5 Reasons to Love Mozambique

July 13, 2016
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I’ve traveled to Mozambique a few times over the past three years. It’s been a unique experience for me in that I don’t usually return to the same place every year. But, alas, with the boyfriend working there I really had no choice. (He’s back to Portugal now, thankfully.)

I have been to Mozambique so many times, you would think that I would be sick of it by now. But you would be wrong. Surprisingly, even for me (because I know how much I love going somewhere new and different), I often find myself yearning to be back in Mozambique. I’ve realized how much I love that place – even without the boyfriend there. So I hope I’ll be able to continue to return often (this year?). And until then, here are the 5 reasons I just love Mozambique so, so much:

Bilene

Okay, Bilene is not usually every local’s favorite place. It gets crowded on the weekends in the summer with bratty 12-year-olds riding four-wheelers through the sand and drunk 20-somethings getting into all kinds of trouble day and night. But in the off-season, Bilene is my definition of paradise.

It’s super easy to reach (about 2h30 from Maputo on actual paved road), it has a beautiful lake beach with balmy water and there’s plenty of places with great food.

I do suggest staying away from the town center for some peace and quiet. I’ve stayed at Villa Espanhola, which is located on the outskirts of Bilene right on the beach, and absolutely loved it. But my favorite place to stay was at Nghunghwa Lodge. It’s located on the other side of the bay so you’ll really be away from it all.

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Spending my birthday at the beach in Bilene in 2014.

Ponta do Ouro

Now this is a local favorite. Ponta do Ouro is where everybody from Maputo meets up on the weekends. It’s a great place to hang out with friends, surf, get some sun and party well into the night.

The beach is really beautiful but you’ll have to watch out for bluebottles: they’re a kind of jellyfish that can sting you and hurt a lot. Sometimes, depending on the tide, they’ll wash onto shore. Also, watch out for sharks. Yeah… The beach is beautiful but in general proceed with caution in the water!

What I don’t like so much about Ponta do Ouro is the drive there: a bumpy 3-4 hour drive through sandy trails. But it’s all worth it once you arrive!

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Paddle boarding for the first time at Ponta do Ouro. So fun!

Maputo’s Parks and Beach

Maputo probably gets a bad rep for its chaotic traffic, aggressive drivers and constant construction projects that interfere with the road infrastructures. But you’ll find a few green places to get away from it all right in the heart of the city.

My favorite park is Parque dos Namorados (loosely translates to the Couples Park), which is located right on the city’s southern tip. You get a lovely view of the Indian Ocean and the park offers plenty of shade. More recently, the city decided to manufacture its own beach too. Right next to the Avenida da Marginal (the main road that connects the city’s north and south along the Indian Ocean) lies a wide and long stretch of white sand. I wouldn’t sunbathe here (the water isn’t the cleanest) but it was the perfect place for a morning or evening walk.

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You would never imagine that a little to the left is a road with cars zooming past.

Inhambane

Travel some 6 hours to the north of Maputo and you’ll reach this little slice of heaven. Inhambane (and Tofo and Tofinho, which are two beach towns right next to it) combines the best of both worlds: tons of water sports for the more active, and beautiful stretches of sand for the lazy beach bums (aka ME).

It’s a bit of a drive to get there from Maputo so we only went twice, and I definitely wish we had stayed longer both times. Perhaps next time!

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Tofinho on a rainy day.

Maputo’s Breakfast Scene

Um, yes. This is definitely a legitimate reason to fall in love with a place. I have never seen a city do breakfast and brunch so well without attracting an impossibly vast crowd of people. From the classic toasted bread at Nautilus in the city center to the delicious pastries from Gulodice, there is something for every kind of appetite.

What more can a girl ask for?

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Delicious and healthy.

DISCLAIMER: This list is based on my travels through Mozambique. I haven’t visited all of Mozambique – nor am I trying to pretend like I have. I have mostly stayed in the southern part of the country, near Maputo and its surrounding areas. I would love to eventually travel all the way up to the north of the country.

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13 Comments

  • Reply Kathi March 13, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Such a beautiful post! I’d love to go to Mozambique one day. I.got my first taste of the continent last year in Zambia and Tanzania but really wanna go more off the beaten track on my next trip. How is it language wise in Mozambique? Do people speak English? Cheers

    • Reply Inês March 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Kathi! I’m so glad you liked the post 🙂
      I would love to explore a bit more of Africa and Tanzania is definitely on my list!
      Mozambique is very under the radar still so it’s a perfect off the beaten path destination. The official language there is Portuguese but English is widely spoken due to the country’s proximity to South Africa. Small beach lodges are usually owned by South Africans and any hotel will have bilingual staff both in the city and in more remote areas so you would be able to get around just fine 🙂 Hope this helped!

  • Reply Kelly | A Pair of Passports July 21, 2016 at 8:00 am

    I never really thought of Mozambique as a place I wanted to visit, but you have definitely changed my mind! You have so many beautiful photos in this post and it honestly seems like a lovely place to be – full of plenty of mini paradises.

    • Reply Inês July 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

      I’m so glad to hear that! And you’re right – everywhere you go in Mozambique you find a mini paradise 🙂

  • Reply Sydney Fashion Hunter July 21, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I have never seriously considered Mozambique … Until now! Looks amazing!

    • Reply Inês July 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

      Yay! Happy to hear that! 🙂 It is a truly wonderful country!

  • Reply Fee July 21, 2016 at 10:43 am

    It’s definitely a place I could get used to going back to. Those beaches look absolutely stunning with those crystal waters. Think I need an excuse to come visit. 🙂

  • Reply Sandra July 21, 2016 at 11:18 am

    We (the Portuguese) still have a connection to the former colonies don’t we? Beautiful country and it’s on my list to visit soon. Literature geek question: you didn’t happen to bump into Mia Couto did you? 😀

  • Reply Lottie Reeves July 21, 2016 at 11:26 am

    I spent a year living just a few hours south of the South Africa / Moz border and didn’t make it across (due to some passport issues)! It’s on my list of places to go soon and this post makes me more excited to get there!

  • Reply Cristal July 21, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Mozambique is definitely on my list! heading to West and North Africa in November and I’m pretty excited. Love your photos as well 😀

  • Reply Anisa July 21, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    I would love to go to Mozambique! The beaches look amazing, I just wish it wasn’t so far away!

  • Reply Danielle Des July 22, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Loved that you mentioned brunch! I’m such a big fan of hearty and tasty breakfast and the classic toasted bread at Nautilus sounds heavenly. I really digged you disclaimer, most travel bloggers aren’t as transparent and real about things. Cheers!

  • Reply Laura Nalin July 22, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    I really would love to visit Mozambique. I appreciate your honesty in the disclaimer quite a bit. I think it’s wonderful to share what you’ve seen regardless if it was just a small portion. It looks INCREDIBLE. Thanks so much for sharing this!

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