Mozambique travel means experiencing a fascinating mixture of several different cultures living side by side. Its Bantu origins and Portuguese period blend together to create a truly unique country; don’t be surprised to see Portuguese delicacies like piripiri on menus amongst the more traditional African fare. Mozambique’s huge giant coastline also makes it the perfect place for a wide range of exciting experiences, from whale watching to hiking in the mountains. If you still need another reason to visit, had you noticed that it’s the only one-word country with all five vowels?!
Where to Travel in Mozambique
Mozambique’s location on the coast of southern Africa means that it has a huge variety of stunning beaches, ranging from touristy beaches where your every whim is catered to to quiet, undiscovered shores. From its sprawling cities to the towering Mt. Namuli, you will be surrounded by Mozambique’s beauty, and find no shortage of ecosystems to play in.
Mozambique travel often start in it’s capital, Maputo. Often referred to as the “City of Acacias,” its yellow flowers brighten up every street. Maputo’s situation on the coast gives visitors amazing views across the Indian Ocean, and its skyline is full of impressive modern buildings, like the town hall and the tall thin spire of the cathedral.
Inhambane has a very different vibe, as it is a small city with only about 66,000 residents. Inhambane is known for its amazing nearby white-sand beaches, providing ample opportunity to scuba dive with all manner of sea creatures. It is even known as the Mecca of the whale shark world! In Inhambane, you’re also not far from the Bazaruto National Park, the largest sea park in Africa.
The Pemba Peninsula in the north is another small seaside city that’s popular with tourists, especially around the Wimbi Beach area. Pemba is one of Mozambique’s major ports, and its beautiful warm sea is the perfect spot for a wide range of water-based activities.
Types of Adventures in Mozambique
Mozambique travel is a great option for adventurers because there are so many unique opportunities available. From hiking its rocky mountains to meeting local sea creatures, everyone will be able to find a challenge to throw themselves into.
If you have ever dreamed of swimming with sharks, then look no further than Mozambique. Its location on the Indian Ocean means that its warm seas are full of all kinds of wildlife, from humpback whales to whale sharks. These sharks are giant, docile creatures, and this area of the Ocean is one of the best places in the world to spot them, and help conserve wildlife.
If sharks are too scary for your tastes, why not join a dolphin or turtle conservation project? Mozambique is an ideal place to volunteer in marine conservation, as volunteers are always needed to do research, monitor coral reefs, and collect data on sea creatures like manta-rays, turtles, and dolphins. Projects like these allow volunteers to watch the wildlife and scuba dive to their heart’s content- and maybe even take a PADI diving course?
If you would rather venture away from the coastal zones, there are plenty of opportunities to go hiking during your Mozambique travels. The country is home to some impressive mountains, which offer spectacular views that are possible to climb in one (gruelling!) day. Mount Namuli is the most popular among climbers, and it is possible to reach the summit in about four hours. However, be aware that there is no public transport to the mountain, so you will either need to hire the services of a guide or be prepared to spend a few days walking from Gurúè and camping along the way. Make sure you visit Namuli in the dry season, as it can become dangerously slippery during Mozambique’s winter.
If you are a fan of horses, another option would be to try a horse safari. This is a great opportunity to combine caring for horses with exploring the beautiful towns and beaches of Mozambique, as well as assisting with riding lessons and anything else you fancy!
Costs of travel in Mozambique
Mozambique tourism is generally very affordable, and once you arrive, you will find you can explore and travel from place to place without parting with too many meticals (which are so cool, you'll definitely want to keep a few as souvenirs). Tasty food and all kinds of activities are readily available, plus the transport to travel between Mozambique’s many attractive sites.
Mozambique tourism means eating for cheap, with meals being available for as little as $4 in some areas and a coffee for a dollar. You’ll often find that if you take the time to search for less touristy areas, you will find delicious dishes for very affordable prices: freshly-caught prawns and matapa, a dish made from Cassava, coconut milk, and peanuts. There is a huge range of flavours on offer in Mozambique, so make sure to get your fill!
The public transport during your Mozambique travel will be amazingly affordable, often costing less than $1 for a month’s pass on the most common local transport, the chapa. There are also buses, which will be more expensive but also more comfortable, as traveling by chapa often involves sitting in the back of a truck for many hours.
When it comes to paying for projects or trips, there’s something for every budget. Most trips tend to be very affordable, particularly if you are prepared to volunteer your time to a cause. Many adventure travel programs in Mozambique also include accommodation and transport, so once you have paid the fee, you will only need to budget for yummy extras like food or souvenirs.
Accommodation Options in Mozambique
Before looking into accommodation, make sure you are certain of what is or is not included in your program. Mozambique has become touristy enough that, should the need arise, it will not be difficult to find whatever kind of accommodation you prefer.
If it turns out your programme does not include accommodation, hotels, hostels, and self-catered apartments are all available. However, don’t let your expectations soar too high; you will get what you pay for, and if you find an especially cheap hostel, chances are you will find amenities like hot water and WiFi rather lacking! As you would expect, there is more choice of accommodation in the cities, while in rural areas you may have to take what you can find.
Tourist Visas for Mozambique Travel
To spend time in Mozambique, you will need to get a visa. Luckily, these can be obtained upon arrival, and you can stay for 30 days (extendable up to 60) provided you have evidence that you are there for leisure purposes, such as a return plane ticket or an invitation letter. See the GoAbroad embassy directory for information from your consulate and for each country’s entry requirements.
Benefits & Challenges
One benefit of Mozambique over other African countries is the relatively mild climate. While Mozambique gets hot in its summer months (November - April), it rarely exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit and and is slightly cooler for the rest of the year. It also does not rain as much as many African countries, and is especially dry in their winter months.
Furthermore, the food in Mozambique is also known for being some of the best in Africa. Spices from India and flavours from Portugal combine with local produce to create really tasty dishes. Travelers who have spent time moving between African countries often find that Mozambique is the country where they remember that food can be enjoyed and not just put up with!
Word of caution: do be aware that corruption can be a problem in Mozambique. If police officers stop you and ask you for money, make sure you never hand over your passport. It is also likely that taxi drivers will recognise your tourist status and try to overcharge you, so be prepared to haggle them down to a price that sounds more reasonable. Learning a few words of Portuguese before you arrive could go a long way in these situations.
Mozambique is full of the sunshine, wildlife, and interesting traditions that Africa is famous for, while its unique combination of cultures makes it a fascinating place to spend time. Come and soak up the sun and see some of the world’s largest coral reefs, trek amazing mountains, and watch majestic whales swim around you. Find adventure travel programs in Mozambique before the secret is out!