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It's been several years since I lived and worked in Mozambique, so this advice might be out of date, however:
- Generally if you are on well travelled roads, you should be OK on the main surface of the road.
- If you are on lesser travelled roads, stick to the ruts where the other wheels have gone.
- Don't go off into the bush or grass at the side of the road to pick a flower or take a piss. Also, don't go down into river areas at the side of the road unless you see a lot of other people going there. That's where you are likely to get into trouble.
It's hard to give an accurate answer without knowing more about your trip. If you just plan to transit the country, you should be OK, because you'll likely spend all your time on heavily travelled routes. Generally, the risks are lower in urban areas and higher in rural areas.
If you plan to spend three months exploring the country, especially off the beaten path (literally), then you should have some concerns. A good place to get more info would be from a NGO or hospital in the specific area of the country that you intend to travel.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Juan Pablo: Hi
Should I avoid Mozambique by motorbike regarding the land mines issue?
Any help appreciated.
Just got back from a trip up the coast of Mazambique. Never had any problems, BUT I stayed on the beaten track. If the locals go there - you should be safe. Beautiful country. Change money as close to Maputo as possible. Exchange rate gets worse the further north you go, as does the price of petrol.
Mocambique is fantastic, a real African highlight and possibly the perfect country for real adventure motorcycling - top people, beautiful scenery and tangled trails. I was there in July this year, rode up the coast from Maputo to Dar Es Salaam - hard work at times (well, relatively - not compared to filling skips or subsistence farming) but well worth the effort. And no, I didn't hit any mines, and I'm a right clumsy twat. Email me if you want any route details.
Dan is correct in his comments about how nice a country Mozambique is, but still, don't be careless (carefree?) about the land mines issue.
The problem is that the damned land mines don't know that the war is over. The ones that have not been set off or removed are still there. And, worst of all, they move around. What I mean by this is whenever you get flooding, or even prolonged heavy rains, the small anti-personnel mines move around (laterally) with the soil, or perhaps move upwards, relatively speaking, as soil above them is eroded away.
The effect of this is that a path or roadway that may have been proven to be free of mines before may no longer be.
It's a few years now since I've been & I agree with all the above except:
Don't trust the bit about "If the locals go there - you should be safe" - as Pan says the mines move about - you only have to look in some of the local hospitals to realise how crap it is. Main routes should be safe though.
Best thing to do is go for a drink with some of the De-mining teams in Maputo (Kiwis & Belgians) if they're still there... if only 'cos they're a bunch of complete nutters.
Let's also keep a perspective here. Landmines are dangerous, but almost certainly not the biggest danger facing you when you drive a motorcycle, especially in a third-country. Even in Mozambique.
If any given section of track has been traversed in the past two years or so, the chances of a landmine being there are vanishingly small. The war ended about 10 years ago. There *are* still people being killed by rogue landmines there, but that's about statistics - lots of people living permanently around some landmines WILL trigger some of them.
(I'm not in any way condoning the horror of laying landmines, just saying that IMHO they are a *relatively* minor threat to the kind of motorised travelling any of us are likely to do, in Mozambique, ten years on).
was there 1 year ago, absolutely beautiful country! Mines are not a big issue if you stay on well-travelled roads. But you should remember not to even go take a pee on the roadside, thats sometimes hard to remember. Dont trust where the locals walk, cos theyll walk anywhere; if you look carefully you can see the ones who´ve lost a leg or two.. Urban areas are ok, and most of the minefields are well marked, but there are over a million of those nasty things there, still.
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