Chimoio is the capital of Manica province and Mozambique’s fifth-largest town. While its tourist attractions are modest, it’s a pleasant place with an agreeable climate and worth a stop if you’re in the area. It’s also the jumping-off point for exploring the Chimanimani Mountains to the southwest.
Dry, dusty Tete doesn’t have much in the way of tourist attractions and its reputation as one of the hottest places in Mozambique often discourages visitors. Yet the arid, brown landscape, dotted with baobab trees and cut by the wide swathe of the Zambezi River, gives it a unique charm and an atmosphere quite unlike that of Mozambique’s other provincial capitals.
Cahora Bassa Dam
About 150km northwest of Tete, near the town of Songo, is massive Cahora Bassa, the fifth-largest dam in the world. It was completed in 1974, and is set at the head of a magnificent gorge in the mountains. It makes a good day or overnight trip from Tete. It’s also a wonderful destination for anglers, and is renowned for its tiger fish.
Gorongosa National Park
About 170km northwest of Beira is Gorongosa National Park, which was gazetted in 1960 and soon made headlines as one of southern Africa’s premier wildlife parks. It was renowned for its large prides of lions, as well as for its elephants, hippos, buffaloes and rhinos. During the 1980s and early 1990s, hungry soldiers and poachers brought an end to this abundance.
The large, lively town of Mocuba is the junction for travel between Quelimane and Nampula or Malawi. About 40km north, near Munhamade in Lugela district, are some hot springs. Also in Lugela district are the large Mt Mulide caves (cavernas do Monte Mulide), used during the war as a place of refuge by local populations.
The closest beach to Quelimane is Zalala Beach, about 30km northeast of town. Long and wide, with a row of fringing palms and a large village nearby, it’s an ideal day excursion for getting a taste of local Zambézian life. The drive out from Quelimane is bumpy and scenic, through extensive coconut plantations formerly owned by Companhia da Zambézia.
The mountainous Penha Longa area straddles the border with Zimbabwe, beginning about 20km north of Manica. It’s cool and scenic and offers many walks, all of which can be easily undertaken from Casa Gaswa or Quinta da Fronteira. The area is also home to the Shona people and you’ll see their traditional painted dwelling compounds dotting the hillsides.
Milange is a busy town with more than its share of hustlers, about 3km from the border (Melosa) with southeastern Malawi. Millennium BIM has an ATM. Pensão Reis, with hot running water, and Pensão Lili are both centrally located and have been recommended as safe, although it’s better to push on if possible and stay in either Mocuba or over the border in Mulanje (Malawi).
Marromeu is an old sugar-growing centre beside the Zambezi River, dating back to the late-19th century when the Portuguese Sugar Society of East Africa built a plantation and sugar factory here. After many years of neglect, the factory has been rehabilitated under Mauritian ownership, and is now Mozambique’s largest sugar processing mill.
About 60km further downstream from Sena and Mutarara is Caia, the main north–south crossing point. There’s no decent accommodation in Caia itself, but in Catapu, 32km south of Caia along the main road, is the very good M’phingwe Camp, with six rustic but spotless double cabins sharing facilities, plus one with its own bathroom. There is no camping.