Life is a journey and not a destination, and so should be the way from Maputo to Tofo. As an alternative to a 10-hour transfer to Tofo you can plan a road trip for 3 days to our “Northern” Provinces experiencing Manhiça local market, the pristine lagoon of Bilene, the beautiful Xai Xai, the traditional Quissico and Zavala amazing lakes, the Piri Piri culture at Nhacoongo, the ancient Inhambane city and much more. Drive by yourself, stop wherever you wish (and where we fairly suggest) and make your experience the best ever!
You don’t need to go to New Zealand for a marvelous stunning safe self-drive, as we offer you a similar option with many pros: lovely temperatures, clear waters where you can swim at any time of the year, affordable prices, humble people, delicious fresh food and a special culture with surprising handcrafts.
We will provide you our own itinerary, designed with plenty of love, suggesting our favorite spots all along your drive.
You can start leaving early Maputo. We will come to your place to provide the car, the SIM card, the portable fridge, the map and a surprise. ☺
You will start driving along Avenida Marginal, with Maputo Bay on your right side, and all the way up till Macia, an active spot where colours are everywhere: plenty of fruits to buy and perfect place to get cashew nuts. Yummy! Here you can turn to the right to look for Bilene, a super blue salty lagoon where you can make a break for breakfast. Palmeiras Lodge is a nice place for it.
Then, go back to the car and continue exploring the country up to Xai-Xai. You know you will be here after crossing a bridge with a toll. Xai-Xai is the capital of Gaza Province, the province after Maputo Province and the second one you are crossing in your way up to your final destination.
In Xai-Xai you can stop to stretch your legs and have one more coffee or just continue driving. Honestly, we would rather prefer to keep on moving and make our stop at Quissico Lake, a place that even without knowing its existence, you will compulsory stop as it will catch your attention. There you can drive down into the village always leading your driving to the zone of lakes. Find a local place for lunch as ask them to prepare a “Frango à Zambeziana”. ☺
Then, you will have to drive over a bridge in Inharrime. Just immediately after the bridge you can stop both ways, left and right, if you want to stop to observe those beautiful landscapes, but you can also leave this moment for your way back to Maputo. And make then the stop at Nhacoongo, just 60 km before Inhambane City, a famous place to buy piri-piri. Maybe you don’t like this spicy peppers, but are always a good present to take with you. From there you continue straight to Inhambane and Tofo. As it will probably late, and not much daylight left, don’t worry about Inhambane (this is the capital of Inhambane Province, the third province you are visiting in your trip) as you will have time the following day. Just go to Tofo and look for your hotel, which is well signposted. Leave your luggage and go around to the local restaurants and enjoy a fresh lobster!
What about waking up soooooo early and enjoying the sunrise? Come on!!! Don’t be lazy and go for it. Sunrises and sunsets are just special at this latitude. And the sun will say hello to you this morning. Say hello back!
Then you will order your breakfast. It’s included, so enjoy yourself!
Walk around, enjoy the beach. If you walk to the right side of the beach (that is going south) you will reach Tofinho Beach after the reef point. There, at the reef point, it’s easy to find fishermen and women looking for mussels and oysters. You can appreciate their job and do your own as well, or even buying from them. Don’t lose this opportunity!
Today you have an unforgettable experience. Just ask at the reception of your hotel what time your ocean safari is, as amazing creatures are waiting for you under the water. They will provide you the proper equipment for snorkeling and also a diving costume, but you don’t have to dive, just wear it to avoid getting cold. Water temperature is nice but as you will be in a superfast boat, you will get cold if you don’t wear it. So get ready and go to find the whale shark, the biggest fish in the oceans and a pacific animal, harmless and friendly. Once you see it, your life will never be the same! And of course, there more animals able to be spotted, like dolphins, turtles, mantas… In the sea, there are many surprises and all very welcomed!!!
Continue enjoying your day, relax, go shopping to the local market, and walk at night. There is a place called Mango Beach that you can reach from your hotel. It’s only 40 minutes walking along the beach. Go there for dinner and before sunset, as from its restaurant you will have a 360º view, and sunset behind palm trees is magic!! Use the time and have dinner there. Fresh fish is always a good choice and they cook very well. Then, after dinner, just walk back to your hotel. Beach is a safe place to walk and you will be watched by millions of stars over your head. You have to do that! And if there is no moon, just go to the shore where water breaks and use your feet or hands to move the sand; you will see tiny bright things in blue; it’s fluorescent plankton!
One more sunrise? When you start the day shinning, you finish your experience shining. ☺
You can enjoy the beach or start your drive back to Maputo, making a stop in Inhambane. It’s a cozy city, so drive and walk around.
Then now you can stop at Inharrime, before the bridge. How do you know you are there? The road suddenly goes down and down and everything you can see is a huge see of palm trees. All green!! Amazing! Then before the bridge just park the car in the sand area and enjoy the views (this is before going up to Quissico Village). Pay attention to everything surrounding you, as it’s quite interesting to observe how local people live, work and entertain. And make your lunch stop at Chidenguele Lagoon. The village, also called Chidenguele, is well visible and just follow indications to Lake View Resorts. They have good food, they have a swimming pool (ask price for swimming in advance) and a wonderful lake where you can swim at zero cost. It’s safe. No crocodiles around! ☺
From here drive down and now you can maybe have a coffee at Xai-Xai, buy more fruits and cashew nuts at Macia, stop in Manhiça for stretching legs and continue your way back home to us.
It’s compulsory to have fun!!!
NOTE: we can also organize a Mussiro guide/driver for you. This will have an extra cost of 250 USD.