Finding Deeper Meaning on Mozambique Beaches

My travels have taken me near and far these past few years. The top of Australia’s Sydney Harbor Bridge at sunset, swimming with wild dolphins off the shores of the Galapagos Islands, and most recently mountain biking to a remote waterfall in the mountains of Colombia. But what makes travel so special isn’t just epic destinations or experiences—it’s the people and cultures who bring them to life. For this, there is one place that stands out in my memory. Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique.
Prepared By:

Whitney James

Adventure Seeker

Writer, Creator & Sustainable Travel Expert

Going off the beaten path at Mozambique’s Ponta do Ouro

Mozambique, South Africa

With my boyfriend’s family in tow, we piled into the cars with a whole bunch of surfboards but not much of a plan and headed towards the untouched Mozambique beaches. We knew we would leave the rental car at the border (a sketchy endeavor in itself), hitch a ride to the beach house, and get really, truly off the map for maybe the first times in our lives.

Watersports

We spent the next three days lounging on the Mozambique beaches of Pondo do Ouro, attempting to stand-up paddleboard along the shoreline (much to the amusement of the neighborhood kids), and shopping the markets just down the street from our beach house. We clamored aboard a skiff in search of dolphins, watched a local fishing competition transpire in the bay, and commissioned an intricate hand-crafted wooden 4×4 from an artist meant to look like my truck at home. Evenings were spent watching kiteboarders chart miles back and forth over the bay, sipping on frosty Savannas (a cider drink the locals enjoy year-round), and feasting on fresh seafood and fruit smoothies. 

Mozambique
It was to be uninterrupted, beachy bliss authentically off the grid.

Friendly Locals

Now a few years later, I can still see the gleaming smiles of the vendors saying yes, of course I could take their photo, and hear the sounds of the the fishermen launching their boats into the surf by hand. I had never been to a place that felt so wonderfully far from home; where not a syllable was understood between myself and the locals, replaced instead by the universal language of smiles, laughter, and gestures, with the occasional pointing at items on the menu and nod of the head.

With any luck, the sandy access roads and sheer enormity of distance required to get to Mozambique from North America mean it will be almost impossible to blow up the spot in coming years. But even if Ponta do Ouro becomes more popular for us tourists, it will always remain that perfectly unspoiled shoreline of Mozambique beaches on the Indian Ocean in my memory. Just as it should be.

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