Last night I had dinner in Mozambique

Anthony Bourdain enjoying peri peri chicken in Mozambique
Anthony Bourdain enjoying peri peri chicken in Mozambique

Well not actually in Mozambique but it sure felt like it.  Nando’s in Calgary’s North East just had all the trappings plus the amazing food of Portuguese Africa.  It also had all the atmosphere of a Mozambique family restaurant – very loud, very noisy, amazing food, lots of children.

The last time I had dinner in Mozambique was way back during the civil war between Renamo and Marxist Frelimo.  I was living in Swaziland at the time so it was just a short 4 hour drive from Mbabane to Maputo (formerly Lourenco Marques).  It was however a drive punctuated by many road blocks and we were never really sure whether they were soldiers or not.  They did have guns but they were also a pretty ragged looking bunch.  Yes I know what you are thinking.  We must have been crazy!

The Polana Hotel today
The Polana Hotel today

Arriving into Maputo was a shock – many of the buildings were abandoned only half built and had stood that way for a long time during the war.  The gracious old Polana Hotel was still standing and packed full of Eastern Europeans and Russians as the Frelimo Government had strong friendships with the East.

Fast forward to today and Mozambique has moved into a new era.  Brand new shopping malls  in Maputo and fantastic beach front and island resorts.

Indigo Bay Island Resort
Indigo Bay Island Resort

Indigo Bay in Bazaruto – clients of mine described their visit there as “absolute paradise”.




Ibo Island Lodge
Ibo Island Lodge

Ibo Island Lodge is another great choice.  Three historic mansions on the beach in Northern Mozambique now converted to this luxury seaside resort.

Mozambique is the new hot destination in Southern Africa and for those who want to combine some safari with beach time an extension into Mozambique is a great choice.

One thing you can be sure of – you will get that great Mozambique style cooking with lashings of peri peri and the best prawns ever!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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