Southern Mozambique

Maputo in Southern Mozambique is a capital blend of Portuguese and African influences. Savour the spicy flavour of this vibrant sea-port capital with its haunting colonial grandeur.


All year around


We divide Southern Mozambique into three discrete parts: Maputo, lodges relatively close or south of Maputo. And finally Tofu & resorts around or just north of Inhambane. We cover quite a bit of Mozambique on this page. So it’s useful to remember that the travelling distances in Mozambique are long and quite slow.


Maputo in Southern Mozambique is a capital blend of Portuguese and African influences. Savour the spicy flavour of this vibrant sea-port capital with its haunting colonial grandeur.

Maputo, the once-elegant capital of Mozambique, now as a somewhat faded charm. However, there are still echoes of the colonial grandeur of ‘Lourenço Marques’. The city is well worth a visit for its very Latin joie de vivre. This is reminiscent more of Cuba or Brazil than Africa. The appeal of Maputo is now more to the senses than aesthetics; with cafés serving spicy piri-piri dishes, local music and bustling markets.

Maputo is surprisingly prettily situated on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. It’s quite easy to have a sea view even if your hotel is not right on the ocean. There are several resorts accessed via a boat trip from Maputo such as Machangulo Lodge, Anvil Bay Lodge and the villa of Colina Verde.

There are direct flights to Maputo from Johannesburg or you can transfer from the Kruger by road as well.

City hall and statue of Michel Samora in Maputo, Mozambique

Beach Resorts south of Maputo

Some attractive Mozambique beach resorts have opened such as White Pearl Resorts in the far south and Machangulo Beach Lodge and Anvil Bay which are much closer to Maputo. Access too White Pearl can be via road from the southern border post into South Africa. Or from Maputo.

Fishing off Southern Mozambique

Barra & Tofu in Southern Mozambique

The Inhambane province is one of the most picturesque areas of southern Mozambique. There are pristine beaches for snorkelling, and diving in the warm Indian Ocean. It lies between Maputo in the south and Vilanculos in the centre of Mozambique.

The small resort town of Tofo is a particularly good choice for scuba diving and snorkelling with a choice of reefs. Here you may encounter beautiful Manta rays. In winter time you may also hear the haunting song of the humpback whales when they come into the coast to breed, an awesome sighting on a snorkelling or diving trip.

Access is currently quite difficult after Covid as there are fewer flights into Imhabane. It is a long road transfer north from Maputo. Otherwise Massinga Beach Lodge can be accessed from Vilanculos with a 2.5 hour transfer south to the lodge.


Why you may love it

  • Pristine beaches for snorkeling, and diving.
  • Maputo is only about an hour’s easy drive from the nearest border with South Africa.
  • A blend of Portuguese and African influences with cafés serving spicy piri-piri dishes, local music and bustling markets.
  • Most Maputo hotels can organised some guided excursions.
  • You can explore the broad acacia-lined avenues or street markets on your own time.

When to visit Southern Mozambique

December to March

Summer Rain in Southern Mozambique

In the south of Mozambique, the trade winds prevail. In the summer there’s enough heat and humidity to form thunderclouds so they bring rain. The rainiest month is January but the train is more erratic than in the north and generally lower. It can get very hot during some summer days (without the cooling effect of rain) heading up the mid-’30s and humid. But generally, it maxes out at 30c.
MAX TEMP 31 ℃ / 88 ℉
MIN TEMP 23 ℃ / 73 ℉

April & May

Start of the Dry season

This is a good transitional period when the rain tapers off and the dry season starts. However, the daytime temperatures stay warm to hot at 26-28C.
MAX TEMP 29 ℃ / 84 ℉
MIN TEMP 19 ℃ / 66 ℉

June to August

The Dry Season

This is the dry season and temperatures drop to 24-25C max during the day. The south-east trade winds bring pleasant sunny weather. But, sometimes due to cool weather coming from the west, the temperature can drop and nights can get cold. From July to September, you can watch humpback whales that come to the southern African coast to breed before returning to colder waters closer to Antarctica. Sea temperatures are high for swimming year-round but do go down to 23c from July to September.
MAX TEMP 24 ℃ / 75 ℉
MIN TEMP 15 ℃ / 59 ℉

September to November

Spring & Early Summer

This is probably the best time for a beach holiday in the south. Temperatures rise steadily from late August onwards becoming hot by November (max 27-28c with high humidity) just prior to the start of summer rains which start in earnest in January.
MAX TEMP 28 ℃ / 82 ℉
MIN TEMP 19 ℃ / 66 ℉

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