peterman created the topic: Northern Mozambique4 months 4 weeks ago
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So, have just booked a true adventure across Malawi and Mozambique in late june/july. We (2 of us) have just 2 weeks in Northern Mozambique and obviously want to make the most of it. We currently intend to get the boat across from Likomo island to Cobue and then spend approximately a week getting across to Pemba. Once there, we want to spend time as much time in quirambas before flying out of Pemba and home. We are on a fairly tight budget but could potentially indulge in one or two spots.
having read some of the previous posts on your awesome website I have a few questions of my own:
- Is it easy to get a visa at the Mozambique border if you do not have all your accommodation booked?
- once in Cobue, how realistic is it to make it across the country in a week? I have seen you mention flights previously but we would prefer to go overland if at all possible
- in the dream scenario, we would travel through the Niassa reserve to get to Pemba. As stupid an unrealistic as it sounds?
- assuming we have a week to get across, where would you recommend stopping off en route? Are there any hidden treasures that my reading of the travel guides have not yet revealed?
Here is hoping you expertise can guide these naïve travelers in the right direction.
mozman replied the topic: Northern Mozambique4 months 4 weeks ago
Hi Simon. Welcome to Mozguide. Just a quick reply, this question deserves a more detailed response later. Yes visas are routinely issued at Cobue without proof of bookings or onward tickets. Yes you can get to Pemba in a week. Perhaps you will make it to Niassa Reserve.
mozman replied the topic: Northern Mozambique4 months 3 weeks ago
I presume that you will catching a boat from Likoma Island to Cobue. If this is the case, try to get to Cobue as early in the morning as possible, as there are only a few vehicles heading for Metangula or Maniamba, and if you are very lucky, Lichinga each day. They usually depart around 0500, or when full, which could be later.
From Lichinga via Mandimba and Cuamba to Nampula and Pemba would be the conventional route with plenty of public transport each day, and this would take at least 3 full days Cobue to Pemba.
To include Reserva da Niassa, there are a few buses and chapa taxis (minibuses and trucks) that depart Lichinga around 0500 every day for Marrupa. From there perhaps only one chapa truck or other transport offering paid rides goes north to Mecula each day, and perhaps some days no transport. You will probably have to overnight Mecula - there is a pensao or pousada, but search on Google.
So using only public transport it will probably be fairly straighforward to get to Mecula. The reserve HQ is Mbatamila and they allow camping, but don't think there are other tourist facilities. Look up Reserva da Niassa on Facebook and ask on their page. www.facebook.com/NiassaReserve/
Getting to Pemba from Mecula via Marrupa and Montepuez will probably take at least 2 long days, or longer. The problem is that from Marrupa to Balama the road is still in very poor condition so not much traffic currently.
This would only give you two days in the Reserve, which I think will be worth it.
I would also look up Luwire and Derek Littleton which is a private concession in the Reserva as they may also be of assistance. Tell them Mike Slater from mozguide sent you: niassawilderness.com/who-we-are/
Feedback brings good karma!
peterman replied the topic: Northern Mozambique4 months 3 weeks ago
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Thank you so much for this - super helpful.
It seems like heading to Niassa reserve would present a bit of a risk in terms of onward travel. As an alternative, do you know of any day / 2 days tours we could take from around Lichinga into and back out of the reserve? There doesn't seem to be a lot of information on this area on the internet , but it would be a great shame to miss out on this when we are so close.
Moving on, we have heard that Mozambique Island is good for a day or two to tour around. Do you think it is worth the slight detour? If we were to do this, would we be able to get up to Pemba, or possibly the port to Quirambas in a day?
Rumour has it that good Karma brings great adventure!
mozman replied the topic: Northern Mozambique4 months 2 weeks ago
Hi Simon. No tours out of Lichinga to anywhere on a regular basis or otherwise. Makes no sense anyway as it is a day to Mecula then a day back. So your only other option is via Cuamba then train to Nampula. Yes Ilha de Moçambique is certainly worth a day or three. Look up Ilhablue.com