captain Duarte Rato.

Click on over to for the ever-entertaining and up to date Captain’s Log, video channel and booking enquiry page.

Report by The Sardine News.


Vilankulos Sailfish Competition 2017

Almost time for the Vilankulos Sailfish Competition

Almost time for the Vilankulos Sailfish Competition

Well it’s almost time for the Vilankulos Sailfish Competition for this year 2017 to take place.

This fun competition is hosted by Villa Paraiso and runs 22 to 26 May.

The sailfish have made their appearance in water that dropped from 29.5 degrees to 27.5 in one day! The conditions totally have changed out off Bazaruto waters and surrounds – and it’s in this water that the sailfish have come to gather.

Bait has been plentiful – pint-sized skipjacks by the thousand – very fussy and only jumping on the smallest spoons. With the odd yellowfin in between the madness. But there is new competition out there right now – huge wahoo have been obliterating live baits meant for bills lately!

So get in touch with Morgan, details:

or +258 84 566 5006

Vilankulo, Vilanculo, Vilankulos, Vilanculos, or Vilancoulos?

Vilankulo, Vilanculo, Vilankulos, Vilanculos, or Vilancoulos?

There are probably more spellings for this tiny gem of a coastal town, in Inhambane Province, Southern Mozambique, but these are the one we know of.

The partial featuring of the word “Vila” within the towns name, led me askew as to what it means, in Portuguese (as usual). What could “Coulos” mean? A quick look leads to “colon”. I asked around. And got that loosely, very loosely, Vilancoulos means house as far away as your colon?! This was by some local Rhodies who have colonised the place.

A bit of Google set me straight.

Chief Vilankulo is whom the town is named after. And the area is called Vilanculos.

And it’s not that far. In an aeroplane!

From JHB, Vilanculos is a lovely 2 hour or less flight, that sweeps you in and over the Bazaruto Archipelego for magnificent views, on most days. Depending on your scheduled flight, you may even be treated to a landing and take off at Inhambane Airport, in the middle of another, far more sandy Archipelego. Eye candy.

Once you are in Vilankulo, Captain Duarte Rato is a phone call away and he will see you out there making the most of your sojourn to paradise. Duarte runs and can get you aboard a huge marlin chasing boat or a sunset chasing dhow – whatever suits your requirements and your crew/family.

Combining an ocean safari with an island barbecue, or your sunset cruise saves you a whole session with which to plan something else. Like shopping a storm up through the markets, or exploring the natural habitats like the wetlands, filled with avian splendour starting with the flamingoes.

So while one bunch are out there catching fish, the ladies and kids can comb beaches and snorkel – all meeting up later for a fish braai on an island somewhere.

Click on over where you can access a string of articles, pages, video and blogs on all things Vilankulos and Bazaruto.

Vilankulo, Vilanculo, Vilankulos, vilanculos

Vilankulo, Vilanculo, Vilankulos, Vilanculos, Vilancoulos – it’s all the same out on the ocean!