Maningue Nice is a popular local expression that I heard many times mostly outside the capital city Maputo, “maningue” meaning very, and no doubt that Mozambique is a “very nice” place to visit, but not as pleasant to leave, although all it’s natural resources the majority of the population leaves in poverty with less than $1.25 per day.
I travel through Mozambique for nearly a mouth, I flew to Maputo and then to Pemba (north of the country) where I started my trip.
🚌Pemba / Nacala / Moçambique Island / Nampula /Pebane / Quelimane / Beira / Vilankulos /Inhambane/ Tofo / Chidenguele/ Maputo
I traveled from north to south always by local buses and small vans called chappas, what is part of the authentic Mozambique experience, and remember that here the journey is more important than the destination.
Even if you are doing a long journey, the bus will be chaotic packed with people, bags, animals, and everything else that you can imagine, and not enough sits for everybody, If a chappa carry 15 people, they somehow manage to fill them with at least 25 people and a few chickens 🙂
You can’t use a chap to travel if you are in a rush, there is no timetables, and they leave when they are full.. and forget everything you’ve learned about road safety ….. and pray…. it is frequente to see drivers drinking and smoking while driving, there is no speed limit, the state of the vehicles is horrendous, and what does the word “seat belts” means, right?!
When you are traveling by bus, at least will never get hungry, because the driver will stop many many times in the middle of nowhere, and a dozen of people will appear with all sort of things to sell through the bus windows. Basically they do a 2 in 1, travel and shopping. So don’t push for me about the smell 🙂
If you asked me for 3 words to describe my journeys, I would say: slow, smelly and chaotic. Patience and tolerance is much needed for this long and sweaty journeys.
I stopped at the main cities, but traveled mostly through the rural areas, where people never had seen many tourists or speak much Portuguese, surprisedly communication was a problem, despite Portuguese be the national oficial language, not many people speak it outside the main cities. Mainly because Mozambique is a poor country where the access to school is very limited.
The Mozambique Island, was a former Portuguese trading-post on the route to India and it’s the only place in the country part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Maputo it’s different from the rest of the country, it’s a developed city with all the basic infrastructures, some preserved colonial-style architecture, it’s culturally dynamic, and with a rich night life. You can discover Maputo by walking around the Baixa, losing yourself in the streets. The city does have a lot of petty crime, especially once it’s dark, and tourist/foreigners are on the spot. I wouldn’t recommend walking around the city after dark alone.
It’s not uncommon to be harassed by workers, drivers or even the police. A foreigner is likely to be targeted by police trying to extort money, so always carry your passport, and don’t pay if you haven’t done anything wrong,otherwise you are giving them incentive to hassle the next traveller.
Mozambique has a rich culture and much to offer if you like to explore, meet people, do outdoors activities and be in contact with nature. I definitely recommend a visit and hope you enjoy it!
Be kind, patience and enjoy the small things in life…<3
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha
🌱 Information and testimony about being a vegan in Mozambique – Vegan in Mozambique