Five of the best Maputo add-ons
10 Jun 2016 - by Liesl Venter
Steeped in history with influences of Portuguese, English and Dutch culture, the Mozambican capital of Maputo is a vibrant African city with much to do. Liesl Venter spoke to Stephanie von Allmen, general manager of Dana Tours, to round up some of her top choices for add-on activities in the city.
A three-hour tour that can be done in the morning or the afternoon takes visitors to the real Maputo and includes most of the famous landmarks in the city, including the railway station that was designed by Eiffel. City tours also take visitors to the botanical gardens, the Museum of Natural History, the City Hall as well as the Central Market for some truly Mozambican shopping. According to Von Allmen, these tours can be adapted to meet the specific needs of a group of delegates and can include a seafood lunch.
“Mafalala is one of the cultural and political cradles of Mozambique,” says Von Allmen. It is a suburb that encapsulates both the old and the new of Maputo, giving an insight into the history of the country. The tour explains local ethno-cultural differences while walking around the streets, alleys and markets. It is also where some of Mozambique’s most famous political leaders, writers, musicians and sporting heroes hail from and is a real eye-opening experience. The tour can be undertaken in the day or the evening.
Situated about 30km north of Maputo, this is an adventure to one of Mozambique’s famous pristine beaches. Getting there includes a 4x4 drive and crossing the Incomati River by local ferry. “Lazing on the beach or swimming in the warm Indian Ocean is a real treat,” says Von Allmen. “A seafood lunch is served by one of the local restaurants, while there is also an option of booking a boat cruise up the Incomati River.”
This half-day walking tour gives visitors real insight into the life and times of the famous Mozambican architect, sculptor and painter, Pancho Guedes. During the tour, visitors see some of his unique murals and buildings, while it also includes a stop to see the building where he lived and worked.
A 50 000-hectare mosaic of lakes, floodplains, mangrove swamps, woodlands, forest, dunes and unspoilt beaches, the Maputo Elephant Reserve is a must-do activity when in Maputo. It is situated in 4x4 terrain and also involves a ferry crossing at Catembe. According to Von Allmen, the trip allows visitors to come close to some of Africa’s magnificent animals such as elephant, crocodiles, giraffe and hippos. “Lunch is served in a tranquil environment overlooking the lake, hopefully in the company of a pod of hippos.”