A two-hour ferry ride and a world away from Maputo is tropical Inhaca island, blessed with soft white beaches, turquoise waves, and some of the best coral reef snorkelling this side of the Bazaruto archipelago. Maputo expats love to spend weekends on Inhaca, and it’d be a shame to visit the Mozambican capital without hopping across Maputo Bay to explore the island. There are a handful of guesthouses on Inhaca, as well as private rental options, but Pestana Inhaca is hands-down the most developed accommodation option.
With manicured lawns, magical walkways and swaying palms, the grounds are lovely (although we’d recommend spending some time outside of them to see the rest of the island, if you can.) There’s a large pool and well-staffed restaurants, one of which is open to the sun and the stars, covered by a locally-made palm fibre canopy. Activities including snorkelling among turtles, dolphins, starfish, and even sunken World War II vessels, are easily arranged.
The rooms look a little tired, but they’re perfectly adequate for a short weekend stay. Rates are reasonable for this resort, starting at $131 and it’s worth checking the website to see if you can take advantage of any special deals, such as half-board options. Our double came with a comfortable queen bed, pretty cushions and a clean, billowing mosquito net. The bathrooms either have showers or tubs; ours was sparkling clean. The family rooms are a good deal if you’re visiting with kids in tow, and are decked out with colorful furniture.
To reach Inhaca, the yellow Vodacom ferry operates every Saturday and Sunday (except in June), leaving Maputo at 8am on Saturday and returning from Inhaca at 3pm on Sunday. There’s also a slower government ferry, or private speedboat or jet hire if you’re not hemmed in by budget concerns. The boats arrive right beside Pestana Inhaca Lodge.