"Inhambane, Mozambique" Inhambane by FrankTheron

Inhambane Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 36 photos

Exotic destination on the Mozambique East coast

Inhambane is known as "Terra da Boa Gente" - Land of the Gentle People ( aname given by Vasco da Gama. A quaint little town on the East coast of Mozambique, located some 460 km north of Maputo. Inhambane has a mix of African, Arabic and Portuguese cultures and offers much to see in terms of architecture, historical buildings, etc and its origins date back to the 15th century.
Of special interest are:
- The old Hoffman House was built by Oswald Hoffman in the middle of the 19th century to serve as a commercial centre in 1908. It was reatored in 1935 to become the Carlton Hotel but partially burnt down in 1974. Finally, it was rebuilt to host several offices.
- The Casa Grandela was built between 1940 and 1950 in an Art Deco architectural style. The shape reminds of a ship’s bow with its view towards the horizon as it was used as a lookout for incoming ships.
- The 169 year old cathederal (Church of Srª da Conceição) was built in 1840. While the original building plans foresaw a wooden structure, in practice stone was used to ensure durability of the church.
- Maritime House (Capitão) is the oldest building at the harbor and was built before 1885. In 1918 it was used as living space for navy officials before it became to be known as the maritime club.
- Telecommunication House of Mozambique was built in thr late 18th century.
- Inhambane Museum gives an overview of traditional music instruments and art objects of different African cultures. Furthermore, photography from the colonization period can be admired.
- The Mercado (Municipal is usually a hive of activity but a very safe place to purchase local wood carvings, woven baskets, water colour and batik paintings. There is also an abundance of fruit and vegetables in season available.

There are no supermarkets in Inhambane, but the usual grocery or clothing items can be purchased at the various little arabic shops or at the market. There is a branch of one of South Africa's clothing retail stores, there are chemists and the bakeries offer deliciously freshly baked bread and cakes.

The town itself is the portal to some exquisite holiday destinations on the coastline e.g. the well known Barra Reef and Tofo Bay.

The Barra Reef

The Barra Reef is a sand bar jutting out into the Indian Ocean, about 24 Km eat of Inhambane. The Reef is flanked on the one side with unique mangrove swamps and with the pristine, warm ocean on the other. It hosts a wide variety of Lodges, ranging from comfortable 3-star to luxury, upmarket 5-star accommodation.
There are also a wide range of activities available, such as scuba and snorkelling, 4-wheeler trips, horseriding, etc, not to mention sunbathing, long (safe) walks on the beach and swimming in the warm ocean. All the restaurants at the various resorts offer delicious seafood dishes as well as local cuisine.

Tofo Bay

Tofo is another quaint little seaside resort which was very popular with the Portuguese locals in earlier years. This town, about 20 km from Inhambane, is now a backpacker haven and largely caters for the younger, adventurous generation.
Accommodation at Tofo ranges from backpacker lodgings to a local hotel as well as upmarket lodges for the discerning traveller. there are a host of interesting restaurants offering delicious seafood and local cuisine.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very affordable and good value for money. The Barra Reef or Tofo locations are absolutely spectacular.
  • Cons:Sightseeing is limited to Inhambane town which can be covered in a day. The coast however makes up for that.
  • In a nutshell:Inhambane is an awesome place to visit!
  • Last visit to Inhambane: Nov 2008
  • Intro Updated Jun 17, 2009
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Reviews (1)

Comments (8)

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2009 at 8:28 PM

    Frank, what an impressive introduction with lots of valuable information, background, history, etc. Your tip is a 5-star one. Keep up the excellent work.

  • doug48's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2009 at 4:50 AM

    frank, nice start on your mozambique page. regards, doug

  • GrantBoone's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2009 at 4:37 AM

    good start Frank!

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    Be warned Frank - this site is addictive. Thanks for the friendship request.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2009 at 8:42 AM

    Wonderful page so far! Nice tip!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2009 at 7:59 AM

    Nice faraway places to visit....

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2009 at 6:49 AM

    Excellent information and photos of Inhambane , Frank.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2009 at 4:59 AM

    Welcome to VirtualTourist! I enjoyed reading your first tip. I've never been to Inhambane, but I did visit my daughter once while she was working in Maputo. I hope you will be adding more tips on Mozambique!

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