Sunday 15 Jan ’17 – Mozambique to South Africa
Edson tells me that there are a bunch of taxi’s that goes to SA from Xai Xai every day. He will pay the fare for me so I can return home to sort out my bank account. The taxi ends up costing more than a R1000. Which he’s happy to pay. I can’t believe it. There’s not much more to tell except that I will spend the next 11 hours on the taxi.
Just before the border post, we stop and about five people get off the taxi. I notice that they leave their luggage. But I think that it’s probably someone else’s which were stacked next to them. As we drive away. I see how they get into the back of a minivan with black tinted windows. Hmm, makes you wonder…
When we reach Ressano Garcia border gate, the queue is a nightmare. After a while, some guy approaches us and says that he can get our passports stamped if we each give him 20 bucks. So we all paid him and handed him our passports, with an entire stack of passports he walks around the corner. It’s not even 5 minutes before he returns, every passport stamped. There were probably something illegal going on here but I got my stamp and I managed to walk out in less than 10 mins. The queue probably would’ve taken us more than an hour. Just before we drive away. The five that got out earlier, got back on.
Just a few kilometers after the border gate into South Africa, the police stops us. They demand that everyone gets out of the taxi. By now I’m starting to worry. Maybe the stamps were fake. They ask for everyone’s passports. I am the only South African aboard and when they see my SA passport, they don’t even check it. It turns out that the five that got off before the border, were smuggled in with the van because they didn’t have passports. The police officer doesn’t seem very happy about it. Nothing a few hundred bucks cannot fix. The driver pays a bribe, not sure how much and we are back on the road in no time.
The taxi are going to Johannesburg so they let me off at the offramp towards Ermelo. I quickly get a ride and after about an hour. I’m back home. I will spend the next 10 days at home before heading to Lesotho. See you soon.