Flights to Beira
The busy port city of Beira is on the coast of central Mozambique. It was a Portuguese colony for many decades until independence in 1975, and today most people in Beira still speak Portuguese. It is the second-largest city in the country but most tourist facilities are very basic.
The city is served by the Beira Airport (airport code: BEW) but the service coming from Johannesburg can be quite limited. You can either fly non-stop with South African Airways, or get a 1-stop flight to Beira with Linhas Aereas de Mocambique. Their route has a transfer in Maputo. For more options, you could arrive at the Vilankulo Airport (code: VNX) though it is around 250km away from Beira.
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The Tourist Attractions of Beira:
There is a cathedral in the centre of town that was built from stones collected from the old ruins of the San Caetano fort in the nearby town of Sofala.
Mercado Central is the central market in Beira, and is a busy place filled with shoppers and open-air vendors with tables filled with fruit, vegetables and handicraft souvenirs.
There are several good beaches up the coast from the city, to either the north or the south but there is also one popular one that is right within Beira. Makuti Beach is in a residential part of the city and is sandy and clean. The undertow can be strong and so swimming is sometimes not allowed. A walk along the beach is a lovely way to pass some time, and there is an old lighthouse at the northern end.
Gorongosa National Park
Gorongosa National Park is the largest wildlife park near Beira though the animal populations are not very high due to past conflict in the area. Even so, you can still see lions, zebra, hippos, gazelles of many species, leopards, elephants and baboons in spots throughout the park. There are more than 400 birds known to frequent the area as well. As for the scenery, there are forests and grasslands as well as a lake and the slopes of Mount Gorongosa to be seen.
Farther up the coast to the north of Beira is the Marromeu Reserve, and this park can be a challenge to get to because there are no major roads from Beira. Efforts are currently underway to restore the buffalo population here, but you can definitely still see animals like antelope, hippo, zebra, cheetahs, lions and wild dogs. It is mostly grassland through the area but there are also some wetlands where hundreds of waterbirds are found.
When Should You Visit?:
It is hot in Beira and the weather only changes by a few degrees through the year. The hottest time of the year is in January and February when the temperature will reach 31C (87F) in the daytime and only cool slightly at nights. Spring and autumn are a little less hot, and the coolest months are June and July when it will only reach 24C (76F) during the day. These are really the best months for travelling to Beira because the rains are also at their lowest for the year.