Africa 2012 Photography Travels

Starfish – and some Inhaca details

This weekend I was reminded about the fact that I have paradise right around the corner. Beautiful Inhaca island that I visited last time in February is only a 3 hour boatride from here.

Nhelety departs from the same place as the Katembe ferry here in Maputo every day at 7am, and costs only 200mets one way, which is about 5€. It is a pleasant boatride despite being quite rough. I was sitting on the floor on the front deck, squeezed in between people -tourists and locals, trying to get some sleep, with the blazing sun shining on my face – absolutely adoring it. For double the price, namely 400mets, you can get a seat in the first class airconditioned room with nice benches. The boat to go back to Maputo departs daily from Inhaca at 15:00 in the afternoon, and starts filling up with people at around 14:20 – we were told that it actually gets full sometimes, so it’s good to get out there at about 14:30. Nhelety is usually on time.

Because of the shallow coast, small boats need to take you the last bit from Nhelety to the island for 20mets. Then there is a 200mets tourist tax that they sometimes make you pay on arrival. And a 200mets snorkeling fee at Santa Maria beach that they don’t really inform you about beforehand. That’s 10€ in total although many people just skip paying these fees.

For sleeping, there is the expensive Pestana Inhaca Lodge which is a luxury lodge with a beautiful pool, charging about 100€ per night. Then there are tons of guest houses, of which I still find Rita’s place and Cool Runnings run by the siblings Rogelio and Rita, to be the best places. Rogelio is always just a phone call away and can pick you up by the boat. It’s good to call him beforehand to get a better price and maybe even arrange food solutions with Rita and her son Angelo who owns the nicest restaurant at Inhaca, you can expect to pay between 700 and 1000 mets for a room, which is about 20€.

One very important detail about Inhaca is that you need to either go with a big group, or find people to team up with to make things as cheap as possible. The reason is that you need to pay a driver to take you to the beaches, and they charge about 2000mets for making the 30minute drive through the island bush. The cars take a maximum of 10 people, and then you can split the costs. Same goes for the boat to the Portuguese island.

Food is very expensive and there are only a few places to eat. Arranging beforehand with Rita is probably the cheapest way of surviving, otherwise, Angelo’s restaurant is the cheapest of those available – expect to wait for long to get your food – but then it’s great. This is also where the party is on in the evening.

You will need to bring cash as there are no atm’s on the island. Bring sunscreen. And please, don’t miss the boat to go back. Unless it’s on purpose.

Just contact me if you want Rogelio’s number. Oh, and my photos from February are much nicer – I need to start taking that camera out again.

I can’t believe I’m leaving this place..

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