Visitors to this site may have noticed I am offering an Ebook, sharing my adventure in Mozambique in 1975.

What you might like to know is what is in the book before you consider purchasing it! Here I am offering a summary.

This adventure is set in a special time in history, when Mozambique was granted independence from Portugal. At the time the transitional government was announced, I was already in the country on a visa issued by Portuguese authorities. It was truly a small window where the war for independence had ceased, and just a few months later, civil war broke out! Since that time, all steam has stopped in the area, and I suspect very few rail photographers have been able to get the pictures we did.

The area from Beira to Machupanda on the Rhodesian border had some amazing photographic opportunities, and we managed quite a few great photos. They are shared in the book. They include the Henschel streamlined passenger garratts which operated in the area. When we were there, it was 100% steam.

Mozambique cfm garratts beira steam train
Double Garratts haul a freight from Rhodesia

Work was completed on the Beira line in 1899, completing the African transcontinental railway which started in Southern Angola at Lobito on the Benguela Railway. On its journey it crossed the Zambezi at Victoria Falls and we managed to photograph regular steam there from the Zambian side.

john gaydon, mozambique, africa, steam trains

Our adventure lasted 54 days and we were imprisoned for 30 of those days. The picture is of me flanked by two of my captors. The whole time we were interred, we didn’t see another white person. Our captors were the same people involved in a 10 year guerrilla war against Portuguese colonialists. The soldiers at the barracks we were kept in tried to mount a coup just a few months later, and in the prison next door people were being tortured. Nobody knew where we were and we were told we could not contact anyone outside for a month! We tell the story of the period, what happened during detention and how we got out! My friends who have read this tale, tell me it is the rail adventure of the Century.

So there you have it. You can read of our travails in Mozambique, how we overcame incredible obstacles to photograph the remaining steam there, and some wonderful exclusive pictures to prove it!

I hope you like my adventure. It is one I will never forget.


John Gaydon