Thought I would make you all jealous this week and tell you about my trip to Mozambique – Ponta Malongane to be exact which is near Ponta Do Ouro.  Regular readers of my blog will remember that I did a trip to Mozambique back in March as well.

My brother is building a holiday home there and he invited me along for a quick trip to have a look at how the building work is coming along.  It was a quick trip – we left on Monday morning at 6.30am.  It is a long drive of about 8 to 9 hours depending on traffic.

The trip there was fairly pleasant.  We stopped off for brunch at a town called Piet Retief.  Piet Retief is probably around 350km from Johannesburg – about 4 hours taking traffic into consideration.  Im  not going to say too much about this little town and will perhaps leave this for another time.

After Piet Retief we drove around the bottom part of Swaziland and then headed up towards Mozambique.  We pass through 2 towns called Pongola and Jozini and I will do a separate post about them.  The roads are not too bad for the most part.  There are quite a lot of road works happening and one has to be careful of cows and goats crossing the road.

We got to the Kozi Bay border post at about 2.30pm so we made really good time.  Getting through the border post is quick and easy.  The border post also sees the end of tarred roads so you need to have a 4×4 to get to Ponta Malongane after that.  My brother is building in Tartaruga which you can see on the map below.  It is only about 13km’s from the border post but takes about 40 minutes as it is off road through soft sand.

We got to Ponta Malongane at about 3.15pm .  We stayed at the same house as my last trip.  The moment I got out of the car and walked inside, the rest of the world just melted away.   It was like nothing else on this planet exists.

View from the pool deck

View from the door leading out from the lounge

View from my bedroom

After relaxing and unpacking cooler boxes, we did a quick trip to the building site to meet the builder.  There is nothing in this part of the world – there are no shopping centres or grocery stores so you need to come fully prepared.  You can buy the very basics at the Barracas (huts) if you are lucky.

Then my brother and I went for Sundowner drinks at the Sunset Shack.  The favorite drink in this part of the world is called 2M.

Sunset Shack
Looking out over the lake

After drinks, we went for dinner to a quaint little place.  There is limited selection of food on the menu in this part of the world – generally chicken or prawns are served.  There is very little else.

We met with the owner of the restaurant who was recouping after an operation.  Her little son took a licking to me and before long he was fast asleep on my lap.

At about 9 and a few drinks, I was ready for bed.  We went back to the house and I was asleep in no time.

I woke early the next morning – lifted the blinds so I could look out to the sea.  I just could resist putting on my bikini and going for an early morning walk on the beach.

My brother eventually got up and we had to meet with the builder, the carpenter and we had to go looking for paint.

The Plascon paint shop was in the centre of Ponto D’Ouro.  Behind a cafe called The Love Cafe.  And of course we couldn’t resist have a few more 2M’s.

After this we landed up at Fernando’s.  Fernando’s is famous for his R&R’s – Rhum and Rhasberry.

Then we to a restaurant just up the road and had a late lunch.  Didn’t take pics here I’m afraid – think my brain was swimming at this point.

Felt a little more normal after lunch and we headed towards a bar referred to as Jenni’s.  It is run by a little old lady.  The deck overlooks the sea and the view is breathtaking.

Then it was back to see the builder late afternoon as we would be leaving first thing in the morning.  After we chatted to the builder, we headed back up the road to have a few more drinks at Lourenco’s Bar (Yeah, you are getting a gist of the lifestyle here)

View from the bar

The wind picked up while we were there and we found it quite unpleasant so we headed back to the house after this.  We relaxed for a little while and then we headed to the Sunset shack for some more chicken for dinner.

After dinner I headed straight for bed – it had been a long day.

The following morning I woke early and packed the cooler box and the few things I had with.  We did a quick trip into Ponto D’Ouro to see the carpenter and then we headed back to the border to come back home.

It is so hard to leave a place like this and it makes you think about life and your expectations.  What could be better than getting back to basics and living in this paradise.

Lanthie Ransom

Paradise Found

I have just spent 4 days in Mozambique.  My brother is building a holiday home there and needed to check up on the building process so he offered to take me with.

It took us about 9 hours to get there by car.  Most of the journey was very pleasant but we traveled through a lot of small villages and encountered a large number of goats and cows in the road which we had to be careful of hitting.  We eventually got to the South African border post near Kozi Bay. My brother had to file the relevant papers for the car so I went to get our passports stamped.  Then it was a 10m walk to the Mozambique immigration counter.  Both operated from small container units and we were the only ones there so it was quick and easy.

This was the last time we saw a tarred road.  My brother had warned me that you needed a 4×4 vehicle and he wasn’t kidding.  The town we were going to was about 18km from the border – Ponta Malongane.  It took us about 40 minutes to get there – not quick on a sand track – single lane only.  So you have to watch out for oncoming traffic (not that there is much) as one of you then has to back up until you reach an impasse where one of you pulls over while the other one passes.

We eventually reached what I can only describe as a cross roads – the one and only – straight on to the estate he was building in (at Ponta Malongane), right to Ponta Do Ouro or left to Ponta Mamoli.

We drove straight over the cross roads into the estate.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Still no tarred roads but it felt slightly more civilized than what we had just come through.  We got to the house we were staying in – another holiday home belonging to a friend of my brothers.  I stepped inside and was just blown away by the scenery – here are some pictures taken from the patio – it was late afternoon so the sun was behind us.

I then got the tour of the house – it was very comfortable indeed.

Room I was staying in
My bed

My bathroom



Entrance Hall

Entrance Hall

Dining Area

And the best of all was that this is what I would be waking up to in the morning – picture taken sitting on my bed:

We took a quick walk to the building site (his future holiday house) – not much to show at this point so I wont show you the rest of the building site:

That night we went to Ponta Do Ouro which is about 8km away and had dinner at the local fishmonger restaurant – it was dark when we got there but I took this picture the following day

 The following day my bother took me for a drive and showed me all the sights:

Drive down the main road ( the only road)

The bank (the only bank)

One of the tented units in an upmarket dive camp

A curio shop – there were loads of them and they all sold the same thing – this is also what most of the shops looked like
Local grocery store – there was a big one near the fishmonger restaurant but that burnt down about 18 months ago 
Bakery – the one and only – they sell a bread called Pao which is like a large bread roll

another picture of the main road 

local restaurant – we had dinner there one night – you sit on the benches outside

My brother also took me to one of the bars – apparently a famous bar called the R&R – well know for a drink called the R&R or Rum and Raspberry – they keep beer mugs filled with ice in the freezer and you are given one.  They then half fill it with rum and then fill it to the top with sparberry sparletta.  I managed to drink about half a mug full but as I am not a big drinker – I was already beginning to feel light headed so pushed it aside.

R&R Bar

R&R Drink

We took a drive to Ponta Momoli on the last day – not much there except for a very high end resort called the White Pearl.  It was absolutely beautiful.  They typically do not allow day visitors but we managed to pull a favor and they let us spend the afternoon at the pool.

 As you can see the views are absolutely breathtaking.

Food supplies are limited – there is nowhere to buy any fresh fruit and vegetables although you can find the odd shop that sells a few potatoes or onions and if you are very lucky, a tomato.   Restaurants typically serve chicken or prawns and you are lucky to have anything more than this on the menu.

All in all – I had an amazing time.  We spent a huge amount of time just driving around and seeing the sites.  The whole region caters for dive camps and is all very rustic and minimalist.   There is little or no crime, no buses or taxis, no shopping centres, no hotels (although there was a motel which I probably wouldn’t be caught dead in).   The local shops like to be paid in Rands (South African currency) as the closest shopping centre to buy any decent supplies from is over the border in South Africa.

I was all just breathtaking – I managed to wind down and the only thing that could have made it better was another few days there.