Cycling Mozambique in the rainy season

tipitapa created the topic: Cycling Mozambique in the rainy season

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Hello Mozman: I'm crossing Africa by bycicle . I'm now in Kampala and going next to Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam. From Tanzania I have several options to continue south (one, the most popular, trouhg Malawi). But I'm very interested in Mozambique (I manage with portuguese), and specially in North Mozambique, and my choice would be to cycle all the coast, from Dar Es Salaam to Maputo. But there may be one obstacle: the weather. I could be crossing the border in late december, and pedaling in northern Mozambique in january, february... so, in the rainy season. Are the roads in the north (the main road I mean,going north south) passable in those months? Should I expect very heavy rain, every day?

I've been reading the "Route Conditions" section in this web (very good). According to that I understand that even if with no very good conditions the main road is passable all the way, year round.

Two more questions since I see two more options. I could enter Mozambique via Malawi at Cobue. I understand that all the way from Cobue to Lichinga, and from Lichinga to Cuamba and Nampula is passable in the rainy season. Is that right? Is that route interesting for a cyclist (good scenery, not busy roads,...)?
I understand, as well, that the road from Lichinga to Marrupa and Montepuez will be much more difficult. Right?

And last thing: "isolated incidents involving Ninjas at Molocue".It doesn't sound so good.

OK. I'm still here. Since you have cycled the south-north route...a general question. Does it worth? North Mozambique in your opinion is worthing fighting the mud and the rain... Is there, I mean, a real difference between North and South Mozambique.

Lot of questions. Thanks in advance, and congratulations for the website to the owners. Lorenzo

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mozman replied the topic: Cycling Mozambique in the rainy season

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Hello Mozman: I'm crossing Africa by bycicle . I'm now in Kampala and going next to Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam. From Tanzania I have several options to continue south (one, the most popular, trouhg Malawi). But I'm very interested in Mozambique (I manage with portuguese), and specially in North Mozambique, and my choice would be to cycle all the coast, from Dar Es Salaam to Maputo. But there may be one obstacle: the weather. I could be crossing the border in late december, and pedaling in northern Mozambique in january, february... so, in the rainy season. Are the roads in the north (the main road I mean,going north south) passable in those months? Should I expect very heavy rain, every day?

I've been reading the "Route Conditions" section in this web (very good). According to that I understand that even if with no very good conditions the main road is passable all the way, year round.

Two more questions since I see two more options. I could enter Mozambique via Malawi at Cobue. I understand that all the way from Cobue to Lichinga, and from Lichinga to Cuamba and Nampula is passable in the rainy season. Is that right? Is that route interesting for a cyclist (good scenery, not busy roads,...)?
I understand, as well, that the road from Lichinga to Marrupa and Montepuez will be much more difficult. Right?

And last thing: "isolated incidents involving Ninjas at Molocue".It doesn't sound so good.

OK. I'm still here. Since you have cycled the south-north route...a general question. Does it worth? North Mozambique in your opinion is worthing fighting the mud and the rain... Is there, I mean, a real difference between North and South Mozambique.

Lot of questions. Thanks in advance, and congratulations for the website to the owners. Lorenzo

Greetings Lorenzo e um grande abraxo!

And congratulations on using the best and easiest (yes, it is!) way to travel through Africa. In 1992 I travelled by bicycle from Cape Town up to Angola, then Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique from Beira up to Dar and then up Kili then to Kenya, Somalia and Sudan. So I know where you are. Rain is a very big issue, I travelled thousands of kilometres just to keep out of it! Southern Tanzania south of Lindi to Kilwa is one huge swamp when it rains, and the also from Mtwara south down to Mocimboa da Praia after which the road is tarmac and really great for cycling to Pemba and also to Nacala and Ilha da Mocambique. The big rains in N Moz and S Tan do begin in January and if there is a tropical cyclone (a good chance) then you really will be stuck. I do not recommend this route in the wet. Cobue to Lichinga is no go in the wet too, but from Cobue get a boat to Metangula and then after 12km it is tarmac to Lichinga, and then take the NEW AND WONDERFUL road east all the way down to Pemba. (May not be quite finished as far as Montepuez, but I think this is a MUST.

Ninjas?! Well what has been happening is mainly to travellers with trailers (for luggage) or boats and on the slow stretches people have sometimes (rare) jumped on and helped themselves. Not really a threat to you, then, but at any rate I would not pedal at night, not because of crime, but because you may get run over by a truck or tractor with no lights.

Northern Moz is almost a completely different country to the south - it's still innocent and far enough away from South africa to get few tourists. Please update us with your progress and ask any more questions that you have.

Cheers

Mike

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tipitapa replied the topic: Cycling Mozambique in the rainy season

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That's very helpful information. Muito obrigado. The option of entering Mozambique via Malawi and pedalling all the way east from Lichinga may be a very good one. I'll write again to this forum with my impressions of Mozambique. Lorenzo

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