Distance: 424km (Cumulative: 24 478km)
Moving time: 7:22
Average speed: 58km/h
Road surface: 87% Tar (with lots of potholes), 13% Gravel
Goody Villas - R65 p.p
One of the best campsites of our trip, right next to the beach
Despite the long day ahead we only left camp at 9:30 and then drove 3km to the starting point for the hike to the big tree. We had a brisk walk through thick spider web covered forest for 1km. The big tree was indeed quite big and after trying various techniques to try and capture it in all its glory we jogged back to the car.
The border is only 8km further along a small gravel road with tea and coffee plantations on the sides. Exiting Zimbabwe went smoothly and this time we really thought we found the fastest border crossing, but then the Mozambique immigration officer was nowhere to be seen. After 30 minutes or more he showed up and we were quickly stamped in. Hugo then filled out the Carnet himself and just got the Custom’s officer to stamp and sign it as he had no idea what to do.
We were finally back in Mozambique at 12:00 and took the 216 to Dombe. We tried to check the road condition on Google Sattelite view the night before and it looked like a section of the road was tarred vs the slightly shorter 412 and that looked like a small gravel road. To our delight the whole section all the way to Dombe was a perfect tar road with shoulders and everything. At Dombe we, however, took the gravel road to the EN1 as the tar road continued to Chimoio.
The EN1 was also fairly driveable albeit without shoulders all the way to the Rio Savé, but then things just got completely out of hand. For more than 80km we basically drove next to the road on very bumpy gravel as there were only bits and pieces left of the tar road. The road would then suddenly looked newly tarred (not in a proper way, just as if someone poured tar over the existing road) and then after few kilometers there would be a stretch of old potholed road again.
It was already dark (18:00) by the time we got to the turn-off for Inhassoro. We refueled at the Total and then set the GPS for Goody Villas in Inhassoro. We arrived at 18:30 at a very large lawned campsite with lights and electricity at each site. The security guard opened a private bathroom for us with a lovely hot shower.
The only other campers, Jen and Jared (thepioneeringspirit.com), invited us for a beer which we gladly accepted after a hot shower and two-minute noodle dinner. They’re traveling with a crazily kitted out Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and a conqueror caravan and also started in the beginning of the year, but have only done Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe so far. They’ve been at Goody Villas for 5 nights after also arriving late at night from Zimbabwe via Espungabera.
We went to bed around 22:00 as we couldn’t keep our eyes open anymore.
The next morning we slept late and then did some work. In the afternoon we harvested a coconut which took a lot of effort to open, but in the end, it was worth it. Someone then sold as a large fish which we braai’ed for dinner. It tasted really good and we felt like we could survive if we get stranded on an island (with coconuts and fisherman).
On Sunday morning we wanted to leave but then talked to the Australian couple who arrived last night about sharing a boat trip to paradise island (Santa Carolina). They organised it for Monday morning for a decent price which would include a seafood lunch on the island.
Sunday flew past and on Monday morning the boat arrived on time at 07:30. While on the boat the skipper and his two helpers started peeling potatoes and chopping onions. We arrived with low-tide on the picture-perfect paradise island walking through the shallow turquoise waters to shore.
The skipper then showed us the good snorkeling spot on the other side of the island and told us lunch would be ready around 12:00. As soon as we entered the water we knew we were in for a treat. There were large schools of colourful fish and lots of species we haven’t seen before.
There was a slight breeze so after a while, we had to get out of the coldish water. We went back to the main beach for amazing grilled fish. They also prepared coleslaw & rice with a tomato and onion relish.
After lunch, we walked along the beach and spotted dolphins that we tried to swim too, but failed. Later we spotted Turtles, but only Caro managed to swim close enough to one to see it. High tide was upon us so the ocean got quite rough and the reefs too deep so we couldn’t snorkel again, unfortunately.
Around 15:00 the boat took us back to Inhassoro. That evening we just ate pasta.