Death in Maputo

We arrived in Maputo, Mozambique with no expectations. We decided to visit Mozambique on a whim because Mike and I were in nearby Nelspruit, South Africa after a four-day safari in Kruger Park.

We were pleasantly surprised at how nice (for an African city) Maputo seemed to be. The former Portuguese city is located on the Indian Ocean, has some lovely areas and a lot to do. After a few days, we decided to take our lives and put them in jeopardy in a five-hour ride up to some of the northern beaches, supposed to be some of the most unspoiled in the world. At the “bus station” is where our ordeal started.

The main terminal for domestic busses in Maputo is a typical African maze of confusion. There were several busses headed in all directions, nobody could tell you which bus was going where. After a while, we figured we needed to go inside to buy our tickets. These busses looked like they would break down any second, made us indifferent to the miserable ride ahead of us. We would be crammed like tuna with as many locals as they could possibly fit into one bus. We thought, This is Africa.

As we made our way through the commotion and harem of people, we smelled something dreadful – a different scent – not “old”. I decided to investigate. I quickly found the answer. A dead man was lying on the floor, festering. I showed Mike the body. We decided to walk outside and regroup. I had never seen a dead body decomposing. It didn’t seem to bother the locals – they kept doing their business. He might have been dead a few days. We were disgusted, in a mild shock.

We opted against making the trip north. In fact, we wanted to get out of Mozambique all together. We headed to the airport, got the next flight to Durban, South Africa.

I tell people I enjoyed Mozambique, at least Maputo – until we found the festering dead body. I still can’t get over how nonchalantly the locals acted. We were totally revolted. This is Africa.

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  1. Well, Africa definitely leaves a surprise around every corner. I will tell you, though…you unfortunately missed one of (what I consider) the best countries to visit. I ended up in Mozambique, like you, when I was in Nelspruit, and intended on returning to S. Africa. Well, I loved the place so much I spent 3 1/2 months traveling there.

    I’m curious which northern beaches you were going to that were only 5 hours away from Maputo. Couldn\’t be northern, northern Mozambique, as it could take you 3 days to get there. Worth it, though, for those areas are truly stunning.

    Hope you make it back to that wonderful country.


  2. Seriously… why don’t you say this is Mozambique. Not this is Africa. Sh*t like this don’t happen in other African countries. Jeez!!

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