What’s it Like to Travel in Mozambique?

Sanbanks in Vilanculos Mozambique

Mozambique is my new favourite country.

Before I arrived, I had no idea what to expect from this little-visited Southern African spot and if I’m being honest, I was filled with trepidation. I had zero experience travelling Sub-Saharan Africa and the prospect of taking my first steps into the region (and doing so alone) was intimidating.

Especially because when I started researching travel in Mozambique online, I quickly realised just how few travel bloggers have been to Mozambique, how few trip reports there are, and how, if you venture into forums, you’ll find dozens of people announcing how unsafe it is and how, under no circumstances, should any woman travel there alone.

So I packed my bags and went anyway, because one of my favourite things to do when I travel is to shatter perceptions of a place.

And Mozambique? It’s perfectly safe for women travelling alone. It’s beautiful. It’s exciting. It’s adventurous. It makes you feel alive. The locals are so welcoming. The food is delicious. The beaches are out of this world.

The travel may be tougher here, but the rewards are far greater.

I tiptoed into Mozambique, wondering whether I’d be fleeing to South Africa in just a few days, but instead had to drag myself out of the country several weeks later. I can’t wait to return.

This is what it’s like to travel in Mozambique.

Street in Tofo
A sandy street in the backpacker hangout of Tofo. Wander around here in the mornings, when everyone is sleeping off their hangovers, and you’ll barely see another person!

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Confession: I was terrified when I arrived in Maputo.

It wasn’t that I had no idea what to expect, but that I had read so many scary pieces online that I was expecting nothing but danger. Let’s a take a look at some of the quotes I stumbled upon, from articles, blog posts and comments in forums:

Criminals are forceful and ruthless, often work in groups, and carry firearms. Expats and tourists have been targeted in the past, so be sure not to display any signs of wealth: jewelry, running shoes, cameras and purses should be left in the hotel or hidden extremely well.

Women should never walk alone on the beach or take the bus unaccompanied. Unfortunately, attacks on female tourists have been increasing.

Parents, DO NOT let your children travel to Mozambique!

I had a very rough start. Within hours of my arrival in Chimoio I was cheated by moneychangers, had my laptop stolen in a hostel, had to abandon a horrid bus where we were squashed like sardines with stereo blasting. To top things off I was unable to get cash since ATMs very randomly accept cards in Mozambique.

I wouldn’t recommend it. I did it a few years ago with my then Girlfriend. In the capital Maputo the hostel had guards on the gate to make sure no-one broke in. Armed guards at the ATM too.

Does that sound like a safe and wonderful country you’d want to visit?

Yeah, me neither.

So, why did I go? Because part of the reason why I even started a travel blog is because I love getting to show the reality of misunderstood places around the world. And in amongst the horror stories I found online, there were gushing reports of life-changing trips in a beautiful country full of welcoming locals.

So I went, and you know what? I felt just as safe in Mozambique as I do in many places in the world. I wandered on the beaches on my own and only ran into locals who wanted to make friends and show me around. I carried my camera and my phone in a bag and took photos and wasn’t mugged. It’s all anecdotal, sure, but I didn’t feel like I was travelling in some kind of dangerous, lawless country. I felt safe and welcomed in Mozambique — it felt no different to wandering around in Southeast Asia, for example.

I learned a valuable lesson here, in not believing everything you read about a place, and the importance of checking it out with your own eyes before making a judgment. Don’t let the fear-mongering online put you off visiting Mozambique — I felt less safe in South Africa, which is a place most people wouldn’t have any qualms about visiting.

If you are nervous about travelling to Mozambique, make sure you’re reading reports and experiences from people who have actually been to the country. It’s too easy for people to leave horrible comments on articles online, speaking about how Mozambique is dangerous, when they haven’t even been themselves.

Beach views from my hotel in Tofo
Beach views from my hotel in Tofo

The Visa is Awful to Get if You Won’t Be Travelling Overland Easy to Get

I’ve never written a guide for applying for a visa on this site before, but I’m in the process of finishing up one for Mozambique. Why? Because the entire process was complicated, frustrating, and wholly unclear. It was so bad that I started my application process over a month before my departure date and had my visa approved the day before I left. Man, that was nerve-wracking!

In a typical example of African bureaucracy, you can easily apply for a visa when traveling overland from South Africa. But when you’re flying in, the official stance is that you need to apply for a visa in advance. And to get said visa, you need to have absolutely everything booked in advance and your confirmations printed out, as well as a whole host of other documents and information. I even had to show a photocopy of my residency certificate for Portugal!

The most frustrating aspect of the entire process is that there’s no clarity surrounding the procedure. Some people claim you don’t need to worry and can get a visa on arrival; some say they were turned away at the airport. Some people say you just need to fill out a form; others needed to have bank statement, flight bookings, hotel bookings, letters of invitation, proof of residency. Some people have been told completely different things by two people at the same embassy.

If you’re heading to Mozambique, allow yourself plenty of time to get the visa and prepare for multiple trips to the embassy.

Update: you can now get a visa on arrival! Ignore everything I just wrote :-)

This was the view I woke up to every morning in Vilanculos: sandbanks for dayyyyys!

Mozambique is Bigger Than You Think

I gave myself two weeks to explore Mozambique and believed that would be enough time to jump my way along its coastline.

Yeah. Mozambique is so much bigger than it looks on maps! The coastline, for example, is more than 1500 miles long, which is roughly the same length as the east coast of the U.S.

Would you give yourself two weeks to travel the entire east coast of the U.S.? Nope! 

That’s a whole lot of land to cover and if you’ll be doing it overland, you can expect to spend days travelling from the south to the north. If you’re hoping to fly, you’ll be at the mercy of LAM, the Mozambican airline. Flights are infrequent and illogical, rarely going from where you are to where you want to be, and especially not on the date you want to fly.

When you’re in Mozambique, less is more. Build travel delays into your schedule and aim to spend three-to-five days in each place rather than one or two. I decided to spend my two weeks exploring the south of Mozambique and will save exploring the north for my next visit. The south is the more touristed part of the country, but the north still has a lot to offer — I can’t wait to finally get there.

If you have a month, you can comfortably see the vast majority of the country’s major tourist attractions. Here’s a quick breakdown of the routes you could follow:

  • Two weeks in the south: Maputo, Tofo, and Vilanculos/Bazaruto Archipelago
  • Two weeks in the north: Nampula, Ilha de Mocambique, Pemba, Quirimbas Islands
  • One month: these two itineraries combined! Maybe with a trip to Gorongosa National Park in between.
Bazaruto sandbanks from above
Checking out the sandbanks of the Bazaruto Archipelago from above

Traveling in Mozambique Can Feel Adventurous

I was surprised when I touched down in Mozambique and discovered that hardly anyone travels alone in this country. The travellers I met were shocked that I was brave enough to visit solo — and I certainly didn’t feel brave! People would tell me that I was courageous and adventurous, and I’d be there having no idea that me going to Mozambique alone was a Big Deal.

And while I felt safe in Mozambique, there’s no denying that this was some of the most hardcore travel I’ve encountered to date.

It was having to be super-careful with my DSLR and keeping it hidden away, sometimes only snapping photos when nobody was around or tons of people were surrounding me.

It was learning that it wasn’t safe to walk anywhere at night and having to take taxis in the evenings.

It was the public chapas — minivan buses that squeeze ten times the capacity into one sweaty, humid box while you bounce over potholed roads for hours at a time.

It was not being able to trust the police, because they’re corrupt as hell and always looking for a way to extort money from you.

It was the ATMs running out of money or not accepting my card.

It was having to be fearful of malaria and waking up to enormous bugs in my room, no matter how much money I paid for my stay.

It was the security guards outside of hostels and hotels and banks and stores.

In Mozambique, things felt rougher around the edges. The travel was more difficult and less comfortable, but was so worth it.

It’s definitely not a destination for first-time travellers, though.

Living that digital nomad dream (looking at a beach but being chained to your laptop and unable to enjoy it)
Living that digital nomad dream (looking at a beach but being chained to your laptop and unable to enjoy it)

TAAG is a Good Way to Get There for Cheap

I scored some bargain flights from Angolan airline TAAG, which made it super-affordable to visit Mozambique from Europe. I highly recommend keeping an eye on their flight prices and making note of when they’ll be having any sales. At around $250 return from Lisbon, Mozambique was cheaper to fly to than many European destinations would have been!

And Angolan Airlines were actually great.

Read more about how I find cheap flights around the world.

Tofo beach
Tofo Beach from above. If you visit in low season, you’ll basically have the entire beach to yourself all day!

Low Season is Slow Season

I was concerned about visiting Mozambique in January, the wettest month of the year, but guess how much rain I experienced? One afternoon in Maputo that lasted for an hour, and an overnight thunderstorm in Tofo. That was it! Just as in Southeast Asia, I learned that the rainy season isn’t actually a terrible time to visit: the prices are cheaper, there are fewer tourists, and the rain isn’t frequent enough to spoil your vacation.

The rainy season definitely puts off many travellers from visiting Mozambique, though. In Maputo, I wandered around for six hours and didn’t see a single tourist. In Tofo, I would head down to the huge beach each afternoon and find myself sharing it with maybe three other people. When eating at restaurants in Vilanculos, my group of friends and I would often be the only people eating in the restaurant.

It sounds kind of boring, but it was actually fascinating. Imagine going to somewhere like Koh Phi Phi and having the entire place to yourself. In Mozambique, it’s possible!

If you’re aiming to visit Mozambique in the rainy season, be sure to keep an eye on the weather reports before you visit, and ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers natural disasters and cancelled trips. I use and recommend SafetyWing for trips to Mozambique, as they cover you in these situations.

Empty beach in Tofo, Mozambique
Tofo Beach, which, fun fact, is actually pronounced as tofu.

Take Your Anti-Malarials

I’d never taken anti-malarial tablets until I went to Mozambique, for the simple reason that none of the countries I was visiting were deemed high-risk, and dengue was more of a problem in them, for which there is no prophylaxis. Given how much time I’ve spent in mosquito danger zones, I’d have most likely ended up taking anti-malarials for years at a time, which wouldn’t have been great for my liver. So, whenever I was in the tropics, I would make sure to use bug spray, cover up, and attempt to avoid getting bitten as much as possible.

Well, Mozambique is high-high-high risk for malaria. Like, it’s one of the top five countries affected by malaria, with its prevalence ranging from 46% for children in rural areas to 17% in the cities. 26% of hospital deaths in Mozambique are due to malaria and every single local and expat I spoke to had contracted it a dozen times or more. And when I was researching early malaria symptoms, a significant amount of the people commenting in forums had contracted it in Mozambique.

The risk of malaria is real in Mozambique and you can die from it. Anyone who says anti-malarials are worse than malaria itself has never had cerebral malaria, which is a complication of a specific malaria parasite that is most prevalent in Mozambique. Cerebral malaria causes your brain to swell, which can lead to permanent brain damage, and also causes liver failure, kidney failure, rupturing of the spleen, fluid in the lungs, and death.

Take anti-malarials!

Malarone and doxycycline are both effective in Mozambique and I’ve never experienced major side effects with either.

It’s One of the Best Places to Dive on the Planet

Mozambique is all about the megafauna, with tons of whale sharks and manta rays visiting Tofo year round, and dugongs popping up every now and then near Vilanculos. I even got to swim with humpback whales and dolphins on an ocean safari in Tofo!

Let’s be honest: I’m not a diver, so I can’t speak from personal experience, but the vast majority of visitors to Tofo are there for the diving, and everyone I met couldn’t stop gushing about how mind-blowing it was.

For me, I settled with some snorkelling in both Tofo and Vilanculos, and the latter was some of the best of my life. I got to swim with an octopus, trumpetfish, parrotfish, stonefish, and a bunch of other colourful fish that I couldn’t identify but ogled at nonetheless.

Welcome to Maputo!

Maputo Isn’t Going to Be the Highlight of Your Trip

Oh man, I didn’t like Maputo.

I hate saying that I hated a place, but I really didn’t vibe with Maputo.

I gave myself three days in the capital city, something that drew nothing but winces from fellow travellers when I shared this fact. Quite frankly, it was two days too long, as the vast majority of tourist sites can be seen during a day of wandering.

I’d hoped to go to the Maputo Elephant Reserve, but no tour companies would take solo travellers unless I paid double, which would work out to be around $400. I wanted to take a walking tour of the city, but the tour guide didn’t reply to my email enquiry until after I’d left Maputo.

So, that was fine. I told myself I’d just wander around the city and try to find its heart in amongst the trash. Guys, I’ve spent a lot of time in developing countries and trash doesn’t even bother me — it’s something I rarely notice — but in Maputo it. was. everywhere. On every single street I walked down, even the most popular ones in the centre of the city, it was piled up everywhere.

The harassment was real and intimidating. Men would drive their cars alongside me, calling me baby, then pull over, get out of the car, and follow me down the road! So many men that I passed on the street would call me sister or mama or baby or click their tongue or hiss at me. My guidebook said that walking along the red light district during the day was safe and interesting, but it resulted in nothing but a bunch of prostitutes shouting at me.

The most touristy things to do in the city weren’t even that wonderful, which made the sightseeing boring. Basically, I ended up feeling like there was nothing of interest to see, the harassment was intimidating, and I spent most of the time hiding and recovering in my room.

If you go to Mozambique, aim to spend no more than a day in Maputo. The best parts of the country are elsewhere.

Beach in Vilanculos
Beach in Vilanculos at low tide.

The Beaches are Spectacular

Mozambique has some of the best beaches in the world, and the absolute best thing about them is that on most of them, you’ll have them all to yourself!

My favourite beaches were in Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago. This part of Mozambique is all about the sandbanks, and at low tide, you can walk out across them for hours if you wanted. It’s like being on another planet.

vilanculos island
Beach wanderings on a private island close to Vilanculos

You Can Get By Without Speaking Portuguese

I was concerned about my lack of Portuguese language skills beyond the basic Portuguese I used while living in Lisbon for a year, but I needn’t have worried. I encountered zero language barriers within the country and 95% of the people I ran into spoke great English.

It’s supposedly harder to find English speakers in the lesser-visited north of the country, but if you stick to the south, you won’t need to worry about learning more than a few vital words.

baobab backpackers
The hut I stayed in at Baobab Backpackers, in Vilanculos

Chapas Will Make You Cry Sweat, But There are Alternatives

Imagine a humid minivan with terrible suspension, bumping its way along pot-holed roads on a thirty degree day. Now imagine filling it with 10 times more people than the recommended capacity, until you’re all packed in the back like sweaty sardines. Maybe throw a child on your lap and some smelly food in there, too. Now, get the driver to rip you off on the price and have the local men start calling you baby and asking if you can take them back home with you.

That’s a chapa and it’s the easiest way to get around the country. They are also awful, so don’t be surprised if after your first ride, you swear off them and opt for flights and private transfers to get around.

Which is exactly what I did.

sunrise in mozambique
Catching the sunrise on my final morning in Mozambique

It’s Pretty Affordable

I wasn’t sure what to expect for affordability in Mozambique, as Africa isn’t the most inexpensive of continents, but I ended up pleasantly surprised.

Accommodation is where most of your money will go in Mozambique, unless you’re cool with dorm rooms. For a basic room in a guesthouse in Maputo, I paid $32 a night, for a fancy resort stay in Tofo that was one of the best places I’ve ever stayed in, I paid $63 a night, and for a private room in a backpacker hostel in Vilanculos, I paid $28 a night, although they had dorms there for as little as $9 a night.

Transportation varies depending on your level of comfort. If you wanted to travel between Tofo and Vilanculos, you could pay $3.50 to take several chapas and a ferry, $100 to hire a private driver to take you there, or $80 to fly there. Some people opt to hitchhike in Mozambique without a problem, but I didn’t try it while I was there.

And food is cheap, cheap, cheap! You can expect to pay around $2-3 a meal, or $10 if you’re in a fancy, sit-down restaurant for tourists. A beer is a couple of dollars.

Activities can be pretty pricey, depending on where you book them and how many people you’re traveling with. I had to turn down a lot of activities I was excited for because as a lone traveller, I was told I’d have to pay double to take any tours. It’s therefore best to stay in hostels and take their tours if you’re travelling alone. For a snorkelling ocean safari in Tofo, I paid $35, and for a day in the Bazaruto Archipelago, I paid $50.

I wrote an in-depth guide on how much it costs to travel Mozambique that’s worth checking out, as well as budget breakdowns for the hundred countries I’ve been fortunate to have visited so far.

It’s Safe for Solo Women Travellers

I really wasn’t sure what the demographics of travellers to Mozambique would be, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a mix of ages, travel styles, and races. And while I was one of the very few solo female travellers in the country, it was easy to make friends and I felt as safe as I do in Southeast Asia (very). I will say that I felt least safe in Maputo, even though nothing bad happened to me there, but the levels of harassment were intense.

What you can expect as a solo traveller in Mozambique, especially if you’re white like me, and especially especially if you’re blonde, is a lot of attention. For the most part, though, it’s totally harmless, and most dudes just want to chat and flirt with you.

You’ll Still Want to Get Good Travel Insurance

If you’ve read any other posts on Never Ending Footsteps, you’ll know that I’m a great believer in travelling with travel insurance. I’ve seen far too many Go Fund Me campaigns from destitute backpackers that are unexpectedly stranded in a foreign country after a scooter accident/being attacked/breaking a leg with no way of getting home or paying for their healthcare. These costs can quickly land you with a six-figure bill to pay at the end of it.

All I can offer is anecdotes, but even with my fantastic experiences, Mozambique is still more of a hardcore travel destination and there are horror stories online. In short, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.

Travel insurance will cover you if your flight is cancelled and you need to book a new one, if your luggage gets lost and you need to replace your belongings, if you suddenly get struck down by appendicitis and have to be hospitalised, or discover a family member has died and you need to get home immediately. If you fall seriously ill, your insurance will cover the costs to fly you home to receive medical treatment.

I use SafetyWing as my travel insurance provider, and recommend them for trips to Mozambique. Firstly, they’re one of the few companies out there who will actually cover you if you contract COVID-19. On top of that, they provide worldwide coverage, don’t require you to have a return ticket, and even allow you to buy coverage after you’ve left home. If you’re on a long-term trip, you can pay monthly instead of up-front, and can cancel at any time. Finally, they’re more affordable than the competition, and have a clear, easy-to-understand pricing structure, which is always appreciated.

With SafetyWing, you’ll pay $1.50 a day for travel insurance.

Mozambique: One of My New Favourite Countries!

I love, love, loved my time in Mozambique and I’m already planning my return trip.

The beaches are wonderful, the locals are friendly, the food is delicious, and did I mention the beaches? It’s worth going to Mozambique just for them.

Have you been to Mozambique? If not, would you like to go one day?

Related Articles About Mozambique

💰 How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Mozambique?
🏖 Introducing Tofo: My African Beach Paradise
🏝 A Perfect Day in the Bazaruto Archipelago

About the author

Lauren Juliff

Lauren Juliff is a published author and travel expert who founded Never Ending Footsteps in 2011. She has spent over 12 years travelling the world, sharing in-depth advice from more than 100 countries across six continents.

Lauren's travel advice has been featured in publications like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan, and her work is read by 200,000 readers each month. Her travel memoir can be found in bookstores across the planet.


  1. February 9, 2017

    The pictures you posted from Mozambique are fantastic and they make me want to go there (except I’m still an inexperienced traveler, so I will wait awhile). Also, it’s pretty awesome that you love the country as a whole and yet are able to write frankly about the harassment in Maputo (I also saw your snaps about this subject).

    “I find myself instead thinking of my alternative blog title as The Accidental Adventurer. Because that’s what I seem to have become.”

    Okay, so I know you are constantly asked about your next book, but maybe there’s the title to your sequel!

  2. February 9, 2017

    I absolutely LOVE your posts because they are so honest and give you a true snapshot into what your experience was.

    • February 9, 2017

      Ah, thank you so much, Rachel! That means a lot :-)

  3. February 9, 2017

    Stunning photos. I had no idea Mozanbique was so ‘tropical’ :)

    • February 10, 2017

      Thank you :-) I was surprised by how many palm trees there were in Mozambique — they were almost everywhere!

  4. February 9, 2017

    I just love how detailed this post is! I feel like I’ve had some experience there (which I definitely don’t!).
    Those beaches look incredible!

    • February 10, 2017

      Thanks so much, Brooklyn! It took a long, long time to write this one! :-)

  5. February 9, 2017

    I now have a more invested interest in southern Africa – Mozambique is on the list!

    • February 10, 2017

      Yay! I’m happy to hear that :-)

  6. February 10, 2017

    What a beautiful place! I haven’t travelled to many places but I have big plans and Africa was never somewhere I’d considered until my cousin actually cut her Australian working holiday short to return to Kenya and South Africa after only a couple of months!
    I love that you’re exploring the lesser travelled places :) It’s totally helping to expand my options in the future!

    • February 10, 2017

      I’m so happy to hear that! I’m a contrarian, so I always like to check out places other bloggers don’t often choose to visit, and Mozambique ended up being one of my best choices so far :-)

  7. February 10, 2017

    Great post! You’ve got me from knowing nothing about Mozambique to wanting to go, and that feeling achievable. What’s the food like??

    • February 10, 2017

      So good! Lots of spicy seafood :-)

  8. February 10, 2017

    This post is so incredibly comprehensive! It gives such a good view of what travelling in Mozambique is like! I’ve been hearing people talk more and more about Mozambique even though Dutch travel advice remains negative for the most part. Thanks to your post I feel much more excited to visit it one day!

    • February 10, 2017

      I’m excited to hear that! :-)

  9. February 10, 2017

    What? Mozambique is not great at all for tourists I have worked in Mozambique for some years and it NOT safe for tourists. Mozambique is in the middle of a civil war, the people have horrendous living conditions barely surviving on the poverty line, crime is rampant. You probably did not know that the people you saw working at those lodges are paid slave wages and that is when they can get a job. Tourism dropped 37% from last year and that is because it is not safe, far less in fact unthinkable for a women travelling alone, you were very lucky that nothing happened to you .
    Sure some of the beaches are very nice but that does not make a great holiday, and yes Maputo is a dump and there is nothing to see there other than misery, poverty, crime and trash. South Africa has far more to offer, has a great tourism infrastructure in place and if something does happen you have some recourse unlike mozambique.

    • February 10, 2017

      There has been a ceasefire on the civil war/rebel fighting since December and any news articles I’ve read over the past week have said that an official peace deal is most likely days away. Additionally, the vast majority of the rebel activity has been in rural areas where tourists are unlikely to ever visit, and I don’t think any tourists were ever caught up or injured in the fighting at any point. Also, as far as I’m aware, nothing ever happened in the south, where I, and the majority of tourists, visit/ed. Tourism dropped because of the rebel fighting, and when/if a peace deal is reached, it will most likely increase again.

      You say that people are barely surviving on the poverty line and that people working in lodges are paid slave wages, but then your solution to this is to not go at all. Taking away tourism income from the country only harms it and directly hurts the people who are struggling, and it’s not a reason not to visit a place.

      And finally, the crime rates are far higher in South Africa than they are in Mozambique, so while you’ll have more recourse there, there’s also a much higher chance of something actually happening to you in the first place. But if you have actual statistics about crime affecting tourists in Mozambique, I’d be happy to hear them and adjust my opinion of the country. Even the British government says most visits to Mozambique are trouble-free in their travel advice. As it is, you saying that it’s not safe is just as anecdotal as the expat in Mozambique who emailed me this morning to say she enjoyed my article and loves living in the country.

      • Go Lauren! I love how you replied to that and totally agree about the poverty thing. If that was a reason to not go someplace, that would be a pretty long list of places not to go, I’d think. Tourism is so important for a lot of places that just not going would make things much worse.

        This was an awesome post and will definitely be back to read more.

      • Aurum Rushe
        May 24, 2021

        Hey I really enjoyed your article. I spent 2.5 months in mostly the North coast but stayed a couple nights in Maputo and a few other places as well. I actually had a great time in Maputo. It was on my way out of Mozambique. I realized I had two nights there just before leaving the north. One of my Mozambican friends saw me off at the airport and he connected me with a couple of his friends in Maputo. Thank God! They took me out all night to these lil bar-like stations that were bulletproof plexiglass and metallic anti theft bars. We had a blast and being that there were three of us no one messed with me. They told me if I was by myself that some people would just enjoy my company but others would want to F me up. They said Inwould most likely get jumped pretty bad. The only problem we had was at one point we were in a busy part of town, we parked the truck and walked into a place for some drinks. Possibly being that I was white maybe someone thought I was rich and left valuables in the truck. Idk but someone broke in to it and stole some of their things. Thankfully my stuff was at their house. They went and talked to the cops but parked a good distance and told me to stay down cuz they will harass me. I had already experienced the police harassment up north and again as I was leaving the airport in Maputo. They got me to the airport way late for my plane. I had all my money in a travel pouch stashed really well. Good thing too cuz they started giving me a hard time about a bag of passion fruit lollipops I discovered there, BOMB Dizzle! They tried to act like I was smuggling shit and wanted money from me. I told them why I was there and said I had already given all my money away to all my beautiful friends I met here. I ended up giving them a few Metz (Meticals their currency) that I had in coins which was equivalent to a lot less then a dollar. The last couple negative things I hope to ever say about Mozambique, due to the poverty the men are much shorter than I. I’m a 6’2 blonde whiteboy and I only felt unsafe one time. I was grocery shopping and when I walked outside there was a dude who was about my size and he was trying to size me up. The last thing I’m going to do is fight a local so I just smiled, waived and said things like, “oh wow you big bro. It’s ok everything’s good broddah.” I then lil by lil got away from that situation. He just wanted to show he was big too but not in the right way. I traveled around hitch hiking and even met some thuggish friends who took me around on the back of their mortorcycles, while we rapped all day, and met their families. I felt and was very safe my entire stay. I too love the freaking beaches! I was there every chance I could get away for a dip. All this being said, if I were you or anyone on this thread, I would not travel there alone again. I know of a girl who was there who was hit over the head with a hammer-like tool and raped. She was walking with 7 others too. Someone jumped out of the bushes. Where we stayed they recommend that you travel with no less then 8 people at night and 4 during the day. I had traveled outside with one or no others too and felt 100% safe. Let’s also remember that was just our experience and luckily we for the most part only ran into amazing people but we can’t take away from others who have been hurt, it’s not just online talk. I’m totally not trying to scare anyone off or argue with you Lauren, I just think you might want to mention that the threat of danger there is real but thankfully u only ran into some of the most beautiful people on the planet as did I. I love the shit out of Mozambique and made numerous friends. I can’t wait to go back someday too! Oh sorry there was one more thing, as far as the poverty and traveling to help the local economy, unfortunately that’s not how it works. Well, It is when you’re eating at a small chicken & chips place paying a couple dollars for food or buying a capalana (sheet like fabric women wrap themselves with or guys like me find a tailor to make a bunch of cool clothes) but as far as those big hotels or most of the bigger stores and restaurants, they’re all owned by the Chinese, South Africans, and Middle Eastern people. They pay off the government. The elected officials get into office, rob the countries money and leave for the next guy to repeat.
        All that to say, my 2.5mo there and 2wks in Krueger National Park, Joberg, and CapeTown were the most rewarding, fun times I have ever had and I’ve been all over the world. You’re right about South Africa fasho. A couple times I pulled down the wrong street and it was almost as bad as San Bernardino, Ca. Haha No there were a cpl times I had drive off quick but there are so many cool things to do down there as far as animal reserves go and cool places to go. Food is really good too!
        Thanks again for the good read… Sistah!

    • February 11, 2017

      Wait sorry, how are you going to tell another person if they had a good holiday or not?

    • January 11, 2018

      During the past 25 years I have spent an accumulated 4 years living and travelling throughout Mozambique, without serious incident of a criminal or corrupt nature.

      Yes, I did have my camera stolen at the Feira Popular in Maputo in 1993, but this was when distracted by too many cheap Impala beers and the attention of ladies who probably have never been chased – acknowledgements to Rodriguez.

      My first trip was 6 months long on my bicycle,
      during the civil war, from Beira to Tanzania, and beyond. My latest trip was in October 2018 with two fabulous families from America. We started in Johannesburg and drove Maputo – Xai-Xai – Inhambane – Morrungulo – Bilene – Massingir – Kruger National Park.

      As usual no problems, just (genuinely) pristine beaches, wonderful people and food and of course the special Wilderness and vistas of Kruger. My clients were charmed by Mozambique and awestruck by Kruger.

      South Africa does have a very bad crime record. Tourists are sometimes targeted as a quick Google of the terms “OR Tambo Airport and tourists” will reveal.

      Looking forward to my next adventure in gentle, beautiful and uncrowded Mozambique.

  10. February 10, 2017

    Thanks so much for this Lauren! We are thinking about Mozam and Tanzania for our next trip and this definitely fills in a lot of the gaps regarding tourist info for the country. What is the wifi like there?

    • February 11, 2017

      The wifi was pretty good, actually. I found that the wifi worked really well in guesthouses *when* you were sat in the reception area — it was fast and you could Skype on it. The signal wasn’t often strong enough to reach your room, though, so I’d have to work in the common areas/restaurants. When I was researching, I found that the vast majority of accommodation options had wifi, and from the reviews, it seemed like it was usually usable.

  11. Naadir
    February 10, 2017

    Everything you write about Mozambique was true. From the trash in Maputo to the wonders on the cost line. And I do share the hate from Maputo.

    • February 11, 2017

      Ah, I’m glad to hear that! I always find it a bit nerve-wracking when I post these summaries in case a bunch of people appear to tell me my entire perception was incorrect.

  12. I’ve been so tempted by the idea of Mozambique for so long esp the coast and beaches so thank you for this honest and balanced intro!

    • February 11, 2017

      No problem! It’s such a beautiful country and well worth a visit :-)

  13. February 11, 2017

    Wow! Great blog post. Looks like that’s another place added to the bucket list! Thanks, Lauren!

  14. location de voiture casablanca
    February 12, 2017

    I’m looking for some advice on whether I would be safe in Mozambique as a young white man, as I would clearly look like a foreigner and am worried whether I would be targetted because of it. I would be volunteering in a local school near Maputo for around 6-8 weeks, staying with Mozambicans during that time. I’ve heard/seen conflicting evidence that Mozambique is safe to visit/is dangerous with high crime levels (involving violent robbery etc) from forums and the western embassies travel advice. For instance, the chances of being targetted as a victim of crime are about the same as a major US city, although most visits are trouble-free. Is it worth the risk? It truly looks like an incredible place.

    • February 19, 2017

      In my opinion, if you’ll be staying with Mozambicans you’ll most likely be fine and I would go for it. The people you’ll be staying with will be about to tell you what to look out for and how to stay safe, so you’ll be in a much better position than the majority of travellers to Mozambique.

  15. February 12, 2017

    Wow. You are brave to do this, Lauren! I appreciate your efforts in writing the truth about Mozambique.

  16. Kathi
    February 12, 2017

    This is a great post, thank you. I think you’re very good at showing the layers and different perceptions, here mainly on how safe it is to visit. Keep doing what you’re doing. :)

    • February 15, 2017

      Thanks so much! I’ll do my best :-)

  17. February 13, 2017

    Hi Lauren,

    Wow . Incredible article . Mozambique is truly beautiful. The coconut trees , beaches and banana leaves remind me of Kerala, my home state. The sea color is better but. The small huts are fascinating. Added to my list of travel

    • February 19, 2017

      And Kerala is high on my list of destinations to visit! I hope to get there later this year :-)

  18. Namvua
    February 13, 2017

    Your writing is the best!

  19. February 13, 2017

    All big cities are kind of dump. Specially in Africa. You can see the same situation in most of the big cities in the central and south Africa region. South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania are the best examples of that.

    Mozambique has some problems into bringing tourists in, although it’s a nice place to visit. But I wouldn’t visit it alone, as you did. I went there with a group of friends.

    Although I have to say, I haven’t felt less secure than on the outskirts of Athens or Istanbul. So maybe it wasn’t that bad.

    • March 6, 2017

      I know that Dave is scathing about pretty much all of the capital cities he’s visited in Eastern Africa, so I didn’t have high hopes for my time there. And yeah, there are definitely much nicer places in the country to see!

  20. February 13, 2017

    I would love to go to Mozambique one day – I’m a scuba diver and have indeed heard it’s amazing there! I’m actually headed to Eastern Africa for a few weeks this summer, and initially thought I could squeeze in some beach time in Mozambique as well, but this post makes me realise I’ll need more time. Will definitely be referencing this in the future. :)

    • March 6, 2017

      I think you’d love Mozambique, Brenna! But yeah, it’s a huge country and getting around takes sooooo looonnnngggggg.

  21. Alex
    February 14, 2017

    Great post Lauren! :-) Me and my (now) husband were backpacking Mozambique 6 years ago and the nature didn’t change at all! I bet it developed a bit when it comes to tourism but I don’t think that much, which I think is good to sustain such pristine and ‘naturally beautiful’ places. I remember Maputo not as a super ugly place however can’t diasagree it’s not a place you want to stay for more than 1-2 days. What I do remember what impressed me, was the old scratched portuguese architecture the city still had. We had to prolong our visas (anyway something was with it) and went to some embassy or some diplomatic point – I will never forget how beautiful and nostalgic that building looked like! It was like traveling in time to the colonial era (I guess)!

    Mozambique is also opne of my favorite countries although that’s where we were robbed twice (Xai Xai and VIlanculos – in the Baobab Backpacker where you were, the story is really like from the movie but the management changed and everything so no need to write about it).

    And for those who really want to backpack that country I do recommend arranging a dhow to Linga Linga island from Inhambane Bay – that was the most adventurous thing I have ever done in my life and the place is nature at it’s finest.

    Looking forward to read more about your time in Africa!
    Safe travels,

  22. February 15, 2017

    I have never been to Africa but I am making it my mission to get there this year! Mozambique surprises me, I didn’t expect it to be as how you described. The sandbanks of the Bazaruto Archipelago looks stunning. I hadn’t realised it was so popular to dive! would love to dive and see the whale sharks!

    Parents, DO NOT let your children travel to Africa! – I love this !!!!! It shows how closed minded we can all be when we don’t know much about a place or a culture.

    Thanks for the heads up about the Visa, will keep this in mind when we do visit and will keep an eye out for your post on how to get the visa :) Baobab Backpackers looks like a cute place to stay too! thanks for sharing:)

    • February 15, 2017

      I think I was the only tourist in Mozambique who wasn’t diving while I was there, haha, so it’s definitely a popular place for checking out sealife.

      And yes, exactly. And how so many people treat “Africa” as if it’s one giant country, full of danger and poverty and war, without realising it’s a diverse continent with, yes, some problems, but that doesn’t mean you should treat every single country as if it’s unsafe and terrifying. I’ve been to both Morocco and Mozambique and they couldn’t have been more different! Even Mozambique, Swaziland, and South Africa felt totally different.

  23. February 15, 2017

    I’d love to visit Africa, I think it’s such a fascinating continent with so much culture. But I’m not too well travelled yet, at least not solo so I’m not brave enough to venture there just yet. But when I do I’d love to visit Zimbabwe and South Africa. Thanks for the article Lauren

    • February 15, 2017

      It can definitely be intimidating when you visit for the first time, but also, totally worth it! I’m glad I waited until I had a few years’ worth of travel experience before checking out, as I know I wouldn’t have coped as well if it had been my first solo trip.

  24. February 15, 2017

    Fascinating read, Lauren. Hoping to spend some time in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana in the next two years and I’m now thinking I should add Mozambique to that little list.

  25. February 15, 2017

    Love this post! Thank you for the insight!

    Also – just finished reading your book. Beautifully written!

    • February 27, 2017

      Thank you so much, RJ! That means the world to me :-)

  26. February 16, 2017

    Hey Lauren, stunning pictures. I must say along with a good blogger, you are an amazing photographer too. Thanks for sharing such wonderful narration of Mozambique. Keep Sharing! Keep Travelling. Good Luck.

    • February 19, 2017

      Ah, thank you so much! That means a lot :-)

  27. Tahoe Lyfe
    February 17, 2017

    I’ve never heard of Mozambique country until I can across with your blog and I’m happy I get to know it. For sure, people from all around the world will fall in love with warm tropical weather and pristine beaches which stretch as far as the eye can see.

    • February 19, 2017

      Happy I could introduce it to you!

  28. Ronnie Walter
    February 17, 2017

    Lovely read. Mozambique looks beautiful.Nice captures. :-)

  29. Irfan
    February 18, 2017

    It’s very interesting to know all about Mozambique.
    Great article.

  30. February 20, 2017

    One of my best friends married a Mozambican and now lives there. This was so interesting for me to read from a traveler’s perspective, not just one who lives there. Thanks so much. I now feel more confident about me as a high-anxiety mom, taking my children there.

    • February 20, 2017

      I’m so happy to hear that, Leah! :-)

  31. Elke Müller
    February 23, 2017

    I’d rather go to Zanzibar.

  32. February 23, 2017

    Great to see such a useful write-up. I also really enjoyed Mozambique. It’s not without it’s challenges but the people were great and the seafood was AMAZING. I’d love to go back and visit some of the islands one day.

    The spiders though. I saw some really big spiders.

    • February 23, 2017

      Oh man, I only heard about the spiders. Enormous ones that will run straight for you. I didn’t see any on my trip and I’m SO GRATEFUL FOR THAT, haha. Glad you enjoyed the post and totally agree about the seafood!

  33. What a great post! I had a similar experience with Venezuela where I felt unsafe at times and nervous, but the people were so warm and the country so beautiful that it is a shame to be tarnished with just one brush!

    • June 12, 2017

      It’s great to hear something positive about Venezuela, Reena!

  34. Xenia
    April 20, 2017

    This is the best post I’ve read so far. My boyfriend and I are on the more adventurous side as far as travelling goes, but I do believe our trip to southern Africa is going to really push us to the edge. And I am still not sure we should make this trek. Maybe you have some quick advice?
    We plan to visit South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and then possibly Mozambique, and then back to South Africa. We would only have AT MOST 5 days for Mozambique (travel included), and I understand it is REALLY tough to travel within Mo. We don’t mind “traveling quick” and we often only spend 2-3 days in each place, but if it’s too long or expensive to get to the southern part of Mo from Zim, then maybe this wouldn’t be worth it? I am excited to see the beaches and spend some time in the water (as the rest of our African adventure will be in the cities, or hiking through bush, jungle, etc.), so I guess I am asking if you would say it’s worth the trip? And if so, can you recommend a plan of attack from Zim? None of this is set in stone, I am only a week into planning this, so any advice at all would be amazing!

    PS: my favorite beaches BY FAR were in Thailand! Is this better?

  35. Lucy
    July 2, 2017

    Yesterday I was talking about Mozambique , and the person I was speaking to , just make me feel like visiting the country . And now I found your post and I really like the way you talk about the country .
    I travelled a lot , but this time I will travel with a baby so I was wondering if it is a good place to go with a 4 months baby .
    I know people would say I’m crazy but with some care and good health insurance I’m not afraid to go there . But I would like some tips .

    • July 18, 2017

      Plenty of people travel there with children, and travelling with kids is a great way to connect with the locals, too — everyone loves babies, all over the world! But I don’t have specific tips for travelling with a baby, as it’s not something I’ve ever had the opportunity to do. The only thing I would say is that if you’ll be travelling on a budget, the infrastructure can be quite poor, so you’d struggle with things like hot water showers and air conditioning in rooms, which could be stressful with a kid. And you’d have to take precautions with malaria, and I’m not sure how you’d do that with a baby. But if you google “Mozambique with children” you’ll find a lot of forum threads from people wanting to make the trip, so you’ll be able to pick up some tips from them.

  36. Agness
    July 13, 2017

    Heading to Vilanculos in a couple of weeks and wanted to say thanks for this post. Definitely the most helpful guide I’ve found on the internet so far! Looking forward to getting out on the water now!

    • November 17, 2017

      Ah, thank you so much, Agness! That means a lot :-)

  37. Adessa
    July 16, 2017

    This is so helpful! I’m going to be going to going to Tofo and Vilanculos next month. Can’t wait!

    • July 18, 2017

      You’ll have an amazing time! :-)

  38. Jojo
    August 5, 2017

    Uugghh! This is so helpful, I’m traveling to Mozambique around January next year with my friend and am so glad I bumped into your post alot more things are clearer now. Thanks for writing.

    • August 7, 2017

      Glad you found it helpful, Jojo! Have fun in Mozambique :-)

  39. August 18, 2017

    When are you going back there Lauren? And how would we get from Joberg to Tofo do you know?

    • August 23, 2017

      Not sure when I’m returning, and your best bet is to fly to Maputo and onwards to Inhambane, or you can bus it to Maputo and bus it to Inhambane if you’re on a budget.

  40. Gursh
    August 24, 2017

    Great Blog! Thank you for sharing.

    I’m in the midst of planning my solo trip to Mozambique. I’ve got 3 weeks, maybe 4. I’m aiming to do Maputo>Inhambane>Tofu Beach>Bazruto Archipelago>Mozambique Island. Do you think this is too much to fit into that time frame? I also want to take my time to learn how to dive (I’ve done it before but not gotten a certificate). I’m also cautions of going in November/December where it is the start of the rainy season (don’t want to wait until next year).

    Many thanks,

  41. Terrigal Hotel
    October 2, 2017

    this is awesome!! that looks so relaxing.. this will be definitely in my bucket list!! and i think i know where to go on my vacation!! lol thanks for sharing..

  42. Fshoq!
    October 21, 2017

    Like in every similar country like this, Mozambique is beautiful for travelers and dirty for citizens. Great article and nice photos!

    • October 21, 2017

      It was pretty dirty for me too… ;-) But I agree — I always try to keep my privilege in mind when visiting countries where the citizens are often struggling.

  43. Cindy Acutt
    November 7, 2017

    Awesome read , thank you x I have lived in Tofo with my husband and 3 sons for 13 years , having owned a Dive Centre , Liquid Dive, i am very knowledgable of the tourism stats and wages as well as the safety of living here and now with a private primary school in the area namely, Kingfisher Lake to offer the community i cannot stress how perfect Tofo is for a family or a lone traveller . In South Africa you live in fear constantly . I know of three families and friends who are relocating here from South Africa to Tofo within the next year because in my opinion it is the safest place in southern Africa . They have seen our lives here and how we live and want the same , the freedom , the beautiful beaches , the coconut trees etc . No threat of rape , murder or any other violent crime and the weather is just superb all year round with Humpbacks calving in our bay for 5 months of the year, Mantas , Whalesharks and great surfing and the warm water, we are living the dream…

    • December 14, 2017

      Thank you so much for sharing, Cindy! I’m thrilled to hear how much you’re enjoying living in Tofo. I can’t wait to return… hopefully in 2018!

  44. November 7, 2017

    Hi Lauren,

    I lived in Maputo for 10 years and never had a serious incident as a blonde female, but boy was all the male attention annoying and unwanted! Only to say, not unsafe but definitely a hassle and I was over 45 at the time. I can only imagine if I was a cute YOUNG woman,

    I’m glad you loved southern moz, but please come back! You missed the best part of the country! We live and work on Mozambique Island. Nacala and the region are not to be missed. We love our island and it is amazingly beautiful. It was once pretty trashy with dirty beaches but the municipal leaders and others like us have made great strides in cleaning things up, 2018 will be the 200th anniversary of the city of Ilha de Mozambique, so a great time to visit with Lots of things planned and great fanfare.
    And FYI. If you didn’t like Maputo, don’t spend more than a day in Nampula.

    • January 2, 2018

      Thank you so much for sharing, Lynne! I desperately want to return to Mozambique, so I’m sure I’ll get there very soon. There’s so much more of the country I need to see :-)

  45. keith
    November 7, 2017

    Renamo been fighting Frelimo for many years civil war going on there enjoy

    • November 8, 2017

      Not anywhere where tourists would go, though.

  46. November 9, 2017

    So in personal experience, once you leave the southern part of Mozambique there is little to no English. So in our future travels, should you choose to travel into the north, I HIGHLY recommend bringing someone who speaks Portuguese or learning some yourself. Please just be careful as you go north since it is not as designed for tourists and could be a much different feel to the trip. Having lived in the North and the south in country for over a year, I have experienced the great difference in needs of Portuguese levels. Also, the roads between the South and the North are extremely rough so flying, while a hassle, would quite possibly be a better option. I’m no tour guide or anything, just a missionary living among the locals who would LOVE to see tourism help these natives provide for their needs more consistently. As for politics, neutrality, friendliness and respect go a LONG way in this country, as I would assume in many other countries too. I hope you return soon. Mozambique is an incredible country indeed!

    • November 11, 2017

      I’m actually taking Portuguese lessons at the moment! :-) Thanks so much for the kickass comment, Monica, and super-helpful advice — I’d love to return to Mozambique very soon.

  47. Ivan dgedge
    December 20, 2017

    Hi everyone! I’m from Moçambique (Mozambique), I can ensure that is a lovely e beautiful country. For people who are looking for some nature landscapes more like artigo beaches, I would recommend to go to the province of inhambane, there u will find praia do tofo, amazing view!
    Arquipélago de bazaruto, it’s very beautiful but a little high cost( for me the best of Mozambique)
    Praia da barra.
    For those who are looking for a more privacy I recommend ilha magaruque!
    At maputo province you can go to ponta de ouro, there you’ll find nic beaches! And if coming for South Africa (RSA) it relatively close from Durban!
    About the safety issues, it there some criminality like everywhere(not like the favelas at Brazil or a cartel city in Mexico) , but it nothing that Serious to make not go there!
    At the city of maputo people will sometimes stare at you just whit curiosity not intending to hurm you!
    If you come driving you may wanna make sure to have your drive license, passport, and everything also, course I have to admit! The police are a little annoying, and some times like bribes( give them any money) ! If you cannot speak Portuguese try to get help from another drivers at the roads but stay in the car!
    For know it’s all, and if you decide to come the Mozambique, you welcome! have fun, and enjoy nature!
    Plz do not disturb nature, you can enjoy nature without harming it!

    • January 2, 2018

      Thank you so much for the amazing tips, Ivan! I really appreciate it.

  48. location de voiture casablanca
    December 20, 2017

    Muito lindo …meu pai falava muito de Mozambique e tambem de Guinea…?

    • December 31, 2017

      Would love to visit Guinea one day :-)

  49. January 11, 2018

    Pity you didn’t get to see the good side of Maputo, it’s an amazing city, did you go to the art studios? Mafalala? Even amongst the trash and mud there is so much soul.

    • January 17, 2018

      I didn’t, but they’re definitely on my list for next time.

  50. January 11, 2018

    Hi Lauren!

    Wow, what an adventure. Tried to read and digest it all in one go, gave up, but came back to tackle it in smaller chunks at a time.

    With 25 years of visiting and guiding and working in Mozambique (based in Johannesburg) etched into my Noddy Badge, I thought I knew it all, but have been enlightened and enriched by your narrative – thanks

    Regarding Maputo, ah a difficult one… But wait! Perhaps a comparison with Cape Town may be revealing? I have also lived and studied and holidayed in Cape Town many times. It is simply stupidly stunning, mostly clean, has some crime (bad in parts), but quite a “First-world” feeling about the place. Right now? Well you could play “spot the locals” as it is very tourist trodden with prices to match.

    Now to Maputo… Doesn’t have a mountain of the table, or any other, variety – also no beaches worth a tan and a swim. Very few tourists, though and so you may feel isolated and intimidated. Good, this is a sign that your “character”, resilience, receptivity and wisdom are expanding. Keep to that idiomatic “comfort zone” to much and you may as well have walked from home to a nearby bar.

    My latest tour around Maputo was by bicycle and this had the effect of making me invisible to criminals, touts and corrupt cops. The real people, by contrast, embraced like a long lost relative and I made fifty half-hour friendships every day.

    The street food and music are eclectic and very good and the history a day architecture are astounding.

    Don’t dismiss and shun Maputo. Look up “Maputo a pé” on Facebook a day Google and tell Jane Flood that I sent you.

    Mike http://www.mozguide.com

  51. January 12, 2018

    Such a shame that you hated Maputo. The city has a lot to offer (and good things!). Do not hesitate to get in touch with me when you come back and I’ll give you a tour of the cool places :)
    Great article!

    • January 17, 2018

      Thanks for the offer! I appreciate that :-)

    • Lerato
      March 1, 2019

      I would love to go to Bilene for my birthday but my anxiety is sky rocketing and funny enough I’m From South Africa so one would think I’d be brave enough, I’m not too sure of how one gets from Maputo to Bilene and I’d hate to get lost?

  52. Stina
    April 17, 2018

    HI Lauren,

    Thanks for the candid account of both Maputo and the coast. Its been very helpful in my planning and am now confident that I can travel there on my own! all the best from

    • April 18, 2018

      Thank you! Hope you have a wonderful trip :-)

  53. leul mamo
    April 28, 2018

    it was an interesting read. My name is leul mamo and i am an Ethiopian from east Africa neighbor to Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. and i plan to stay in maputo, mozambique for a little more than a month on a volunteering assignment by AIESEC there. It will be my first time to visit, do you think maputo is safe to go there ? since it will be my first time to travel outside Ethiopia…..
    thank you, woulds like to hear from you.

  54. Andre Massuanganhe
    May 20, 2018

    Hi Lauren,
    I’m amazed by the blog, I am Mozambican, was born in Inhambane. I used to climb those palm trees to get coconuts for preparing meals, the beaches were my font of food, used to fishing with lines and nets, sailed on those sailboats for long. Due to my profession had to leave that beautiful coastline to the northwest, exactly in Tete. This place is hot and nothing compared to Inhambane, Gaza, Sofala, Zambezia, Nampula and Cabo Delgado.


  55. June 12, 2018

    I’m happy to read your review of the south. I visited the north a few years ago, since my cousin has a large fisheries on Cahora Bassa Lake. I’m planning my next trip this December and have been trying to figure out the best way to travel.

    I could fly to Harare and travel with them via Zimbabwe, but that’s what I did last time. I’m thinking about flying into jo-berg and renting a car or flying to Mozambique. I’m looking for more adventure a deeper locals experience than traveling with my well off relatives.

    Do you have any thoughts? Might be good to fly into the north and then travel around by bus?

  56. Ben
    July 15, 2018

    Hi Lauren — thank you for the write up! Would love it if you could share your itinerary. Happy travels! :)

  57. Mozambiqueinalittleisland
    September 24, 2018

    Hi how are you?
    You describe very good the country, you give also a lot of informations and tips.
    I live in Mozambique Island next time you should to come here, you ll love it maybe more then the south.
    Best wishes

  58. Gigi
    October 10, 2018

    Fantastic blog post! Thanks for sharing :)

    One of the things I have always wanted to experience was diving with whale sharks and Tofo beach looks like the perfect location for that! However, the only thing holding me back is the malaria issue in Mozambique. I have read many blog posts and articles about this, but opinions vary a lot and I am finding it very had to make up my mind :/ I’m not sure if it is worth taking the risk…

  59. Olawale
    October 29, 2018

    I am a Nigerian and i have always loved the idea of travelling to a Portuguese speaking countries from my bucket lists that included Angola, Mozambique, Cabo Verde Island, Sao Tome & Principe and lastly, Equatorial Guinea but i found your post on Mozambique to be interesting and i would love to visit the country sooner.
    Thanks Lauren for the information

    • January 8, 2019

      No problem! Hope you make it to Mozambique :-) A lot of the countries you listed are on my list of places to visit, too!

  60. kim
    November 25, 2018

    Great post! Thank you for sharing this. Definitely, I’m looking for a destination for my long trip next year. :) Mozambique is now written on my travel list.

  61. Anja
    November 29, 2018

    Thank you so much. This article was really helpful. I wanted to do my Divemaster in Tofo and was initially so scared. The usual cliches you know :-) But your article really helped to prepare and see for myself that I should just go for it! I ended up staying half a year in Tof and worked as a Divemaster and really loved the time. Thank you Lauren!

    • November 30, 2018

      That’s amazing! You’ve made my day :-) I’m so happy you ended up loving Tofo.

  62. Archana
    February 2, 2019

    Wow! This is so informative, I will travel to Mozambique with my friends around April next year, and i was share your post with them. We can’t wait for it now.

  63. Kate
    March 19, 2019

    Thank for your wonderful blog Lauren!
    We have been deep into planning a trip this Autumn to Tofo for the whale sharks and mantas and the Bazaruto islands for kitesurfing.

    However, the terrible cyclone that has just blown through this week higher up the coast has wreaked such devastation that I am in two minds whether it might be insensitive to visit just for the fun of it on the one hand, although obviously tourist dollars would probably still be welcome….

    Do you or any other readers have any opinions on this please? Thanks.

  64. Ana Katrina Lopez
    March 29, 2019

    Love the post Lauren! You seemed to have really enjoyed your time visiting Mozambique. I actually didn’t know what to expect from this place as well as a destination but your post has shed some light on that. In fact, it’s making me think of traveling here the next time I get a vacation leave! I didn’t know this place was a hidden gem awaiting to be discovered. Happy travels!

  65. April 6, 2019

    Fab blog and some great advice too! We send volunteers to Tofu Beach to help with the marine conservation (scuba diving and snorkelling) When I first visited a couple of years ago with a Portuguese friend (who had been lived in Mozambique as a child) we were both so impressed with Tofu Beach and the whole vibe of the place. Definitely one of my favourite places!

  66. Veronica
    April 9, 2019

    I loved this article! I have lived in Zimbabwe for some time, because I have family there and I always wanted to go to Mozambique. But my family talked me out of it, saying that it was too dangerous for a white girl alone (which I hated, but I complied anyway). Im flying back to Zimbabwe this September and I plan to drive though Mozambique this time! Any advices on traveling by car?

    • April 9, 2019

      Hi Veronica! Check out the DriveMoz group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DriveMoz/about/ they have so many useful resources for driving in Mozambique and will be able to help you out better than I can :-) Hope you have a fabulous time in Mozambique! You’re going to love the beaches.

  67. May 14, 2019

    Hi Lauren. Firstly great content – well done! Secondly we are 2 well travelled (by air and overland) South African male friends in our 50s. We have been to Mozambique several times (you are 100% correct – best scuba diving in the Indian Ocean) but only as far as Vilankulos (South /Central) . We have now planned to travel over 3 weeks by fully camping kitted 4×4 to the far North coast and down the coast to central Mozambique in September this year . There are conflicting reports about safety . Do you have any thoughts/advice for us?

  68. Karlijn
    July 23, 2019

    Hi Lauren!

    What a great article! I was just very curious which hotel you stayed in Tofo, as it looks amazing! Hope you want to share it with me!

  69. Hana
    September 13, 2019


    Fantastic post. I am planning to visit Mozembique in November. Im from the UK, and can not find any information about visa on arrival. Can you shed some more light this?


    • September 13, 2019

      Just turn up at the airport! They’ll give you the visa there at immigration.

  70. Shery
    November 11, 2019

    Good morning, last week i visited my friend in Maputo and we drink a really tasteful drink. I dont remeber the name, but i loved so i need to find it. I looked at a list of energy drinks in Mozambique but cant find it. The can was really colourful, i think there were some leaves or flowers on it and it has a fruity taste. Does somebody know the name?

  71. Tom
    February 6, 2020

    Hey there

    Really great post :) It increases the anticipation a lot.
    Thank you very much.
    So it seems you just did the coastline. What I read is that you can do some nice hiking in the mountains as well. Did you hear something about that?
    And did you do the north finally?
    What you can read about the north is quite worrying. I know what you mean when you say that people talk how unsafe the country is and in fact it isn’t true like that. But in the north, when you follow the newspaper or even the official sites like the Département fédéral des affaires étrangères from Switzerland (where I’m from), then they have huge problems between different groups. Not exactly against tourists, but still…
    What is your information about it?

  72. Zachary Hazard
    May 5, 2020

    Loved your reporting, sounds like quite an adventure! I have a question that might sound odd but I have heard that there are still many landmines along the coastline of Mozambique. Have you heard this too?

    • May 5, 2020

      No. Mozambique was declared to be free of landmines in 2015.

  73. Ben Curran
    June 28, 2020

    HI — am hoping to line up with a relief/development group to do some recovery work in Mozambique and travel the length of the country from south to north into Tanzania. Roads reasonable enough to consider doing that?

  74. Barbara A McFarland
    March 26, 2021

    Sorry your snorkeling experiences were so challenging. Here are a few tips to improve them: 1) splurge on your own equipment. Go to a dive shop for a mask that’s a proper fit (women have smaller faces than men & rental masks are usually cheap & stretched out from use, exacerbating the problem) & a tube with a valve that keeps water out (a BIG design improvement). Also lightweight fins that actually fit but u can skip them if you don’t have the luggage space; 2) use a bit of toothpaste on a new mask to prevent it from fogging (it worked better than frog spit & other anti-fog sprays we’ve used); 3) if u start to get water in your mask, pinch the nose to drain it (rather than lifting the whole mask up); 4) this is HUGE: if u get water in your tube, clamp down on the ridges of your snorkel tube & blow hard; that will clear it – so much more effective than just blowing; & 5) when entering the water, have your mask on & then put on your fins when it’s shoulder height (rather than walking in backwards wearing them).

  75. Barbara
    March 26, 2021

    Sorry your snorkeling experiences were so challenging. Here are a few tips to improve them: 1) splurge on your own equipment. Go to a dive shop for a mask that’s a proper fit (women have smaller faces than men & rental masks are usually cheap & stretched out from use, exacerbating the problem) & a tube with a valve that keeps water out (a BIG design improvement). Also lightweight fins that actually fit but u can skip them if you don’t have the luggage space; 2) use a bit of toothpaste on a new mask to prevent it from fogging (it worked better than frog spit & other anti-fog sprays we’ve used); 3) if u start to get water in your mask, pinch the nose to drain it (rather than lifting the whole mask up); 4) this is HUGE: if u get water in your tube, clamp down on the ridges of your snorkel tube & blow hard; that will clear it – so much more effective than just blowing; & 5) when entering the water, have your mask on & then put on your fins when it’s shoulder height (rather than walking in backwards wearing them).

  76. Alan Tanner
    June 7, 2021

    Thank you

  77. Jonathan
    October 11, 2021

    Hey! Traveling to Mozambique in November and looking for a way of getting from Maputo to Tofo on the ground. Any chance you may know of a company that provides shared transportation so I could avoid the crowded, sweaty public tranpsortation?!?

    • October 11, 2021

      Fatima’s shuttle would probably be the way to go! Either stay at Fatima’s in Maputo while you’re in town, or you can just call in while you’re in Maputo to book the transportation. Either that or ask your accommodation to book a private driver for you. I did this between Tofo and Vilanculos — I got the hotel owner in Tofo to book a driver for me, and then it was just me on my own in an air conditioned car, which was great! Although I think it was around $100 for the ride, so only something to do if you’re not on a tight budget!

  78. Jorge
    May 4, 2023

    You wrote about the price of the hotels are not really cheap. Is it in all the country? I have checked it in some hotel websites and the hotels are not as cheap as i thought. Could you tell me/us more about it. I was planning to visit it for more than 3 or 4 weeks but if the price is like this I think I’m going to change travel.

  79. Pauline
    July 31, 2023


    I’m planning to go to Mozambique (also solo traveling) in October. I saw your chapas experience and might try it but was also wondering how you found the private transfers after if chapas prove to be a bit too much? Are there drivers waiting around to find someone or did you book it in advance?


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