Africa trips

Mozambique 2003 - Harold Churchill

Overlanding Trips

Thursday dawns bright and hot. The boys and Clive leave to launch the boats and I go surf fishing. I retuned quite early, as I felt frazzled out from the sun the previous day. The skin on my face felt thin and tight, and in spite of wearing my Rockies, the tops of my feet were sunburnt. Far better to sit in the shade with a frosty beer and lazily gaze out over the azure sea. Still more SMS’s were coming in concerning the funeral and appeals for Clive to return.

Clive is still uncertain of what to do. Struan is reluctant to leave his friends and Clive’s options are limited.

Next morning Clive goes out early with the boys and Libby and I go with Grant to Inhambane. Grant needs to buy fuel and we decide to tag along and visit the local market where we buy a few kilograms of prawns and Portuguese bread rolls. The market is a colourful place with noisy vendors and buyers in colourful garb. On one side is the fish market with all kinds of fish, octopus, prawns, crayfish and other marine animals. The vendors objected strongly when I wanted to take a photograph. Grant remarked that this was probably because there were 'illegal' fish been sold.

When we return there was another impassioned appeal from Clive’s daughter for him to return home as well as one from his brother in law saying, “Tell Clive I think I can arrange a flight back – leaving at 12.” I went down to the beach and by waving my arms like a Dutch windmill I manage to attract the attention of the fellows on the boat and they brought Clive and Struan back to the shore. In spite of everything Clive is smiling broadly as he has retuned with a 17 kilogram barracuda.

The message regarding the flight is the catalyst for a decision to be made. Clive will take the flight back and Struan will remain and return with the others on Monday. I have to be back by Monday so Libby and I decide to leave on Saturday to arrive home on Sunday.

Clive quickly changes and Grant agrees to take him to Inhambane airfield.
Shortly after Clive arrives at the airfield the charter flight that his brother-in-law is to catch arrives but the pilot informs them that he cannot take Clive aboard as he has to fly up Vilankulous, further north, to collect other passengers before flying back to Lanseria near Pretoria. But there is a second flight chartered by Standard Bank with only two passengers and they kindly offer Clive a lift. There flight path would be straight back to Maputo to clear customs and they would also land at Lanseria.
Clive got to Lanseria by five in the afternoon and had to wait for more than two hours before his brother-in-la arrived back. They finally get back to Greytown in the early hours of the morning . It was a long day for Clive.

Meanwhile back at Paindane we were having a fabulous supper of Barracuda and prawns.

Next morning Libby and I left shortly after sunrise and slowly ambled back. Unlike the trip up, or trip back was without incident except for the fact it was very hot, 42 degrees C.

We crossed the border into Swaziland and headed for a game farm/lodge we had seen on our way up, called Nseleni, where we would camp the night. It is a most pleasant and well laid out camp. It also has a lion breeding facility and the camp is right in the middle of the lion pens. Quite disconcerting having supper with a large male lion watching you through the fence not 20 meters away and knowing it is me he wants to eat not my plate of food.

The fun began that night. The lions were like frogs in a pond. One would roar then the others would join in with thunderous roars, growls and grunts. After awhile silence would prevail and I would begin to drift off to sleep when it would start all over again. It was a noisy restless night.

Next day is the final leg home. That evening we sit and reminisce about events. It was one hell’va trip, certainly a most memorable one. In spite of all the rain and the hassles we loved every minute. Suddenly life seems so dull and boring and we agree that given half the chance we would do it all again, but this time we would keep going all the way to Dar-Es-Salaam.

  back to begining

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