Marracuene and Macaneta. North of Maputo

Macaneta in Mozambique.

The EN1, which starts at Av. de Mozambique, links Maputo with the provinces to the north. The road surface is good but watch your speed particularly during the holiday season. There are numerous resorts along the way, which are popular 'getaway' spots for the people of Maputo.

The EN1, which starts at Av. de Mozambique, links Maputo with the provinces to the north. The road surface is good but watch your speed particularly during the holiday season. There are numerous resorts along the way, which are popular 'getaway' spots for the people of Maputo.

Marracuene

31 km from Maputo, the Portuguese landed here in the 16th century and were met with resistance from the local people. Up until the 70's, Marracuene was a popular holiday town but suffered badly during the war years and the marks of bullets may still be seen in the walls of the town's buildings. However it is a picturesque town with an historic feel and if you have an interest in architecture, it is well worth rambling around the town.

One place to visit is the Parque de Campismo de Marracuene, approximately 26km from Maputo, which is a peaceful spot in a beautiful woodland setting. Camping facilities and chalets are available at a reasonable price and it is possible to hire a boat there and cross the river to Macaneta. It is possible to fish on the river and the area is rich in bird life. Many people pass through Marracuene en route to the beaches at Macaneta, which can be reached from the ferry (batelăo) across the Incomati River.

To get to the ferry point, take the right hand turn just outside the town, passing the mosque on the left and taking the left turn at the bottom of the road. The dock is nearby, down a small sand road. Usually the wait for the ferry and the trip across will take no more than 20 minutes but allow longer for Sundays and holidays. Julio's Kiosk, the snack bar beside the dock, is a good place to hang out while you're waiting. There is also a fish market at the dock, which sells fresh crab, prawns, and clams at good prices if you are planning a barbeque for later on in the day.

If you plan to visit Incomati River Camp, then you should wait here for their boat, which usually leaves at about 10am. Across the river is a sand road which leads to Jay's Lodge, the Complexo Túristico Macaneta and Incomati River Camp. Usually you should be able to make the trip without a 4x4, but from time to time the road surface deteriorates so it's best to check before you set out. As you drive towards the point, the Incomati River is to your right and the sea to the left.

For an unforgettable experience, stop in at Jays Beach Lodge and campsite. Secluded campsites are nestled behind the dunes. All sites have running water, a basic barbeque and thatched shelter. The campsite offers communal showers with H/C and flush toilets. Luxury en-suite chalets are available, H/C showers, flush toilets, all crockery and cutlery, bed linen etc provided. Fully maid serviced. The chalets are either self-catering or full board on request - Karibu Bar available for residents only. A wonderful sparkling fresh water pool is also available for chalet residents only.

The beach bar and restaurant are set in a beautiful garden, making for a relaxing and memorable stay. Scrumptious lunches are available- fish, fresh salad and garlic bread a speciality. There is also a volleyball court for the more energetic guests! Conference facilities available at Karibu Bar - Prices available on request.

The Complexo Túristico Macaneta offers accommodation and has a busy seafood restaurant, which caters for many of the visitors to the beach. It's best to order your meal for a set time on the way to the beach. At times, the current can be quite strong near the point so it's not an ideal beach for young children or poor swimmers. As you drive along the road to the point you will see the sign for Incomati River Camp on the left, an alternative to taking the Camp's boat.

The Camp is situated on the banks of the Incomati River and is a secluded, peaceful hideaway. The accommodation was designed to blend into the surrounding bush with minimum impact on the environment and it works very well. The camp is open to day visitors for a reasonable charge, inclusive of lunch, which consists of fresh, local ingredients cooked in Mozambican or Portuguese style. Those staying longer can avail themselves of a boat trip to Macaneta beach or a river cruise.

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