Is this a piece of paradise deserted by tourists?
Every country has its peek seasons and the quiet times when the locals catch their breath, but not Ponta d’Ouro, Mozambique. Or at least that’s how it was, my sporadic visits this year has given the town a new vibe – ghost town. But why? This was a place the people of Natal raced to for drunken weekends of Tipo Tinto and bad decisions. I have theories, but none solid enough to see the town of buzz fall to tumble weed echoes.
Why isn’t Ponta d’Ouro busy?
– The price of everything has risen exponentially in the space of 18 months, it’s now cheaper to take your family to Thailand than parts of Mozambique.
– The road entering the Kosi Bay border is now rank with speed-bumps, adding an hour to your journey and ten years onto your life.
– It’s no longer trendy. I have noticed with South Africans, what one does the others follow. We are sheep, but not loyal sheep.
– Sand is a fucking nightmare.
What happens to the locals?
With no-one to talk to, my other half and I are now best friends with half of the Ponta d’Ouro population – most of whom are from Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. Heading down to the tourist hub to find work and a better life, many Mozambicans are left disappointed by the lack of tourist activity. Restaurants and hotels are continuing to spring up only to remain empty bar a few weeks in December, have these new owners done their research?
Business owners are hoping this quiet year is the only one of it’s kind, saying that next years trend will be in their favour. For the sake of many jobs and families, I hope they’re right.
Will the legends survive the drought?
Everyone worth their R&R knows Fernando and Pinto, legends in their own right and successful business owners in Ponta d’Ouro. The picture above is us partying with Pinto at Pinto’s Beach Bar and we’re the only ones there on a Friday night at 7pm… still a party with enough alcohol but it’s not the same four deep bar you came to expect from Ponta d’Ouro.
Good luck Ponta d’Ouro, I’m rooting for you!