Is Mozambique Safe? Post Election Update

When driving into Beira last week, I got stuck in a traffic jam. Hundreds of campaigners were on the move and their dancing and singing boodies had occupied most of the road. I had no choice but to sit it out and enjoy the show! And truthfully, I enjoyed it immensely. The atmosphere was contagious, in fact it had me laughing which I can assure you is a refreshing experience when it comes to driving into Beira.

Entertainment style Campaign

If you don’t have big wads of cash for a flashy campaign, go the entertainment route.

Entertainment style Campaign ii

How to get votes in Mozambique – PUMP UP TUNES!!!

There was a lot of doom and gloom forecasted for these municipal elections. And quite rightly so. Renamo – who have pulled out of the municipal elections completely – had threatened to disrupt the elections. It’s with great relief that I can report that today – VOTE DAY - went ahead peacefully and without any major disruptions. To my knowledge, there was only one major event of unrest during the campaign when the riot police used tear gas bombs on a large and angry crowd in Beira. Other than that I personally found the elections rather entertaining!

Elections – Mozambique Style

The Whistle Blower

The Whistle Blower

 

Frelimo Supporter

The Flag Wrapper

The Lone Motorist

The Lone Rider

Happy Campaigners

The Party with my mates Campaigner

It's a party on wheels

The For Comfort Campaign – with all inclusive desk, chairs, vuvuzela’s and Campaigners on wheels.

And just in case you missed the Campaign convoys and forgot for a minute that there was an up and coming election – behold the poster…never is there a missed opportunity!

FIZZ vs Poster

Campaigners kindly left the word ‘FIZZ’ free of posters.

POST IT!!! Election buildings

You missed a spot….

Pictures and fun aside…

Let’s talk December holidays. Is Mozambique safe?

Nothing has changed since my last post - http://africafarandwide.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/is-mozambique-safe/ No unrest has been reported south of the Save River.  Anyone traveling from South Africa all the way up to Inhassoro should not be worried about the unrest currently being experienced in the central region. In the way of unrest, the borders and roads up to this destination are safe. HOWEVER, the unrest is political. And while up until now, the unrest has been confined to certain hot spots in the central region, I would advise for people travelling to Mozambique to keep up to date with any new developments and to become familiar with the geography of this country and its ‘hot spots.’ The reason for the unrest being experienced in certain areas of central Mozambique is because this region is traditionally supported by Renamo. The South is supported by Frelimo, the ruling party. And lucky for you, all those mainstream tourist areas in the South are safe.

I have recently come across 3 fantastic sites that will benefit the tourists immensely. They have regular reports on the current situation.

1.) Travel safe in Mozambique – Mozambican hotels http://www.mozambicanhotels.com/tourist-information/travel-safe-in-Mozambique - I love this site because they provide a map of the ‘hot spot areas.’ It becomes clear where your holiday destination is in relation to the troubled areas.

2.) Club of Mozambique – a trusted English news website keeping all of us expats up to date with the current situation.  http://www.clubofmozambique.com/solutions1/news.php

3.)The Facebook page ‘Drive Moz.’ https://www.facebook.com/groups/DriveMoz/

And what will become of the Zimbabwean/Zambian tourists?

The problem is that the main route south is the EN1 road which has been strategically targeted by the Renamo fighters. There is an army convoy which goes twice a day between Muxungue and the Save River. The last 4 days have been uneventful. However this seems to change regularly. We used the convoy over a month ago and had no bad experiences, but in the last few weeks, there have been a number of attacks on the convoy. And so I don’t think anyone can safely say that the convoy – or that section of road – is completely safe. It’s your risk to take. As a mother, I would personally not risk that route right now.

Are there any other routes to take other than the EN1 from Zimbabwe?

I have only ever done the Espungabera border once http://africafarandwide.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/the-road-less-travelled/ At the border you have an option of left or right! The main road, left, takes you to Dombe – straight into the area you would like to avoid! We took this road during the rains and you need a damn good 4×4, preferably travelling in 2′s!

Or, looking at the map, you could take the Eduardo Mondlane border which goes through the Gonarezhou Natioanl Park in Zimbabwe. I have never done this trip, but I’ll provide the link to someone who has done it very recently: http://victoriafalls24.com/blog/2013/11/19/alternative-route-to-vilanculos/?fb_action_ids=624187217645509&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22624187217645509%22%3A1437309946491783%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22624187217645509%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

This time in Mozambique is all about sharing information. If you have been on any alternate route recently, please share it with us in the comments section. For most of you, this unrest does not apply to your holiday plans. Keep in touch with your lodges. They will not knowingly put you and your family in danger. They will be the first one’s to tell you otherwise.

I am living in the central region of Mozambique.  While we are all cautious of the situation here – it is certainly no war-zone. In fact, the majority of Mozambicans and expats continue with their every-day-life.  Except that it’s flipping hot!!!!!

Wishing all my readers a happy, safe and festive Christmas and New year :-)

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