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.
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.
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.
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.
by Eric Savage
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
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