Flights to Nampula
Nampula is a provincial capital in northern Mozambique, and the main commercial centre for the region. There are some sights in the city but it is not a typical tourist destination. Several good roads go through Nampula so it can be easy to reach from other major cities.
There are not a lot of options, but you can get a flight to Nampula Airport (airport code: APL) when departing from Johannesburg. South African Airways has a non-stop flight that is under 3 hours long, and you can also get a 1-stop flight with Linhas Aereas de Mocambique. Their flight to Nampula goes through Maputo and takes more than 25 hours due to the time delay between the connections. You can also get regular flights to Nampula with Airlink.
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The Tourist Attractions of Nampula:
The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese but many people in Nampula also speak Swahli and local dialects of Makhuwa. There may be some people who speak English but you should not count on it. This area of the country is more Muslim than the south, so modest clothing is a good idea though such restrictions are not that necessary.
Mozambique National Ethnographic Museum
This cultural and historical museum has many collections of carved wooden items, such as locally-made masks and musical instruments. There is also an open workshop as part of the museum where you can see some of the craftspeople at work on their carvings.
Nampula cathedral is very large and has two domed bell towers in the front. The clean white façade shows a lovely example of a blend of modern lines and Middle Eastern architecture.
Niassa National Reserve
Niassa National Reserve is some distance to the north of Nampula and it will likely take a few hours to get there considering there are no main roads that will take you directly there. The area hosts a number of indigenous animals, including elephants, lions, wildebeest, zebras, wild dogs and sables (a large species of antelope). There are no supply stations within the park so you have to make sure you have all the fuel, food and water you will need during your stay and a high-clearance 4×4 vehicle is a must.
If you want to see the coast, there is a main road leading from Nampala to Nacala, which is on the Mosambique Channel. It is a busy industry city due to the deep-water port and shipping business, but you can enjoy the water at one of the many sandy beaches. The coast off Nacala is also known as a very good place for scuba diving.
When Should You Visit?:
There is very little variation in Nampula weather from one month to the next but some parts of the year are better for sightseeing than others. The best times to see the area are June through August when the typical daytime temperatures are only 24C (75F) and the rainfall is minimal. On the other hand, it will reach 31C (88F) in October and November, and the rains will be heaviest in January.