Mozambique Became Mine-Free in 2015, Visit for Endless Beaches, Seafood, Access to Kruger Safaris and More

Mozambique declared itself mine-free in September 2015. Over 22 years, 171,000 mines were cleared. The Halo Trust did much of the work, see their director’s statement, How We Made Mozambique Mine-Free. An assist was provided by other partners, include APOPO’s HeroRats, a charity I support (now an IRS-registered 501c3 charitable organization).

I visited Mozambique in October. Flights are not the most abundant or cheap. Lisbon or Johannesburg will work best for most. The visa situation is in flux, officially nationals of countries that have a Mozambique Embassy are supposed to now get visas in advance (includes US, not Canada). Availability of visa on arrival at air and land borders varies, so if possible, get a visa in advance.

Maputo 01

Once you’ve got your ticket and visa, it is wide open to enjoy. From capital Maputo on up, there is stretching coastline with beach and after beach up to colonial island Ilha de Moçambique. You can stay at a package resort filled with South Africans or find a deserted stretch of sand. Whale sharks can be seen seasonally.

The particularly interesting play to me is that Maputo has some of the easiest access to the richest parts of South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park. It can even be visited as a day trip from Maputo. A beach vacation and safari vacation with minimal logistical hassle. (Be sure to get a double-entry visa.)

Maputo, the capital, is not overflowing with tourist charms other than its proximity to Kruger. You can do well, though, to spend a few nights at the Radisson Blu Hotel Maputo with its cluster of beachside Portuguese seafood restaurants across the street.

Maputo 02

Maputo 03

Mozambique’s great achievement to regain peace and rid itself of the vile mayhem of land mines deserves recognition in the travel work. Give it a look.

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  • Has been on my list of places to visit. I have no idea what is unique here; but the name of the country is so intriguing 🙂 What did you visit in Mozambique in October?

  • Franklin

    Been meaning to go, but the visa situation does not encourage me. I’d love to swing over there for a long weekend while in Jo’berg, but the $160 fee for a weekend trip, and having to mail my passport to DC (too many disasters with mailed passports, as well as my being used to being able to get any visa I need in NYC have spoiled me), and the need for 10 days processing time (I regularly need my passport) are decently large deterrents …. Maybe I’ll make that trip to Luanda instead….

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @asar – due to fitting it in on a business trip I only toured Maputo. Flights to other parts of this large (long) country are not so frequent to the coastal areas most of interest to tourists. I had wanted to go to Tofo Beach for the whale sharks, I could not find a flight and the 400+ kms on the road did not fit my schedule.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Franklin – if that aside about Angola is not a joke, yes this is a good time, I went on the same trip, they have loosened up on visas a bit withe the petro economy crumbling. For Mozambique I almost was going to go and hope for a visa on arrival, however my ticket was too complex if something went wrong (NYC – Angola – Mozambique – Malawi – South Africa – New York). I paid the extra for the expedited service and kept nervously calling to see it got through.

  • jay

    Due to roadwork and confusing signage I came within 300 feet of accidentally visiting while exiting Kruger. I don’t recommend starting your Mozambique visit in this manner.

  • brteacher

    Club Carlson really wants 70,000 points per night for this hotel? Ridiculous. It looks as though it would be a good value on paid stays, though.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @jay – one way to avoid the visa fee, I guess you would have to exit the way you came. What did you think of that side of Krueger, I have not been though hear it is among the best.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @brteacher – yeah, it is nuts, went up from 50k to 70k, I had it last year at 50k with the 2 for 1 on the credit card. Some of us have those certs from complaining about the credit card that would work, otherwise cash rates, sometimes Club Carlson has EMEA bonus night or weekend offers that may be good. Maputo is short on good accommodation, and even fewer on the water. Elsewhere up the coast non points options increase.

  • Franklin

    @RTC – Nope, the Angola comment was entirely serious. I’ve run out of new countries (though certainly not places) to go to that don’t require some visa effort,* and which are a reasonable cost from Jo. So, I would really do either, though to be honest for a weekend I’m more inclined to go to Angola – its so expensive a weekend seems fine. Mozambique I’d like to spend a little more time in. Since Angola is possible from NYC, maybe I will give that a shot first.

    *Well, there is Equatorial Guinea, but award flights on ET require 30 hour transits, which is too long for a long weekend to be truly reasonable.

  • jay

    @stefan For sure, less busy than the other parts (which themselves aren’t generally busy compared to many US parks). We were looking for “wild dog” (didn’t see any) but did see a Kori Bustard:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kori_bustard

    which is apparently the world’s largest flying bird. In any case, recommended.

  • john

    I almost went to Mozambique in the last six months. Two things dissuaded me though. First the visa annoyance and then the situation in the country itself. Yes it is an off the beaten path destination and an adventurous destination. What put me off is expensive internal flights, very expensive sounding hotels ($50) with cold bucket showers…. lack of infrastructure to get around and typical super luxury resorts that are untouchable. Its one of those countries where there appears to be no middle and everything comes out overpriced. It just felt like too much effort for limited gain. Other than the ihla, its just beaches right?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @john – yeah, not much inland that was appealing and agree on all the observations which is why I stuck to Maputo in the end. Overland to Tofo would be my next, or investigate packages from S. Africa. For most I recommend Zanzibar for similar but more accessible. Regardless, I wanted to call out the great achievement on land mines. Try pricing that Luanda-Maputo flight!

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @john – agree, not much that I could find inland that was interesting and accessible. I would look at overland up to Tofo for whale sharks. Maybe S. Africa charters/packages might work. Most people will do better in Zanzibar. Making visas more difficult is short-sighted. Still, I wanted to call out the great de-mining achievement.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Frankling – then you’re my type of traveler. I wrote about getting the visa in NY here, and my friend had the same success in December. I recommend Rouxinol Boutique Hotel for great price and warm welcome including airport transfers. Luanda felt safe, I walked all over, and meal prices are reasonable. Few options for going outside the city, anything by land is dysfuncitonal or outrageously expensive, while flights are limited. I went up to Cabinda for Travelers’ Century Club and it makes a great day trip with frequent flights at reasonable prices (you can use Citi ThankYou Points to book). Note that domestic flights are at a different terminal with no connection or shuttle to the international and not walkable so you get the shortest, most expensive taxi ride of your life if connecting like I did.