One month bicycle tour in Mozambique – what route?

Victoria created the topic: One month bicycle tour in Mozambique – what route?

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Hello, I just recently found this impressive forum and have been trying to gather up as much information as I can. My boyfriend and I are planning a month-long bicycle tour and were thinking of going to Mozambique. Previously we were trying to see if flying into Dar es Salaam and bicycling south from there and downward along the coast of Mozambique was possible but after reading many posts and blogs it seems like this would be more trouble than it's worth. In that case, does anyone have any suggestions for routes? I live in NY and my boyfriend in Milan – ideally we would fly into any city we could get reasonable tickets to, buy bicycles locally, and then tour the country along the coast. We would need to end up in towns with services every night, so we could stay in a guesthouse or hotel (we are not camping), and they would need to be no further than 100km apart (although we are open to supplementing the trip with an occasional bus ride or hitch). As much coastline as possible would be great as my bf is a big seafood lover and prefers to swim everyday, although we are limited to roads that our bicycles (not so great quality) could travel on. I realize all these rather generous requirements probably sound unrealistic but for the last few years we have managed to bicycle tour/motorbike through Laos, Cambodia, India, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka, all with bicycles bought locally (very crappy actually!) and with few detours or roadblocks. Planning the right route is essential, though. Does anyone have any experience doing something like this or suggestions of places we could cover in a month?

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Victoria replied the topic: One month bicycle tour in Mozambique – what route?

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Or perhaps some advice on cycling up N1 from Maputo to Inchope, and then up N6 to Tete? Are there accommodations along the way? Nothing fancy, just simple guesthouses. Is the road in ok condition and mostly flat? Any advice on how to end up back in Maputo without having to backtrack on bikes? THANK YOU in advance for any help :)

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mozman replied the topic: One month bicycle tour in Mozambique – what route?

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Hi Victoria

During 1992 and 1993 I cycled Cape Town to South Sudan via Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. Then in 2011 I supported Nick North who ran from the northern to the southern border of Mozambique, an my 9 year old son and I cycled a lot between the Rovuma River and Nampula. I tell you this so that you know I am probably qualified to answer your question.

Firstly, I would strongly encourage you to use one of the very light and compact two person tents that are available. I carried a Macpac Eclipse that I bought in New Zealand, and still don,t go anywhere without my tent. Secondly I would cycle only between the months of May and September when it is cooler and almost no chance of rain.

The only part of Moz where you will find a guesthouse or pensao about every 100km is between Maputo and Inhassoro. The road between Maputo and Xai-Xai has become very busy with crazy drivers and many pedestrians on the roadside so I think it is essential to put your bicycles on top of a bus and get to Xai-Xai and then cycle from there.

There are places to stay that fit your ride distances as you travel to Inhambane, but I will,give suggestions later.

Mike

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Victoria replied the topic: One month bicycle tour in Mozambique – what route?

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Hello Mike,

Thank you for replying to my post. I actually have read about your trip on your blog and it's been very helpful in planning this or at least getting an idea whether it's possible.

Unfortunately we can't camp for several reasons I won't bother getting into. Primitive pensaos would be fine, as long as it wasn't every single night. I get the impression that along the coast up to Vilankulos or Inhassoro there are many places to stay that range from basic to luxurious, but that once you head inland there isn't much. Does that sound about correct?

We are planning on leaving in mid-July so rain isn't a problem. Between Maputo and Xai-Xai, however, is it really so bad? I trust your opinion but we have also bicycled out of Saigon, Mumbai, Colombo etc, all cities with horrendous traffic that people told us to avoid by taking a bus or train out of city limits. My boyfriend and I are used to bicycling in NYC traffic and I was once a bike messenger, for what it's worth. Is the highway at least scenic? This is a good sized chunk of the route I'm considering so please excuse me if I'm asking more questions before ruling it out.

If we only bicycle between Maputo and Inhassoro then we are left with at least one or two weeks of time and would have to consider catching a flight to Dar es Salaam or who knows where... :dry:

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mozman replied the topic: One month bicycle tour in Mozambique – what route?

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Hi again

Ok better understood now. To put things in perspective, the main road in Moz only meets the coastline at Maxixe, so not going to be possible to get that swim and seafood every day, and between Inhassoro and Quelimane, far from any beach and seafood scarce. Maputo to Marracuene, about 35km will be the busiest stretch, and just 13km from there to Bobole and Blue Anchor Inn, one of my favourite stops in Moz. Then it is 100km to Macia where there is Pousada do Bilene (it is in Macia) www.facebook.com/PousadaDoBilene

You should take the detour to Praia do Bilene where I like Praia do Sol.

Next is Praia do Xai-Xai (google accommodation) then Chidenguele - I like paraiso do Chidenguele but you will push your bikes for a few km through thick sand. Then to Quissico - Lagoa EcoLodge, Zavora Praia - Lindela (Quinta S. Antonio) - Tofo (Turtle Cove). then I would cycle back to Lindela and get to Maxixe (Campismo Maxixe) - then Ponta Morrungulo near Massinga.

From Massinga to Vilankulo you will find pousadas or pensao in towns, but I cannot say anything about their condition. In Vilankulo I would stay at Baobab Beach and in Inhassoro at hotel SETA or Casa Luna. Now you will be far inland all the way to Nicoadala and Quelimane. Currently there is a military convoy from Vila Franca do Save (Save River bridge) 120km to Muxungue. I don't think you will,find a bed in Save but there is a guesthouse in Muxungue called CarIndico Lodge.

Nothing I know of Muxungue to Inchope, but 15km north of Inchope there is Arco Iris. Near Nota at turn to Gorongosa National Park there is Gorongosa Adventures. Then I think there are rooms at Nhamacolomo between Vila da Gorongosa and Caia. 32km south of Caia look up Mphingwe Camp. Nicoadala has a pensao but get to Quelimane and Hotel Flamingo or Praia do Zalala and Zalala beach Lodge.

That should take about a month, and if you decide so skip the Inhassoro to Quelimane stretch of the main road you could put your bikes on a bus, and then perhaps you could cycle Quelimane to Nampula and even Ilha de Mocambique but nowhere any beach, but accommodate in Mocuba, Alto Molocue, Nampula and Ilha.

So a lot of cycling with fairly monotonous scenery, long stretches with small villages, few towns, but mostly good Tarmac road and very flat.

Mike

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Peik replied the topic: One month bicycle tour in Mozambique – what route?

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You really need a lot of time. It is about 1600 km from Maputo to Quelimane (or 1000 miles). You will certainly atract a lot of attention. Never seen any tourist on bikes along N1, but a lot of locals on bikes, especially in Zambesia, which is densly populated. I have only travelled by car and bus from Maxixe to Quelimane. You absolutely need a tent true these waste areas in the middle of nowhere.

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