Mozambique is a popular destination for budget travellers from South Africa and abroad, thanks to its good weather, the excellent surfing and diving opportunities that it offers, and its relatively inexpensive accommodation and transport costs. Travellers generally begin their journey in Maputo and spend a few days exploring the city before venturing into the more rural parts of the country.
Maputo is the capital city of Mozambique, and it is worth spending a couple of days in Maputo before travelling further north along the coastline. Maputo has a number of inexpensive accommodation options, and there are a number of hostels and affordable self-catering guesthouses that have opened up in different parts of the city due to the surge in demand for budget accommodation. Maputo’s most popular tourist attraction is the bustling fish market to the north of the city in Costa do Sol, where one can buy every imaginable type of seafood.
After spending some time in Maputo, budget travellers usually make their way to Xai-xai or Tofo. Xai-xai is a small town along the coastline. There are minibus taxis from Maputo to Xai-xai, and the drive takes approximately 5 hours on gravel roads. Xai-xai’s beach area attracts tourists seeking a relaxed, stress-free beach holiday. It is a less commercialised area, and does not have any actual hostels providing accommodation to backpackers. However, it does have campgrounds for travellers with tents, and there are also a number of affordable guesthouses in the area. Xai-xai’s beach is clean and unspoiled due to the relatively low number of tourists who visit the area.
Tofo is the other popular destination for budget travellers, and it is further north than Xai-xai. Tofo is about 8 hours’ drive from Maputo and 30 minutes’ drive from the bustling town of Inhambane. It has a number of hostels and budget accommodation options, the most well-known being Fatima’s Nest and Bamboozi Beach Lodge. Travellers in Tofo can sign up for one of the many PADI diving courses on offer, and dives take place along the Tofo coastline which is rich in marine life including whale-sharks, manta rays and many fish species. Tofo Beach is also a popular surfing spot due to its barrel-waves which provide excellent surfing conditions. Tofo gets extremely busy during peak holiday times, and is particularly busy in December and January.
Mozambique has much to offer to travellers with budgetary constraints who are seeking a truly African experience. It offers unique and exciting activities that can’t be enjoyed elsewhere in Southern Africa, and it remains inexpensive because it is a relatively obscure destination which has not yet become heavily commercialised.