So Flamingo Bay has a sister lodge, Barra Lodge, which is just around the corner and has direct access to the beach. There are free shuttles every hour that will take you between the two (it’s only a 10min drive) and then you can make use of all their facilities.
I would say Barra Lodge has a more family friendly vibe. Flamingo Bay is for couples looking for a romantic getaway, in fact children under 12 are not allowed. But at Barra Lodge they cater for all ages. Just look at the pool for example, it’s like a water based playground:
Then you can walk right onto Barrra beach which is a beautiful stretch of seemingly untouched coastline:
From Barra we decided to WALK to Tofo. For some reason Bjorn had it in his head that it was only about a 30 min walk (you see he had stayed on Tofo beach once before a few years back). So I was like yeah why not. It sounded like some good exercise, especially with all the food we were eating and this would be a great opportunity to check out the more scenic route. But we knew we had made a very poor choice when about an hour in a local fisherman asked us where we were heading. When we said Tofo he said “Tofo!?! That’s really really far. Are you really going to walk!?!” Hmmm… 30 min hey… yeah right… About 3 HOURS later we finally made it to Tofo. I was proud that I didn’t try to drown Bjorn along the way in a fit of rage… but I seriously considered it though.
Things were cool again after we settled in at Fatima’s for some lunch. It’s a popular spot for locals & tourists alike and apparently a big party spot in the evenings.
Then the Tofo market was just around the corner. Here we bought delicious coconut breads (so yum!) and these super sweet small bananas:
Not wanting to do the crazy walk home again, we asked some locals how to get back to Barra. For the first leg of the trip we took a combi taxi which cost next to nothing. It was quite amazing watching them fit up to 25 people into that thing at one point – small babies and all! Then we had to wait for a connecting taxi – which is basically a dude driving back to Barra from Inhambane after work in a bakkie. He then slows down and people just jump on. It’s totally informal, but it works like a charm.
The next day, back at Flamingo Bay, we did a catamaran trip to Pansy Island. Check out our slick mode of transportation:
Our first activity was to pick up pansy shells on so the so called Pansy Island – which isn’t really an island, it’s more like a sand heap that happens to be visible at low tide. Hehe. But it was cool to walk around and collect these pretty shells nonetheless. For those who don’t know, this is what they look like:
As our “island” disappeared with the incoming tide, we headed out again, passing some fishing boats along the way…
Then we stopped in what I’m calling “starfish alley” to do some snorkeling. The incredible thing is that there are like hundreds and hundreds of these guys all chilling in one little area. We were really bummed that we didn’t have one of those disposable underwater cameras, cause it was truly incredible to see. This pic I tried to take from the catamaran as we started passing over them really doesn’t do it justice at all:
On our way back Bjorn wanted to maximise his water time, so he got them to drag him behind the catamaran with a rope (like one does of course).
The next day we headed out for an ocean safari. The goal was to see & swim with whale sharks – which I was reeeaaaally hoping to do… like I was crossing all toes & fingers. But sadly it didn’t pan out. You basically head out on a rubber duck and spend a few hours searching the ocean. But as you can guess, it’s very hit or miss. We did at least get to snorkel a beautiful reef and this time round we were clever enough to get a little disposable underwater camera at the shop before hand. We just haven’t gotten around to developing the film yet. But once we do, I’ll do a little post on our underwater adventure.
On our 2nd last day in Mozambique we did some quad biking. I have to note that this was my first time ever on a quad bike (or any kind of bike for that matter – other than a bicycle). So I was a bit nervous going into it.
After some basic instructions on how to change gears and all that, we were off:
We crossed Barra beach, checked out the lighthouse, then headed through the little villages of the area, all the way to Tofo and back. Along the way we passed lots of kids who would stand on the side of the path with their hands out so you can high 5 them as you come past. It was so cute. We stopped in one of the villages and this little guy totally stole my heart:
He walked up to us like he was the mayor of that town… hand sticking out for a firm handshake, checking us out and then giving us the nod of approval to pass through. Soooo sweet.
As we took in our beautiful surroundings, I got more comfortable on the quad bike and we picked up some good speed.
Everything was going really well… until… I crashed into a tree! Haha. I was trying to turn, battled, put a bit of extra muscle into it, then over steered, panicked, over corrected, totally forgot about the breaks and wham… Then just 10min after that I almost went off a cliff! (but luckily my fall was blocked by another tree) For obvious reasons we took it very slow on our way back. Bjorn now calls me “stuntie”. He says I crashed like a pro.
My body certainly didn’t feel like a pro afterward. I was covered in scrapes and bruises with this one stretching my entire calf muscle being the most impressive out of the lot:
Anyhoo, injuries aside, I had a total blast. Our week in Mozambique was the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. I can highly recommend this absolutely beautiful country to anyone & everyone. And the fact that it’s so easy to get to from SA is a total bonus, I mean Joburg people simply drive up. Easy peasy.
I’m hoping a return trip or two will be in my future.