Sights & Sounds of the Maputo Countrysid
Duration: 6 1/4 hours
Tour Code: mpm-002
Venture into rural Mozambique to a beautiful sanctuary reserve and enjoy a sumptuous luncheon hosted by a prominent Swiss family.
Your tour commences with a drive through bustling downtown Maputo, Mozambique's capital and largest city. The city is a melting pot of several cultures and you will have a chance to view several of the different faces that the city wears - from street traders and bustling markets where anything and everything can be found, to unofficial settlements, to the more peaceful suburbs. Before long, the natural beauty that lies beyond the city limits will also begin to unfold. The contrast is dramatic between the urban landscape and the rural countryside, where farming is communal. Traveling through this fertile land, it's hard to imagine that Mozambique was in the midst of a devastating civil war in the 1970s and 1980s.
As the country is undergoing a renewal, so too is the land, as you will see at Mucapana. Phillipe Gagnaux and his family are actively converting this former eucalyptus plantation into a sanctuary reserve by restoring its bush vegetation. Future plans for the sanctuary include reintroducing wildlife back into their natural habitat. Although the family is Swiss, they have deep ties to the land and Phillipe's father was a doctor who was very politically and socially involved in Mozambique. Sadly, Phillipe's father was killed during the civil war; however, the family continues with its ambitious goals for Mucapana.
While in the reserve, enjoy the Gagnaux's hospitality and a lively show of traditional drumming and dancing. Still, the highlight may well be the buffet luncheon of regional cuisine. Typical entrées include shrimp curry with cabbage, Mozambican meat curry with coconut, Zambezian-style roast chicken, and delicious pataniscas fish cakes.
Following lunch, you will rejoin your coach and travel back through the picturesque countryside to Maputo and your awaiting ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of moderate walking over some muddy and uneven surfaces and there are a few steps to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the transportation and have a companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Lightweight clothing; a hat; sunglasses; sunscreen and flat comfortable walking shoes are suggested.
Of special note - The coaches are maintained, although basic, and the quality can vary considerably. There is no formal guiding qualification required for Mozambique, and in order to support the local community we use local escorts/guides. Many of these escorts/guides do have previous experience in guiding for visiting cruise ships. Furthermore, although the majority of the roads are paved, you may encounter some with potholes or a few bumpy dirt roads.
Warning: Some of the international embassies and government buildings may be deemed military or state defense sites and you are not allowed to take pictures. There can be serious consequences for ignoring these rules so guests are advised to ask your tour guide first before taking any pictures.