Travel Guide For Mozambique Accommodation
Finding and exploring new things and cultures is what travelling is all about. Mozambique and its crystal blue waters is a well-known bucket list holiday destination for many around the world. Culture is definitely also one thing that Mozambique does not lack, and there is something that intrepid travellers cannot resist about exploring a new culture. Merging an African ambiance with a sandy white beach and crystal blue sea creates the uniquely Mozambican experience that awaits.
The diversity and customizability of your vacation when going to Mozambique is one of the best parts about it. Many people go to just take a break from the everyday hustle and bustle, which Mozambique is definitely perfect for. Many other travellers go specifically with the intent to do some quality fishing or scuba diving. If you are planning either of these trips or something entirely unique but still in Moz, in this Travel Guide for Mozambique Accommodation we are going to provide you with valuable information that can play a crucial role in your unforgettable Mozambique experience.
Let’s start at the beginning. Before you even start your journey to Mozambique, there are a few things you should know:
3 Quick Things to know before you go
- Credit Card use is Limited – Most high-end hotels, midrange establishments and car rentals have credit card facilities, other than that, credit card use is quite restricted around Mozambique.
- The current official currency of Mozambique is the Mozambican Metical. 1 USD would be equivalent to 75 Meticais (could vary due to exchange rates) and 1 ZAR would be equivalent to 5 Meticais (could vary due to exchange rate).
- The official language in Mozambique is Portuguese, although Mozambique is a bilingual state and 43 languages are spoken across the country.
Best Time to Visit Mozambique:
The best times to visit Mozambique would be from May, all the way through to October, when its dry and summer temperatures are at their lowest. Visitors can travel from January to November but can definitely expect temperatures and humidity to be considerably higher so it’s important to book accommodation close to the ocean in these months, for a lovely summer holiday experience.
- Average Temperatures for Summer in Mozambique: 21°C to 31°C
- Average Temperatures for Winter in Mozambique: 15°C to 26°C
- Rainy(intermittent) season in Mozambique: mid-November to April
Image Source: Travelstart
Where to Stay in Mozambique:
Whether you are going to Inhambane, Vilanculos or any other holiday paradise destination in Mozambique, there will be a multitude of Mozambique accommodation establishments to choose from, each of them offering something new and unique. Our biggest piece of advice to someone booking Mozambique Accommodation would be to read the reviews. Use the past experiences of previous guests to your advantage and make an educated decision about where you are going to book. Keep in mind that Mozambique doesn’t always feature great roads and many lodges are only accessible by 4×4, so make sure you can get there before you book! An Inhambane Mozambique Accommodation favourite of many is Guinjane Lodge.
Guinjane Lodge is nestled perfectly near the stunning white sandy beaches and sparkling blue ocean of Guinjata Bay, 30km south of Inhambane. Our lodge is known as the ‘Jewel of Inhambane’ due to its excellent beach location, amazing Mozambique accommodation and the abundance of activities in the surrounding area. Pleasant idleness at Guinjane Lodge is a choice with activities such as scuba diving in the world-renowned Manta Reef, spotting cool under-water creatures while snorkelling, deep-sea fishing, visiting local markets to buy a few souvenirs or catching a tan on the pristine beaches of Guinjata Bay. Guinjane Lodge boasts twelve 2-bedroom units, three 3-bedroom units and five 5-bedroom units – All fully equipped with everything you need to have the holiday of a lifetime.
Our Lodge is located 660 kilometers from Nelspruit, Mbombela, 970 kilometers from Pretoria and 480km North of Maputo. The road leading up to Guinjane lodge is a dirt road and is accessible by vehicles with a 2×4 diff lock configuration or a 4×4 vehicle, both with well-deflated tyres.
A Recent TripAdvisor Review of Guinjane Lodge:
“Absolutely loved our stay at Guinjane Lodge. Antonio the lodge manager was absolutely amazing. Always willing to help and always accommodating. Chalet was well-kept and resort very neat and tidy. Easy access to Guinjata beach.”
CasaCabana is a small and very private lodge, perfect for those wanting to escape the buzz of city life. The units of the lodge are a mere stones throw from the edge of the crystal blue water of the Indian Ocean. The luxury units of CasaCabana include a self-catering kitchen and the wooden deck, air-conditioning and a full selection of DStv channels. There are multiple choices of units at CasaCabana varying from beach bungalows to a fully equipped house. The house, is rated by many to be one of the most beautiful places to stay in Vilanculos. The house has been built with a Mexican theme in mind, featuring high concrete ceilings, two en-suite bedrooms, a lounge which houses a gorgeous handmade pool table and a fully-equipped kitchen. Oh, and the house also has its own private pool, which is secluded from the rest of the property, giving you all the privacy you could ever want. The house can accommodate a maximum of 4 guests, with extra beds being placed in the lounge. CasaCabana recently added 2 beach chalets and a smaller beach bungalow for those interested in sleeping as close to the crashing waves as possible.
A Recent TripAdvisor Review of CasaCabana Beach Lodge:
“What a wonderful place to stay. Good value for money, warm friendly staff and excellent food in the restaurant. The room was well appointed, spotlessly clean and had everything we needed. The facilities are excellent… Lovely pool and privacy. The hotel is right on the beach and has a gorgeous view. It provided everything it promised and more.”
Sunset Lodge, located in the beautiful province of Inhambane, welcomes you to the immaculate beaches of Barra. The lodge features self-catering cottages that sleep up to 10 people, giving you the option to invite some friends or family. Your days at Sunset Lodge can be spent bathing in the blue water of the gorgeous Indian ocean all day or reading a book with a drink in your hand under the swaying green palm trees of Ponta da Barra. Sunset lodge also boasts a sparkling blue pool for all their guests to indulge in and enjoy the sunset. Guests also have the option of snorkelling in vibrant and lively reefs or go scuba diving in some of the most magnificent corals that are home to a plethora of marine-life, including the extremely rare and majestic dugong. Other activities in the area include: Horse Rides along the sandy white beaches, Dhow trips to neighbouring villages, game fishing, or an eco-adventure of the salt water mangroves offering splendid views of flocks of flamingos.
A Recent TripAdvisor Review of Sunset Lodge:
“Lovely getaway into the heart of Mozam! Alot of time spent at the thirsty parrot bar & restaurant. Spent many days in the pool drinking cocktails & enjoying their pizzas. Friendly staff and relaxing atmosphere.”
Image Source: Guinjane Lodge
What to Pack:
- Usually, you can just bring along your general summer wear. Most of the days are hot and sunny, although it is never a bad idea to bring some jackets along, just in case.
- Packing thin long-sleeved shirts and pants are always a good idea if you are planning to be outside at night as this will help a lot with the mosquitos.
- If you have a camera and plan on taking a lot of pictures, we suggest you ensure that you have sufficient battery power and memory cards, as these are as scarce as chicken teeth in Mozambique. If you by any chance do find what you need, it will be extremely expensive.
Now that you know what to pack in your bags, you are almost ready to hop in a plane or car to paradise, but first here are some of the things you should know:
Visa & Passport Requirements for Mozambique:
- Visas are required by everyone except citizens of South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana and Zambia.
- 3 Blank Pages are required in your passport book for entry/exit stamps.
- All visitors must be in possession of a passport valid for at least six months after their departure from Mozambique.
Airports in Mozambique:
- Maputo International Airport – The gate-way in to Mozambique with direct flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and more.
- Vilanculos International Airport – Known as the gate-way for the Bazaruto Archipelago, you can fly from either Maputo, Johannesburg, Cape Town or Kruger Mpumalanga National.
- Pemba International Airport – The gate-way to the Quirimbas Archipelago, accessible from Maputo, Johannesburg and more.
Once you have touched down in the beautiful land of Mozambique, you are going to need to get around from accommodation to amenities to activities. Here are a few ways you can get around Mozambique.
Getting Around Mozambique:
- If travelling long distances, it is advised to do so by plane, otherwise for those that are just staying within the area of your Mozambique accommodation establishment, a decent off-road vehicle is advised. Off road vehicles are also advised for South Africans travelling into Moz.
- For those that have travelled by plane, there are multiple car rental agencies that you can make use of when arriving at the airport.
Once you have settled in, grabbing a quick meal to refill your energy levels before continuing your adventure is always a good idea. Here are some of our and local favourites.
Where to eat in Maputo on your way to Inhambane – Top 5 Restaurants
1. Dhow Café
This is one of the best spots in town, giving visitors the opportunity to admire the gorgeous view of the Maputo bay while sitting in comfy Dhow boats that have been transformed into sofas. Tucked away at the end of a residential road, the café is open from brunch all the way till just after sunset. With a Greek couple as the Café owners, the menu offers traditional Greek cuisine with an interesting local twist. You can expect nothing but top-notch service accompanied by great food at an affordable price. Try the feta-honey samosas and home-made ginger iced tea for a taste of what this café is all about!
Set under the mesmerizing green palm trees and a stones throw from the water, Zambi is offers guests some of the finest dining in town. If the weather permits and you are able to, we suggest asking for a seat outside so that you can sit and watch the fishing boats pass by. Their broad Portuguese menu offers something for everyone, one of the highlight dishes of Zambi is their picanha, served with a fresh slice of orange, lobster, and perfectly grilled tiger prawns. Be sure to stick around for the beautifully presented deserts such as cashew nut tart or one of our all-time favourites – Amarula Ice cream
3. Piri Piri
Piri Piri is a landmark restaurant in Maputo. It is an extremely well-known spot between locals as this is the spot that has been serving Maputos’ iconic grilled Chicken Piri Piri for decades, even during the times of the country’s civil war. If you don’t fancy Piri Piri’s signature dish, we recommend giving the Crab Matapa or clams a go. Usually busy, the restaurant offers great food for great prices. To get a feel of what it’s like to be part of the hustle and bustle of Maputo, sit outside and watch the crowds go by.
4. Chez Fred
This fairly new cafe and bakery has hit a home-run with both tourists and locals for its delicious food and exquisitely styled décor with a French feel. Stop for a quick snack of some fresh French salads, pastries and home-cooked bread. We suggest trying out their smoothies or fruit juices for a refreshing treat after spending time in the hot Mozambique sun!
5. A Nossa Tasca
A Nossa Tasca is known as the place to go when you are craving meat, serving dishes such as their ‘espetadas’ which is grilled pieces of beef dramatically presented on long spears. The beautiful wooden furniture and modern lighting gives A Nossa Tasca a welcoming ambiance, suited for family dining, friend gatherings or after work drinks with colleagues. Take our word for it and try their Passion Fruit Mousse for desert and thank us later!
Image Source: TripAdvisor
Where to eat in Inhambane – Top 5 Restaurants
1. The Green Turtle
Located at Bayview Lodge this magnificent restaurant is located directly on the beach and is a few steps from the crashing waves of the Indian ocean. With a married French couple as your hosts, you can rest assured the food will be spectacular, to match that view. The food at ‘The Green Turtle’ incorporates a lovely blend of European and African-style cuisines, providing diners with unique combinations and flavours for all to enjoy.
2. Tofo Tofo
With a wide range of fresh dishes to choose from, Tofo Tofo is definitely worthy of being on this list. Offering local and fresh cuisine with portions that will take you and your stomach by surprise. Tofo Tofo restaurant sets a very comfortable and relaxing beach atmosphere, whilst overlooking the hills and palms.
3. Chill Beach Bar
Situated perfectly on a beautiful sandy white beach on the coast of Inhambane. The Chill beach bar provides cool lounging chairs and even cooler drinks! The food at Chill Beach Bar is of great quality, offered at a great price. This is definitely the go-to spot if you are trying to get away from the busyness of the city and just kick your feet up and ‘Chill’ with a drink in your hand.
Located at the Liquid Dive Adventures, Happi restaurant is said to be the only vegetarian restaurant in Inhambane. The food at Happi is simple, healthy and delicious, to say the least. The Happi eatery is run by a passionate Finnish couple, with wife Emma serving as the talented chef. The restaurant also offers lovely views of the surrounding wetlands and a wonderful shaded patio and pool area, ideal for those normal summery days.
5. Casa De Comer Restaurant
This rustic beach-side restaurant offers diners fresh and delicious cuisine at a great price. Casa De Comer can get quite busy, especially in the evenings or on quiz nights, so make sure you get there early. The personal service of Casa De Comer makes for a lovely atmosphere oozing with Mozambique culture.
Once you have filled up on Moz cuisine, you are ready to go exploring Mozambique. Here are a few of our favourite day-trip activities:
Top 5 Day-Trip Things to do In Mozambique:
1. Snorkel at the Two-Mile Reef
Snorkelling at the Two-Mile Reef is an absolutely unforgettable experience for those interested in snorkelling. This spot is known as one of the best snorkelling spots in East Africa, with good reason. Visitors can enjoy massive schools of fish, amazing underwater creatures, the occasional Hawksbill Turtle and even frolicking humpback whales if lucky (usually seen in August).
2. Tofo Market
Tofo Market is a great way to spend some time out of the beating hot sun, offering locally made goods such as carvings and paintings. The Tofo Market is a great place to fully embrace the true Mozambique culture. Keep in mind, the vendors can spot a tourist from a mile away, so the first price given doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best price, negotiating is a common sport in the markets of Mozambique.
3. Take a boat trip to Maxixe
The largest city in the province of Inhambane, Maxixe is a great place to wander about and experience the true Mozambique culture. To get to this city you can easily catch a Dhow boat from one of the locals offering Dhow services to tourists. These individuals make it fairly easy to travel to Maxixe making it a must-do on your to-do list.
4. Mozambique Horse Safaris
Located in Vilanculos, Mozambique Horse Safaris is a family run business that is dedicated to providing their customers with an unforgettable experience. Featuring over 40 horses, with the majority of them being rescued from Zimbabwean farms. All their riding horses are highly trained and schooled to a very high level with calm temperaments. Picture yourself exploring the beautiful sandy white shoreline of Vilanculos on the back of a galloping horse, sounds amazing doesn’t it?
5. Kitesurfing Centre Mozambique
Located in Vilanculos, this kitesurfing paradise is the perfect place to learn how to kitesurf. The centre has multiple instructors that are extremely passionate about their job and take time to understand who they are coaching. The warm waist-deep water and consistent wind gives visitors the chance to experience the amazing sport, and who knows, maybe you end up falling in love with kitesurfing, just like many others that have visited the centre.
Image Source: TripAdvisor
If you are visiting Mozambique for purely relaxation purposes, there are many small activities such as these that can be done to experience the culture whilst relaxing. For those that have travelled for or are interested in doing some serious Scuba diving, Mozambique is one of the best places you can be. Mozambique offers scuba divers a wide variety of diving sites all over the country with a plethora of marine life. Here are some of the most well-known diving sites.
Top 5 Scuba Diving Spots in Inhambane:
1. The Manta Reef
Mostly famous or the Manta’s that it’s named after, this is a dive you will never forget. The world renown Manta Reef is a bucket list dive spot for many across the globe. There are three main cleaning stations which the Manta’s usually hang around, and if positioned well and keeping still, there is a chance of having one of these majestic creatures float right over you. Please be responsible and do not reach out to touch as this will cause the animal serious harm. The reef is home to a huge overhang featuring Potato bass, Red Fang Trigger Fish, Snappers, Bigeyes, trumpet fish and much more. This is an advanced dive and is best left to those who have some experience in the world of Scuba Diving. These dives can reach depths of 20 – 30 metres.
2. Giants Castle
Giants Castle Reef is known among divers as one of the best drift dives off the Manta coast if the ocean conditions are ideal. Starting at 26 metres deep, the Giants Castle is enormous, extending 350metres in a north to south. On the eastern side of the reef is a 7m ledge dropping straight down to the seabed which is at 35 metres deep. The Giants Castle lives up to its name by accommodating some of the largest Potato bass and Manta Rays seen in the area. Giants Castle is a highly recommended dive spot but is also best left to those with drift diving experience and are familiar with the drift diving procedures and negative entries.
3. Chamber of Secrets
Off the Manta Coast lies one of the most picturesque and unique diving spots, known as the Chamber of Secrets. This is a playground for divers in terms of its layout and abundance of tropical marine life that call the reef home. The Chamber of Secrets is shaped like a horseshoe and starts at a depth of 14 metres. Many divers describe this spot as something out of a movie, when diving here it feels as if you are sure to stumble upon a hidden treasure chest waiting to be opened. During peak season (Summer), the Chamber of Secrets is a favourite feeding spot along the route of migrating whale sharks. These magnificent creatures come close to the reef to feed on all the plankton and krill. The Chamber of Secrets can be quite a technical dive and does definitely require some previous scuba diving experience.
This astounding reef resembles a sunken volcano crater, which is on average 2-4 metres lower than the surrounding rock, creating a wall around the site. The crater supports a massive array of underwater life ranging from hard and soft corals to reef or game fish swimming all around you. One of the best pats about this dive is that it offers one of the best chances to see and snorkel with, Whale Sharks on your journey to and from the dive site. The Krakatoa dive site is around 14 to 18 metres deep and is guaranteed to deliver divers with an experience of a life-time.
5. Anchor Bay
Anchor Bay, known as one of the rare inshore sites that Manta Ray’s visit, is an amazing reef for learning, getting back into the water or for taking a longer dive. The large anchor that the site is named after is located towards the south end of the site, making it the perfect opportunity for some beautiful under-water snap shots. Some of the species divers can expect are: Emperor Angelfish, Young Lionfish, Butterfly and Clown fish, and so many more. The very little current or surge at Anchor Bay makes this a pleasant and interesting dive for all levels of divers.
For those that are not really interested in strapping an oxygen tank to their back and jumping in to the water, here are some of the best activities which can be enjoyed on dry land.
Top 5 Activities in Mozambique that don’t include the ocean:
1. Zinave National Park
The Zinave National Park is located in the province of Inhambane, covering roughly 400,000 hectares. The national park is filled with lush and dense bushland featuring many big Baobab trees and a wide array of game. For those days that you don’t feel like going to the beach, take some time and go on a trip to the Zinave National Park, you won’t be disappointed.
2. Explore Machilla Magic Curio Shop
No trip to Mozambique is ever complete without some souvenir shopping. Located in Vilankulos, the visitors of Machilla Magic get to the chance to experience the true culture and buy a souvenir that reminds them of that culture forever. You will stumble across all sorts of items such as some of the most beautiful hand-made African furniture we’ve seen around. Remember, supporting as much as you can at various little shops along the way is a great way to support the communities of Mozambique.
3. Visiting Historical Landmarks Across Inhambane
Visiting local historic landmarks is probably the best way of getting to know what Mozambique is like. Learning more about a place makes it much more enjoyable as you appreciate a lot more things that you come across. Here are 2 of our favourite Historical Landmarks that we think you should visit:
- Cathedral of Our Lady of Conception
Built by the Portuguese about 170-200 years ago, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Conception offers visitors the experience to climb up the ladder to be welcomed by a stunning 360 view of the historic town and Inhambane’s port.
The Inhambane Museum is extremely rich in history, giving visitors a glance of the past. You can find all sorts of interesting artifacts found across Mozambique, old agricultural tools and much more.
- The Inhambane Harbour and Dhows
Take some time out of your day to go take a walk on the harbour’s pier and enjoy the breeze and views of Maxixe, right across the other side of the bay. Local fisherman and silently sailing Dhows will give you a true taste of the Mozambique hustle and bustle. Visitors can even hire a Dhow for a small fee to take them on a little tour around the bay or sail up by the Linga Linga Nature Reserve. It is an interesting sight to see how many Dhows are resting on the sand bed during low-tide, if you have good timing and catch the bay at low-tide, be sure to look out for the shipwreck in the harbour of Inhambane.
4. Gorongosa National Park
While majority of safari enthusiasts head south to South Africa or North to Zambia or Kenya, Mozambique is also home to its fair share of gorgeous wildlife reserves. The Gorongosa National Park has survived and recovered admirably after the horrible poaching epidemic brought on by civil war. Situated at the southern end of the Great African Rift Valley, the park’s floodplains are now a haven for it all – lion, elephant, hippo and various species of antelope. This national park in Mozambique perhaps has the greatest wildlife restoration story in Africa.
5. Macuti Lighthouse and Shipwreck
The rusted shipwreck directly in front of the century-old abandoned lighthouse is an almost surreal sight to be seen. Located in Beira, Mozambique, a visit to the Macuti beach is well worth it to experience this amazing and unusual sight. At high tide, only a few of the rusted bulkheads are visible above the waves, but at low tide, you can walk right through the ship wreckage. There are several restaurants and bars in the surrounding area where you can grab a drink from and sit on the foot of the lighthouse and look out at what’s left of the Macuti.
Image Source: TripAdvisor
And so, our Travel Guide comes to an end. This guide will be updated regularly so do check back every once in a while. We hope that this Travel Guide for Mozambique Accommodation has shed some light on what the beautiful country of Moz has to offer. Having the correct information about Mozambique helps you make a better decision which results in having an overall better holiday. To have the best holiday possible and experience Mozambique to the fullest extent, book your stay at Guinjane Lodge. We offer our visitors the chance to customize and tailor their holiday experience according to their needs and wants, guaranteeing you a holiday experience that you will never forget.
Disclaimer: Please note this guide was created at a certain time and it’s always a good idea to check the destinations you are heading to, by viewing the most current reviews on review platforms.