"How Do I Get to Mozambique Island?"
Located two and half miles off the Mozambican coast, Iha de Moçambique (Mozambique Island) is one of the country’s best kept secrets. Originally, Mozambique’s first capital, the island is a treasure trove of history, culture, and beautiful scenic views. If you are planning to visit Mozambique the “Ilha” is definitely a can’t miss destination.
When discussing Mozambique Island one of the most frequent questions I receive is, “How do I get to there?”
For most travelers the easiest way to get to Mozambique Island is to first fly into Nampula and then take a car to the island. The majority of travelers arrive in Nampula via Johannesburg. The two major airlines that fly in and out of Nampula from Johannesburg are LAM and Airlink. LAM will usually have the cheaper prices but be prepared to experience delays. During my first visit to Mozambique Island I booked my flight through LAM and arrived at the airport only to discover that the airline was out of fuel and the flight was cancelled until the following day. Not exactly what you want to hear, especially if you have a connecting flight to catch.
Airlink has a single flight every day from Johannesburg to Nampula. Although Airlink is the more expensive option, the extra cash is worth the peace of mind. Traveling to a foreign country brings enough added stress to your life and wondering whether or not your flight is going to arrive on time or at all doesn’t need to be one more thing to worry about. For this very reason Airlink is my go-to when I need to fly in and out of Nampula. I have used it several times and have never had a single issue.
Once you have touched down in Nampula it’s a 2 ½ hour drive to the island. If you are traveling on a budget, taking one of the local chapas is your most cost-effective option. However, taking a chapa is not for the faint of heart. Chapas are vans with essentially nonexistent suspension and zero AC. On top of that your driver is going to pack in as many people as possible for the trip and won’t depart until the vehicle is full. While it’s a great opportunity to make new friends, it doesn’t make for the most comfortable travel experience.
Again, although it’s going to cost you a little extra money, your best option is to hire a car for the day. When booking at Rickshaws Pousada e Café the staff can arrange transportation with one of the island’s private drivers. By working with a private driver, you are guaranteed to have a vehicle with AC and a smooth ride to and from the island. Traveling to a new country for the first time can be really intimidating. Knowing you have easy and reliable transportation goes a long way when planning your island adventure.