After a few weeks on Safari, sleeping in tents and riding 4x4 vehicles all day, we needed a change of scenery and a place to run without fear of being eaten by lions. Benguerra Island, a few miles off the coast of Mozambique, provided the perfect retreat.
The island is ringed by a beautiful white sandy beach. Low tide came early in the morning on our first day, providing an ideal time window to perform the 13.2 mile circumnavigation. We saw children playing soccer in the exposed sand flats while their parents searched for crabs and shellfish. Most of the island’s population rely on fishing for their livelihood and it was interesting to see their boats and netting techniques in practice.
Mozambique has had a tumultuous history. Ten years of war for independence from Portugal was followed by another ten years of civil war. It is one of the poorest countries in the world and has long struggled to raise the standard of living for its people. Even so, everyone we met was friendly and seemingly quite happy. With stunning beaches, pristine waters, and an excellent climate, tourism is becoming a large part of the economy. Let us hope that it continues to bring jobs and prosperity to a people that could not be more deserving.