There are a number of different scuba diving centres in Ponta. I chose to dive with Blowing Bubbles which is perhaps one of the smaller outfits in Ponta. The main factor in choosing this dive centre is the high level of personalised service that I received throughout my time diving with Blowing Bubbles. Mike, the owner, took time to find out what my real dive interests were and then tailored the dive programme to meet my interests. Mike really knows the local reefs and is passionate about diving and giving divers the best possible experience. The reefs were in fantastic condition and there was an abundance of sea life, my favourite site was Pinnacles which was an amazing deep dive site that, given the opportunity, I would choose to dive time and time again.
The dive centre is based at Gala Gala Eco Resort which is nestled in some beautiful indigenous forest. Mike picked me up daily from where I was staying and gave me a lift back at the end of a days diving. The five centre itself is very well equipped with a pleasant, clean and spacious kit up area. The RIB boat is in excellent condition and safety on board was good. Overall, I would definitely recommend this dive centre for divers of all levels of experience
Centrally located, this is one of the few historic buildings in Beira to emerge from the civil war in reasonable repair. The cathedral was built in the early part of the 20th Century with stones that once formed part of San Caetano fort across the bay in Sofala. There is a children's playground in the gardens of the cathedral.
I wanted to dive in Vilanculos because I specifically wanted to dive on Two Mile Reef off Bazaruto. My choice of dive centre was Odyssea Divers who are based at Casa Babi. It was very convenient for me as I was staying at Casa Babi anyway but from the outset I was really pleased with the way in which my queries were answered promptly and efficiently. From the outset it was clear that the centre had a very high level of professionalism.
Even if you are not staying at Casa Babi (and many of the divers who book with them are staying elsewhere) the dive centre is really conveniently situated as it is accessible via a pleasant stroll along the beach from other accommodations or off the sand road that runs parallel to the beach. This was the one dive centre where I did have to hire equipment as my bag had not been loaded on to my flight. The equipment was well maintained and in good condition. They also had plenty of different sized masks so I did not suffer the infernal problem of a leaking mask as I was able to find one that was a good fit.
The RIB boat was in excellent condition and the boat skipper extremely skilful and knowledgeable especially when negotiating the passage of water that was known locally as "the washing machine" in order to drop us on Two Mile Reef. Dive briefings were comprehensive and as the dive instructors Francisco and Virginie were multi-lingual it meant that everyone clearly understood the plan. My diving was solely with Francisco and I found him to be excellent. He really knew the reef and could show us the little nooks and crannies that allowed us to see some of he smaller stuff. Diving in Vilanculos is high quality - the corals are in excellent condition and marine life is abundant.
The surface interval was spent on Bazaruto Island and lunch was provided by the dive centre in the form of very tasty sandwiches. Upon our return to the dive centre we were greeted with freshly baked cakes and hot drinks. Francisco spent time helping people to fill in their logs, patiently identifying the different fish species seen on the dives and really helping people to gain a greater understanding of the marine life seen.
If you are looking to dive in Vilanculos then I would strongly recommend diving with Odyssea Dive Centre.
Having spent some time diving in Pemba off Wimbe Beach I decided to venture further afield and dive the opposite side of the bay. I dived with Pemba Arti Lodge that is owned and run by Arnaud and Martinez Borchard. Arnaud took the time to talk to me and find out what my diving interests were and then pick the dive sites accordingly. The dives were amazing and on all dives there was just Anaud and myself diving with absolutely no other divers around. The corals were in excellent condition and although over- fishing in the area has taken its toll on the marine life, I would without hesitation recommend diving at least for one day on this side of the bay.
I dived with CI Divers because it was recommended by Rudi at Pemba Dive Centre and Bush Camp. CI Divers is owned and run by Pieter Jacobs. The centre is just off Wimbe Beach and offers diving for all levels of ability. It is quite a small set up but Pieter took time to talk to me, find out my diving interests and then select the most appropriate dives. There is a good range of sites and the corals are in excellent condition. Unfortunately overfishing in Pemba means that there is not the abundance of fish life that I had seen elsewhere in Mozambique.
Although I was using my own equipment, the centre had a wide range of rental gear that was very well maintained. The dive centre offer a range of cylinder sizes at no extra cost. This proved to be very good as the person that I was diving with was considerably heavier on air than I was and it prevented my dives getting cut short!
There are a number of dive centres in Tofo and the one that I chose to dive with was Tofo Scuba. My initial reasons for choosing this dive centre was the free nitrox and the location of the centre. Once there, I found everyone working at the centre to be incredibly professional and very well organised. All equipment was extremely well maintained, dive briefings were comprehensive and on every dive there was someone leading the dive and someone else sweeping to make sure that everyone descended without difficulty. The boats are in excellent condition and the skippers are extremely experienced and knowledgeable.
Diver safety is clearly a priority here and although diving was cancelled on one day I was there it was clear that conditions were not conducive to diving and you have to remember that there are no recompression chambers nearby. In my mind, a centre that is prepared to cancel dives ( and therefore lose money) if there is any doubt about diver safety is the centre to dive with. Everyone at the centre is incredibly friendly and make you feel welcome from the moment you walk through the door. Between dives the location of the centre right on the beach means that it is a great place to relax. In addition to this, there is free wifi and also a very good cafe on site making it even more convenient.
Camping at Barra Beach is really lots of fun. Aside from having a very wide Beach facing the Indian Ocean, the area is completey filled with coconut plantation which serve as shelter and provide conducive temperature. When we were there spent one night stay. The beach was very silent and clean. There were no dried branches or dried leaves stranded on the shores. Loud music was not allowed or drive many times with the car or motorbikes or anything that will disturb the peace especially for those who wanted to experience the silence and the tranquility of the Beach. The Beach Adminitrator officially made this as a Beach regulation in Barra. So if you wanted to enjoy this beautiful piece of Nature away from home then i can advice this for you. They have everything here necessary for Camping. Direct on the Beach side is a Native Bar and Restaurant which provide African Foods and all available African drink shakes you wanted to have including alcoholic drinks. The Bar keeper is a lovely african guy that enjoyed our conversational company. ( I have a picture of this due to my chaotic organization, I still have to look for it.See next time.)
Standing in absolute contrast to the Communist Themed avenues and statues to great Mozambique leaders is the Louis Tregardt Trek memorial garden. A commemorative plaque in memory of the Voortrekker leader Louis Tregardt was unveiled on 12 October 1968 when South African Navy ships SAS Simon van der Stel, Kimberley and Mosselbaai visited Lourenço Marques (now Maputo).
Tregardt was a pioneer in the Boer ‘Great Trek’ movement. The Boers felt that the continued influx of British settlers and the emancipation of slaves in 1833 they need to leave for greener pastures. He formed a group of 9 families who set out for the Portuguese Colony of Delagoa Bay (Maputo) to establish trade links and find new lands. He is the acknowledged leader of the Voorste Mense (The Great Trek's `people in front'). He found Delagoa Bay in 1838, but he and many in his party died from Malaria.
More information can be found at:
Map of the treks of Louis Tregardt and J. Van Rensburg
Scala is an art house cinema/arts centre that is named after the Teatro alla Scala (Scala Theatre) built in Milan under the auspices of the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1776. The actuality does not live up to the grandeur of its namesake, but it is an art cinema in the true sense of the name. The day I visited my guide told me it was closed because it ran out of money (again), but I can find film times there for tomorrow on the internet, so it is open again! The building houses a cafe, restaurant, snack bar, a bakery and take-away service.
There is also a Production Company housed here called PROMARTE (Tel: +258 1 425365, Fax: +258 1 422434, M?vil: + 258 82 30 22 350, email@example.com). They recently produced a movie called ?O Jardim do Outro Homem? which tells the all too real tale of a woman contracting AIDS from a man who refuses to wear a condom.
So, if it is open, stop by and find out what movie is playing and what other activities are available.
Beautiful trip to the Magaruque island of the Bazaruto archipel where you can spend most of the day snorkeling on the coral reefs, lay on the sun and have a magnificent seafood meal, cooked on the boat just for you!
The old fort was built by the Portuguese in the mid - 19th century near the site of an earlier fort.
Inside is a garden and a small museum with remnanats from the era of early Portuguese forys to the era.
Casa e Museu Malangatana;
It's possible to visit the house and studio of Malangatana, Moz's most renowned painter.
It is filled with dozens of his own paintings as well as several sculptures of Alberto Chissano. Call ahead to arrange an appointment.
This massive market has it all. Outside the entrance you can find men selling watches and sunglasses. Unfortunately you can also find your pocket picked by the many thieves that stare at you as you walk by. Inside is an explosion of colourful fruits and vegetables (mostly from South Africa). As you walk towards the interior you find the fish and meat stalls. Be careful, many of the workers do not like to have their picture taken. Go just a bit farther and you come upon the nut stand full of fresh roasted cashews and other tropical nuts. After that you will find the necessities of life like pots, soap and beauty products. Tucked just at the rear are the souvenir stands. Everything is available and every price is negotiable. Walking around is an experience itself even if you are not there to buy anything.
Want to go to Mozambique from South Africa? The High Commission in Nelspruit is the closest Consulate Moz has to the border. If you come from a Portuguese speaking country, you may not need a visa. Every other nationality is welcome – as long as you pay. They do it in about 1 hour. The office is now at 32 Bell Street - upstairs.
Most guidebooks and websites have them at their old address. They are on a side road behind a petrol garage. I have pictures to guide you there. Want to drive to Moz? You need paperwork from your car rental company.
Don’t rely on email and they have no website. In fact their attitude sucks. Welcome to Moz.
The French-Mozambican Cultural Centre is housed in a large, mostly wrought iron, building across from the Cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao. The large structure was a colonial hotel built in 1896. It was opened at the Cultural Centre on 13 July 1995. You can wonder in for free and see various art works and dsipalys. There is also a large concert area. Check out the website or the Time Out Magazine for up coming shows and exhibits.
Do not worry about the crocodile in the fountain area. He is a work of art as well!
Av, Samora Machel, 468 Maputo , Mozambique
tel : (+258) (1) 21 31 45 90 / 21 31 45 99 / 21 32 07 87
Openings -> Mon : 14h - 18h, Tues-Fri : 9h - 18h, Sat : 9h - 12h