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Fatima's Place Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
As one of the few hostels in Maputo, Fatima's Place Hostel is a melting pot for all kinds of travelers passing through. Certainly you'll be hit by the vibey colour of the place when you arrive -- a fusion of Portuguese and African razzmatazz. Africa is of course a generally quaint and colourful destination, and it comes as no surprise that Fatima's is not exactly a five-star, glass skyscraper experience -- but that's not why you would have come here anyway.

The Location

Maputo in general is a slightly shambolic, mixed-pace city. The core of the city carries the remains of the Portuguese colonial legacy, with a handful of broad, dusty avenues now named after revered Communist legends. Every house has a personal security guard, including Fatima's Place, so you might be inclined to wander what you're being protected from. You should know as well that the Mozambican police are notoriously corrupt, so keep hold of your personal belongings and identification as much as possible.

A few minutes out from the city core, you're straight into sprawling shantytowns with endless markets and mud houses. It's a unique experience of course, assuming you have a car and you're prepared to get temporarily lost. The beach is also not far away, but the water is dirty and the experience is unremarkable.

Fatima's Place is located in the Portuguese core along one of the main thoroughfares. You'll be within walking distance of the shops, restaurants, and amenities, although it's obviously better to go in groups. The hostel has some parking space, but be sure to get the order of parking right, so that early departures don't require waking you up at dawn to move your car.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms themselves are a little varied, but come equipped with mosquito nets, which are a necessity in this malaria zone. It's mostly a precaution, but an anti-malarial prescription from your doctor is also highly suggested. Given the hot climate, the idea of closing the windows is not an option, even with electric fans installed in some rooms. The bathrooms are of varied quality. Those downstairs are quite nice, but upstairs is closer to a one-star experience -- small spaces and not so clean.

Common Spaces

The real winner here is the social area -- clearly a lot of work has gone into decoration and Fatima's is a good place to chill out and meet interesting people. Certainly there are all types here and you'll want to catch up with others and know what to see and what not to see, given the lack of information in general.

The kitchen facilities include kettle, stove, and cutlery. The area is very much communal and dishes pile up fairly quickly. It's all a bit rustic, so if cleanliness is paramount to you, don't hold your breath.

Summary

Fatima's Place is probably a nicer version of Maputo. This part of the world is a little bit of the "backwoods" as far as international destinations go, and if you're visiting Mozambique, you'll probably only want to spend a day or two in Maputo before jumping on a tour bus to the truly exotic destinations further north. If you're looking for a stopover in Maputo, Fatima's will do fine. The vibe is great, although a little rough round the edges.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
December 2010

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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
4   Wonderful experience Our first time visit at a backpacker accommodation at Fatima's place in Avenida Mao Tse Tung. Place and rooms were very clean. All staff (Tenaccio and Audrey and the lady who picked us up at arrival) and other staff whose names I cant remember were very helpful and efficient. My husband and I were highly satisfied at Fatima's place and will definitely return there and refer other people as well. Well done ... keep it up.  , South Africa ()
1   Bedbugs, mice, and cockroaches!!!! March 2010 Fatima's in Maputo has bedbugs. Don't know about Tofo but imagine they do as well as many travelers go between the two places. I have a string of bites on my legs and back. And so do two other people who stayed in the dorm room with me. They are not mosquito bites! Also person sleeping in bunk above me had two cockroaches crawling on her in middle of night. She felt it crawling and in morning one was dead in the sheets and other was still alive and scurried off she she flicked it off the bed onto the floor. That evening we also saw a mouse that jumped outside of a girl's duffel bag. she had just come from Tofo/Fatima's so either the mouse traveled 8 hours from Tofo or it was already at Fatima's/Maputo but either way there are mice, too. I will NEVER be coming back to Fatima's and I will tell every website I can find about the experience there. And I pray that I can get rid of them before I arrive home so that bedbugs do not infest my home. That said, the staff is very friendly but who cares how friendly staff is when they can't be bothered to get rid of bedbugs. We informed the receptionist and he got angry and denied the situation, telling us that we were bitten by sand flies. Yeah, right! But what about the roaches and the mice???? Beware staying at Fatima's Maputo and Tofo. A lot of people go from Maputo to stay at their Tofo hostel, which means, it's likely that travelers are transporting bedbugs between the two hostels.  , British ()
1   Unfriendly, corrupt, and badly situated We stayed there a few times and every time we were told that there were no dorm beds available, which turned out to be a lie. We were also forced to pay for an extra night after our taxi broke down and we couldn't get there before 12 to remove our luggage. We spoke to Fatima herself and she just shrugged and walked away.  , RSA ()
2   Place to Avoid I stayed here in September 2008. I've stayed at backpackers throughout Southern Africa, and Fatima's Place in Maputo is the least welcoming and dirtiest place I've stayed. In addition, they tried to charge us nearly double the price listed in a 2008 backpackers guidebook. The staff were not friendly, except for one nice lady. We arrived at night and there were a bunch of random locals hanging out in the lounge, and we had to search for someone to check us in, who did so with such reluctance you would think it was Chinese water torture. He would not look me in the eye or respond to my questions. The old men who guard the gate are nice. But the showers are dirty because the owners are too cheap to buy decent shower curtains or redesign the bathrooms so it's possible to shower without pouring water all over the floors. Had to search for toilet paper. Our double room was pretty clean except for a dead bug under the pillow. But the dorm rooms didn't look very clean. This place has potential -- I like how they've planted bushes and plants in the garden, and it has a cool funky design in general. But the whole place just needs a rehab! If you don't have a car and need to stay in city center, grit your teeth and bear Fatima's.  , USA ()
2   Unfriendly staff, impossible to sleep If you want to get some sleep, Fatima's Place in Maputo is not the right place to be. The rooms are right next to the party area and the music was going on all night. The staff were very unfriendly. You could almost get the feeling they disliked all their customers and rather saw there were none so they could just hang around and do whatever they wanted to do. We arrived there just to find out that they hadn't booked us for that night as promised, and when trying to get help you would get the silent treatment and the bored look in their faces trying their best not to completely ignore you. If you're up for a party though, I'm sure that place works. Another thing, don't go with the expensive taxis outside of their place, when you can easily take a local bus at a very cheap price (and then the bus gives you the entertainment of riding local buses as well)!  , Sweden ()
2   Interesting I am not sure what Fatima uses as her hiring policy but it is extraordinarily hit and miss. On my way up to Tofo I stayed here, mainly because I have stayed at base before and am not a huge fan of the place, and the staff member behind the Reception/Bar was quite possibly the most useful person I have ever encountered at a backpackers anywhere in the world. Ended up sitting up chatting with him and a few others until the early hours and he remained friendly and helpful throughout. On the way back however, if Fatima ever reads this it was night duty 15th and 16th day duty guy on those days was the useful guy from arriving in Moz, I arrived at 5 p.m. to find an empty Reception/Bar. After asking others I was pointed to the guy sitting in front of the TV so I asked him if he had space and he said he would be right with me. Twenty minutes later (when the show he was watching finished) he strolled over to actually help me. He then sat himself down again and I watched a dozen or so other people turn up and receive similar treatment. The following evening the same guy disappeared off with a blond woman at 7pm and reappeared at 2 a.m. just coming back to lock everything up and presumably head back to bed again. People arriving simply had to figure out for themselves which dorms had space and forget about any bar service. The following morning, same shift, one of the cleaning staff ended up taking over reception as he had not reappeared.  , UK ()
3  Fatima's place is ok but not really great -- just a basic place to transit. the only thing I wanted to underline is the fact that the staff propose to arrange a taxi bus to Inhambane-Tofo for 450MTn and it's 250 if you do it yourself to Inhambane, and then in Inhambane you can find public buses which drive you to Tofo for 10MTn.  ()
4  i spent a few days here in december 2004. as a seventeen-year-old girl who had never traveled without parents, i found the place a fantastic adventure. if you expect five-star quality then don't book at a backpackers. if you want fun, adventure, excitement, and a bit of a laugh then i say go for it! the staff were very friendly, and although things might not be done quite how they should be, people just have to relax! It's an experience and one to remember. i'm going back again for sure! for those that don't enjoy it, maybe next time try to relax and go with the flow -- have a little fun!  ()

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