Sometimes there is no end to the ways to which you can see a country and what better way than doing a bush to beach experience! As I get the chance to have the bush experience in Kruger so often; it is always so exciting to do a beach trip; I guess more for a change of scenery.
My journey started with a charter from Kruger Mpumalanga Airport to the Manguzi Airstrip. The flight was a very comfortable one; just under two hours, but very much relaxed and with lots of leg space. When we arrived at the Manguzi Airstrip, we got transferred with an open 4×4 Toyota Cruiser. The road was quite bumpy along the sand roads, and might not be ideal for visitors who have back problems, but it is a very good experience though and great way of seeing the Mozambique countryside. A good alternative is to opt for a helicopter flight to Maputo at the end of the stay.
When we arrived at White Pearl we were checked into our rooms – spacious, comfortable and with beautiful views over the Indian Ocean! As per the typical “beach tradition”, we slipped off our shoes and took a stroll on the beach.
Later the day we all met at the vibey Beach Bar for pre-drinks. I simply had to have the original Mozambican R&R (Mozambican Rum and Raspberry) which is an all-time favorite of visitors to the country and best enjoyed at the beach. Soon steaming plates of Mozambican food were brought to us. I enjoyed the traditional spicy Mozambican chicken on rice which was absolutely divine and strongly recommended!
The next morning, after a hearty breakfast, we all gathered at the activities center to go do some dolphin “hunting”. WOW, what an amazing experience that was! We saw the dolphins swimming to our side and we all immediately got into the water to view these beautiful creatures up close. The dolphin pod came swimming past us, but unfortunately they were in sleeping mode which is very interesting as dolphins never actually sleep. When they feel like having a snooze, they switch off the one side of their brain and let it sleep with the other side of their brain still awake. As soon as the one side has had enough sleep, they switch the sides again. One thing I found extremely entertaining was while we were snorkeling there was a little “toddler” dolphin who woke up and noticed us. Like a typical child not wanting to sleep, his curiosity was too much so he swam over to me for a better look. He was very close for a few magical seconds before swimming off to join his family.
The ocean safari was really very entertaining and I will do this AGAIN! The dive master of White Pearl really made the trip back to the lodge so much fun. The waters back can be a bit bumpy but we hardly noticed as we listened to all his interesting stories of the ocean. We all had such a good laugh that we were so surprised to be back on the beach.
After a delicious sea food platter lunch, I decided to go do some horse riding. Strapping a helmet firmly onto my head (safety is sexy) I mounted Fiesty (I nicknamed the horse as he was a really stubborn little one). We rode alongside the beach for about an hour. It was absolutely amazing…no one else around you and it is just you, the
beach, the ocean and Fiesty.
Before dinner we got together to enjoy some canapes and we were blessed with clear skies this specific night. The absence of light pollution made it a perfect night, where you can see the arms of the Milky Way with the naked eye. The rest of the party went to crawl into bed, exhausted from the day’s fulfilled activities. I went to take an outside shower to catch a few precious minutes staring up into the sky. It was a breathtaking moment.
We were up bright and early ready for our transfer to Manguzi. After a very satisfying, delicious breakfast we packed our belongings and waved our final goodbyes. Arriving at Manguzi Airstrip before lunchtime, we were greeted with another delicious lunchbox. After savoring the chicken pasta and bread, I dozed off till we reached The Grand Central Airport. From here we took a small road transfer to OR Tambo International Airport for our flights back home.
I would do this trip all over again!
(written by Monique Streicher)