Mozambique is a rustic with maybe probably the most beautiful and most original seashores I’ve ever seen. It’s a nation with a various historical past of influences from cultures all world wide. It’s also a rustic that has seen its greater than justifiable share of violence, revolution, and the likes. After I consider Mozambique, I consider it as being probably the most distinctive and beautiful locations to go to in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mozambique can also be a an enormous nation with so many alternative issues to see, made tough by questionable infrastructure. I spent a month touring Mozambique and that is how I’d construction a journey itinerary for two weeks, Three weeks, or Four weeks. Relying on how a lot time you might have, you’ll have to select which locations you go to as it’s not possible to see every thing in below three weeks. Don’t fear, this submit will break down all of the choices!
For those who’re interested by going to Mozambique, make sure that to learn my complete Mozambique Journey Information to an concept of what to anticipate!
The place I went in Mozambique
I went to Mozambique proper after my epic month lengthy journey to Madagascar. To me, it was the same vibe in its rusticness and beautiful pure magnificence. As I had a month to journey the nation, I made certain to see as a lot as I might. I might have simply traveled for an additional month, however I can solely be so fortunate!
In complete, this itinerary is for anybody that has 14-28 days. In fact this itinerary may be shortened or lengthened relying in your schedule. I visited the next areas on this itinerary
- Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago
- Ilha de Mozambique
- Quirimbas Archipelago
If these locations ring a bell and sound just like the locations you wish to go to, that is the right itinerary for you! Additionally, Mozambique is the right place to go to after a visit the Rainbow Nation of South Africa. You possibly can cross the land and go to Ponta D’ouro or alternatively, can fly from Johannesburg to Inhambane. I’m not a giant fan of the very south of the nation (Ponta D’oura) as there are a lot nicer seashores within the nation and it is rather much like what yow will discover on the wild coast of South Africa.
One other widespread route is coming from Malawi. You possibly can take a bus or collective van from Blantyre to Cuamba, Mozambique, and proceed on to locations like Ilha de Mozambique.
Final thing to notice, after I visited Mozambique, the Gorongosa Nationwide Park exterior of Beira had been closed attributable to civil conflicts. It has since re-opened in 2018 and is welcoming guests!
This itinerary begins in Maputo, the nation’s vibrant capital metropolis, and ends within the Quirimbas Archipelago, that are to me are among the most lovely set of islands I’ve seen.
Mozambique is a large nation, spanning 2,500 km. I traversed most of it on my journey. I used a mix of air, buses, group taxis (referred to as chappas), and hitch-hiking (sure you learn that)
I began my journey in Maputo as that is the capital and the place most of the worldwide flights fly into. After spending an evening or two (at most) in Maputo, I went to Tofo, a divers paradise well-known for its wild seashores and megafauna. After this, I took a chappa from Tofo to Vilanculos, a coastal city that serves because the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago. These islands are among the most beautiful and dramatic on the planet with numerous sandbanks that seem and disappearing with the dies. Bazaruto Island is known for its enormous sand dunes that drop into the turquoise ocean.
From Vilanculos, I took a flight to Nampula (layover in Maputo), the place I continued onto Ilha De Mozambique, the previous colonial capital of the nation. You might do that leg by land as nicely however the central a part of Mozambique is undeveloped and there are not any set bus routes. It would take a two days to get from Vilanculos to Nampula at greatest.
After Ilha De Mozambique, I took one other chappa and subsequently hitch-hiked by method to Pemba. That is the gateway city to the Quirimbas Archipelago, one other chain of islands well-known for its intense azure waters and white sandy seashores.
Day 1-2: Maputo
Maputo is Mozambique’s chaotic capital metropolis. Like most capitals in Africa, there may be not a complete lot of “sights” to see. You’ll discover your customary downtown monetary space surrounded by excessive poverty and townships. I didn’t suppose Maputo was a reasonably metropolis in any respect. The visitors is loopy, the buildings aren’t in nice form, and streets are full of trash.
If there’s a “should see” sight in Maputo, it might in all probability be the Maputo Railway station. It stands out with its fairly colonial facade and truly resembles a standard European rail station. It’s even used because the venue to host Mozambique’s Vogue Week.
Finally, the one cause to remain in Maputo is to eat your coronary heart out on the seafood market. I might spend days and days right here. The vigorous Fish Market is in a big white constructing en path to Costa do Sol. Peruse the various creatures that inhabit the close by waters, or go all the way in which and select what you’d like from the principle corridor and get it grilled at one of many small adjoining eating places. Cooking costs common about Mtc160 per kilo.
Peri Peri sauce
Top-of-the-line issues about Mozambique is its delicacies. In contrast to its inland neighbors whose cuisines I’m lower than enthusiastic with, Mozambique has among the tastiest and most flavorful meals I’ve ever had. The principle cause is due to the native peri peri sauce. How do I clarify peri peri sauce in addition to saying that it completely rocks my world?
Made with native birds eye chilis, onions, peppers, garlic, lemon and extra, this sauce is a should strive for spicy meals lovers. It brings out the flavour in something it touches, and is particularly widespread on hen and seafood. Nandos, which holds a particular place in my coronary heart, is a South Africa grilled hen restaurant that focuses on utilizing peri peri sauce on their meats. As scrumptious as Nandos is, the home-made sauces in Mozambique modified my world and I simply couldn’t get sufficient of it.
Day 2-7: Tofo
From Maputo, it’s time to escape the chaos and time to discover what makes Mozambique superb. The itinerary is only a straight shot north and Tofo is the primary cease on the itinerary
Maputo to Tofo by bus
From Maputo, I like to recommend taking the Etrago VIP bus from Maputo to Inhambane. There are not any direct buses to Tofo sadly. From Inhambane, it’s a brief 30 minute drive by tuk tuk or taxi or chappa (native group vans) to the beachside paradise of Tofo. The bus takes roughly 7 hours in complete and leaves at 5am and 10am each day. On Fridays and Sundays, it departs at 5am and 13hr.
You possibly can organize to purchase tickets earlier than hand which is rarely a nasty concept or simply present as much as the bus station 1 hour earlier than it departs.
Tofo is a divers paradise. Nonetheless comparatively undiscovered by world requirements, Tofo’s lengthy stretch of sandy seashores, forests of idyllic palm timber, and clear waters.
The city of Tofo is tiny with sandy streets full of little eating places, bars, and outlets. The seashores listed below are much like those you’d discover on the Wild Coast of South Africa.
The principle factor to do in Tofo is go diving. Between the months of Might and Sep, you’ll be able to often see manta rays, whale sharks, and even humpback whales. A great deal of South Africans come right here to get their diving in as it’s a shut flight from Johannesburg. There are lots of dive outlets within the space and the diving right here is sort of reasonably priced, particularly in comparison with cities additional north.
The go to backpackers lodge within the space is Fatima’s (additionally the place to remain in Maputo). Nonetheless, you’ll be able to have “luxurious” for very low cost right here. For below $100 an evening, yow will discover your self staying at very good resort just like the Baia Sonambula or the Casa Algodal.
Purchase and eat the seafood in Mozambique
Additionally, there are locals at all times strolling round promoting freshly caught seafood. This can be a good alternative to check your bartering abilities and get a tremendous deal on the most effective seafood you’ll ever have. The tiger prawns listed below are out of this world and I acquired a kilo of them for about $Eight USD. Then I took it again to the guesthouse and requested the chef if he might grill it with some peri peri. Maybe among the greatest meals I’ve ever had in my life.
Day 7-11: Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago
The subsequent cease on the itinerary is Vilanculos and the extremely beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago. Situated Four hours north of Tofo, Mozambique simply will get higher the additional north you go.
Tofo / Inhambane to Vilanculos
From Tofo and Inhambane, there are few choices to go to Vilanculos. The most affordable possibility shall be to take the group vans from Maxixe to Vilanculos. Maxixe is a brief ferry journey away from Inhambane with boats leaving often by means of the day.
Alternatively, there are common flights from Inhambane to Vilanculos. This flight is only one hr and prices round $100 USD. The profit to that is you’re going to get views of the Bazaruto Archipelago which can be value it in its personal proper.
Vilanculos itself is a sleepy beachside city that has now change into world well-known for kitesurfing. The constant winds and shallow waters make it preferrred for kiting. The city itself will not be as charming as Tofo however there are many low cost guesthouses and eating places close by. Finally, except you’re a kitesurfer, I wouldn’t spend a lot time in Vilanculos as there are higher locations forward.
Like Tofo, there may be additionally diving to be finished right here. Whereas I by no means had the time to dive right here, I’ve heard good issues in regards to the diving right here. Nonetheless, the large pelagics aren’t right here like Tofo. Odyssea Divers and Dive Bazaruto look to be the 2 outlets on the town.
In a single day tenting safari with Sailaway Safaris
A part of an overland tour I did with Nomad, this was the spotlight of our 2 week journey by means of Swaziland and Mozambique. We did a 2 day, 1 night time dhow safari by means of sailaway.co.za departing from Vilanculos, which serves because the gateway city to Bazaruto. As this was already organized and we had already paid for it, I didn’t trouble asking round for higher charges. Sailaway additionally appears to be the one outfit on the town doing these crusing safaris.
As of 2019, the worth for the two day 1 night time safari is $220 an individual. This contains your campsite, and all meals. Additionally they have accommodated choices now for a barely dearer value.
The tour takes you to Margaruque Island and Bazaruto Island that are among the most picturesque locations you’ll ever come throughout. The Bazaruto archipelago is exclusive in its seemingly infinite and swirling sandbanks that seem and disappear day-after-day with the tide. One of the best views of the archipelago is from the highest of the dunes on Bazaruto island or by drones.
There are a couple of different islands within the archipelago however they aren’t visited as they belong to non-public resorts. For those who actually need the total expertise, you’ll need to pay some severe money and keep at one of many neighboring resorts just like the Anantara Bazaruto Island or the andBeyond Benguerra inns that value nicely over $1,000 an evening.
Be sure to learn my Vilanculos and Bazaruto Archipelago submit to learn a extra detailed recount of my journey!
Day 11-15: Ilha De Mozambique
The subsequent a part of the journey goes to the far north of Mozambique with the primary cease being Ilha De Mozambique, the previous colonial capital. There aren’t many assets for this a part of the nation. It appears that evidently 90% of journey bloggers go to the southern highlights and utterly neglect the north. In my view, the north is definitely my favourite half and what I feel is probably the most beautiful.
From Vilanculos, there isn’t any simple and structured method to get right here by land. Even if you happen to might someway discover land based mostly transport, it is going to take you no less than 20-25 hours of non cease driving which suggests it will likely be no less than 2-Three days of hitch-hiking, chappas, and no matter else yow will discover. The central a part of Mozambique may be very undeveloped and never good for touring by land. So how do you get there?
From Vilanculos to Nampula
The best method to make this switch is to fly. Vilanculos to Maputo to Nampula. This can take 4-5 hours and can value $200-250 for a a method flight on LAM airways. That is by far the simplest, and most snug technique.
Alternatively, if you wish to avoid wasting cash, you’ll be able to take the bus from Vilanculos to Beira with Lineas Terrestras de Mocambique. This bus really runs from Maputo to Beira often, however it is going to additionally make stops in Vilanculos. From Beira, take a direct flight to Nampula which needs to be half the worth of the flight from Vilanculos.
From Nampula to Ilha De Mozambique
As Nampula is nothing greater than a industrial metropolis, you’ll wish to get out instantly for Ilha De Mozambique. There are chappas that often go away to Ilha as soon as full, and the journey is 2-Three hours. Alternatively, I’ve had success hitch-hiking and persons are fairly eager to choose up vacationers right here. I don’t communicate a lick of Portuguese however hand gestures will get you by.
Exploring Ilha De Mozambique
Ilha de Mozambique is a spot that feels prefer it’s misplaced in time. Stroll down the cobblestone streets and also you’ll see remnants of a previous life however in fashionable instances. The island is simply 3.5km in size and not more than a half km in width and linked to the mainland by bridge. The haunting half that the Lonely Planet mentions, I instantly observed upon arriving.
Colonial buildings left behind in the course of the island’s haydays nonetheless stand. Whereas the paint is slowly being chipped off, one can nonetheless stroll by means of the slim streets and really feel like nothing has modified from centuries previous.
The entire island is surrounded by beautiful turquoise water and the Fortaleza de San Sebastio is the most effective place to soak within the views. There may be some scrumptious seafood with peri peri available right here however don’t anticipate the identical low cost costs as down south. The north is significantly dearer, surprisingly as it’s far much less developed and attracts far much less vacationers.
Additionally, constitution a dhow boat to take you to close by seashores and islands to provide you a really feel of how lovely the encompassing space is.
Day 16-22: Quirimbas Archipelago
And naturally, I saved the most effective for final. On the far north of the nation lies one other archipelago that’s maybe much more beautiful the Bazaruto. The seashores are blindingly white and the impossibly turquoise waters are crystal clear. It’s paradise discovered.
From Ilha De Mozambique, you’ll have to a catch a chappa to Pemba. Chappas will choose folks up earlier than dawn between 4-5am. Yow will discover them actually simply strolling down any of the principle streets and also you simply name them once they’re close to.
From Pemba, there are 3 ways to get to the Quirimbas: chappa + ferry, personal automotive + ferry, or personal airplane. The latter possibility is clearly the most costly however the aerial views of the archipelago that you just get is greater than value it (as if a 45 minute flight was not already extra value it than a 5 hour automotive journey).
For most individuals, Ibo Island is the place you’ll keep as a gateway to exploring the islands. Ibo itself is sort of a mini model of Ilha De Mozambique and there may be not a complete lot right here. Nonetheless, simply strolling by means of the city and admiring the remoteness and structure is a deal with.
Ibo Island Lodge is the nicest resort right here and in addition the place to be to have sundown drinks. The solar units immediately in entrance of the resort and paired with a 2M Mozambique beer is bliss. Ibo Island Lodge can also be the place the one dive store on the island is. If you’re a diver, the Quirimbas is certainly a spot you’ll wish to dive. Whereas there are not any giant pelagics like Tofo, the coral and fish life right here is totally unbelievable.
Exploring the Quirimbas
Just like the Bazaruto, probably the most lovely islands belong to non-public resorts and you’ll pay up for them. Vamizi and Medjumbe Island resorts are two of probably the most beautiful settings you’ll discover on the planet.
For those who don’t have $1,000 an evening to spare, don’t fear, it’s simple to get a dhow to take you to the close by islands. I used to be staying on the Miti Miwiri and met a couple of different folks the place we ended up getting a ship collectively. We did an in a single day safari to discover Rolas and Matemo island. This was the spotlight of the journey and I actually want I might have stayed one other night time on Matemo Island.
The seashores listed below are on par with that of the Maldives, which is thoughts boggling in its personal proper. However the Quirimbas are much more rustic and untouched by mass tourism that you just really feel such as you’ve departed from fashionable civilization for a couple of days.
Be sure to learn my journey report for the Quirimbas for a way more detailed recount with many photos!
Day by Day breakdown
Here’s a day-to-day breakdown of the itinerary. As you’ll be able to see, it’s over three weeks lengthy. For those who should not have this a lot time, I’d give attention to both the southern a part of the nation, or the northern half.
Day 1: Land in Maputo, discover the city and have dinner on the seafood market
Day 2: Go away Maputo for Tofo
Day 3: Tofo
Day 4: Tofo
Day 5: Tofo
Day 6: Tofo
Day 7: Tofo to Vilanculos
Day 8: Vilanculos
Day 9: Sailaway Dhow Safari
Day 10: Sailaway Dhow Safari
Day 11: Vilanculos to Maputo to Nampula by flight, chappa to Ilha de Mozambique (Start northern itinerary)
Day 12: Ilha De Mozambique
Day 13: Ilha De Mozambique
Day 14: Ilha De Mozambique
Day 15: Ilha De Mozambique to Pemba
Day 16: Pemba to Ibo Island
Day 17: Ibo Island
Day 18: Ibo Island
Day 19: Quirimbas Archipelago Dhow Safari
Day 20: Quirimbas Archipelago Dhow Safari
Day 21: Quirimbas Island tour
Day 22/23: Fly house
Combining Mozambique with South Africa
As Mozambique borders South Africa, it’s a excellent subsequent step for these visiting South Africa. You’ll need no less than a couple of weeks to see all of those nations. For South Africa, make sure that to learn my journey itinerary for the nation that breaks down how I’d spend one week, two weeks, or three weeks within the nation. After you’ve change into set with that itinerary, then mix that with this itinerary.
In fact, most individuals don’t have weeks on finish to discover Southern Africa. So if in case you have two to a few weeks, I’d suggest doing the 2 week itinerary of South Africa and mixing that with one of many seashores in Mozambique. For instance:
- Four nights in Cape City
- 2 nights in wine nation
- Three nights safari
- 1 nights in Johannesburg
- 5 nights in Mozambique (Tofo, Bazaruto, or the Quirimbas)
I’d additionally suggest flying from Johannesburg as a substitute of crossing the land border. It’s a lot faster and extra snug than traversing Mozambique’s south. There are direct flights from Johannesburg to Inhambane (Tofo), Vilanculos (Bazaruto Archipelago), and Pemba (Quirimbas).
There are such a lot of mixtures however you’ll not go flawed with any of them!
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