The road less travelled

After our nightmarish Beitbridge border experience, we had zero tolerance for queues. For the last leg of our journey back home, we chose the quieter road and border post into Mozambique, Espungabera. Probably used mostly by diamond smugglers or dodgy border goers wishing to avoid the busy policed routes with their illegal cargo, a bit like us thinking about it! Since we were returning from our annual ‘stock up’ trip down to South Africa, we were carrying one year’s worth of nappies, bum cream, Christmas gifts and enough medicine to medicate an entire hospital. The import duties would potentially be very expensive! Naturally we wanted to avoid another big dent in the bank balance! Espungabera turned out to be our golden ticket home.

What luck, we arrived at the Espungabera border post in the middle of an intense card game between the immigration officer and the customs officer. To add to our luck, (which is most deserved after our bloody awful Beitbridge experience) it was bucketing down with rain. Now if you are a regular border goer like us, you will know that rain at the border is your ‘Get out of jail for free’ card. Border officials do not like to get wet. For them to remove themselves from their comfy stool, get belted with a tropical African rainstorm and to check your car for undeclared goods – well it just doesn’t happen very often. We also timed it over lunch, another way to encounter less hassles at the border! We got through in minutes, thanked them and wished them luck with the cards.

Home sweet home! Finally we were back on Mozambique soil. We pumped up the tunes on the radio and felt like we’d finally conquered our epic journey home. We continued to travel for another 100km’s on a narrow and winding dirt road and were treated to spectacular scenery. I’d highly recommend this route, but in the drier months of course and when you’ve got a heap of time on you!
“The most sacred place on the planet is Mama Africa! The Swiss may have perfected the clock, but Africa owns the time”
Kingsley Holgate