Monday, May 19, 2014

North Mozambique: the Undiscovered Kite Paradise

Kitesurf, kiteboarding, Murrebue, lagoon, crystal clear waters

European and North American summer is approaching, but you might be in time for some exotic adventure in the Southern Hemisphere: there are still some places left in the world, which can be considered true kitesurfing paradises with incredible conditions, yet undiscovered by the masses of regular kitesurfers.

Fishermen, boat, sandbank, Murrebue, Mozambique
If you want to have off-the-beaten-track experience and are dreaming of taking a kitesurfing trip that is completely away from usual tourist destinations, where you would find yourself as the only kitesurfer in beautiful turquoise water lagoons, surrounded by the breathtaking view of white sandbanks emerging all around, then Cabo Delgado, the northern-most Mozambican region, won’t disappoint you.

Murrebue is a small unknown beach village on the outskirts of Pemba (the capital of the region), but it gives the name to one of the most beautiful lagoons you have ever seen. Thirty kilometers by four of crystal turquoise waters, closed between beautiful white sandy beaches and a gorgeous reef.

Kitesurf, kiteboarding, Murrebue, lagoon, crystal clear waters

This magnificent kitesurfing spot is amazingly influenced by the Indian ocean tides, which change the kiteboarding conditions every hour, allowing you to kite from flat water at low tide to the nice waves (normally 1-2 meters high, depending on wind conditions) breaking on the reef at high tide.

Any tourism is practically nonexistent in this area, and the few expats who live here are mainly employees of gas companies from all over the world. There is a really limited number of lodges in Murrebue and the prices are quite high, but you can find some little jewels, like Il Pirata lodge, where you will still have reasonable prices and great food.

Murrebue, Mozambique, beach, bungalow, Il Pirata

I had the pleasure of staying at this kitesurfing paradise for three months, giving kitesurfing lessons to the oil and gas workers or to some local Mozambican guy, and having great kitesurfing sessions myself, spending most of the time surfing practically alone in this kiteboarding paradise.

The life here is regulated by Nature and the flow of tides: when the ocean starts to get low, all the surrounding villagers take over the lagoon to collect shellfish, which remain trapped in small puddles formed by withdrawing waters: myriads of people coming from the surrounding hills in search of some sea delicacy. You can still kite while they are around and if you attempt some jump or trick, you will suddenly hear big awwwww’s coming all around.

Kitesurf, kiteboarding, jump, Murrebue, MozambiqueThere is a very small kitesurfers community, led by Carlo Macchiarulo, the owner of the local kitesurfing school, but they mainly kite on weekends, leaving the whole lagoon to the few tourists staying in local lodges. Carlo often organizes great downwind sessions starting from local surrounding villages, such as Mecufi (30 km south from Murrebue), giving you the incredible emotion of kitesurfing on savage and uncivilized shores.

Murrebue, Lagoon, Mozambique, Pemba, Beach, Low tideThe best season to visit this kitesurfing paradise starts from May and goes up to August, when Cuzi, the south East trade winds, blow practically 90% of the days between 15 and 30 knots. You can also find wind from November to March in the Kasi Kasi season (North East trade winds), but it can rain in this period, which might often interfere with the consistence of the wind. The average temperatures during the windy season are always around 26°-28°C, and the waters are perfect for just lycra and shorts or a shorty in the really strong wind days.

The kitesurfing spot has a few dangers (some rocks and sea urchins in limited areas), but it is basically a huge stretch of coral sand and crystal clear water: a great place for kitesurfers of all levels.

kitesurf, jump, Murrebue, lagoon, Pemba, Mozambique

So if you don't need cocktails with umbrellas and some all-inclusive fattening resort for retired people, if you aren't scared by a couple airplane changes and you want to experience a great adventure and kitesurfing exploration, Murrebue is one of the best places you want to pay a visit to.

Fishermen, streets, Pembakitesurf, jump, Murrebue, lagoon, Pemba, MozambiqueCarlo Macchiarulo, owner, Pirata, Lodge

Have a look to the 2013 Murrebue season Video:

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The Murrebue lagoon, a real kitesurfing paradise in the North of Mozambique.
Date published: 05/19/2014
Date Update: 06/02/2014