Cheap Flights to Maputo, Mozambique
- Area (City) : 346.77 km² (133.89 sq.ml)
- Area Codes : (+258) 21
- Currency : Mozambican Metical (MZN)
- Population (City) : 1,766,184 (2007)
- Official Language : Portuguese
- Time Zone : CAT (UTC+2)
- Airport s : Maputo International Airport (MPM)
‘MPM’ also known as ‘Mavalane International Airport’ or ‘Lourenço Marques Airport’ is around 5km northwest from the city centre. Passengers can take taxis, book a private service with an airport shuttle or hire a vehicle from ‘Avis’ or ‘Sixt’ taking approximately 20 minutes via R. de Beira to reach the city.
Travellers in South African can fly to ‘MPM’ with the following airlines:
- LAM – from ‘O.R. Tambo Int. Airport’, Johannesburg
- SA Airlink – from ‘King Shaka Int. Airport’, Durban
- SA Express – from ‘Cape Town Int. Airport’
- South African Airways – from ‘O.R. Tambo Int. Airport’
Airlines touching down at ‘MPM’ include:
- Air France
- Air Mauritius
- Kenya Airways
Reasons to Visit Maputo, Mozambique:
- Previously known as ‘Lourenço Marques’, Maputo is the country’s largest city and capital and also known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’. Mozambique was founded in 1782 and its capital named after the Portuguese navigator ‘Lourenço Marques’. A Portuguese fortress completed in 1787 had the town developing around it. By the early 20th century the city’s seaport was fully equipped to handle cargo with ships coming from Portugal, Germany and Britain. In 1904 one of the first electric tramway systems in Africa commenced in Maputo.
- It’s a great destination for all travellers offering everything from historical architectural masterpieces, forts, museums and monuments to wildlife opportunities, superb reefs for diving and snorkelling, swimming at beaches and sailing to islands not far off.
- The city comes alive at night with bars and clubs pumping out music from African beats to pop and hip-hop and for gamblers, there’s the ‘Polana Casino’ to chance winning or losing. Restaurants afford a fusion of delicious African, Portuguese and Arab cuisines and from the city’s coastline, mouth-watering dishes of lobster, prawns, clams and calamari.
- Top hotels include the ‘Radisson Blu’, ‘Southern Sun’, Polana Serena Hotel’ among others. There are B&Bs, guest houses, luxurious lodges and enough hostel facilities for travellers on tight budgets such as ‘Fatima’s Nest Backpackers’, ‘Maputo Backpackers’, ‘Base Backpackers’ including others.
When to Visit Maputo, Mozambique:
The ideal time for visiting this city is during the winter season from April through to September. July is the coldest month with average highs of around 21°C and lows dropping to 10°C. Summer from December to March is hot and humid with the most rainfall and maximum temperatures sometimes climbing to 41°C.
Places to Visit Maputo, Mozambique:
- Not to be missed is visiting the ‘Maputo Railway Station’ that’s a fine-looking structure with wrought iron works and marble pillars and designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel (designer of the ‘Statue of Liberty’ and the ‘Eiffel Tower’).
- The ‘Associação Núcleo de Arte’ located in an old villa in the heart of the city, displays the oldest collection of artists in the country with two of the best known Mozambique artists having started their careers at this institute.
- The magnificent ‘Hotel Polana’ built in 1922 is deemed as one of Africa’s grandest hotels, stroll down Avenida Julius Nyerere for a glimpse.
- ‘Tunduru Gardens’, previously named ‘Jardim de Vasco Da Gama’ was constructed during the 1880s by British architect Thomas Honney who designed the park entrance in Neo-Manueline style.
- The ‘Fortress of Maputo’ is one of the city’s main historical attractions that displays a variety of exhibitions including two statues, one of Mouzinho de Albuquerque, standing almost 5 metres high and the other of António Enes and plenty of other historical reminders, including a number of cannons.
- One of the few remains left from the original settlement is the impressive mid-18th century ‘Fort of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao’, a beautiful structure surrounded by statues commemorating the king of Gaza’s defeat.
- View the beautiful white Roman Catholic ‘Cathedral of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception’ that was constructed between 1936 and 1944. The ‘Saint Antonio Catholic Church’, designed by Nuno Craveiro Lopes takes one’s breath away.
- The ‘Natural History Museum’, housed in an exquisite building that was completed in 1911 offers visitors a collection depicting the entire birth cycle of an elephant and an impressive shark collection and more. Other museums include the ‘Fisheries Museum’, ‘Museu da Moeda’, ‘Museu da Geologia’ and the ‘Museum of Revolution’.
- Spend time meandering around the ‘Mercado Municipal Market’ that sells everything from sunglasses to fruit and vegetables. Always crowded it’s a great place to simply relax and watch people go by.
- ‘Avenida Julius Nyerere’ offers shops, restaurants and vendors where authentic artefacts can be purchased including beautiful African fabrics.
- ‘Inhaca Island’, a marine nature preserve is the habitat of a variety of birds, a great location for snorkelling and diving and not to be missed is visiting its lighthouse. Take a ferry from Maputo Harbour to the island and from there, time permitting, take a boat ride to ‘Portuguese Island’, another nature reserve.
- A must for wildlife and nature lovers is the 50 000 hectare ‘Maputo Elephant Reserve’ about 80km south of the city. The reserve is made up of mangrove swamps, woodlands, floodplains, pristine beaches and forested dunes and besides wildlife, is ideal for ‘birders’. Visitors can stay over in luxury tented camps and should travel in a 4×4 vehicle.
- One of Maputo’s landmarks is the Piri Piri restaurant that cooks up juicy grilled chicken to perfection with a side slash of outstanding ‘piri piri’ sauce. The eatery is always busy with meals great value for money. You’ll find it at Avenida 24 de Julho 1232. The ‘Dhow Café’ provides superb vistas of Maputa Bay while you relax in the garden in a comfy sofa, transformed from a Dhow boat. Owned by a Greek couple, dishes comprise traditional Greek combined with a local twist. Take in the stunning sunset from the café’s pool and veranda area. It’s located at Rua de Marracuene 4 and is open from brunch until shortly after sunset. Meat lovers won’t be disappointed with the Portuguese eatery ‘A Nossa Tasca’ that cooks up popular ‘espetadas’, chunks of tender grilled beef on long spikes. It’s situated at Avenida Julius Nyerere and is open for lunch and dinner. For an experience of fine dining, Zambi located close to the ocean and under palm trees is perfect, when not too windy, for sitting outside on the shaded terrace with views of fishing boats cruising by. The eatery offers steak, lobster, tiger prawns and excellent desserts. It’s located at Avenida 10 de Novembro 8.
Getting Around Maputo:
A chapa is the primary mode of public transport that operates within the city or between the city and towns and that is not a truck or bus. They can be waved down anywhere and have fixed prices. For comfort try and sit in front next the window and be prepared for reckless driving.
You won’t find taxis driving around looking for business, except at arrivals at the airport. A few have working meters so negotiate a price before climbing in.
Car rentals include:
- Euro Rent – Rent a Car