Likoma island or Tofo/Vilankulo

Ing created the topic: Likoma island or Tofo/Vilankulo

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Hi Mike,

I'm planning to go on holiday to Mozambique in June. I would like to go to Mozambique Island and the Quirimbas Archipelo. Furthermore Tofo (to get my PADI) and Vilankulo or Likoma Island in Malawi. What would you suggest?

Cheers,
Ing

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mozman replied the topic: Likoma island or Tofo/Vilankulo

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Hi Ing
How much time have you got? A very interesting question. Need a bit of time. Was last in Likoma (Malawi) 3 years ago, Tofo this year. Will be back.

Mike

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Ing replied the topic: Likoma island or Tofo/Vilankulo

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Hi Mike,

I have about 4 weeks in total. To save time I would fly from J'burg or Vilankulo to Nampula to visit Mozambique Island and travel from there by bus and boat to the Quirimbas Archipelo (and stay there for at least 1 week).

Is it possible and affortable to fly from Pemba to Malawi? Travelling by land would take me several days...

Are Tofo and Vilankulo a bit similar to the Quirimbas or completely different?

Ing

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mozman replied the topic: Likoma island or Tofo/Vilankulo

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Hi again Ing

I would leave Likoma out of your plans this trip as you can only fly there from Johannesburg via Lilongwe from where it is either an expensive charter flight or a long Ilala ferry ride to Likoma.

Both Tofo and Vilanculos are coastal towns. Tofo is very small with an excellent beach with good diving and surfing while Vilanculos is a big and quite untidy town with the Bazaruto Archipelago a big attraction. The Quirimba islands are completely different. They are very remote and difficult to get to unless you can afford to charter a flight and mostly not suited to independent folk travelling alone. Ibo is great and has a nice range of accommodation options and activities and the easiest to get to using public transport.

I would fly Johannesburg to Pemba with airlink, stay at Russel's Place or look at Tripadvisor for other ideas. Then public transport to Tandanhangui from where there are daily dhows sailing at high tide to Ibo. Look up Baobibo and Cinco Portas for tips and accommodation options.

Once back in Pemba fly with LAM to Vilanculos where I like Casa Babi or at a lower budget Baobab beach is great. Also look up www.sailaway.co.za for dhow safaris.

Then public transport south to Tofo where I like Turtle Cove or look up Tofo Scuba for other accommodation options. Most of Tofo was severely damaged by cyclone Dineo a few days ago, so some great options like Mango Beach may not be rebuilt by June.

After Tofo use public transport to Maputo where I like Sommerschield guesthouse. Then you can fly back home via Johannesburg.

Great trip and enjoy Mozambique.

Mike

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Ing replied the topic: Likoma island or Tofo/Vilankulo

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Hi Mike,

Thanks for your tips and advise.So no Likoma for me. :-)

I have a few more questions though:

1. Is Tofo/Ihambabe worth travelling to if I also go to Quirimbas?

2. I was thinking of travelling from the south to the north. You suggest the opposite. Is travelling from the north to the south more convenient?

3. I would also like to go to Mozambique Island. Is flying from/to Nampula an option and from/to Pemba by bus?

4. I'm a female travelling alone. Unfortunately I don't speak Portugese. Planning to learn the basics though. I have travelled by myself before in (Central) Asia and Central and South America. Do I have to keep some things in mind (apart from making official kopies of my passport)?

Ing

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mozman replied the topic: Likoma island or Tofo/Vilankulo

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Hi again

Apologies I missed your mention of Ilha de Mocambique which is my personal favourite. So what I would do is fly to Pemba spend a night there then 3 or 4 nights on Ibo and back to Pemba. Then take a bus to Ilha - ask for the buses to Nacala and get off at Monapo and catch whatever transport heading to Ilha. Look up www.ilhablue.com which is a fantastic tour operator that will look after all of your needs. from Ilha get to Nampula and fly LAM to Vilanculos, spend 2 days there then bus to Tofo and spend the rest of your holiday there.

I have assisted and met many lone female travelers in Mozambique and have found that they have had mostly very good experiences. Public transport can be crowded and tough, but ask local advice about which buses to use. Beware of theft, wear a flat money belt under your clothes for passport and perhaps $300 cash for emergencies, but use your visa or MasterCard with PIN loaded to draw cash from an ATM for day to day expenses that you keep ready to hand. On arrival in Pemba buy a Vodacom Mozambique SIM and make sure it is registered with your name and passport details or it will be blocked after a day or two. All of Mozambique is a malaria area so get medical advice, but Malarone seems to a popular prophylactic.

Mike.

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