Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique and capital of the Sofala Province. During the 1950s and 60s, before the independence of Mozambique, Beira was a playground for white and rich Rhodesians as then-ruler Portugal did not have an embargo against Rhodesia. Still an important port city, few tourists find their way here today. Those who do will discover a beautiful, but crumbling, city by the sea with great food and hospitality.
Reaching Beira by Road
The main road (EN6) between Zimbabwe and its intersection with EN1 is in fairly good condition. From the intersection to the city of Beira, however, the condition of the road deteriorates considerably. While generally passable by any 2WD vehicle, the road is strewn with sizable potholes that have the potential to blow out tires and damage vehicle axles. Extreme caution should be taken at all times, particularly during rainstorms. The Zimbabwe economy relies heavily on this route and it carries many trucks and buses (mostly overloaded), many of which will not yield to smaller automobiles.
Road travel is best done by daylight as many pedestrians and animals are hard to see after dusk. Roadside services are also minimal.
Minibuses, so called chapas, are easily available for local transport and for connections to neighboring cities like Chimoio.
Top Beira Attractions
- Savanna Beach (20-30 km out of town) ask around if someone is going. You could venture and take a chapa heading in the direction. You have to take a little boat across to the beach, worth the effort. Water is cleaner than Beira and waves are better. Good fishing. Simple restaurant with nice atmosphere.
- Gorongosa (200-300 km) in Sofala Province. Once a very well known park. Now starting to recover, good investments. Good chalets and food.
- Grande Hotel Beira, (On Avenida Mateus Sansao Muthemba, west of city centre). More of an anti-attraction, this former luxury hotel, which once was known as the “pride of Africa” is since the last 30 years occupied by thousands of squatters displaced by the country’s long civil war. It serves as a living memory of better times and the horrors of war.
- Rio Maria (10-15 km). When traveling from Macuti to Airport, turn right at Monte Verde and take the sandy road. At Rio Maria is a nice river and sea. No facilities there. Don’t get car stuck in mud close to beach. Very relaxing.
Top Places to eat in Beira
- Beira Sol Opposite Hotel Tivoli.
- 2mais1 Center.
- Biques Is a camping and bar/restaurant about two km out of the centre of Beira. Worth the trip but not so easy to find. Terrace overlooking the sea, excellent food and drink. Pool table. This place is popular with locals and tourists.
- Cá te Espero, Rua Companhia Moçambique (Between TDM and Praça de Metical)
- Kanimambo Chinese restaurant with excellent food in the city center. Average atmosphere, aircon.
- Nautico Nice views of the sea, swimming pool. Need to pay small entrance fee of 20Mtn if non-member.
- Pappas, officially called Shakila snacks. Best food in town, also expensive. Close to Hotel Tivoli.
- Restaurante Macuti (formerly Wings), ☎ 23312520. Chinese/Portuguese cooking. Inside Macuti Housing Complex, park outside. Good food, can take a while if the restaurant is full. Aircon inside and nice seating area outside. Chicken with cashew and pineapple or the Bife Cremoso is nice.
- Solange, Av. Eduardo Mondlane. Portuguese owned. Good food, including pizza. Good ambience. Also has a bar.
- Chipima’s Burguer, Rua Luis Inacio. The best hamburgers in town. In the city center around the corner of the Banco de Moçambique. Good hygiene, friendly staff and popular with locals
Beira Safety tips
Don’t walk in the Baixa area at night alone. If you walk around during day time just keep your precious stuff at the hotel. Don’t walk around with a fat wallet or your expensive cellphone. Most crime is on a “give me your phone and/or wallet because I have a big knife” basis. If driving at night just keep doors locked and windows almost closed to avoid issues. Friday, Saturday and Sunday night people party and can get very drunk, if you run over someone as a foreigner it’s gonna cause you a big headache so drive slowly. Kids also run across the road often without looking out for cars. Avoid driving at night.