After a lovely yesterday with Nadi in her motherland of Malawi, today we woke up at an ungodly hour of 5:00am to catch a 5:30am cab to the airport, arriving at 6:00am.
After an uneventful check-in process at Lilongwe’s no-frills airport, we boarded an 8:00am Malawi Airlines flight that first stopped over for 45 minutes in Malawi’s economic capital city of Blantyre, before taking off again for Johannesburg.
We landed in Jo’burg at around noon for a 90 minute layover before boarding again for our connecting 1:50pm South African Airways flight for Maputo. We landed about an hour later at 3pm.
And despite all these connections within a span of a single morning, we managed to make all our flights and not have any of our checked luggage lost in the process.
Mozambique’s visa process was remarkably smooth, with all of us having acquired the $160 USD single-entry visa beforehand (Mozambique is notorious for their unpredictable visa-on-arrival situation), and Mikey and Samantha finally deciding to get their yellow fever shots at the airport (after being stopped for the 3rd time for not having their yellow fever vaccination cards).
Whereas the yellow fever shot had cost me over $200 USD back in the USA, the shots here cost them $50 USD each!
Afterwards we were picked up by Fatima’s Backpackers (airport transfers are free if you book with them) where we then dropped our stuff and headed out into Maputo to explore.
After about half an hour of walking, we first stopped by Independence Plaza, flanked by neoclassical City Hall and the white spired Cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Canceicao (which you also can’t enter).
A little further south is Iron House (Casa Ferro), designed by Alexandre Gustav Eiffel (of the Eiffel Tower fame) as a governor’s residence. It’s a far cry from the Eiffel…but you can see still the influences?
Then we swung by the Municipal Market, teeming with endless stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish:
Afterwards we walked a few blocks over to The Workers Plaza, which faces the national landmark of Maputo’s Railway Station, of which its dome was designed by an associate of Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.
As the sun began to set, we walked by the 19th century fort preserved from the days back when Mozambique was a Portuguese colony…
…before settling at O Escarpiao Restaurant for dinner. Although it’s written as one of the more popular restaurants in Maputo, it didn’t seem so on a Tuesday evening as we were the only people there.
Nevertheless, it was one of the better meals we’ve had so far.
Now it’s another night of rest in as we’re waking up at 5am tomorrow to catch the first bus to Swaziland!
– At time of posting in Maputo, Mozambique, it was 68 °F – Humidity: 83% | Wind Speed: 11km/hr | Cloud Cover: lightly cloudy