Rum and Raspberry at Paulo’s bar. Swimming with dolphins. Plankton shimmering on the shore at midnight. Gazing up at the crystal clear Milky Way. Catch of the day for lunch, and no shoes for three days.
These are just a few of the highlights of Mozamboogy, a trance party in Malongane, Mozambique.
There was of course lots of music too, the loud beats of trance music echoed through the resort, stopping for only a few hours after sunrise each day. Gathering a crowd of ‘stompers’ absolutely loving the music, some seeming to stay in the same spot for hours, each creating their own little craters in the beach sand from relentless stomping.
I’m not the biggest fan of trance music myself, so going along to Mozamboogy was more for the beach party experience. And what an experience it was.
The adventure started at the border into Mozambique from South Africa. We entered at the Kosi Bay border, which is right on the coastline between KwaZulu-Natal and Mozambique. A pretty chilled border, where you can probably go straight through without getting your passports checked at all. We did though, because no border should be crossed without adding a stamp to the collection in your passport.
As soon as you cross through the border gates into Mozambique, it’s instantly apparent that you are in a different country. Mainly because there are no longer any tarred roads. The roads are sandy — very soft beach sand that our cars certainly could not handle. So we opted to leave our cars at the border and catch a ride with the shuttle that takes people from the border to whichever holiday resort they are going to along the coast.
The very bumpy drive to the resort where Mozamboogy was taking place took about 45 minutes. These ‘roads’ can really only be tackled with a 4×4 or other suitable car, so please don’t try take them on with an ordinary car – you WILL get stuck. There were even quite a few moments where I thought we may all have to get out to push the car that we were in.
Nonetheless we made it to the resort. Mozamboogy is held at Parque de Malongane, a very basic resort right on the beach with camping and chalet accommodation. There are quite a few allocated campsites under the trees where you can set up your tent and they have ablution facilities scattered around to the campsites that are kept clean and in good condition (something you don’t often get at festivals). However, if you would prefer a permanent roof over your head then you can book a chalet to stay in.
Besides from Mozamboogy happening at the resort, they also have a few other things on the go. One being the scuba centre. Mozambique is quite a popular spot for scuba divers due to the abundant sea life in the area. The resort offers daily wildlife safaris for scuba divers and snorkelers to go out into the sea and check out the wildlife. We joined in on one of the safaris and had the most amazing time snorkelling with dolphins.
We were lucky enough to come across a pod of three dolphins who were friendly and welcoming when our group jumped into the water. It is such an amazing experience getting so close to these animals. They bring such a sense of calm with their presence, something that you don’t often get to experience. Unfortunately our boat then starting giving some trouble so we couldn’t go on further to explore the reefs, which I’m sure would have also been pretty amazing.
But we also had another amazing encounter with sea life in the evenings. The first night we were there a friend discovered the plankton along the shoreline. Millions of tiny little plankton particles lit up the shoreline in an enchanting display of bioluminescence. I had never heard of this before, so was completely amazed to see the waves lit up with tiny shimmering lights as we jumped around. It is an experience that will probably live with me forever. An absolutely amazing sight that is hard to describe in words.
While I did enjoy the party part of Mozamboogy as well as meeting some rather interesting people from a guy who looked and spoke like a character straight out of Lord of the Rings to an Australian who has been cycling around Africa for the last few months, the small encounters that we had with the natural surroundings were the ultimate highlight of the weekend for me.
Spending the days swimming in the sea, catching a tan, eating the catch of the day (it was Barracuda), and sipping on the famous Mozambican R&R’s then dancing the night away with breaks of lying on the beach and gazing at the Milky Way. The trance party/festival part was there, but so was the amazing Mozambican beach. The best of both worlds!