Mozambique – Summary & Pictures

People: Again, locals were generally friendly. However, we did find them more pushy and a bit more exhausting again. Way not as much as in Ethiopia, but just not as relaxed as in the countries we travelled before. As in travellers, we met some cool backpackers in Tofo and Vilankulos as we stayed at nice hostels. Some were on longer Africa trips, some just on a detour from South Africa. In Pomene we met a fun South African group that was super nice and kept inviting us to join their delicious cooked dinner buffets.

Food: I don’t think I have ever eaten as much pizza within 3 weeks, as in Mozambique. Who would have thought!? Sometimes there just wasn’t much other Vegetarian choice, and in Tofo I volunteered to eat pizza again and again because it was so damn delicious. Apart from pizza, we had some really good BBQs in Pomene with the South African group. The rest of the food was a mix of international, self-catering and rather boring but cheap local cuisine.

Weather: Mostly sunshine, but for being dry season we caught a surprising amount of rain as well. Also, we had expected it to be just a little warmer on the beach, with a little less wind. But hey… that’s complaining on a high level of course!

Costs: We spent slightly over 41€/person/day in Mozambique, including our free diving course, 2 scuba dives for me and the tour to Bazaruto Archipelago. We didn’t watch every penny anymore at the end of our trip, so I guess we could have done it a bit cheaper. However, we still saved some money on camping, so without camping it would have been more expensive.

Accommodation: We stayed at a mix of accommodation: some AirBnBs, some hotels and a hostel where we camped. Most accommodation was actually quite nice, but we also paid a bit more than usual sometimes to treat ourselves at the end of our trip.

Infrastructure: The busses and especially minibusses were quite exhausting again. Annoying transport guys reminded me a little of Ethiopia here and there. Distances were also rather long…and to be honest we were just a bit done with long bus rides at this stage of the trip.

Illnesses: I got sea sick a couple of times (despite taking pills) and Mathijs had some issues with his ears so he couldn’t join me scuba diving in Tofo.

Safety: Maputo felt a bit sketchy sometimes, but otherwise felt perfectly safe again.

Itinerary: We followed the typical Southern Mozambique itinerary, stopping in Maputo, Tofo and Vilankulos. To that, we added Pomene and Ponta do Ouro – some rather unusual detours for backpackers. Originally, I had always wanted to travel Mozambique all the way from North to South, but due to the 2 cyclones that passed by just before we visited, that wasn’t possible/not recommended. I guess I will have to come back one day to see the North!

Highlight:  Vilankulos and the Bazaruto Archipelago.

Lowlight: Maputo.

Click on the photo below to see all our best photos of Mozambique:

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Mozambique – Beaches & Relax Time

Mozambique – the last country of our world trip, the last 3 weeks of it! We decided to spend the majority of the time along the coast, relaxing on beautiful beaches, going for long beach walks, having a couple of beers each day, and generally just taking it slow before returning home.

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Our first stop along the coast was Tofo, which we reached after a long bus ride from Maputo. Here, we had booked ourselves a free diving course – something we had wanted to learn for a while now. It’s too bad that we only found a place to do this course at the end of our trip as it would have been handy for our snorkel trips in the South Pacific to know how to free dive. But well… better late, than never – and for the future, we have learned something! I also did 2 scuba dives during our time there – but was unlucky. Apparently the manta cleaning stations don’t really exist anymore, and as for the other big stuff… it’s a matter of luck. If you are not lucky (like me), there is not much to see – well, certainly not as much as expected.

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Nevertheless, we really liked Tofo. It was a relaxed place, we stayed at a nice hostel with a good vibe and a cheap shack in the village sold one of the best pizzas I have ever had outside Italy. The beach is a long stretch of sand – we went on walks in both directions over the days we spent in Tofo, and went for a swim here and there. Unfortunately, it was a bit cool for proper beach time. The water was cool, and outside temperatures didn’t climb too high either. Sometimes there was quite a breeze as well… And not just in Tofo, but in all the beach locations we visited.

After Tofo, we felt a bit more adventurous again and decided to stop by Pomene on our way to Vilankulos. Stopping by (getting there) took us a whole day and some very uncomfy rides that I was not in the mood for anymore. Definitely an adventure, but I’m not sure I would do it again… The beach in Pomene is beautiful though and has huge potential. At the moment, there is only one good accommodation option available – but I can imagine more and more popping up in the future. We loved going for walks on the beach – but were not too lucky with the weather as it was a bit grey and rainy sometimes.

So after 2 days, we ventured on to Vilankulos – a trip that once again took much longer than expected and was much more exhausting than we would have thought. In the end though… it was absolutely worth it!! Vilankulos is an amazing place, with big differences between high and low tide which creates beautiful sand banks and leaves the colourful local boats stranded during low tide. It was so beautiful!!

In the afternoon, some fishing boats would come back with their catch and people would gather around the boats to make their purchases. Vilankulos beach was not the typical beach to lay in the sun and chill, but a great place to watch the local life around you. We loved it!

During our time there, we also booked a boat tour to Bazaruto Archipelago. It was an awesome day!! Right when we arrived at the first island, we were lucky enough to spot a dugong. It stayed around for a bit, but was too fast for us when we got into the water. Really cool though – after being so unlucky in Vanuatu earlier during our world trip, we finally, finally saw a dugong!

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We then got to snorkel 2-Mile-Reef… WOW! We have seen quite some good reefs on this trip, but the coral here must be some of the healthiest we have seen. We also spotted plenty of marine life: some moray eels, blue spotted stingrays, turtles, loads and loads of beautiful fish – only the sharks were hiding from us. Too bad! Would have been cool to get a little shark-goodbye present on our trip 😉

On Bazaruto Island, we climbed a sand dune which offered amazing views. It reminded me a bit of Whitsunday Islands in Australia, minus the hordes of people. Bazaruto remains rather untouristy so far – there were some other tours, but not many, and the groups were always small.

Beautiful, isn’t it!? After a delicious BBQ buffet lunch and some relaxing time, we drove along the coast of Benguera Island where we stopped for a little walk around too. It was pretty as well, but not as stunning as Bazaruto Island.

After these beautiful days in Vilankulos, we took a long bus ride back to Maputo, where we had to spend the night before venturing on to Ponta do Ouro next day. Our last beach stop! Originally, I had planned to do some diving here as well – but I couldn’t really motivate myself: the only good dive shop was closed for holidays and the other one didn’t seem professional. It was quite windy again and I had had my dose of sea sickness aka feeding the fish in Tofo. They were using rubber dinghys again which I hate as they are so bouncy and super uncomfy. And I just generally felt too lazy to go for it. So we spent our days once again doing beach walks, relaxing in the sun, taking it very slow and enjoying a beer or two. No, it wasn’t too bad 🙂

And with this… Mozambique and our whole trip came to an end! We bussed it back to Maputo, where after a short night we boarded a flight back to Europe. Bye, bye, Africa…

Visiting Maputo

From Malawi, we crossed into Mozambique where we spent one night in Tete – a city with nothing to offer, except for an amazing free hotel stay that we were lucky to receive. After a too short night in one of the comfiest beds in a while, we took a flight South to Maputo – the capital of Mozambique.

We only planned to spend half a day here, as there is not much to see and do. Supposedly, it’s a great city to party – but as we were not there on a weekend, I can’t judge that. Instead, we headed for a short walk to see the city’s main sights. I really liked the main cathedral which looks very modern, although it was built from 1936-44 already.

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Right next to it were the Municipality (nothing special), the Independence Square (just a big square with a statue) and the so-called Iron House. That one was a bit more special again – a house entirely built out of iron. It was supposed to be used as a seat for the government, but proved to be a bad idea as it got too hot inside the iron house (no way…who could have guessed!?). Haha.

We continued our walk down to the city fortress, which again was not too exciting. Maputo – we didn’t expect much from you, and we were right. It’s not a bad city, but there’s just not much to it.

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Destination: Everywhere