The picturesque town of Inhambane is situated along a beautiful stretch of Mozambique coast, 480km north of Maputo.
The town itself has very good access to the Inhambane International Airport, and daily flights from Johannesburg and Maputo. There are also three flights a week connecting Inhambane to Vilanculos.
To drive from Johannesburg to Inhambane it takes approximately 11 hours (watch out for public and school holidays, as there will be long delays at the border). Once you reach the town, it is a further 30 minutes to the Tofo and Bara areas.
History of Inhambane Mozambique
The settlement owes its existence to a deep inlet into which the small river, the Matamba, flows. This harbor was originally valuable for trade and hence the town’s importance grew.
The town of Maxixe is located across the bay and can easily be accessed by ferries and dhows. Inhambane ranks as one of the oldest settlements on the East Coast of Mozambique. Dhows traded here as early as the 11th century.
Muslim and Persian traders were the first outsiders to arrive in the area by sea, trading pearls and, of course, slaves.
Vasco Da Gama landed here in the late 1400’s and took an immediate liking to the area. The Portuguese eventually established a permanent trading post at this settlement in 1534.
Inhambane was then chosen as the first Jesuit mission to East Africa in the mid 1500’s, who then went on to establish a number of missions, especially in Northern Mozambique. Gradually the Muslim stronghold on local religion was removed.
The port gradually grew as an ivory and slave trading centre, becoming the most important trading post for the Portuguese in Southern Mozambique. A cathedral was built in the 1800’s which still stands today.
In the early 1900’s, the status of the town declined and Maputo (called Lourenco Marques before 1975) became the main center of focus for Portugal.
The 170 year old Cathedral of our Lady of Conception is located in the old quarter of the city where a rusted ladder leads to the top of the spire, offering panoramic views of the city and harbor.
The city is now home to a museum and a market and is known for its nearby beaches of Tofo and Barra. Motor and dhow taxis sail from the town to Maxixe. The town of Inhambane has one of the largest working fleets of dhows on the East African coastline!
What to do in Inhambane Mozambique
- Visits to Bara, Inhambane, Tofo and other well-known places in the area.
- Ferry trips from Maxixe to Inhambane. If you drive to Inhambane it will take you 1 ½ hours, with the ferry it will only take 15 minutes. Quite an experience and very affordable. You can hire your own ferry and skipper or make use of the big ferry.
- Deepsea fishing. Own boat or bookings with boats available on the island.
- Scuba diving, sunset cruises, visits to Pansy Island to enjoy snorkelling or picking up of pansies and other shells. You can either hire a dhow or make arrangements with Castelo Du Mar for a luxurious trip on the Massinga yacht. Enquire at reception.
- For Bird Watchers there are excellent opportunities. Rear species to be spotted. Special packages can be arranged in low season for groups.
- Exploring coconut plantations.
- Mangrove swamp excursions. Recommendable. It’s beautiful between the mangroves. Enquire at reception for a dhow and skipper if you don’t have your own boat.
- Dugong spotting. (Linga is one of the few places in the world where you can still see this near to extinction sea cow)
|Languages spoken||Portuguese, Ba Tonga|
|Currency used||Mozambican Metical (MZN)|