Indeed, you cannot feel farther away from home. From the vast white sandy beaches to the small huts on the beach - Mozambique truly is far away from what we know. Very few places in life give me a sense of "culture shock" and this African country did not disappoint. The city of Vilanculos (or town rather) is located towards the southern end of Mozambique facing east on the Indian ocean.
Think of an oil painting where light blue and beige are swirled together to create a masterful landscape that couldn't possibly be real. Well, this stunningly beautiful landscape does exist: in Mozambique, where the tides recede up to a mile each day and create endless sandbars among the bright Indian waters. Boats are taken out to fish early every morning then brought back in by noon, only to be beached for several hours.
Food and Culture
The locals flock to the beach before sunset to buy the fresh catches of the day. The women carry buckets on their heads (without hands!) full of anything from fish, lobsters, to clams. The seafood here could not be better as it is caught wild every day. Not to mention it is dirt cheap. We had giant lobsters as part of a 3 course meal for $20 USD.
For the most part, locals grow their own produce and rarely purchase groceries. In fact, grocery stores hardly exist - in order to buy many products, you must order them from South Africa. To top it off, most people live in actual huts on the beach and the "roads" are just sand that everyone walks on barefoot.
I fell in love with the African prints worn by the Mozambique women. And, for USD $6 a pop (3m x 3m), I went a little overboard fabric shopping. The townspeople all make their own clothes out of fabric.
In fact, you really can't buy many clothes here - just fabric. There are a few known tailors in town that you can hire to hand make clothes out of the fabric for pennies on the dollar. Don't be fooled though, traveling to Mozambique is not cheap.
There are several incredible islands a quick boat ride away from Vilanculos, including the famous Bazaruto Island. The National Park is famous for a 300m sand dune with a sweeping panoramic view of the surrounding area as well as scuba diving in the coral reefs. One of the most beautiful views I have ever seen was from the top of Bazaruto's white sand dune. The landscape is absolutely unreal and well worth the visit.