23 February 2009

And now for something completley different...


International Passenger Tax when flying out of Mozambique is US $30. Had we of been charged this amount for today’s flight we would have had to fork out $33,000.00. Fortunately today’s passengers were classed as cargo, and so the 11,000 Nile Crocodiles we had on board our two aircraft traveled tax free.



It was a hectic couple of days. We started in dripping 35 degree humidity and flew two and a half hours north to Beira and then on to Caia on the banks of the Zambezi, where we were met by an enthusiastic crowd of locals.

We loaded 550 boxes of crocs.


Each box contained 20 of the cute little creatures!


Half way through loading, we had some weather which made some of the boxes quite wet. This was not good.


There's not much to do in Caia, so we went to bed at 7:30 and were up at 4:30 the next morning to fly back. The weather still wasn’t brilliant and delayed us, but we got back to Beira to find that things weren’t as they should be…

We had to do some search, locate and recovery.


After a lot of official paperwork and a top up of fuel we were back up into the weather and on our way to South Africa. In heavy rain the view forwards was bland for most of the way.


The view to the passengers in the back wasn’t so great either!


Eventually we got back on the ground this time to the welcome of more officials than you can shake a stick at.


And more absentees to be located and returned to their allocated boxes.


So, the end of an interesting and very novel experience. Not the kind of thing one gets to do each day.

Mercy Air team

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