When we, Beulah and Roland went on a trip to Mozambique in 1995 we were among the first travellers entering this country after it's 17 year civil war. What we found then was one shot-up, delapidated and completely impoverished country. And the people were so, so friendly.
We travelled with our little VW Golf through huge pot holes, grenade craters and deep sand pits. What a Golf cannot do...!!!
Mozambique was different from the first time. As soon as we crossed the border from first world into third world the senses sharpened.The sights, the smells the feelings...there is something very special about Mozambique and if you don't experience it yourself you will never know what you have missed........
A few years later we came back as divers. We went to Barra Lodge on a diving holiday but had to find out that the dive centre does not exist anymore. Lucky we had a little inflatable with a 40HP motor. The staff helped us launch and the hotel lent us Manuel. And Manuel knew the sea like nobody else. He would look at the surface, point and say : REEF
We dived down and were awestruck everytime we checked out Manuels reefs.
Later every day we would sit in the hotel bar and tell Dave Law, owner of Barra Lodge what we had found. Dave got more and more excited when he realised that his Barra Lodge is situated near some of the best diving spots in all of Mozambique
During one of those casual bar chats Beulah took a chance and asked Dave if he would not consider giving us his dive centre to set up a dive operation. Dave did not think about this very long and our life changed once again...
A few weeks later we moved all our diving equipment including our partner John from Tofo Scuba, Graeme and staff to Barra Lodge. It was 1999.
Every day we would read coordinates off the sea chart and dive. We would check out coordinates given to us by fishermen, we would dive a site pointed out to us by the microlight pilot ( Mike's Cupboard ), by Manuel and by Ernesto.
Almost daily we came back and discovered new reef. Some better, some worse.
We named all the reefs, many names still exist today like Office, Amazon, Workshop, Mike's Cupboard, Anchor Bay, Buddies Reef, Forrest Deep and more.
It was a dream life to dive in this tropical paradise. And because we were the only dive centre between Ponta Do Ouro in the far south and Bazaruto way up north, we attracted divers from near and far. Business was booming and we just loved it.
But all dreams come to an end at some stage. In 2000 Beulah and Roland went back to Margate/Shelly Beach to take care of their life in South Africa.
We dived Protea Banks again. But this time we bought the name African Dive Adventures which was the original dive operator on Protea Banks.
We never severed ties with Barra Lodge and went there whenever we needed a holiday private, or we had a group of divers who wanted us to guide them professionally.
The huge difference between Barra and Tofo is the scenery for one as well as the hotel facilities. Barra Lodge is the first and only decent hotel in the entire area. All facilities one expects from a modern hotel and sea side resort are available. This includes two pools, two restaurants, two bars, accommodation ranging between selfcatering and superlux as well as an exciting activities desk.The Lodge is situated on the Barra Peninsula, protected from the weather and set in a huge coconut plantation which gives the place a stunning tropical island feel.
The Mozambique - Swaziland - South Africa Adventure Trip ( 15 Days )
We believe that in order to feel Mozambique one has to travel it. No point in jetting in and out of a holiday resort and thinking one has seen a country.
So we meet our guests at the airport in Durban, South Africa, where we take over the rented cars and off we drive into an unforgettable Adventure...
We drive up the North Coast past St. Lucia, Sodwana Bay and shortly before Pongola we turn right into Swaziland. Through the border and all along the small country into Mozambique. We traverse beautiful countryside, bypass the capital Maputo and about 50km further on we stop for the night at Bruce's lovely guest farm. He has the best bar and restaurant where he serves the best chicken dish ever !!!
After a proper breakfast we carry on for the second half of our drive through Mozambique.
It is not an easy trip. The roads are narrow, the trucks are large and the buses often wickedly skew. There are many villages with lots of commotion and every second town has a bogus police officer who wants to make extra money with his rigged up speed trap.
But with years of experience we know how to handle every situation best and manage to turn an initial downside into a fun upside.
We arrive at paradise in the afternoon. Check in, unpack, beach time.
Early the next day we meet at the dive centre and get ready for the first dive.
We usually dive one of the pristine far reefs and return in time before the breakfast buffet closes.
After a healthy surface interval we meet again at around midday for the second dive. Whalesharks and Mantas are always first on the list. If we hear of any such sightings we would go there immediately. If not, we pick another stunning tropical reef and who knows what awaits us there.
Normally we return around 15h00 which leaves plenty of time for other activities or a little snooze around the pool.
This program we follow for five days and ten dives.
On day 8 we leave at the crack of dawn and make our way back to Swaziland. There we stay at the Game Reserve for two nights. It is rather primitive there without electricity but this also adds a certain romance to the tranquil wild of the African Bush. Guests are looked after and are well catered for by the untiringly friendly staff.
Day 10 is our last travelling day, all the way to Margate/Shelly Beach. We arrive at the lovely Diver Villa in the afternoon, check in and relax. Dinner is everyone's own business here as the guest house is fully equipped for self catering. Many restaurants are nearby for those who like to keep the lifestyle up.
Early at 7h00 we meet at Shelly Beach to dive Protea Banks with Tiger Sharks and Bull Sharks for the next four days.
Day 15 = returntrip to Durban Airport