Bustling Maputo is the capital of Mozambique and forms part of the Maputo Province. There's a strong Bantu and Portuguese influence in its heritage, although Maputo is a melting pot of a variety of cultures that include Arab, Indian and Chinese. These cultural influences are evident in the local cuisine - there's always an interesting mix of flavours!
Maputo is mainly a port city resting in a bay on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Stretches of palm-fringed beaches are a mere stone's throw away outside of the main city, but the actual city of Maputo is worth a visit. Meditteranean-style architecture, sidewalk cafes and an abundance of markets make Maputo one of Africa's most colourful and attractive capitals.
Visitors often comment on the relaxed, friendly atmosphere of the city and how the fact that the entire city has been designed according to a grid street pattern - very easy to navigate!
Maputo is the capital of Mozambique. It used to be called Laurenco Marques, after the Portuguese trader and explorer. After independence, a lot of Mozambique was renamed to signify the break away from colonial rule.
Surfers in particular are attracted to the great waves of Macaneta Beach, which is an open-ocean with endless dunes along the coast. It is divided from Maputo mainland by the Nkomati River.
Ponta Malongane is located in the south of Maputo, about 6 hours drive from Johannesburg. The exceptional diving and beautiful reefs make it a favourite diving spot.
Ponta Mamoli is located in a quiet and deserted part of the coast 11 km to the north of Ponta Malongane, closer to Maputo. This is also a luxury resort away from the crowds.
There is plenty to do in and around Maputo. Maputo can be divided into a number of regions: The Baixa, which is an old area, referred to as 'downtown Maputo'. It is home to shops, banks and businesses - the administrative centre of the city. Bairro Polana and Musue is jam-packed with a wealth of musuems, restaurants and hotels, and is an area well-worth visiting for a glimpse into city life in Maputo.
The Marginal region leads out, down the coast to the Costo Do Sol. The Marginal is the orginal beach promenade area. Finally, the Periphery of the city is where there are many beach regions and things to do around the city. Many of these smaller beach regions classify their area as being in the Maputo Province, as opposed to being in Maputo City.
Maputo has numerous musuems, forts and small bays worth visiting. There is also quite a heaving nightlife experience worth exploring and great markets with locals selling their wares.
The climate in Mozambique is tropical, however it varies in the different regions of the country. Generally, the inland areas are slightly cooler and more humid than along the coast in the rainy season.
The best time to travel to Mozambique is during the winter months, which is also the dry season, lasting from April to September. The southern parts of the country are generally drier and less tropical than the north, with temperatures along the coast averaging 27 degrees Celsius. The best time for game viewing is during the months of August to September, towards the end of the dry season.
The summer months, also the rainy season, coincide with the heat and humidity from October to March, with average coastal temperatures of 31 degrees. The best time for bird-watching is usually December to April.
White Pearl Resorts in Mozambique's southern Ponta Mamoli has 22 cabins built on stilts on a steep hill and connected by wooden walkways. The interiors are polished, with clean lines and contemporary furniture; each cabin has a generous terrace with an outdoor shower and private plunge pool.
Machangulo Beach Lodge is hidden away amid the dunes and hiding amongst the forests, has a warm and inviting atmosphere, keeping its guests calmly protected from the epic nature outside.
Pestana Inhaca Lodge is located on Inhaca Island, at the entrance of Maputo Bay. The hotel in Inhaca is located on the beach, amidst colonies of coconut trees and lush tropical vegetation. It is known for its marvelous gardens, warm hospitality and delicious food.
Most flights into Mozambique land in the largest and capital city, Maputo. Maputo International Airport receives regular flights from South Africa, however, should guests be adding Mozambique as a destination after an East Africa safari, there are private charter flights available from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya.
There are also direct flights from South Africa to the Bazaruto Archipelago in the centre of Mozambique and the Quirimbas Archipelago in the far north. Sun Safaris will arrange whichever flights into the country best suit guests' itineraries.
Self-driving from South Africa to Mozambique is an option and is often an option for local holiday-makers. The road from Johannesburg, via Nelspruit, to Mozambique is in good condition and well-tarred. Should guests be flying to their destination, Sun Safaris will arrange for light air or road transfers from Maputo to booked accommodation.