Fascinating Africa

Africa . Cradle of humanity

Working, travelling and living in Africa

Africa is different to other continents. The history tells stories of race
discrimination and genocides which haven´t yet been overcome; wars, of
which very few news media report on because either they are economically
trivial or they don´t match to Western lifestyle nor to their self
fulfilling ideology… Africa´s history is also characterised by
colonialism, but no one seems to reflect on its origin and justification.
Poverty and crime became taken for granted, even though Africa is one of
the World’s richest continents in terms of prosperity, natural resources
and biodiversity.

But Africa is on the move:

Metropolis’ were built, universities founded, international concern
established sub-offices and investment funds benefited from politically
moderated African countries. Travel guides promote the breathtaking
landscape, there exists an incredible diversity of species with which
tourists from all over the world are able to experience the “African
Adventure” through safaris. But Africa is much, much more than this. It´s
about the people you meet. Africans love their life. Due to a myriad of
political injustices, which impacted on various demographic groups, people
have learned to forgive, to enjoy the moment and to look forward. Through
decades of submission, an internal pride has risen. A pride that is hard
for Western people to relive.

education Africa kululeku volunteer

Foto Credits: Annie Spratt

So why do your voluntary work in Africa?

In a continent partly dirty, partly ‘dangerous’ with lots of horrifying poverty, disease and lifelessness. Because it WILL change your life. There are not many places on our Planet Earth where contrasts are so close: black & white, wealth and poverty, justice and injustice, love and hate, corruption and fairness, civilisation and wilderness.

education Africa kululeku volunteer kids teach bazaruto

Fascinating Mozambique

Mozambique remains untouched by mass tourism.

Unspoiled, undeveloped, and untamed, Mozambique is fast-emerging on the
international tourism circuit with its wild beauty and exotic influences.
Some 1,500 miles of rugged, creamy coastline are met by world-class coral
reefs, primed for swimming, snorkelling, and sunset sailing.

The endless wide tropical beaches of the mainland are breathtaking. The
archipelagos of the southern Bazaruto and northern Quirimbas are dazzling
dots of milky swirls, where beaches spill into progressively deepening
shades of emerald. World-class snorkelling and diving is at the ready
straight from the remote beaches, with humpback whales, dolphins, and
nesting turtles proposing potential company.

Weekend trip to Bazaruto Archipelago.

Market in Vilanculos.

Vilanculos and Bazaruto

Vilanculos is a coastal town in the province Inhambane, known as Mozambique´s capital of watersports. With a population of nearly 40 000, the mainland of Bazaruto Archipelago is a rapidly growing town on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Vilanculo has an international airport with several regional destinations such as Johannesburg, Maputo, Durban or Swasiland.

Besides considerable foreign investment into its tourist infrastructure, Vilanculos is also the gateway to the famous Islands: one of the last remaining paradises on earth.

Bazaruto is the only underwater national park in Mozambique – untouched nature, kilometers of deserted beaches, intact sea life with prosperous coral gardens and extremely friendly local people.

The archipelago offers many highlights – both under the water and above. The islands themselves are a mixture of tropical island, African savanna and Sahara: giant white sand dunes – remnants of the Limpodo river which was there millions of years ago. On the East side of the islands, Bazaruto offers spectacular beaches, whilst the West side blends with a tropical Caribbean atmosphere.

If you are looking for a very special destination untouched by mass tourism, you have found what you are looking for right here on the coast of Mozambique. The islands are famous for their richness in sea life; intact coral reefs play home to many types of large sea creatures including manta rays, sharks, dolphins and an unbelievable number of tropical and subtropical species of fish.

Rote Dünen Vilanculos kululeku Freiwilligenarbeit Afrika
education Africa kululeku volunteer kids teach bazaruto

Travel to

By plane: You can reach Vilanculos directly from Maputo or Johannesburg – it is merely a 2 hour flight from both cities. LAM (the national airline) flies from Maputo daily, South African Airways connects Johannesburg with Vilanculos twice a week. The time difference to MET (middle European Time) is +1 h in winter time.

By bus: The cheaper way to get to Vilanculos by bus from Maputo. The journey takes around 11 hours and cost 15000 Meticals.

Shuttle: We can also pick you up with a shuttle service, depending on how many people arrive in Maputo. The agency we work with will give you an affordable price.

Please contact us for any questions concerning your arrival.

Climate

Dry season lasts from March till November with temperatures between 15-23°C. A thin jacket or warm jumper for the evenings is recommended. The rainy season from December to February can be very hot and humid with temperatures between 23-35°C. Water temperatures average out at 29°C from November – March and 22°C from May – September.

Culture and History

A brutal 16-year civil war, though, which ended in the 1990s, claimed a
million lives here, crippling the economy and destroying much architecture.
Mozambique is still getting back on its feet, and Maputo is now lined by
crumbling colonial antiquities.

Despite a war-ravaged past and unsettled present, Mozambique compensates
travellers with their own private corner of paradise. Less developed than
its Indian Ocean counterparts Mauritius and Seychelles, Mozambique retains
exoticism and purity that’s accessible to all. As tourism escalates, prices
and development are likely to hike, so now’s the time to see Africa’s
undiscovered jewel.

education Africa kululeku volunteer kids teach bazaruto

Activities

Bazaruto

Bazaruto, is THE paradise in terms of beaches. You will find miles on miles of beaches, as white as the snow – and above all, empty and deserted. When we were first brought to the island Jeff’s Sunset Dhow Safaris, our first thought was: “Why the hell, have I never heard of this absolute paradise before!?”. Bazaruto is one of the top must sees of Southern Africa.

A trip to the main island of Bazaruto is included. On Saturdays you will be picked up by motorboat, on the beach directly in front of the house, and you will be driven about 45 minutes to the island. Once there, you will have around 2 hours to explore the island and climb the dunes while=st Jeff’s people prepare a super delicious, local lunch with lots of fish and fruits. After lunch, they will take you to the Two Mile Reef, where you can snorkel or spend time in the sun on the boat. Afterward this, you will make a short stopover on the island of Benguerra. Benguerra is the second largest island of the archipelago – much smaller than Bazaruto but equally as beautiful with its own crystal clear turquoise waters and deserted white beaches and … flamingos … a lot of flamingos! The day will wrap up around 4pm, when Jeff’s people will take you back to the Kululeku house. This is a day that you will definitely not forget – don’t forget to bring your camera!!

Gorongosa National Park

From a group of 4 persons we are happy to take you to a trip to the north north to Mozambique’s first National Park. The trip takes at least 3 days. You will leave very early in the morning, around 5 am in a 4×4 and reach the park at about 6 pm (travel time approx. 12 hours on unpaved roads). The park is a real highlight not only because of its scenic beauty and its growing animal population; the park is also a historical landmark in some ways. Only ten years ago (2008) he opened his doors to tourism, after mines had to be found and removed and the animal population had to be secured after the end of the civil war. The park, which is still under construction, is still very natural, wild and informal. You are accommodated in the (single) hotel “Montebelo” and you decide which tour you want to book, as self-drive safaris are prohibited in Gorongosa. You will come across countless species of birds, lions, elephants, many more animals and a unique variety of plants and trees. A special highlight is the Sunset Drive on the banks of the Wetlands with a view of Mount Gorongosa.

Horseback Riding

Enjoy riding by horseback in a small group through palm plantations, into beautiful savannas and up to the hills where the most amazing views over Barazuto´s archipelago can be experienced, before heading to the seaside to ride on almost empty beaches with the most amazing turquoise wateres. The ranch north of Vilanculos offers different trails for beginners as well as experienced riders.

Snorkeling

All kind of sea life – whales, sharks, dolphins, giant turtles, dugongs and colorful coral fishes – live between the breathtaking beaches. Sunset Dhow Safari brings you by speed boat to Two-Mile-Reef, which lies between Bazaruto and Benguerra. With good conditions you will be able to see about 40 meters under the water – this is why the reef is a secret spot for divers from all over the world!

Diving

It doesn´t matter if you are an experienced diver or if you start exploring the underwater world by doing your Open PADI during your stay with us. Due to close links with the local dive school, we have the capacity to offer you very good prices on dives and courses. In many travel agencies and websites you will read about Mozambique´s unique diving spots, declared as one of the best spots in the world! The surrounding, the clearness of the water and the variety of species ensures divers come back year after year. Come and experience it for yourself – an exceptional underwater world awaits you!

Kite Surfing and Beach Volleyball

A mere 5 minutes’ walk from the house is the kite school. The amazing colours of the ocean, the shallow water which runs hundreds of meters along the coastline and the upcoming wind in the afternoon, make Vilanculos a famous kite surf spot.

Red Dunes

Around 15 kilometers North of Vilanculos are the so-called “Red Dunes”. Vilanculos and the surrounding area has a lot to offer in terms of palm trees, beaches and ocecan, but from the highest point of the red dunes, you can see a completely different Mozambique. Particularly special at sunset, the sand dives into a deep, shining brown, the sea becomes dark and the palm trees at your feet shimmer in strong green. It seems as if there is an endless savanna in front of you where all kinds of wild animals roam. And that’s where they were; before the Civil War. There are currently a few conservation and wildlife projects that are bringing the animals back to the vast valleys of Mozambique.
A sunset on the Red Dunes is included. You will be picked up by a 4×4 jeep from the Kululeku house and chauffeured (approx 30 minutes) to the foot of the dune. We will be there in time to have a few cool drinks and local snacks and watch the sun go down behind shallow hills from the highest point of the region.

Local fishing

Local fishing is one of the best experiences you can have in Vilanculos. With the absence of luxury, you will be able to see first hand the struggle for survival – witness the purity and the simplicity of the Mozambicans catching their livelihood with dirt, humor, confidence and strong will. This experience brings you so much closer to the culture and history of the people of Mozambique than any other activity. The people of Vilanculos have been fishing for their livelihood for centuries. This is not ‘fishing’ with long-distance, high-tech fishing boats. Fishing in Vilanculos is done the old fashioned way, the natural way, using physical strength, patience and talent, on a small, original dhow boat without motor or technology.

The tour with John is in no tourist guide or hotel to book. John speaks only Xitswa and Portugese, and apart from our volunteers has nothing to do with tourists. he is by profession: a fishing man. Like his father, his father’s father and his grandfather. The tour starts in the morning just before 6 am. During the ebb, John and 2 of his men will pull you, as well as the whole boat (Dhow), through the shallow waters. Neither the wind nor the current is strong enough to allow the boat to drift through the mighty sandbanks of the archipelago. The boats diverges from the mainland very slowly, and whilst the African sun rises you will find time and silence. Surrounded by the sound of waves and water breaking against the boat, your mind will come to rest and you will have time to find yourself and be aware of yourself and your environment. You will sail to the small Island Margarugue, where tourists are very much out of place. You will have the island pretty much to yourselves. With a little luck, you will catch your lunch, which will be prepared directly after the catch in the boats “kitchen” – on an open fire grill. With more luck, you can enjoy barbecudas, tuna fish, crabs etc. The catch of the day comes along with a country-style “pub-mash”, a mixture of milk and corn – no one knows exactly what but it tastes delicious! A life changing experience to say the least.