M'Phingwe Lodge

Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Mozambique  , Sofala,
Thursday, November 22, 2012

Today we will cross the Zambezi. We planned to stay at Cua Cua Lodge just before the new bridge over the Zambezi but as it is extremely dry in the area, it would have been pointless spending time there in the heat.

We continued to Sena, a bit out of the way, where we would see the Dona Ana Bridge.  Carlos was particularly interested to visit this historical old bridge.  Below, some facts on Dona Ana. 

The bridge comprises 33 spans of 80m and 7 spans of 50m.

Dona Ana Bridge spans the lower Zambezi River between the towns of Vila de Sena and Mutarara in Mozambique, effectively linking the two halves of the country. Built by the Portuguese in 1934 during the Portuguese rule of Mozambique, and blown up by RENAMO soldiers during the Mozambican Civil War (1977-1992). After independence from Portugal in 1975, it was originally constructed as a railway bridge to link Malawi and the Moatize coal fields to the port of Beira.

The 3.67km-long Dona Ana Bridge, at that time the longest railway bridge in Africa, was built by the Portuguese in 1935 during the Portuguese rule of Mozambique. In 1995, it was repaired with funds from USAID and converted to a single-lane bridge for vehicle traffic (as shown in the picture). Although not located on a primary highway, it provided an alternative route over the Zambezi; the only other two options were the bridge at Tete and the road ferry at Caia (which was not always reliable). The Dona Ana Bridge is the longest bridge to cross the Zambezi and was the last before its mouth in the Indian Ocean.

However, in 2007, construction started on a bridge to replace the Caia ferry, which (though shorter) would become the last bridge before the mouth. The Caia Bridge opened in August 2009. Dona Ana Bridge was closed to vehicular traffic on July 1, 2006, and work to reconvert it to a railway bridge was started, reopening for operation in October 2009.

We continued "up stream" to a little lodge on the Zambezi.  They only have rooms so it was just to see what they had to offer.  It is very neat and particularly well managed.  They have a monkey as a pet.  It was just to happy to be tickled by Carlos....mmmm.

The road after Caia deteriorated the further we went.  Potholes galore!! This tar road needs a major repair.  We are making our way toward Gorongosa National Park but will be staying at M'Pingwe Camp tonight. Visit their web site for more info.  It is a very interesting place. No camping here, but needless to say, we did not mind taking a room. 

Dinner was yummy, to say the least.  Early morning, after a good cup of filter coffee, we set off to Gornongosa.
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