3.5 days to get from Blantyre to Maputo-help pls!

SarahBnyc created the topic: 3.5 days to get from Blantyre to Maputo-help pls!

  • SarahBnyc
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Hi Mike,

First of all, thanks for this site!! I've found it more helpful than the Lonely Planet I spent 25 bucks on...

I'm posting this in the "women travellers" cause, well, I am a woman traveling alone, but also cause the forum looked empty...and lonely. Thought I'd start it up. But my Qs are more general-

I will have only a few days in Mozambique and would love some route advice. I'll be coming from Blantyre, by bus, leaving Saturday, 20 Nov. I fly out of Maputo at 15:55 on 23 Nov. Not a lot of time, I know! But I will take a flight on LAM from one of the northern cities. What I am trying to decide is 1) which city to fly from (Chimoio or Tete) and 2) if I should allow 1 day to get to that city and have 2 nights in Map. or 2 days for the bus trip and 1 night in Maputo.

From what I have read here, Tete sucks and Chimoio is cool so I definitely prefer the latter. Thing is, i have to book my LAM flight to Maputo before I leave cause I need the security of having the flight, plus the price is good now. SO, I need to decide:
Do I fly from Chimoio at 10 am on Sunday? OR
Do I fly from Chimoio at 9 am on Monday?

I read in another post that there is a bus that will get you from Blantyre to Chimoio in one day:
www.mozguide.com/fala/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2280
(specifically: "
Yes there are buses that depart from the Blantyre bus Terminus near Doogles backpackers at 0500 and get into chimoio around 1700 but could be as late as 2200.")

So, I am thinking I could take that bus Sat. morning and book my flight to leave Chimoio on Sunday morning. However, I just want to double check that because I really REALLY don't want to risk getting stuck somewhere, not making it to Chimoio in time, and miss my flight. Esp. as I will be alone (and only have basic Portuguese) ...makes it harder to deal with crisis. Plus I am on a student budget so buying a new flight would be tough.

I could stay on the safe side, and book out of Chimoio on Monday 9 am, get to Maputo around 11 am I guess. But while it'd be nice to have 2 days in Chim., Map. is bigger and I think i'd want more time there...plus I'm kind of a city girl- really excited to hit up the markets, check out the music scene, etc.

Finally, I suppose another option is to book out of Tete on Sunday morning. It seems safe to count on definitely getting to Tete in one day and i'd leave the next morning. But like I said, i prefer Chimoio to Tete.

Any thoughts or suggestions that you have would be greatly appreciated!!

Also 2 final questions:
1) from what I understand, the bus doesn't go straight from Blantyre to Chimoio, but you have to make several changes in between. Is that correct? If so, how easy is it to figure all that out (alone, female, with limited Portuguese)
2) If I have just 1 or 2 days in Maputo, is it possible for me to get to a beach? Even a not-so-lovely city beach? I'd love to just dip into the Indian Ocean before I go, no matter how briefly!

OK, that's all for now...sorry for the long & rambling Qs. I so appreciate your help & advice!

Regards,
Sarah

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mozman replied the topic: 3.5 days to get from Blantyre to Maputo-help pls!

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Hi Sarah
welcome and yes congratulations on being the first to post here - I will be moving relevant posts from other forums here in due course.

Quite a complicated set of options so perhaps lets err on the side of caution:

Yes by all means try to avoid overnighting in Tete, BUT if there are any delays at the border or due to breakdowns either between Blantyre and Tete, or between Tete and Chimoio, you may not make it to Chimoio in a day. My info is you will have to change buses in Tete - ask in Blantyre, also get info from fellow passengers and bus driver, or in Tete when you arrive.

So I think we must assume that you MAY not make your Sunday 10am flight, so book the 9am Monday 22nd flight to Maputo.

Maputo's beach is not great for swimming but still quite picturesque. It is along the Avenida Marginal - Costa do Sol area. Not sure if you are staying at a backpacker in Maputo - if yes they will be best source of advice to get to beach - 10 minute ride by taxi from most backpackers. Perhaps if Maputo Backpackers is still operating it could be your best bet as it is 5 mins walk to the beach, but out of town away from the action:
www.geckogo.com/Lodging/Mozambique/South.../Maputo-backpackers/

Mike

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Andreas Martin replied the topic: 3.5 days to get from Blantyre to Maputo-help pls!

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Oi Sarah,
you habve a lot of questions. I only want to say two things:
1. Chimoio is a very spotless town, nothing really worth seeing. The only sight (and it is not so VERY interessting) is the "cabeça do velho". Pink Papaya in Chimoio has beds for 300 and romms for 700 Meticais.
2. You always have to calculate getting stuck somewhere. I mean nothing in Moçambique is as planable as it is in Europe, and even there things get wrong. The streets are bad, and a lot of cars and buses are more or less running wrecks.
I would chose the less risky option.
Regards,
Andreas



<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by SarahBnyc

Hi Mike,

First of all, thanks for this site!! I've found it more helpful than the Lonely Planet I spent 25 bucks on...

I'm posting this in the "women travellers" cause, well, I am a woman traveling alone, but also cause the forum looked empty...and lonely. Thought I'd start it up. But my Qs are more general-

I will have only a few days in Mozambique and would love some route advice. I'll be coming from Blantyre, by bus, leaving Saturday, 20 Nov. I fly out of Maputo at 15:55 on 23 Nov. Not a lot of time, I know! But I will take a flight on LAM from one of the northern cities. What I am trying to decide is 1) which city to fly from (Chimoio or Tete) and 2) if I should allow 1 day to get to that city and have 2 nights in Map. or 2 days for the bus trip and 1 night in Maputo.

From what I have read here, Tete sucks and Chimoio is cool so I definitely prefer the latter. Thing is, i have to book my LAM flight to Maputo before I leave cause I need the security of having the flight, plus the price is good now. SO, I need to decide:
Do I fly from Chimoio at 10 am on Sunday? OR
Do I fly from Chimoio at 9 am on Monday?

I read in another post that there is a bus that will get you from Blantyre to Chimoio in one day:
www.mozguide.com/fala/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2280
(specifically: "
Yes there are buses that depart from the Blantyre bus Terminus near Doogles backpackers at 0500 and get into chimoio around 1700 but could be as late as 2200.")

So, I am thinking I could take that bus Sat. morning and book my flight to leave Chimoio on Sunday morning. However, I just want to double check that because I really REALLY don't want to risk getting stuck somewhere, not making it to Chimoio in time, and miss my flight. Esp. as I will be alone (and only have basic Portuguese) ...makes it harder to deal with crisis. Plus I am on a student budget so buying a new flight would be tough.

I could stay on the safe side, and book out of Chimoio on Monday 9 am, get to Maputo around 11 am I guess. But while it'd be nice to have 2 days in Chim., Map. is bigger and I think i'd want more time there...plus I'm kind of a city girl- really excited to hit up the markets, check out the music scene, etc.

Finally, I suppose another option is to book out of Tete on Sunday morning. It seems safe to count on definitely getting to Tete in one day and i'd leave the next morning. But like I said, i prefer Chimoio to Tete.

Any thoughts or suggestions that you have would be greatly appreciated!!

Also 2 final questions:
1) from what I understand, the bus doesn't go straight from Blantyre to Chimoio, but you have to make several changes in between. Is that correct? If so, how easy is it to figure all that out (alone, female, with limited Portuguese)
2) If I have just 1 or 2 days in Maputo, is it possible for me to get to a beach? Even a not-so-lovely city beach? I'd love to just dip into the Indian Ocean before I go, no matter how briefly!

OK, that's all for now...sorry for the long & rambling Qs. I so appreciate your help & advice!

Regards,
Sarah
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

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SarahBnyc replied the topic: 3.5 days to get from Blantyre to Maputo-help pls!

  • SarahBnyc
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Dear Mike and Andreas,

Thanks so much for your input and detailed responses! I'm sorry for my delay in thanking you...trip planning (and law school) has been crazy.

Well, I recognize that it is risky, but I decided to take my chances and book my flight out of Chimoio on Sunday morning. Tete was not a great option because it turned out the flights were much more expensive. And I really want 2 days in Maputo!

So, I am just going to leave Blantyre VERY early and hope for the best...no breakdowns, no border delays. Fingers crossed! In the worst case scenario, I'll have to pay to change my ticket or buy a new one so it's a $$ gamble. but as it is, I only paid $90 (USD) for my flight, which is not bad...

One advantage I will have is that I'll be in Blantyre for a week so that I'll be able to talk to people about the buses and put myself in the best position to catch the earliest bus towards Moz.

I will certainly let you know how it goes!

Also, I do plan to stay at the Pink Papaya in Chimoio. Going to e-mail them now. Looks like a great option!

Again thank you...and if you have any advice/tips for a lone, female traveler with limited Portuguese (fluent Spanish, so I understand it) please let me know!

Best,
Sarah

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mozman replied the topic: 3.5 days to get from Blantyre to Maputo-help pls!

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Hi Sarah

No problem with your decision. My experience of public transport, hitching and begging for rides in Moz is that a determined person will get where they want to go, when they need to be there despite any setbacks so long as they are willing to take whatever transport may be going their way.

As a general rule, for shorter distance transport in Moz, including rides in trucks, private vehicles etc, expect to pay about 1MT per kilomentre. Todays rate is MT35 to the US$.

Carry a large shawl or wrap to give you privacy when using the roadside as a loo, and to keep the sun off you in the buses. Also carry plenty of bottle water and tissues.

whenever the bus stops you will be able to buy refreshments and food through the window if you can't get off the bus.

Your Spanish will be a great help in Moz.

Mike

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