Wednesday 15 April 2015

Mozambique Special Part One

Now be honest - you weren't expecting this were you! Neither was I until that man Paulo van Krieken sent me an email telling me his Mother was born in Mozambique and would I like some pictures from there. Well mais oui mon bruv so here goes. Thankfully very little vehicle identification will be necessary as it's the culture rather than the buses under the microscope here. I have to say it is truly fascinating. It really is something completely different and maybe I won't complain about my next rattly E200 as much next time!

Here is Paulo's email explaining what goes on out there, and the warning for travellers.

Hi Steve,

My mother was born in Mozambique so that part of the world is very close to my heart.
Mozambique " Chapas " are extremely popular as they run more often and quicker than proper buses.
To commute from major cities such the capital Maputo or Matola into the rural vast areas people rely on a transport called " Chapas "
It is basically a 9 seat van with a normal driver ( rich owners will have a fleet of vans then hire drivers ).
It is dangerous,not safe,not reliable BUT regular and cheaper.
It is so popular that several websites are advertizing buses and chapas as a mean of transport there.
Steve, for Health & Safety purposes imagine the consequences of a traffic accident involving a " Chapa " vehicle.
See below some information extracted from a Mozambique website:

"Buses and Chapas"

WARNING: Chapas (small minivans) are extremely uncomfortable and very dangerous so should be avoided. If you are patient there is essentially always a bus that will do the same trip. Chapas will always charge extra for luggage.
Maputo to Tofo ( Chapa )
                                                            Departure: Constant - early morning better
                                                                                  Location: Junta 
                                                                                  Time: 8-9 hours
                                                              Changes: Inhambane City or Maxixe

So let's look at the way people travel in Moxambique...

Yes those rear wheels are definitely original! Where's the buggy space?
Of course there are double decker versions too, and even these look more comfortable than a President!

It's a little cramped maybe but ventilation is good
Paulo told me that competition on these chapas is so tough that drivers have been known to shoot each other over a fare. Makes the Ipswich bus wars seem a little tame really! Come on boys let's have some real entertainment! Bet you can't find room for extra passengers like these guys can!

You see - plenty of room!!
Of course there are alternatives. New modern air conditioned buses are available as an alternative, perfectly capable of handling the African terrain and offering an air of luxury compared to the basic chapas.

Or maybe not
Never mind, at least the roads in Mozambique are clear and uncluttered, so your journey is guaranteed to run on time.

Or maybe not. Castle Meadow in Maputo
Look out for Part Two with more of the same, and an open topper I'll want identifying. Many thanks, again, Paulo, for your amazing contributions to the blog.

1 comment:

  1. Now thats a fun place lol good old Paulo Now even I could get a licence there lol