Northern Mozambique is served by three main airports: Nampula, Pemba and Lichinga. The two largest, Nampula and Pemba, have connections to Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa. Lichinga only offers domestic flights,
Buses from southern and central Mozambique converge on Nampula, the region's largest city. Lichinga acts a gateway to Malawi and, to a lesser extent, Tanzania. Buses from Tanzania also stop at the border north of Palma.
Travelling by Bus in the North: A Beginner's Guide
Very hot, very crowded and very Mozambican, bus travel in the north is not for the faint-hearted. But, while the seats might not be over-comfortable and the bus station toilets are more than a little iffy, travelling on a chapa (minibus) or machibombo (coach) will mean you get to meet people, save money on flying, and experience life as Mozambicans live it.
Here are a few useful tips for aspiring bussers:
- There are no printed bus timetables and very little information is available online.
- Routes, departure times and fares can change on a dime.
- All transport leaves early in the morning – sometimes as early as 2am and rarely after 6am.
- Chapas leave when they’re full – and ‘full’ means crammed to the rafters.
- Most buses are fairly old and well used, and few have air-conditioning or toilets.
- On larger buses seats are often oversold, meaning some people have to stand.
- Most cities don’t have central bus terminals; buses leave from several points around town.
- Numerous private companies run buses, but they seem to come and go rapidly. Relatively ubiquitous are Maning Nice and Nagi Investimentos. On major north–south routes there are Etrago and Esta Na Moda. Also present in some areas are Sckelane, Acai and Bus 2000.