I can’t really speak from any level of expertise, but I have been to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique in 2002. It was kind of charming, and felt safer than many other East African cities. I felt fairly comfortable wandering around town and took the native minivan taxis (I believe there was 23 people in one that I took).
What was cool about Mozambique was the sense of optimism at the time. I’m a little unclear on the history, but I believe that there was a long period of civil war that forced many to flee the country. Apparently, there were successful free democratic elections in the late 1990’s that put some progressives in power. Forgive me if I’m completely offbase in my very brief experience. People talked of Mozambique as THE up and coming tourist destination.
I think Mozambique will be a wonderful experience for your daughter. The biggest problem is that damn indecipherable Portuguese language. I’ve heard it described as a drunken Frenchman trying to speak Spanish. Of course, she’ll be stuck out in the boondocks and from what I hear, is very primitive relative to Maputo. Go and visit her and stay in the gorgeous Hotel Polana. The seafood in Mozambique is very cheap and to die for.
Heh. It is a bitch to get to. I think I went to St. Lucia from Jo-berg, a super bitchin’ little sea resort town. I almost bought a house there for US$39,000 that was nestled up against a UNESCO World Heritage site. I went kayaking there in a lagoon that had crocodiles and hippopotami. Hippoopotami kill more humans than any other animal in Africa, supposedly.
From there I took a bus to Swaziland. Swaziland is famous for the party where all the nubile young woman in the kingdom dance topless before the king and then sometimes he chooses one for his wife. I think he’s up to 14. Make sure your daughter does not get involved in the dance. It’s got one of the highest HIV positive percentage of the population in the world. I went on an awesome white water rafting trip there. From there, I took a bus to Maputo.
I’m not sure if I got that itinerary just right, but generally from St. Lucia to Maputo I took native local transportation, which can be pretty funky. There will probably be more tourist oriented and comfortable busses to be had, especially by now. South Africa has an excellent western tourist oriented shuttle system which may or may not take you to Swaziland from Jo-berg.
If you’ve got some time to kill, you may want to go on safari in Krueger, work your way up to Swaziland, and then on to Mozambique. Like I said, there may be nice tourist busses straight from Jo-berg to Maputo, I don’t really know. Otherwise, I would think you could fly straight from Jo-berg to Maputo. I’m unclear on how safe air flight is going to Mozambique. I’d do it, but I’ve been on an airline that had one of the worst accident records on the planet.
I suggest that you buy a Lonely Planet Guide on East Africa. They are a wealth of practical information. Your daughter could use a copy anyhow.
i went on vacation in mozambique with my family a couple years ago - i was in peace corps zambia at the time. we went to an island off the coast, across from vilanculos - bazaruto? absolutely beautiful, it was surrounded by ocean AND had sand dunes! we went dune boarding, which was awesome. a little chilly, as we went at the height of the cold season (june).
pretty much every PC volunteer vacations in mozambique at some point (or so it seems). they have some great back-packer priced beaches, and at some time of year (i dont know the months) you can go snorkeling with whale sharks! i was friends with a couple of PC mozambique volunteers, and they loved it.
as for protein - dont forget beans! and you can buy dehydrated soya pieces in the big cities and take them back to your village - smells like hamster food but you can tart them up with spices and whatnot.
you will have so much fun when you go visit! as a volunteer it’s great getting people to come visit you, and as a visitor - nobody can show you around like a peace corps volunteer.
congrats to your daughter! what is her assignment?