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