I’m going to hijack My love affair with Cape Town for a mini love affair with Mozambique. I was recently lucky enough to spend 7 nights in this beautiful location, staying at the Flamingo Bay water village which is in the Inhambane area.
Mozambique to me had a bit of a Thailand feel, but with lots of African flavour of course. It’s an absolutely stunning place with palm trees in abundance, a flawless coastline, warm water, great food and lovely people. I would go back in a heartbeat…
Getting there was relatively simple. Most packages only include flights from JHB, so we did a Kulula flight from Cape Town to OR Tambo, then from there we flew with LAM (the official Mozambique airline) to Inhambane which is about a 1 hr 40 min flight. I did have a little giggle at something I found on our e-tickets though:
Now I’m sure that doesn’t actually mean “keep passenger alive”, but it sure as hell looks like it! I was like, yes please – that’s way more important than any special meal needs etc. haha.
The LAM plane is a bit old school with propellers and all… not gonna lie, that made me a little nervous. I’ve travelled with African airlines before and they can be a little bit hairy at times. But I’m glad to report that this was a relatively smooth ride.
Now you know you’ve landed in a laid-back tropical destination when your airport looks like this:
Procedures at the airport are pretty manual still, so don’t expect super speedy service. Just chill like everybody else and you’ll be fine… A 45min bus ride from the airport then got us to the heavenly Flamingo Bay resort, our happy home for the week.
The main lodge area is fully kitted out with a bar, dining area, free WiFi, a TV room/lounge (no TV in the water cottages) and a pool with sun loungers and all that.
So from the main lodge you then follow the wooden walkways to get to the 20 water chalets which are built in a little half moon shape some distance away from the main lodge, deeper into the water. Just walking down the walkway we realised we were in for something quite special… Check it out:
Side note: If you get lazy, there are guys with golf carts who will take you from your chalet to the main lodge and back. Very sweet, especially when the sun starts getting too hot.
Our water chalet was everything the website had promised. Spacious, luxurious, kitted out with aircon and mosquito nets with a little deck area with deck chairs and of course direct access to the water. Absolutely amazing.
Now the water village is built on an estuary which means you’re not on the open sea so there are no waves to worry about. The water level however does change during the day as you hit high & low tide. When we were there the water level could change from around knee deep only to about 2 and a half meters deep. At high tide it’s totaly save to even do this:
The water is filled with all kinds of fish, even some tropical fish, but you don’t have to worry about sharks. The closest we came to a shark was this guy:
We were there over full moon, which obviously means the highest water levels which are pretty damn impressive. So I would say that would be a good thing to aim for if you were booking for yourselves.
Evenings involved watching the beautiful sunset:
And then heading to the main lodge for dinner, which is 4 courses baby! You’d normally start with a soup, then an entrée, mains (they normally have a red meat option, a chicken or fish option and a vegetarian option), followed by dessert. Oh and if you’re a big seafood fan, do inquire about their seafood platter, it’s pretty insane.
In the mornings, breakfast was served buffet style – with a good selection of fruits, cereals, baked treats and hot options. You ate so much at breakfast and dinner that lunch just usually ended up being a small snack somewhere.
Here is a little collage I put together of some of the food we had (by now you should know that I always photograph my food. I’m weird like that. ):
Oh and a cute (and also slight cheesy – not gonna lie) thing is that there are always a few tables at dinner time with special decorations, like so:
Some evenings they also have a musician there, playing some ambiance music. Then on Fri evenings the dinner setup changes to a buffet (so get there early) and they bring in a marimba band with some “mini” dancers:
It was cool cause it creates a very festive vibe. But food wise I preferred the 4 course set menu over the buffet.
Oh and then just when you thought this place couldn’t get any better… they also have a spa! We went for amazing massages, the perfect thing to de-stress just before a long afternoon nap. (ah the tough life)
Total cost per person was just over R13 000. That included the flights from JHB, airport taxes, transfers to and from the lodge and 7 nights stay including breakfast & dinner. Only lunch & drinks were excluded. And then of course any excursions you book through the hotel (which I’ll still tell you about).
I booked our trip through a lovely girl named Keri from Barefoot Breaks. They specialise in “chic and intimate beach hideaways” and they certainly made sorting out this trip an absolute breeze. I would highly recommend them if you don’t have the time to shop around for flights, etc yourself.
Best time to go? Well apparently you should only avoid Jan – Mar, that’s their monsoon season. The rest of the year the temperatures are pretty constant. When we were there it was about 28/29 degrees every day which was really pleasant, not too hot.
OK, that’s it for now. I’ll show you guys what over cool stuff we got up to in my next post.