9 Days in Mozambique
DO NOT MISS
Day 1: Arrive in Maputo from Swaziland, visit sights around Maputo.
We were able to check out the following landmarks in one afternoon:
- Iron House (Casa de Ferro, 100Mt) – Interesting architecture and history but nothing much inside.
- Maputo Fort (Fortaleza de Maputo, 100Mt) – some history, displays are bilingual, worth a visit.
- Fisheries Museum (Museu Das Pescas, 100Mt) – display only in Portuegese, intresting display of sculptures from plastic bottles
- Central Train Station (Free)
- Fish Market (Free) – You can buy seafood here and take it next door to have it cooked. Chefs were super aggressive in trying to get you to go to their stall, each claiming to be the best cook. The fish market itself is surprisingly not smelly
Day 2: Head to Tofo
Fatima’s Backpackers has “door to door” transport from their location in Maputo to their location in Tofo. On the way to Tofo it was actually a taxi ride to the bus rank, then we got on a separate bus to Tofo, it was still more convenient than getting on a bus yourself to Inhambane then catching a separate bush taxi to Tofo.
Day 3: Relax in Tofo
Tofo is a small beach side village. Everything is within walking distance (though the sand can get really hot to walk on). It is a famous diving spot as there are at least 5 diving companies in town.
Day 4: Take a boat ride and try to spot whale sharks (November – Feb)
Peri Peri Divers has a guarantee that if you don’t see whale sharks on your “ocean safari” you can come back for free provided there’s availability.
Day 5: Take a Dhow ride to Pig Island (Ilha dos Porcos) and snorkel in the estuaries.
Sundance Hostel can hook you up with a Dhow ride run by a local (Armando!) You get a tour of the Island with a delicious lunch on the island. Wear water shoes as you’ll be walking through some shallow waters covered in shells.
Day 6: Spend a day on the beach in Praia de Barra, or visit nearby Tofinho
Day 7: Head to Inhambane and explore the town
Inhambane can be explored on foot easily, in 1-2 hours here are a few notable landmarks:
- Inhambane Market
- Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao
- Former Slave House
- Casa Provincial de Cultura
Day 8: Take a boat ride to Maxixe from Inhambane
Usually, to continue traveling north bound along the coast of Mozambique from Tofo/Inhambane you would take a boat ride to Maxixe then catch a northbound bus from the bus rank there. The town of Maxixe is not that interesting but the boat ride itself is an experience. Also it’s cheap! (15 Mt one way)
Day 9: Head back to Maputo
In Maputo, Fatima’s Backpacker is a convenient place to stay if you’re heading to Tofo but it’s a little run-down. The Base is a nicer updated backpacker.
In Tofo, Fatima’s Nest has a nice restaurant with balcony on the beach but their dorms and kitchen is lacking – you have to tread through sand to get to the showers and bathroom, etc. Their privates are ok. Pariango has a much better set up for similar pricing. They are also closer to center town. Sundance is slightly more expensive but they have A/C and everything is within one building so when it rains you don’t have to get wet to access the lounge or kitchen. The are also located right in middle of town. Mozambeat is perched on top of the hill with no public transportation that stops there but I hear the view is nice.
In Inhambane I splurged at Casa do Capitao. It was really nice getting the 5 star treatment for average hotel prices.
VISA ON ARRIVAL
Mozambique is by far the most difficult country to get visa on arrival when crossing the border by land. We were the only people in line but it still took about an hour. The officers wanted to see printed documents of all your flights and all your hotel reservations. If you don’t, you may have to resort to bribery or cry. They are not going to verify the information so just make up something and make sure to print a copy for them to keep. We hear if you arrive by plane it’s much easier to get visa on arrival.
Expect long bus rides that may be uncomfortable when traveling between cities. For shorter distances taxis might be a better choice as bush taxis are often overstuffed but they are much much cheaper. Some people rent a car from South Africa and drive over since car rental is cheaper in South Africa. Currently the middle of the country is considered dangerous to travel (North of Beira)
TRAVELING WITH LESS TIME…
- Explore beaches closer to Maputo (assuming that’s your starting spot), like Ponta do Ouro
- Consider flying, though LAM is notorious for delays and cancellations.
TRAVELING WITH MORE TIME…
- Take a ferry to Inhaca from Maputo
- Go to Pemba, and explore Quirimbas National Park
- Stop by Vilankulos and do a dhow safari to Bazaruto Archipelago
- Check out Mozambique Island, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.