How to Get to Vilankulos and the TCO Bus Office (Day 3 – Maputo)

Today started out a tad late as these beds at Fatima’s really do little to recharge you at night, they simply allow you to lie back, close your eyes and wake up just as sore and tired when you went to bed.

We set out to get notaries of our passports as Lonely Planet advised due to police checks. The whole process was about 30 Mts for both Alisa and I and was done on Vladimir Lenin just south of Mao Se Tung where Fatima’s is located.

With that accomplished we set out for the LAM offices to get quotes to Pemba and Nampula. The cheapest quote is just over 400 USD round trip, about what we had read and been told by fellow travelers. We proceed towards the other part of town making a stop at Mundo’s for breakfast. We continue on to where our receptionist told us the TCO tourism office was located as we could buy bus tickets north from this company rather than risking it with the chapas that depart in the early morning to all over the country. We get to the location and no TCO. Fatima’s map has lots of handy waypoints but they are simply numbers placed on streets or street blocks, thus not really telling you which corner or what side of the street you should look for your destination. Alisa says that Lonely Planet has the TCO office located up closer to where we had the notaries this morning, but conveniently no street address. We walk back and still no TCO. We stop in an eatery to ask if they know and they send us on a further goose chase to a new part of town and still no TCO (but we found a bus company that was going to charge us the full rate to Beirea (1250 Mts) and let us hop off 15kms from Vilankulos. At this point we’ve been walking for nearly 4 hours with no luck and decide to head back to Fatima’s to regroup. We return, read some other blogs that also tried to locate the office, and succeeded but conveniently failed to pass on that location. A women we had talked to the night before had found the office and told us where it was (down an alley?). It was right by where we had originally gone just a street before and tucked into the Post Office. A left turn off the main drag down (Ave Samora Michel) from the church right before the pharmacy.

I taxied there and tried to book us tickets. Found out that the next bus doesn’t run till Wednesday and when I tried to book that was told I needed Alisa’s passport number. However, the lady was kind enough to literally pencil us in and told me to return at 0730 the next day with the number and to pay the 1080 Mts fee pp one way to Vilankulos. Looks like our return will be that Sunday, unless there is a later one that will get us back Tuesday for our Wednesday return to South Africa.

On my return to Fatima’s, Alisa booked us a dhow safari to the Barazuto Archipelago for this coming Saturday. When she tried to book accommodation, most of the numbers that Lonely Planet listed were wrong or out of service. Luckily Fatima’s had some contacts that worked, but then we learned that most places do not take advance bookings. Maybe this is just during this time of year, but that fact might have been helpful if Lonely Planet had included it.

We capped off the night at Costa do Sol and you can read Alisa’s review by clicking here.

This entry was posted in Travel and tagged , by Alex Laverty. Bookmark the permalink.

About Alex Laverty

Recent graduate from USC's Master of Public Diplomacy and UCLA's Master of Africa Studies programs. My interests lie in understanding the interactions between digital ICTs & society. I try to make sense how are these interactions are changing democracy, diplomacy, and development.

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