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Why Maputo is an attraction for South African travellers

Young girl selling fruit on a beach in Maputo. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Young girl selling fruit on a beach in Maputo. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Published Sep 26, 2017


Maputo entices hundreds of South Africans to its tropical shores, promising them intoxicating Portuguese and African flavours just a few hours’ drive from Johannesburg. 

Now more affordable than ever, Maputo is bringing back more travellers than ever. 

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Mozambique’s capital city offers so much to see and do you’ll be spoilt for choice.

For a laid-back day of relaxation, soak up the sun on Maputo Beach. Alternatively, grab your snorkel and flip flops and venture out of the city centre to go diving in with sea turtles and explore the coral reefs of Santa Maria en-route to Inhaca Island. 

If you want to experience the famous Portuguese Island, the good news is that it can be easily accessed via Inhaca by a short five-minute boat trip. 

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Dana Tours offers day trips to Santa Maria, Inhaca and the Portuguese Island. On a day trip the boat departs from Maputo Marina (Escola Nautica) to Santa Maria in the morning with the duration of the trip ranging between 60-90 minutes by speed boat. 

On arrival at Santa Maria, those who would like to snorkel can do so. A limited supply of snorkel masks is available. En-route to Inhaca Island, where you will enjoy a seafood lunch, there is an optional stop at the Marine Biology Museum where you can learn more about the local biodiversity. 

After lunch you can visit Portuguese Island for a swim before returning to Maputo. The islands are about 15 minutes apart from each other by boat. The return to Maputo may take slightly longer due to choppy seas and timing is tide-dependent.

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Peri-peri chicken, monster prawns, delicious coffee and loads more – there is no denying that Mozambique’s culinary offering is world-class. At Maputo’s famous open-air fish markets, you will find the freshest muscles, prawns, calamari and fresh fish for sale. 

If you happened to catch your own meal of the day, why not head over to one of the nearby baraccas that will cook up your meal in minutes on an open fire.

The city also has a surprising diversity of restaurants, bistros, cafés and street fare. You will also be able to find fine dining and family restaurants as well as pavement cafés, ambient bistros. 

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Head out for some shopping as you explore the endless rows of the municipal market, before walking across the street to Casa Elefantes to pick up some of Mozambique's best capulanas. Or visit FEIMA for an incredible array of crafts.

When the sun sets, there is still plenty to look forward to with the city’s offering of night clubs, live jazz venues and cocktail bars. Whether you’re looking for a place to dance the night away, relax while enjoying a couple of drinks or enjoying live music, you’ll have more than enough options in Maputo. 

Some of the more famous spots include Coconuts Live, aimed at the younger crowd, and Dolce Vita.

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