Tales from Tofo

Having wanged on about Mozambique for the last three months, I am finally here. Tofo is beautiful, a tiny beach paradise nestled in the province of Inhambane.

Flying in from Johannesburg to Inhambane Airport was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life – the turbulence was unreal. However, my useful trick of being able to fall asleep in difficult situations (like during an argument with a loved one, revising for exams, flying in a tiny propellor plane) came into its own and I managed to sleep for about three quarters of the flight.

The first thing I noticed when we began our (really chuffing bumpy) descent into Inhambane was the sheer number of palm trees covering the landscape. It was a scene so totally foreign to me, having never travelled outside of North America or Europe. The area is renowned for its coconuts and cashews, but I haven’t seen any cashew trees yet. Apparently the fruit of a cashew tree is delicious, and looks a bit like a red pepper. I was chatting to a doctor from Maputo about it, and he went into raptures about its taste and effect, saying you feel drunk after a few glasses of its juice, so that’s something I’m keen to try!

My house is in the Paradise Dunes complex (though complex is far too strong a word, it’s just 6 wicker houses in a line, accessed up a rickety wooden staircase – there are 90 steps! We have a deck overlooking the beach, and hammocks and deckchairs, so I’ve been happily lazing around reading my book in the hammock, drinking – wait for it – pineapple Fanta. It’s pretty delicious, tbh.

I’m determined to be brave enough to go into the sea at some point, but the fear of sharks is still pretty strong. Everyone has said there’s no real danger, but Google doesn’t lie, and there are bull, tiger and great white sharks in these waters. But, I can’t go back to the UK having never dived or snorkelled in this ocean paradise. I’m hoping to see and swim with mantas, whale sharks and dolphins, but I’m pretty confident I’ll even be terrified of them!

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