Namaacha

Today was another public holiday in Mozambique, Peace Day celebrating the signing of the Rome Accord. We took ourselves off to Namaacha which is about 90km drive west of Maputo and is the border crossing to Swaziland. It’s pretty high up, 600m above sea level so a reasonable climb into hilly country, quite markedly different from the flat coastal plain around Maputo. We could see the city in the distance, the atmosphere was amazingly transparent today after the rain. The city was 54km away as the crow flys!

Namaacha’s only claim to fame is a waterfall mentioned in the guidebooks. A narrow tarred road took us down steeply to the site. In the past Namaacha was a popular spot for holiday homes for the Portugeuse living in Maputo. Since the war and they left the town has decayed, it’s very much a town past its heyday. Ruined buildings abound and the remains of what were large colonial houses were sited near the waterfall. It’s clear it used to be a popular spot, with huts, picnic tables and bridges, now all but gone and now a place where locals come and drink and have fun judging by the amounts of broken glass and litter. A pretty spot though with loads of lizards basking on the rocks, the waterfall itself was barely a trickle at this time of year.

Afterwards we explored the town, taking in a pretty little church and a ruined church, before finding the one and only hotel for a spot of lunch by the pool. We drove back via the main reservoir near Boane which feeds Maputo and drove across the dam wall. We stopped at a nearby hotel for a drink advertised as being on the lake but actually not within sight of the water!

A fascinating trip, seeing how lively Mozambique must have been once. Decaying towns, disused railway stations with rusty tracks, quiet out of the way barely used hotels.