Ilha de Mocambique

Kristen Alice created the topic: Ilha de Mocambique

  • Kristen Alice
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Hi there,

I'd like to visit Ilha de Mocambique whilst in Mozambique this August. I have a couple of questions:

1. How do I get there? I will be getting a plane to Nampula, but then what? The Lonely Planet is really vague, like get into the back of some pickup truck then cross the bridge in it?!? Is there something a little more definite?

2. I plan to go to Vilanculos afterwards. Is there a reliable bus service between Nampula and Vilanculos and should it be booked in advance?

3. Is all this safe for a single white female traveller (i.e. the island itself and the trip to Vilanculos)? I lived in Tanzania for 6 months and have generally travelled enough on my own before.

Thanks for your help, love the forum!! [8D]

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mozman replied the topic: Ilha de Mocambique

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Hi Kristen
What time does your flight get to Nampula? If after 1400 I would perhaps plan a night in Nampula - Hotel Tropical OK.

1. At Nampula airport you will get a city taxi (usually a battered sedan) which, for about US$20-30 will take you the 5km to the bus and chapa (minibus or pickup) terminus adjacent to the railway station in Nampula. Tell the driver you wish to go to 'Ilha' and he will know which point to drop you off and should also make sure you get onto the correct transport. Here it is usually pretty chaotic so keep your wits and your valuables about you. You may not find transport going directly to Ilha but Nacala is the next best but make sure to get off at Monapo and ask for Ilha. The locals will look after you and guide you - all you need to do is to smile and be friendly and attempt conversation in whatever language you can. On Ilha I like Casa Branca or Escondidinho.

2. Nampula to Vilanculos is a long, hard haul. When you get to the nampula terminus en-route to Ilha, ask about buses southwards - Transportes Mecula are usually a good bet. Problem is that you will overnight in Quelimane so look up the Downloads on mozguide.com and click on the map to find the guides. In Quelimane Hotel Flamingo was nice but it may have closed to try Hotel Chuabo. After Quelimane the next hassle is that your bus (probably not the same bus as you were on Nampula to Quelimane) will probably head for Beira so you will have to get off at Inchope and take another bus or chapa to Vilankulo where you almost certainly will arrive after dark. Best option in Vilankulo is Zombie Cucumber: www.zombiecucumber.com and tell Steph and John that I sent you.

3. Often asked this question and have got a lot of feedback from travellers such as you and Moz is really pretty safe for lone women, but of course the usual things such as petty theft and pickpockets in crowded places do occur but if you latch on to other (women) travellers they will often take you under their wing.

Note that bus travel in Moz is crowded, stuffy and noisy so take along plenty of bottled water, snacks, a capulana (sarong or wrap) to keep the sun off and toilet facilities at stops will be zero so be prepared to nip behind a bush. traders sell all sorts of things to eat at all stops but make sure you have lots of small change as they will not have any.

August is usually an excellent time in Moz weather-wise but can sometimes get a little windy - chases the mosquitoes.

Mike

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