Delights of a tropical islandComment on this story
Being abandoned on a tropical island, kilometres away from civilisation, sounds like a scary experience.
The idea of being alone with no food or water could drive anybody insane – just ask Chuck Noland, the character Tom Hanks played in the 2000 hit film, Cast Away.
Eventually Noland resorted to drawing a face on a volleyball and calling it Wilson, just so that he would have some company.
Fortunately the island I found myself stranded on was a beach resort with luxury chalets, pristine blue water and top-quality service.
The Medjumbe Private Island resort, off the coast of Mozambique, is part of the eight Rani Resorts in Mozambique.
I have always dreamed of spending time on a tropical island, and this trip was made even more special by the fact it was the first time I had left South Africa.
I left a wintry Cape Town and Johannesburg and landed in Pemba, a coastal town in northern Mozambique, where I was to spend a night, with seven travel journalists, at the Pemba Beach Resort.
We were greeted by beautiful sea views and got to taste some of the local flavours and experiences. After burning my mouth on some extremely hot peri-peri sauce I joined some locals in an activity that crosses many cultural and language barriers – watching football.
I returned to my room excited, for the next day we were to embark on a flight to several tropical islands for the rest of our stay.
Excitement turned to nervousness when I arrived at the airport to find we would be flying on an aircraft smaller than a limo, and my fears weren’t helped by the pilot advising us that the wind would make it a bumpy flight.
After the plane skipped off the runway my nerves were soon settled by the sights of aerial Mozambique and the reefs of the Indian Ocean, seen mostly through the lens of my camera.
In Medjumbe my camera stayed glued to my face as I continued to take pictures of the magnificent surroundings, and a sense of accomplishment came over me when I looked back at the tiny plane that brought me there.
As someone who grew up taking public transport and was afraid of rollercoasters, it was a feat that I had flown in a plane that would take my baby nephew and niece about two minutes to dismantle.
The resort itself resembled something out of a Swiss Family Robinson story, with much of the decor made of seashells and wood.
A swim in the limpid water was followed by great food, including local crayfish – about three times the size of the ones we are used to.
That was all washed down by two of the local beers, Laurentina Clara and 2M, meaning MacMahon, but better known as Dosh-em.
I also had the chance to taste a few caipirinhas, a popular Portuguese drink that is also the national drink of Brazil.
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