This is my personal account of Mozambique based on my journey in this African country, where it often feels that time has stopped. Mozambique is a country torn by internal wars and natural hazards, the last of which was a powerful cyclone that hit the area in March 2019, and left destruction in its wake and millions’ homeless.
The tourism industry in Mozambique is not widely developed and you can still find virgin sites where it seems a visitor’s foot has yet to step. The country has thousands of miles of shoreline, making fishing one of the major income sources. The low and high tide differ dramatically. At low tide, the locals work at maintaining their fishing boats and nets. Once the sea recedes, many living treasures can be collected.
Among other things, starfishes are often found, glowing on the sand in a variety of rainbow colors. These are resplendent for their colors but not used as food due to their sting cells.
Children are tasked with helping provide for the home and yet they also find time to play. Unlike the Western world, there is little access to technology, very few screens and access to cell phones does not exist. This allows for a great deal of space for imagination games. (In the picture a girl plays with her own shadow).
The Portuguese ruled the area for long periods and therefore approximately 30% of the population is Christian. About 20% are Muslims. The rest (50% of the population) believe in idolatry and various local traditions. The number of literate students has improved in recent years but remains low.
In 1975 Mozambique gained its independence from Portugal. A bloody civil war erupted until the 1990s. Even today there are areas of unrest and militia groups that are fighting the government.
In most parts of the country you can walk around without fear, and the population is very welcoming. Most of the roads are still unpaved, making traffic slow to nearly impossible, often making travel weather dependent.
Apart from the amazing beaches of Mozambique, there are also some lovely nature reserves with a diversity of animals such as elephants, lions, antelopes and more. Illegal hunting still occurs in some of them, but as a rule many efforts are being made to conserve and protect the wildlife. This is not an easy fight to win, in most cases the illegal hunters are better equipped than the reserve rangers.
Various organizations such as Mabeco Tours and Azada Verde are trying to help restore Mozambique, both in helping the local population who has lost everything in the recent cyclone hit, and in preserving the natural wildlife.
Mabeco Tours is a small tour company that does great things for this area and I had the honor of touring with them in Mozambique.
The rights to all photographs are reserved to Beni Nissim.