What a week IN PARADISE MOZAMBIQUE could look like
Mozambique is one of Africa’s best-known coastal destinations lying on the Indian Ocean, and like most countries across the continent’s southern region, it offers so much for everyone. With markets for those looking to splurge on a little shopping for souvenirs, to chilling by the beach and sipping on cocktails from coconuts as you take in an atmosphere reminiscent of the island life, Mozambique is a little paradise that offers old charm and culturally immersive experiences.
As with any tropical destination, a vibrant nightlife can feature on your itinerary, should you be looking to enjoy a festive night out with friends or family. But, we can all agree that a holiday in Mozambique is all about sun and sand, giving travellers and local residents alike an opportunity to create lasting memories with a staycation in Mozambique.
Because moments do arise when you find yourself desperate for a quick getaway, or adventure for those that prefer a jam-packed itinerary, ever wondered what a week spent across Mozambique could look like? Really! Imagine you had only a few days to sample the best of what this former Portuguese colony on the South-East of Africa had to offer for a quick dose of culture, lifestyle, and a little relaxation.
Well, the first stop would be the capital city of Maputo as you would likely have to fly in first out of a regional hub like Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.
Depending on how long you opt to spend in the capital, your remaining few days would be split between travel to the coastal destination of Vilankulos and back to the capital. Packed a holiday? Absolutely! If you could have a week in Mozambique, it could look a little something like this…
DAY 1: MAPUTO
As you check into your accommodation, get comfortable and take in the view. Mozambique has a wide range of accommodations that will suit your budget, from the well-renowned Radisson Blu Hotel to more homey self-catering guesthouses that are fit for a family, a group of friends, or backpackers on an adventure.
Once you have settled in, make your way to the waterfront, which in itself is a vibe of buzzing activity and breathtaking views. Enjoy the sea breeze as you indulge in the flavors that the beachfront restaurants have to offer, with some ice-cold cocktails that will help to cool you down from the heat. Yes, Mozambique is toasty and humid, but its pristine beaches and vibrant culture compensates hugely!
After lunch head over to FEIMA, a popular city market where you will find artisanal bags, art and crafts.
This market is popular for its unique art pieces, its stunning clothing made from African fabrics, fashionable basket-weave-style bags and so much more!
DAY 2: GO BACK IN OLD-TIME MAPUTO
Maputo is home to some of the most remarkable architecture. Once a Portuguese colony, the country still holds its history within its buildings that tells a story. The Casa de Ferro (The Iron House) is one of the city’s most intriguing historical monuments from the colonial era. It was built in 1892, literally out of steel panels, for the Governor-General. Get a tour inside and fall in love with the vintage furnishings of the buildings. You will also find some interesting art pieces inside the art gallery, all made by local artists. Spend the day, appreciating the historical landmarks as you move around the city.
Landmarks such as the Fortress of Maputo, Independence Square, and the Maputo Central Train Station to name a few, really tell the story of the city’s past under colonial rule, its fight for freedom, and life as an independent nation.
You can end the day tour with a trip to the Rua De Xipamanine. This is the city’s oldest markets where you can find anything from traditional spices and remedies to the traditional fabric wraps known as the capulana. This market is always buzzing with activity and is a great opportunity to mix with the locals and get a feel of the culture. The best thing about this market is that you can get some valuable items for the cheapest price.
If you enjoy a bit of nightlife, then get dressed and make your way to some of Maputo’s best spots to dance the night away. The first stop will be Fernando’s Bar. Get the party started in this cabin-style local establishment that is famous for its authenticity, great vibes, and most importantly, its signature drink - the Rum and Raspberry cocktail.
If a live band is your idea of a good night, then head over to Café Camissa. This bar has the perfect fusion of African and Portuguese influences with its music and art displays. Café Camissa is a buzzing spot where you will meet other tourists and expats to mix and mingle with.
DAY 3: OFF TO THE COAST – HELLO VILANKULOS!
Vilankulos is located a good 715km from Maputo, which is a nine-hour drive and about an 11-hour bus ride if you are interested in a road trip.
If you wish to fly, which when on holiday, is probably the preferred choice, it will be a one-hour direct flight to Vilankulos, or a two-hour flight which involves stopping in Inhambane for an hour. Unfortunately, there are very few flights per week to Vilankulos, so plan your trip accordingly to avoid any disappointments.
Whether you are checking into a fancy hotel, boutique style B&B, or a beach lodge, wherever you are staying in this coastal town, you are guaranteed unforgettable views. If you are up to doing some exploring, check out the local markets and immerse yourself in the culture by interacting with the local people. Get the freshest fruits, vegetables, and seafood at the cheapest price and really indulge in the town’s scene, sounds and cuisine’s flavours. You can also venture out to Machilla Magic, which is a community market where tourists can buy a diverse range of arts and crafts mainly made from recycled materials. Profits go back to the community and support the local artists. This really is a perfect place to buy souvenirs and gifts for loved ones back home.
DAY 4: ISLAND MARINE SAFARI
Rise early and take an early trip to Bazaruto Island, just 40 km from the mainland. You can book the trip with one of many agencies offering this excursion, bracing for an experience unlike any other would be watching the sunrise as you sail towards the island. Diving and snorkeling safaris are a must at this spot, as you fall in love with a variety of marine species such as turtles, manta rays, humpback whales, and more. The adventurer in you can also sign up for some deep-sea fishing for tuna fish, a popular activity in these waters.
Enjoy a full day of fun in the water and watch the breathtaking sunset as you head back to the mainland, capping your day off with a meal at one of the beach-side restaurants for a sumptuous platter of authentic local food, infused with Portuguese inspired cuisine, as well as the fresh seafood.
WRAPPING UP YOUR TRIP ON DAY 5
If you still crave a bit more of this coastal nation, visit Tunduru Botanical Gardens and revel in the alluring nature the garden has to offer. Although small, the garden offers peace and serenity with lovely trees, flowers, and benches to sit on as you take in the atmosphere. There are bat colonies in the trees, which may be of interest if you are a photographer. On weekends, visitors will almost always find weddings taking place, with people singing and dancing.
You came you saw you conquered; the views, the flavors, the people, and the fun activities, leaving you wanting more. Between the water sports, dining, shopping and the sightseeing, five days in Mozambique will fly by in a flash in this Southern coastal destination. Looking for your next idyllic destination for a quick getaway? Try Mozambique for it simply can’t disappoint.