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Published by: robertmrome on Aug 18, 2010
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Craig Rix founded Travel Africa magazine in 1997 while living in his native Zimbabwe. Although publishing operations have now moved to Oxford, his heart and mind are never far from Africa.

hey were gathered in large numbers. They stank. Their pincers were (mostly) outstretched. Menacing. And our seven-year old daughter had them organised with military precision. It was quite some operation. Though I would have been more anxious had the crabs actually been alive. This was on our verandah table, and we were auditing the day’s catch. It’s amazing what several hours’ foraging at the seaside can produce. Admittedly, this was no ordinary seaside. It was Indigo Bay on Bazaruto, an island in the Mozambique Channel, and a more beautiful place I cannot imagine. Approaching from the air, we had gazed upon a palette of luxuriant liquid blues overlaying sweeping

sandbanks laid down with the gentlest of touches. It is a timeless mural Mother Nature continues to craft. Later, paddling in the waves, I stood in shallows and was able to see sand dancing around my feet to the lullaby of the tides, tiny shell fragments drifting to and fro. Beaches arched around the bay, their white tentacles teasing my gaze to a point I could not see but yearned to reach. Filtering stories for our magazines, I have read so many overused superlatives I’ve grown to dislike them as mostly lazy demonstrations of an inadequate vocabulary. So it is with some humility that now I find myself battling for suitable words. But it was in Mozambique that I realised the true meaning of two of my least favourite adjectives. So I use them wisely herein.

Extraordinary, Bazaruto really is. Over the years I have seen countless photographs of idyllic beach scenes, but it was the images of Mozambique that I’d been drawn to. I was determined to visit and expectations were high. This was, after all, the proverbial holiday of a lifetime. And there I found myself, one of only four people on a crisp, white beach that stretched many miles into the distance, laughing out loud in disbelief. We were actually here, and it was so perfect that it seemed unreal. No camera settings or filters could hope to enhance it. There were no rows of hotels or condos just out of frame. No Photoshop tricks at home would be necessary. It was real, and it was too far removed from the grip of the western world to have compromised its integrity.

Unsurprisingly, our two daughters were far less whimsical about this ‘big picture’ ideal. Everywhere they looked, there was something to cheer. Starting with the crabs. My wife, Sherry, and I had a very grown-up plan to de-stress by surrendering to a sun-lounger for four days – like that bronzed German couple we saw lying by the pool every day – while our sevenand twelve-year-old daughters amused themselves on the beach. Yeah, right. In our short visit we didn’t so much as test a lounger. We spent a morning digging cars in the sand near Dolphin Bay, a vast beach that reached into the sea in a finger-like spit. We also explored Paradise Island, with its shiny-white beaches and ruins of a once-popular hotel resort. However, e

Main image: A world of blissful blues in the Bazaruto Archipelago Below: There are activities (and crabs) aplenty to keep children entertained at Indigo Bay

A tale of two superlatives
To give us some peace and quiet in the office we shipped our publisher, Craig Rix, off to Mozambique with his family. He’s hoping we’ll do it again.

88 Travel Africa Spring 2010

Spring 2010 Travel Africa 89

Mozambique CRAIG RIX (2) RANI RESORTS / INDIGO BABY (2) e the island trip will be forever remembered for delivering the sought-after dolphins our eldest daughter. The pool had five terraces and a grotto. of course. We snorkeled at several incredible reefs.com) Main image: The line between nature and the nurturing of the Indigo Bay Spa and Resort is happily a blurred one Right: With dunes to climb (top). I did a scuba dive. Ashleigh had lined up her crabs and told me intricate stories of family ties and survival. I wondered if our girls realised quite how privileged they had been to visit such an extraordinary place. she was so besotted with them she hauled them back home to the UK.indigobayresort.kenya-airways) and stayed Spa and Resort (www. They delighted in riding in golf carts and played bao. waters to explore (middle) and fairytale beaches to frolic on (bottom). Indeed. there’s no shortage of fun for the whole family on the coast of Mozambique Spring 2010 Travel Africa 91 . And even when we were back at the resort. How much would they remember? At Indigo Bay. They drank Shirley Temples and revelled in beach barbeques and numerous visits to the breakfast buffet. Kirsten. And. with Kenya * Craig Rix flew to Mozambiqueat Indigo BayAirways (www. paddle-boating and dune-boarding (how children are fearless!). I wondered if that German couple on their poolside loungers really appreciated how fortunate they were to be there. after the children had collapsed into bed. in case you thought I’d forgotten. It is a timeless mural Mother Nature continues to craft justice. drawing us into our new environment and opening our eyes to the details and opportunities that combined to create this extraordinary experience. without question one of the most awe-inspiring wildlife encounters I’ve ever experienced. where adults see a picturesque beach. had so longed to see. Ashleigh. We learnt that if you want to go to the beach simply to relax and read a book. It deserves your attention. We went horse-riding (several times).rani-resorts. we sat on the deck and gazed in silence at the moonlit ocean rhythmically lapping at the shore like a heartbeat. where they are now brought out to impress unsuspecting houseguests. And we drifted at sea with humpback whales (a total of 14 in one morning) swimming under the boat and surfacing just metres away.) Without question. but secretly we’re proud because with every unveiling we know our children are reliving their time at Bazaruto. and what impact the holiday would have on their lives. the children had plenty to occupy themselves. We make our apologies. Perhaps if we all acted like children we’d have a richer experience in life? At the same time. It’s proof that Mozambique captured their imagination.com / www. children see the world’s biggest sandpit… On our second evening. Sherry and I treated ourselves to a spa treatment. but most memorable were our goggled seashell picking explorations in the shallows off the beach with our youngest. (That’s my second word. you won’t be doing Mozambique We gazed upon a palette of luxuriant liquid blues overlaying sweeping sandbanks laid down with the gentlest of touches. It was truly a privilege to be there. the children’s enthusiasm was infectious.

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