Mozambique and Kruger 2008 - Mozambique 3: West to The Kruger

Having read about a 2 day route, East to West across Mozambique, from the coast at Vilanculos to Pafuri on the border with South Africa we thought that we'd give it a go....however there were no campsites en route!

The majority of the way, 560 km according to Tracks 4 Africa, was along single width sandy tracks. Most of the time they were fine but there were a couple of sections with deep gullies and potholes. Once past Mabote we only saw 5 other vehicles over the 2 days and 3 of them were the local buses - actually big trucks, filled with people and animals., as ordinary buses wouldn't cope with the 'road'.

On our way to Machaila we started thinking about where we would stop for the night. I suggested asking for permission at one of the villages we occasionally passed but Kev favoured pulling off into the bush for the night. One consideration is the presence of landmines in some areas and, from the Tracks 4 Africa software, I remembered that this part of the route was not fully cleared of landmines so we pushed on passed Machaila and then did indeed pull off the road and drove into the bush for a couple of hundred metres. We didn't feel at all safe and didn't dare light a fire so just ate bread and cheese and waited quietly for the sun to go down. We both agreed that we'd sleep inside the truck and managed to rearrange the kit so we could sleep in the back. Once it got dark we felt a bit safer but both slept fitfully and were up before 5am when we repacked the kit and made our way back to the road in the dark with me walking in front of the truck with a torch following our tyre tracks. On recounting this tale to other couple we got several completely different responses. Some people said that they would never park up in the bush overnight whereas others said that they did it all the time. ....

On the second day we had to cross the Limpopo, which is impassable in the wet season but fine in August as the river was only about 20 feet wide, however the bridge (wooden poles lashed together) was broken in a couple of places over the water so Kev waded through to check that it was OK before taking the truck over. It cost 200 Meticais to use the bridge. We were disappointed later when we realised that we'd neglected to take any photos of this important part of the journey, so stopped later on and got this shot of the Limpopo.

Heading North-West to Paruri we saw several baobab trees. This was the biggest one, which dwarfed the truck. They are weird looking trees and their bark doesn't look like any other tree that we've seen.

Mkhuze Game Reserve (South Africa)
Mozambique 1: Sand driving course
Mozambique 2: South coast beaches
Mozambique 3: Inland to the Kruger
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Diary.

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