Last weekend I got the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful yet war-torn country’s in Africa. Mozambique, once a Portuguese colony, now a recovering victim of civil clashes is still as magnificent to eye as it is off a travel brochure.
Being from Johannesburg, South Africa, it isn’t easy to let down one’s guard when you’re in foreign territory, but during my long weekend in Mozambique I thought best to let down my hair and just soak in the scenery.
I visited Mozambique as part of my 10th anniversary celebrations with my boyfriend, and we decided to treat ourselves to an tropical getaway. I’ve always wanted to visit Mozambique and the favorable exchange rate from South African currency to the new Mozambican meticais (MT) made it all the more irresistible.
Mozambique has kept its heavy Portuguese influence and really embraced it as their own. I got the feeling that colonization did not leave quite such a bad taste in one’s mouth in this country as it has had in South Africa, for example. This was a refreshing and somewhat cathartic experience as being a South African visiting a country that is more Third World than ours, was a real eye opener as well as a good lesson learnt.
In South Africa, it is not so much that our youth want to take on and adopt every facet of Western culture as it is the fact that we,as a nation were conditioned to, and that is why there is a lot of resentment and hard feelings towards the changes that need to be made in order for our country to truly feel like “home” to all of us.
Most of the Mozambican population speak Portuguese or dialects of the language so European travelers will not have difficulty trying to communicate. Being an English speaker did mean that I had to listen carefully and carry along a translation book in order to correctly understand what people were saying, which also adds to the fun of traveling to a foreign destination.
Be sure to practice key phrases before your visit as it will help orient you better when you arrive. Just remember it is always nice to embrace some of the culture of the place you’re visiting as it is a positive sign in the sharing that will happen on your trip. You’re bound to pick up some new things just as the locals are bound to learn a lot of new habits from you too so enjoy it and embrace it 😉
In my next posts, I’ll go into more detail on the two places I visited on my trip, the Inhaca Island and the Polana Hotel in Maputo.