51 TRAVELZONE a remnant from the old elephant pathways traversing the country. “Although the elephants no longer make the long migration from Zimbabwe to the elephant park in Vilanculos, their route can still be traced by the baobab trees, which sprang up thanks to their love of its fruit,” says Mike. It’s a sad reminder of the wildlife decimation which occurred during the Mozambican civil war, and ensuing poaching which continues even today, despite the fences having been dropped between the Kruger National Park and the Mozambican Trans Frontier National Park. We soon spot some sturdy old baobabs among the remote villages, but Mike is more focused on another rare find. He spots what he believes to be a previously unknown cycad, an ancient species of plant, known to date back to the dinosaur age. He is positively thrilled – cycads are his favourite plant species. wildebeest, wild boar and baboon – can be observed. Here Mike sets up camp on the beach and spends some time exploring the ancient ruins of an old Portuguese hotel, which also borders on some amazing rock pools, each a mini THE ROADWAY FROM TOFO IS STABLE, BUT MASSIVE POTHOLES APPEAR FURTHER NORTH LEFT: The Sharksafe Barrier consists of polyurethane pipes fitted with magnets. BELOW: A lunch of fresh prawns. ABOVE: Mike pictured with the writer during their travels to the northern areas of Mozambique. The trek north continues up the east coast through Maxixe and up to Pomene, a beautiful and wild nature reserve on the estuary. In the different landscapes of the reserve (dunes, savannahs, mangroves and marshes) many animals – including ABOVE LEFT: While the elephant migration routes are no longer used because of political barriers, the animals are still in a park in the area of Vilanculos. ABOVE RIGHT: Baobabs line the ancient elephant routes that these large animals used to migrate between the interior of Zimbabwe and the coastal plains of Mozambique.
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