It is impossible not to stumble upon cemeteries when wandering streets or back country in any part of the world. When we happen upon one, we tend to be drawn inside as opposed to walking the opposite direction. Travel is often used as a means to escape the routine of daily life – cemeteries bring us back to reality and the humanity that exists even in the vagaries of escapism. One of the most sobering cemeteries we entered in our travels was in Lumbo, Mozambique, on the northern coast across the channel from famed Mozambique Island.
Most visitors to the region aim to tour Mozambique Island and bypass the cemetery all together. Most aren’t even aware it exists. It is unique. It honors 75 commonwealth soldiers who fell in this region as a result of the Great War. Astounding. The Great War touched lives in this small pocket of East Africa. To reach the cemetery, visitors must turn left on a nondescript dirt road immediately before crossing the causeway to the Island. Several hundred meters down the road, on the left side across from the sea, is the respected ground maintained in perpetuity by the British Commonwealth War Graves Commission. A local man maintains the pristine grounds and offers visitors the opportunity to sign a guest book. A sobering stop at the grave sites reminds us that though this region is a remote tourist haven, it still is a part of the global movement of humanity where people live. . . and die.