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Mozambique: Mujaca Lighthouse Walk

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Mujaca Lighthouse Walk | Mozambique | Africa

[Visited: October 2015]

On this Sunday, we (a party of 6) are going to walk to the lighthouse on Mujaca islet, and we time our departure from Ibo according to the tides. We will be walking in the middle of the day and stock up on water before we set off on the road heading past the Fortaleza de São João Baptista, meet and greet a lot of friendly locals on the way, and follow the sandy road until it becomes a trail through a mangrove forest. The soil is muddy, and we imagine that just hours before, water must have been here. After crossing a shallow river, we continue through the forest until we reach the beach. The tide is reaching its lowest point, and the waves do not even come close to the beach now. Three local girls join us: they are on the hunt for anything edible on their way to Mujaca, and point the way. But that is not really necessary: we can see Mujaca on the horizon.

Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Low tide on Ibo with Mujaca in the background

The going gets more interesting when we leave the beach and wade through the shallow and warm water. In some parts, the soil is rocky and walking easy, but in others, black mud tries to take our shoes and sandals. There are regular shrieks of an unlucky person stuck in this treacherous mud, trying to get out. The better we look, the more life we see in this low tide water. Sea urchins, sea stars, squid, a water snake, crabs: the crevices and nooks of the soil are teeming with life. The bravest girl manages to catch a small fish with her small spear, but the girls seem not to be too lucky with their hunt. They are, however, great company, if only because they play music on their phones and dance to it while wading through the water.

Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Girl from Ibo posing at the lighthouse of Mujaca

When we reach the island of Mujaca, it is a short walk up hill to the old lighthouse, through a patch of aloe vera plants. No romantic red-and-white lighthouse here, though: it is merely a ruined, square building, the flights are damaged, but it is still possible to get up. The girls now perform a spontaneous dance and some of us join them. Oh, why is there no bar here, with perfect views over the brilliant sea below us? We have a snack instead, before we head back to Ibo. The girls stay on the island, probably trying to catch more stuff before the tide comes back in. The water is even lower now: we still have a wide margin. We meet even more people on our walk on the sandy track, and are surprised to meet a herd of cows. A veiled lady suddenly drops most of her clothes and poses, begging for a picture, and a bunch of kids strike a pose to impress us. Big fun on our walk back to Ibo.

Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Low tide on Ibo with lone mangrove branch
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Low tide on Ibo with mangrove tree and Mujaca in the background
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): The beach near Mujaca is lined with tall palm trees
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Walking the shore at low tide: three Ibo girls on the hunt
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Part of the trail from Ibo to Mujaca
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Girl from Ibo hunting for a small catch at low tide on the way to Mujaca
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Mangrove forest of Ibo at low tide
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Mangrove trees on our way from Ibo to Mujaca
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): The shallow river we had to cross on our way to Mujaca
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Much of the ground of Ibo exposed at low tide
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): The way there is more important than the destiny: the lighthouse of Mujaca
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Three Ibo girls walking the coast at low tide on the hunt
Picture of Mujaca Lighthouse Walk (Mozambique): Kids showing off for the picture

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