Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, is the most popular starting point for any trips around the country. As Mozambique is a former Portuguese territory, you'll manage to get around easily if you know how to speak Portuguese. English is also spoken by many (particularly in more touristic areas), as the proximity to South Africa and the influx of South African vacationers in Mozambique have made this language more and more common.
To get around town, you should be familiar with the word "chapa," which is the local slang for bus. Chapas sport different colors depending on their route and destination and they are, by far, the most popular form of transportation. Routes aren't always clearly specified at the stops, so you'd be better off asking a local or at your Maputo hostel before leaving. Taxis are obviously common as well, and so are tuk-tuks (individual small taxis, that are more expensive than chapas, but not as much as proper taxis either).
If you like history, Maputo shall keep you entertained, particularly with buildings and monuments from the colonial times. The local train station is one of the favorites, particularly on weekend nights, as it's used as venue for concerts of different music genres -- this is a great place to see how locals party, and join in as well!
Apart from city oriented activities, Maputo also has several beaches, the most popular being Catembe and Ponta d'Ouro. Not only are the beaches great for taking walks or getting into the water on warm days, but they are also particularly eye-catching on weekends, when they become an extremely popular venue for wedding photography.
As Maputo is quite a big city, there are of course a lot of Maputo hotels from which you can choose, ranging from the typical backpackers places (where you'll get to meet international travelers) to other guesthouses with a more homey atmosphere. Anything located near "Baixa" (Portuguese for "Downtown") would be ideal, as you'd be close to transportation, restaurants, and in the center of it all!
Hi, I'm zararock,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Maputo hostels. Welcome.