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Maputo, Mozambique

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Feb 16th, 2007, 02:57 AM
  #1
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Maputo, Mozambique

Can anyone please tell me about traveling by bus from Nelspruit to Maputo and back? Or about traveling by air from Johannesburg to Maputo? I know about schedules and fares for both bus lines and airlines (this info is available online), however, I would be interested in hearing from someone who has actually made this trip, if the bus or plane was on time, if the luggage was secure, or what the airport/bus station was like in Maputo. I would also be interested in hearing about transit from Maputo to Inhaca Island. Thanks much.
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Feb 16th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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I flew Joburg - Maputo last year without incident on SAA, then Maputo - Vilanculos on LAM also without incident. These are smaller African airports with their own idiosyncracies, but they were efficient and safe (and on time in all cases). Compared to the headaches in London and US airports, these airports are a joy, if a bit chaotic to outsiders.

Wherever you're staying in Maputo should be able to organize transport for you to/from the airport, and if not there is a taxi rank there. The taxis tend to be run-down metered sedan taxis, but they work. I have heard scary things about the Maputo city buses, but haven't tried them myself. Inter-city buses as supposedly much better.

Getting to Inhaca from Maputo is simple and there are many operators who will take you. Working through your accommodation is again the simplest way to go.

Where are you planning to stay? I've stayed at Fatima's, which was a tired and dingy place. The Base was much better located and had a better vibe. There are some swank high-end hotels too, but from the sounds of it, you aren't on a high-end itinerary...

Enjoy Maputo -- it's a pleasure to walk during the day to get the Afro-Latin feeling. Completely un-touristy and friendly, if a bit run down.

Enjoy it!

Kurt

http://afrikatourism.blogspot.com
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Feb 17th, 2007, 04:15 AM
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Thank you, Kurt, for the response. Your experiences are extremely reassuring, as I have read other accounts of baggage handlers at the airport pilfering small bags. Don't know where we will be staying. My husband wants to stay at the Polana. I vote for the Cardosa. We only have 5 days for Mozambique. (We will mainly be in South Africa: Kruger, Eastern and Western Capes.) Yet my husband wants to see Maputo--if only for a day--and then scuba dive somewhere in Mozambique. The Bazaruto/Vilanculos area sounds like an incredible place to dive, but flying to Vilanculos seems extravagant for just a couple of days, so Inhaca seemed the best choice. I tried to convince him that we should instead go to Durban, where he could surf, and then to Sodwana Bay, where we could both dive, but I wasn't successful. So to Mozambique we go! It is distressing about the floods, though, so many people displaced.
Thanks again for your response.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 05:03 AM
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I looked over your post and suspect that you might be able to accommodate your travel plans by rethinking the flight plan.
If I read you correctly you are looking at:

1) Mozambique, for the diving and to see Maputo.
2) Kruger.
3) Western - Eastern Cape.

I would motivate as follows.

Arrive Port Elzabeth, travel up to Cape Town.
Obviously you'll stay where you please, but that is the routing. To minimise cost I'd suggest hiring an inexpensive car and carry a mobile phone. If you were to work with an operator the phone could be provided FOC, while you'd pay for outgoing calls.
Another thought: If you have an unlocked phone pick up a SIM card in PE and pay as you go. SIM is about $1.50.

From CTN head up to MQP, for your kruger experience then head out early & hop on a Pelican Air flight to Vilanculos, connect to Indigo Bay and dive your hearts out.

Flight from Indigo to Vilanculos, then down to Maputo with LAM. Spend your afternoon shopping the market, evening hitting the street side cafes.

Next morning head for JNB & home.

What you need to plan around is the flights out of MQP to Vilanculos as these only travel on Tuesdays and THursdays, I gather that the return leg has been discontinued with all Pelican Air flights out of Vilanculos going directly to JNB.

Happy to help further, hust shout.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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I second mkhonzo's itinerary thoughts. That's exactly how to do it if you can swing the timing of the flights.

And I vote for the Polana, if that's your budget. Old-school colonial era 5-star with perfect service in a location to die for. Walk, shop and dine in the Polana District. It's a fun, fantasy escape for a day or two -- just don't mistake it for 'ordinary' Maputo!

You will likely never, ever, ever have better diving in your life than in Moz, so if that's your thing, don't skimp! (Inhaca can be crowded at times.)

Kurt

http://afrikatourism.blogspot.com
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Feb 18th, 2007, 05:09 AM
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Thanks so much again for your responses. I will share your suggestions with my husband. The waters of Vilanculos sound irresistible! (Though I have read that the currents are quite strong, which is fine for my husband but dreadful for me--I might have to stick to snorkeling.)
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