If you’re thinking of visiting Mozambique on your own, don’t let anything dissuade you. It’s a friendly, safe choice for solo travel and can be as adventurous or laid-back as you like.
Those looking for solitude will find endless empty beaches, ideal for long, peaceful strolls. If you’d like to meet people, there are lively beach towns with restaurants, group tours, and buzzing barefoot bars.
It’s not advisable to leave valuables unattended while swimming or wander Maputo’s backstreets alone after dark. But these are the kinds of precautions you’d take almost anywhere, and infrequent petty theft aside, Mozambique is a very safe country to visit.
Credit: andBeyond Benguerra Island
Mozambicans have a well-earned reputation for being easy-going and friendly. The seafood is delicious and affordable, and there’s a fascinating history and an incredible underwater world to explore.
Best places to visit in Mozambique
Credit: Financial Times
Perhaps Mozambique’s only drawback is that it can be challenging to get around. Public transport does exist, but it’s often bumpy and slow and can be challenging to figure out. The more exclusive resorts offer a seamless fly-in service, especially on the islands.
But if you’re a solo traveler, and in particular, if you’re on a budget, then bear this in mind.
The far north of Mozambique is the hardest to reach, involving relatively expensive internal flights, long, bumpy roads, or quite often, both.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll discover Mozambique’s rich cultural past – the evocative, deserted mansions of Ibo Island and the 16th-century Portuguese fort and chapel on the tip of Ilha de Moçambique.
Traveling in the south is much easier than in the north. There are direct flights to Vilanculos from Maputo and Johannesburg, and busses and/or backpacker shuttles between Maputo, Vilanculos, Tofo, and Ponta do Ouro.
These main centers are the most popular destinations for solo travelers; many visitors pick just one or two spots and stick to them. Your choice will depend on ease of access and time of year, and especially on the key activities available in the area.
If you’re looking to meet people, then Vilanculos and Tofo Beach are best for your solo Mozambique holiday. They’re at their most lively over Christmas and Easter and again from the end of June to September.
June to September sees the best beach weather, and the far south usually has it better early in the season (May/June). Further north, it tends to be hotter and drier in October, and, in the far north, it usually stays hot and dry well into November.
The weather is often a secondary consideration when it comes to Mozambique’s marine attractions. Snorkeling and diving with whale sharks are mind-blowing; although they can be seen year-round, October to March is best.
Another marine giant, the humpback whale, is common off the coast of Mozambique from July to mid-November. So, while October and November can be increasingly humid and cloudy in the south, it’s the perfect time to see Mozambique’s magnificent marine giants.
Turtles, dolphins, reef sharks, and manta rays can be seen along the coast year-round. But specific local areas may have subtle seasonal variations, so check with a local dive operator before you travel.
If you’re not a diver already, this is the time to learn! Mozambique has several excellent dive schools, and they’re a great way to socialize and meet new people on a solo safari.
- Be aware that outside of the main resorts, English is not widely spoken. A Portuguese phrase book or app on your phone will go a long way to easing communication.
- Credit cards (preferably Visa) are accepted at most resorts and hotels, but you’ll almost certainly need cash for smaller enterprises and local transport. In Ponta do Ouro, South African Rands are readily accepted, but the best option is to draw local currency (Meticals) from an ATM when you arrive. ATMs are common in all the main centers (although Tofo is a notable exception – the nearest one is in Inhambane).
- Mozambique is generally considered a safe country for women traveling alone. Dress codes and attitudes are less conservative than in other East African countries, and homosexuality has been legal since 2015.