Mozambique is very much open to travel – no PCR tests are needed for vaccinated passengers, the beaches are open and COVID regulations have been lifted (as of April 21st, 2022).
“Mozambique offers a diversity of attractions ideally suited for MICE travellers,” says Natalie Tenzer-Silva, Director of Dana Tours, a Maputo-based tour operator. “It’s really the best of all worlds for beach, culture and nature lovers.”
Natalie shares why Mozambique should be your go-to MICE destination in Africa:
The perfect choice for MICE and bleisure travel
There are many reasons why Maputo is the perfect place to host your travel incentive. The country has seen an influx of interest in MICE tourism before COVID, and considering its close access to another key hub, South Africa, this is likely to be a key consideration for MICE planners when MICE travel kicks off in the post-pandemic recovery stages.
“The advantage of choosing Mozambique as a MICE travel destination is that it has so much to offer, with a uniquely African experience,” says Tenzer-Silva. “Dana Tours specialises in small and large-scale events, successfully hosting events for up to 3,000 delegates. There’s good infrastructure, no tourist visas are required for SADC nationals, and Maputo combines perfectly with leisure day trips or bleisure add-ons to the beach and islands.”
Driving in Maputo can be stressful for those not used to the traffic and navigating unfamiliar roads.
Most travellers, leisure and business, opt for included transport and tours, with reputable local companies to navigate the city with ease.
For example, Dana Tours offers transport, transfer and chauffeur services in the capital to suit all requirements, following a strict HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) policy.
Where to Stay
Accommodation is another essential factor to consider. Southern Sun Maputo and the Polana Hotel are Maputo favourites for business and leisure travellers.
Beyond the capital, the Diamonds Mequfi Beach Resort in Pemba, Anantara Bazaruto or Azura Benguerra in the Bazaruto Archipelago, and Nahyeeni Lodge, Inhaca are spectacular.
Dana Tours has great recommendations for mid-range and budget accommodation in Mozambique as well as their five favourite hotels for business.
Maputo brims with exciting cultural, architectural, art, and foodie experiences.
A guided city tour is the best way to get your bearings and get an overview of the city. Meet the Maputo beloved by its locals by visiting the Fortress, Central Market, Museum of Natural History, Railway Station, FEIMA curio market, Maputo City Hall, Cathedral, Botanical Gardens, and Iron House.
Tick off the local arts and culture route. Stops along the route include Malangatana’s house (a renowned Mozambican painter and poet) and the Ntsindya Cultural Centre (intellectuals, musicians, and writers who fought for independence once gathered here). Visit other cultural heritage venues, including the Xipamanine Market, with lunch at the home of Walter Zand, a renowned Mozambican artist.
Here are our recommendations on what to buy – and where to find it:
- Shop for colourful capulanas—they’re traditionally worn by the local women. The best place to get them? Casa Elefante in Maputo.
- Carved wooden boxes: find them at the FEIMA crafts market here in the capital, where these items can easily be bartered.
- Roasted cashew nuts (one of the country’s most significant exports) at the Central Market
- Batik paintings – FEIMA crafts market
- Tipo Tinto – this local rum is easy to find, especially close to the beaches in Mozambique.
Out of the city
A trip to Maputo perfectly combines with trips out of the capital to discover the beaches and islands.
Consider a day trip to Inhaca, Santa Maria, and Portuguese Islands, including snorkeling and a seafood lunch in Inhaca. Breathe in the fresh sea air and discover this little slice of Mozambican paradise.
For the adventurous, try your hand at scuba diving, snorkelling, boating, tubing, sunset cruises, jet-skiing, kayaking, or fishing, with plenty of swimming and relaxing on a sun-lounger with a cocktail in hand. Non-motorized activities are typically complimentary at ocean-based hotels and resorts.
The Best of Both
And for those who can’t decide between the beach and bush, famous beach and bush combos in Mozambique include:
- Gorongosa and Ilha de Moçambique (A UNESCO world heritage site).
- Gorongosa and Bazaruto
- Maputo National Park (Anvil Bay and Milibangalala)
Mozambique can also be combined with the Kruger National Park as well as Hlane National Park in Eswatini.
For foodies, a Maputo food tour is a must. Around five hundred years of Portuguese influence mixed with local African culture, locally-grown tropical fruit, and delicious fresh fish and seafood make Mozambique heaven for food-lovers.
Embark on a culinary journey through Mozambique, sampling the most amazing speciality foods (and drinks). “This was one of our new day tours released in 2019, and it’s been a hit,” says Tenzer-Silva. “Highlights include a tasting of traditional street food, Badjia (bean dumplings fried in oil), Matoritor (a coconut sweet), and fiery Piri Piri.”
For more information on Mozambique and Dana Tours, visit www.danatours.com
About the Author
Dana Tours’ Director, Natalie Tenzer-Silva, was born in South Africa and relocated to Mozambique in the early 1990s, where she learned Portuguese. Natalie has been in the tourist sector since 1994, initially managing a large IATA travel agency and then becoming the largest inbound tour operator in Mozambique. Her language abilities and leadership abilities have earned her respect within Dana Tours, the Mozambican business community, and the government. Her leisure time is spent with her spouse and two sons.