Living in Letlhakane, in the middle of a desert, you miss the sight of water and with our love of the sea we decided for this year’s holiday we would head to southern Mozambique for a couple of weeks. (sorry this post is not about Botswana).
Not only is Botswana a land-locked country, but it miles to any coast line, in fact a two day drive. Sue, Tristan and I set out from here and made it to Middelberg for an overnight stop and met up with my daughter, Cailin, and Sue’s sister Pauline and her daughter, Shanna.
It was time to feast on foods we don’t get here in Letlhakane, such as sushi and pizza. But looking forward to fresh sea fish and prawns that were to follow in Mozambique.
We stayed at a campsite in very small village of Ponta Malongane – even much smaller than Letlhakane, just a few shops, curio stalls, one restaurant and a few pubs. There was a Sharks Bar (more about them later) and across the road (soft sand track) was the Blue Bulls pub. During our whole stay we didn’t see anybody at the Blue Bulls pub and the Sharks pub pumped. (Just in case somebody doesn’t know what I am talking about – the Sharks are a rugby team in SA, we support, and the Blue Bulls is another team, which obviously from the support they got in the pub – no one likes)
I really thought that going to the beach was: put on a costume, grab a towel and go. But I was quickly taught that you needed a gazebo, a beach bag, with who knows what in it, snacks and – yes I did remember the cool box. Also don’t forget Tristan’s fishing rods, and my remote controlled car. We were like a traveling circus every day when we went to the beach.
Other members of our party had other ideas and claimed that next to the cool box is not really the right place as you need to lie with your whole body in the sun to tan. I always seemed to be sitting in the wrong place as my body cast a shadow over the tanners. I was also not to move as that would mean beach sand going over somebody.
I sat there very happy under the gazebo, drinking 2M the local brew, whilst the others battled with the wind, the cold, the heat, getting too burnt, not burning enough, not catching fish and much else.
Ponta Malongane is a stunning place and our campsite was about 15m from the beach, being out of tourism season the beach was pretty much deserted for miles and miles. There were regular visits by pods of dolphins and we often saw big splashes and water spouting which was obviously whales.
Every night Thick-tailed Bush Babies visited our camp in search of scraps, move daintily down the tree branches onto the roof of our car, to which they were rewarded with some bread or something (sorry Rina for feeding the animals). One actually climbed into our trailer to get a biscuit. They were so cute.
Ponta do Ouro a bigger tourist trap 8 km from us has got a far better swimming beach than where we were staying, so we ventured there quite often. Apparently there where no fish there either to be caught.
We were amazed how much development there had been in the whole area since we were last here 8 years ago. Local entrepreneurs had set up stalls everywhere, pubs had been built, new resorts had sprung up all over the place. Tourism works.
One thing we did find was that it was not cheap, local beers, prawns (can get them cheaper in Bots) and fuel (Bots R9 per liter – South Africa R14 – Moz R18.50).
During a visit to the local market in Ponto do Ouro we noticed a vehicle that had in big letters Bismarck Du Plessis ( a Sharks and Springbok rugby player). We looked into the pub and there were plenty of the Sharks rugby team. It was great that they were happy to meet us and chat with us. You go boys.
After 10 days of sitting watching the sea, swimming, tanning, shopping, fishing, drinking 2M and R&R’s (Rum and Raspberry) it was time to do our two day trek back to our dry dust bowl.
For more photo’s see https://ourbots.wordpress.com/beach-holiday/