Mozambique the Land of Prawns
Tourist information – travel the land of prawns with white get away beaches, idyllic romantic islands and adventure roads for most 4x4 vehicles.
The country was the playground of the Portuguese until the revolution in the late nineteen hundreds when most of them left everything behind in order to escape with their lives. Afterwards the country was plagued by a devastating civil war before peace was achieved just before the turn of the century. Today Mozambique is known as one of the poorest countries world-wide, however it is incredible rich in natural beauty, friendly people (except the officials and especially corrupt traffic police) and shows the potential of becoming yet again a tourist hot spot get-aways. What else can one expect with from a country with endless white beaches, turquoise warm waters with plenty of corals, superb seafood, kilometres of palm trees lining the coastal area and many parts still undiscovered by the hordes of tourists.
Island break-aways & honeymoon destination:
The region is blessed with numerous islands just off the mainland. The more popular ones include Benguarra, Bazarutto and the Quirimbas. Here time has no significance. One is spoilt by pristine beaches, luxury lodges and plenty of watersports to allow you to do as much or as little as one wishes.
Most of these islands have a number of exceptional dive sites and many you only need to snorkel to experience a rainbow world of an underwater paradise.
These lodges are rather small and personal attention is assured. Plenty people think that one might get bored after a day or two on such small islands however when browsing through the web pages of these lodges, you will be astonished to see the variety of activities to ensure you will never experience a dull moment. Little surprises like dinners on the beach under a star-filled sky after the golden sun has set, makes this an unforgettable vacation.
The most favourite island breakaway, Quilalea has been voted as one of the World’s 5 best island locations and you will be surprised to see it won’t cost you an arm and a leg either. This is one of those true paradise locations that one can not only just dream about, but also visit. SPECIAL – book before the end of July and your partner only pays 50% on accommodation.
Self-drives & family destinations:
The region border is only some 5 hours from Johannesburg and another 90 kilometres to Maputo. We suggest that you include Maputo as your first or second night to experience this rapid growing city. You will experience a true African city – plenty of traffic mayhem and people everywhere. Enjoy the luxuries of the famous 5 stars Polana hotel or just as good but a whole lot cheaper holiday Inn. Be sure not to miss the 3 excellent seafood restaurants just 100 meters north of holiday inn for some true Portuguese-African experiences right on the beach and incredibly cheap prices.
The road into the countries capital and the first 200km north to Xia-Xia is in perfect condition but do note that traffic is dense and road rules are like the Loch Ness monster – according to the locals it does exist but no-one else can see the proof. Drive with all eyes on and off the road and remember that playing chicken with a oncoming truck on the wrong side of the road is like playing the Lottery – very little chance of winning. Follow each traffic rule and obey the speed signs religiously otherwise you might have to start praying to win that lottery to pay your fine. Contact the automobile association in South Africa to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork in order.
Just before town, Zongoene lodge is heaven for families. With a fantastic setting next to the beach, plenty of activities like quad-biking, boat cruises and plenty more, this will keep your whole family happy.
Travelling north to the next big tourist destination, Inhambane, will be also rather uneventful as the roads are generally good except close to Inhambane where road works are in progress.
Should you venture north of Inhambane, you will need to prepare yourself for massive potholes that can swallow half an elephant and various detours. Do not miss the excellent Portuguese Coffee Shop in the middle of Maxixe on the eastern side of the main road for some of the best cappuccino you can find north of the south pole. Remember to fasten your luggage and dentures for the road north as everything will shake apart. The scenery is amazing with plenty of villages and thousands of coconut trees (giving speed cops enough places to hide behind). After some 300 kilometres you might reach Vilanculos (if you survived the potholes) and entering yet another awesome beach resort and the launch site for nearby island Benguarra and Bazarutto. Some of the lodges on can only reach with 4x4 but there are is number of hotels and guest houses in town. Plenty of activities and local markets will keep you entertained and be sure not to miss a boat trip out to some of the best snorkel and dive sites at two mile reef – on the way you might even see turtles, dolphins and whales. The boat operators are all along the beach area and close to Vilanculos.
Should you venture north of Vilanculos, the road does not improve much and fuel stops are far and few in between. The road connecting Beira with Zimbabwe is perfect and the road to Tete and onto Malawi is also in a reasonable shape. However, be very careful to venture north of Pemba unless you have plenty of serious off-road experience and good back-up. We do not advice to travel this road (read ‘resemblance of a road that might have existed long ago’) unless you are in a convoy with plenty of time to explore each pothole (read ‘man-made crater’).
Remember that until the fuel situation in Zimbabwe is resolved, you might have to travel all the way on the same road back south. The country is not a quick weekend getaway if you travel by your own car.
The two easiest means are by plane or car.
There are daily flights to the capital and 3 – 4 flights per week to the country`s vacation destinations, view our packages to some of the more popular lodgings.
Do not venture deep into bush and non-tourist areas are there are still a number of landmines.
Be extra careful in the tourist towns especially around markets and do not walk around with a pockets full of money and fancy electronic equipment.
Stick to the speed limit – you will get caught and the speed cops are merciless.
Last but not the least – do not stay too long, as you will fall in love with this beautiful country and never want to leave to go back home.
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