Flying into the Bazaruto Archipelago

Vilanculos, Mozambique

This morning, it was back to OR Tambo International Airport for the final leg of my month-long trip through Africa. My destination was Vilanculos, Mozambique, a small beach-side town on the Indian Ocean coast.

There’s one daily direct flight on Pelican Air, which is the only commercial carrier allowed to fly here. Unsurprisingly, the cost of airfare is through the roof; the only other option though is to fly through the capital of Maputo and then slog the final 9 hours by bus. Better to just eat the cost.

It was an ATR 42 propeller with a capacity of 48 passengers. All together, there were only 8 of us on board though, giving plenty of room to stretch out. Strangely enough, a UNC undergrad was sitting in front of me. He was spending the summer teaching English in Vilanculos. Small world.

The approach into the airport brought us over a vast and brilliant stretch of shimmering water, the colors of which ran the spectrum of every shade of blue and green. White sand barges occasionally dotted the ocean.

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After paying the $3USD entry tax (this, in addition to the $40USD visa) and having my bags searched again, my hotel transfer via pickup truck to Pescador Guesthouse was waiting for me.

We drove through town, which was bustling with activity but still showing signs of recovery from the cyclone that hit in 2007. Entire stretches of road have yet to be rebuilt (nor will they ever it seems) and fallen trees are stacked high.

Pescador was right off of the sand road and completely empty. It’s a small place to begin with — just six rooms — but had a staff waiting at attention upon my arrival. The manager, Nathalie, offered me their king room with a gigantic bed and views of the beach and water.

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The afternoon was spent relaxing at the pool, soaking in the perfect sunny weather and enjoying a place all to myself.

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