June 03, 2016

Widening our horizons - Across border safaris...

Early tomorrow morning we start heading south along Kilwa road - the lifeline between Dar es Salaam and Mtwara - the border and coastal town close to the crossing to Mozambique across Rovuma River to pick up our dear fellow travellers from Nampula on Monday...

Click on the "pointers" on the map for closer descriptions! Here is our itinerary for you to envy... 

Northern Mozambique, after nearly 25 years of isolation, re-established itself as one of southern Africa’s most intriguing and attractive tourist destination. Now with new hotels opening, improvements being made to transport links and with the re-stocking of its reserves and national parks. Before 1975, the country was a favourite retreat for visitors from neighbouring countries. Mozambique is a melting pot of different cultures and traditions. With mosques, churches and forts dating back to the Portuguese and Arab rule from 16th century onwards. No wonder that Mozambique is one of the most exciting cultural destinations on the continent. Our trips through northern Mozambique mean adventure. Adventure since the tourist infrastructure has not yet been fully developed. You will visit the most remote parts of Africa. In addition you will visit Mozambique coast which is a real historic treasure. For those with an adventure spirit and a willingness to be open to and respectful of local custom, this unspoiled region can be one of Mozambique’s most rewarding. 

Day 1 (06 June 16) Arrive at Nampula airport. Meet and transfer to Hotel Residential Premavera for overnight. Nampula is the capital city of Nampula Province in Mozambique. It the third largest city in Mozambique after Maputo and Beira. It is home to the Mozambique National Ethnographic Museum, several markets, cathedrals and mosques. It is also the center of business in northern Mozambique. Nampula has a few western style hotels, restaurants and shopping centres. It also has a small international airport connecting to Nairobi in Kenya and Johannesburg in South Africa, and is a transport hub for local transport in Northern Mozambique; however, it is not noted as a tourist destination. Under Portuguese rule this province was named Moçambique but with independence, the name Mozambique was used for the entire country and the province renamed for its capital. After lunch, proceed on hotel inspections. 

Day 2 (07 June 16) Drive to Ilha de Mozambique, about 3 hours away. Check in at Hotel Escondindinho for overnight on BB terms. Ilha de Mozambique is one of the World’s Heritage Sites. It is from this tiny island that moderm Mozambique got it’s name. Ilha de Mozambique is a cultural melting pot. African, Arabian and Portuguese. Walk through the small streets and mix with the local people. Fresh sea food is bought directly from the fishermen. Escondindinho is a charming Portuguese Poussada fully renovated with ensuite facilities and a separate good restaurant. After lunch, proceed on hotel inspections: Terraco das Quitandas scheduled at 2h30pm. Contact person Antonio Villa Sands is scheduled at 4pm. 

Day 3 (08 June 16) From Ilha de Mozambique to Pemba town, Ulala Lodge, HB This morning, at 07h00, a 7 to 8 hour drive to Pemba town. Lunches in own account. Dinner & overnight at Ulala Lodge, FB The coastal town of Pemba lays claim to some of the finest coral reefs in all of the Southern Africa. Divers and snorkelers enter clear depths and swim among a profusion of exotic fishes. As you might expect, the seafood is rich and plentiful enough to take to your taste buds on holiday of a life time. Ulala is an Eco Lodge located on one of the most beautiful beaches in Mozambique, Murrébué Beach. It is in Pemba (25 minutes from the city centre, 20 minutes from the airport), in the North of Mozambique. It is a small, isolated, exclusive place, with 6 rooms in beautiful and charming bungalows, all with a view on the Indian ocean. Great care has been taken to use local materials (coco leaves, bamboos, teak decks, red sand) in all construction, delicately blended with modern facilities to provide comfort with a unique style. There is a cosy restaurant / bar is on the beach, the chefs will be happy to prepare French Cuisine with a mix of local flair. Wifi, wireless internet, is available at the restaurant.You can roam around with the sea kayaks. Conditions are ideal for kitesurfing from May to October. Ulala is the ideal accomodation for those looking for tranquillity and natural beauty ; the remoteness of the place is an invitation to relaxation. The beauty of the white sandbanks and of the emerald waters shifting with the tides offers a never ending show. The beach is clean and calm. The nearest village is kilometers away. Quick visits to inspect the following properties: Complexo Caracol – 14h30 Kauri Resort – 15h30 Avani Pemba Beach Hotel – 16h30 

Day 4 (09 June 16) Morning at leisure. Then at 10h00, depart for Tanganyanga on the north east coast for boat to Ibo Island. It takes about 3h30 . 15h00, boat transfer to Ibo Island during high tide. The transfer is roughly one hour. On arrival in the island, check in at Miti Miwiri Lodge on BB terms. Explore an ancient island where Muslim traders operated in the 15th century, before it became a major slave market and trading post for the Portuguese in the 18th century. Historic buildings, 3 forts and a beautiful old Catholic Church still remains. Ibo provides a chance to interact with the amazing rural people and exchange cultural differences. Traditional silversmiths still operate from the main port, and you are free to wander about this beautiful island and explore. Optional crab and fishing expeditions, mangrove excursions, snorkelling, swimming and historical dhow cruises. 

Day 5 (10 June 16) From Ibo Island proceed to the Sandbank and camping at Matemo. Matemo Island forms part of the pristine Quirimbas Islands and is located northeast of Ibo island, in northern Mozambique, about 100 km from the city of Pemba. It is approximately 24 square kilometres in area, with palm groves and beaches.

It contains five villages, inhabited by native Mozambicans.

Day 6 (11 June 16) From Matemo return boat to Tanganyanga and by car to Mocimboa du Praia for accommodation at Chez Natalie . The drive to Mocimboa is about 6 hours. Chez Natalie Lodge is a French-style lodge and restaurant, set at the main gate of the Quirimbas National Park in the Bay of Mocimboa da Praia. Established 10 years ago in the middle of the bush and overlooking the bay and the mangrove forest, it has charming and comfortable bungalows, the perfect base from where to explore Northern Moçambique. Either you are passing by or looking for a nice accommodation, Chez Natalie is the right place to start discovering the most remote and beautiful destination in East Africa. 

 Day 7 (12 June 16) From Mocimboa drive to Rovuma River which is the natural border between Mozambique & Tanzania and cross into Tanzania. Then drive to Mtwara and overnight at The Old Boma , FB (Until 2001, the Rovuma River, which is the natural border between Mozambique and Tanzania, was bridged by dugout canoe only. Nowadays, a ferry, capable of taking vehicles as well is operating. Crossing the Rovuma River is just possible at high tide. In case the ferry does not operate, then we make a detour and from Tanganyanga we drive to Mueda Cape Delgado and then to Masasi. The Old Boma Hotel in Southern Tanzania, a national monument, is a 100 year old fort, beautifully restored into a comfortable hotel with up to date facilities, whilst retaining many original features and charm. The Old Boma is located on the side of a hill overlooking the Indian Ocean, providing breathtaking views from dawn to dusk. Hotel facilities include a large swimming pool surrounded by Frangipani and Flame trees. A pool side bar is available, with the Old Courthouse providing shaded seating. 

Day 8 (13 June 16) From Mtwara to Kilwa Masoko, Kilwa Pakaya From Mtwara to Kilwa Masoko takes about 4-5 hours by car. Overnight at Kilwa Pakaya. Kilwa Masoko is of interest primarily as a base for visiting the ruins of the 15th century Arab settlement at nearby Kilwa Kisiwani. Otherwise there are pretty few beaches on the outskirts of town. Afternoon free. 

Day 9 (14 June 16) Kilwa Masoko, Kimbilio Lodge. Kimbilio Lodge is located on the Kilwa beach in Masoko Bay, just on the waterfront, in one of the most beautiful and still unspoiled corners of the world. The beach is candid white, and the water is crystal clear. Kilwa is a paradise for diving, yet its location is also ideal for excursions in the inland. Visit Kilwa Kisiwani by boat. The Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani The remains of two great East African ports admired by early European explorers are situated on two small islands near the coast. From the 13th to the 16th century, the merchants of Kilwa dealt in gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian crockery, Persian earthenware and Chinese porcelain; much of the trade in the Indian Ocean thus passéd through their hands. Kilwa Kisiwani, was occupied from the 9th to the 19th century and reached its peak of prosperity in the13th and 14th centuries. In 1331-1332, the great traveler, Ibn Battouta made a stop here and described Kilwa as one of the most beautiful cities of the world. Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara were Swahili trading cities and their prosperity was based on control of Indian Ocean trade with Arabia, India and China, particularly between the 13th and 16th centuries, when gold and ivory from the hinterland was traded for silver, carnelians, perfumes, Persian faience and Chinese porcelain. Kilwa Kisiwani minted its own currency in the 11th to 14th centuries. In the 16th century, the Portuguese established a fort on Kilwa Kisiwani and the decline of the two islands began. The remains of Kilwa Kisiwani cover much of the island with many parts of the city still unexcavated. The substantial standing ruins, built of coral and lime mortar, include the Great Mosque constructed in the 11th century and considerably enlarged in the 13th century, and roofed entirely with domes and vaults, some decorated with embedded Chinese porcelain; the palace Husuni Kubwa built between c1310 and 1333 with its large octagonal bathing pool. The Great Mosque of Kilwa Kisiwani is the oldest standing mosque on the East African coast and, with its sixteen domed and vaulted bays, has a unique plan. Its true great dome dating from the 13th was the largest dome in East Africa until the 19th century. 

Day 10 (15 June 16) From Kilwa Masoko to Selous Game Reserve, Selous Wilderness Camp, FB Early this morning, depart for Selous Game Reserve. It takes about 7 hours driving. Lunch boxes in own account. On arrival in Selous, check in at Selous Wilderness Camp. Late afternoon boat on Rufiji River. Dinner & overnight at the camp, FB 

Day 11 (16 June 16) Selous Game Reserve, Selous Wilderness Camp, FB Today, you enter Selous Game Reserve for a full day of game drives with picnics. Dinner and overnight at Selous Wilderness Camp, FB Selous Game Reserve Named after the legendary British explorer, Selous Game Reserve ( three times the size of Serengeti N.P. and twice the size of Belgium ), was founded as a Reserve in 1905 by the colonial administration and later expanded to include the traditional elephant migration routes. The Reserve provides shelter for most of Tanzania’s largest elephant population, large herds of buffalo, crocodile, hippo, a variety of 440 species of birds and over 2000 variety of plants. Lions and leopards are also present together with one of the greatest predators of Africa, the African wild dog. The park probably holds the largest concentration of this endangered animal, which hunts, in large packs and with the reputation of being among the most formidable predators. Covering 50,000 km sq, Selous is the true African wilderness that has had missionaries, explorer and hunters from bygone days but has still managed to keep its doors closed to many. Hot volcanic springs, lagoons, the great Rufiji River and the diverse landscape makes Selous Game Reserve is a World Heritage site.
Day 12 (17 June 16) From Selous Game Reserve to Dar Es Salaam, Lighthouse Beach Resort, FB After breakfast, drive to Dar Es Salaam. Takes about 5-6 hours. On arrival in Dar Es Salaam, check in at Lighthouse Beach Resort for overnight on FB terms. 

Day 13 (18 June 16) Depart from Dar Es Salaam, transfer to the airport Transfer to Julius Nyerere International Airport.


Will keep you all updated as long as we have some internet connection. STAY TUNED FOR...

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