Connect the dots

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Indian Ocean Island Gems: Ilha de Mozambique

Finally, Mozambique redeems itself with this low-key island. Before moving to the better port of Maputo, the capital was formerly on this laid back island. Roughly one square kilometer and walkable from south to north in about 2 hours, it is also easily reachable by car as it is connected by causeway to the mainland.

One way traffic only

You first walk through the crowded makuti (reed) town where people were forced to migrate when their lands were decimated during the war and then you are assaulted with this massive hospital (still currently in use as a hospital), the start of the stone town. Here is development just waiting to happen. Many of the colonial buildings still stand in various states of deterioration. In a few years, it may look like a very different island. A local even stated that there was a prospective developer for the hospital. The catch: the developer will need to build a new hospital in place of taking over the old one. We spent a few days relaxing here and even took a dhow for some nearby beaches and lobster.

Makuti homes

Local barber

Once the biggest hospital in Southern Africa

Dhow building

Powdery white sand and crystal clear waters

The best spot to rest your head: O Escondidinho. Now in Ilha for 8 years, this French family was here way before the new, more boutique bed and breakfasts laid their foundation. They offer simple, comfortable rooms with high ceilings, delicious food and an immaculate pool.

No comments:

Post a Comment