Pomene the most beautiful highlight of any Mozambique Itinerary

Welcome to Pomene Village, a hidden gem in Mozambique that adventurous travelers will surely love. It's a small community of 350 people that's perfect for those who want to go off-the-beaten-track. The village is located on a peninsula and is filled with small huts made out of palm leaves. While there's no electricity or Wi-Fi, you might catch a little bit of 2G Vodacom signal if the wind is in your favor. It's an authentic way to experience Mozambique and immerse yourself in the local culture.

 

How to get to Pomene Village?

It’s actually quite easy to find. Simply head 50 km off the N1 highway along the Mozambique coast, and follow the signs for “Pomene Nature Reserve.” While the road can be quite sandy, it’s typically in good condition, especially during dry season. In fact, it’s only a 1.5-hour drive from Massing or a 3-hour drive from Vilakulos in the north. However, it’s worth noting that Cyclone Freddy caused some damage to the road in February of 2023, resulting in new routes around flooded areas. These new routes may not be reflected on your GPS, so be prepared to navigate using other means. Once you arrive at Pomene Village, you’ll see a sign welcoming you to the area.

Meet Rito your host in Pomene Village

If you’re looking for a place to camp, simply ask for Santana (Chief) or Rito (Grandson of the Chief) in town. They’ve set up a small campsite complete with a shower and toilet for your convenience. If you need to get in touch with Rito, you can find him on WhatsApp: +258 84 826 0027. And a big perk: Rito speaks fluently English.

Rito the grandson of the chief of Pomene Village

Meet Rito! The grandson of the chief of Pomene village.

Hotels, Lodges or other Accommodation in Pomene

Unfortunately the room that Rito and his grandpa made for non-campers was destroyed by the cyclone. If you don't have your own camping equipment, but still want to visit Pomene. You can opt-in for one of the hotels close to the village. We recommend going for Iz-Ma-An Lodge. Unfortunately it is often fully booked, as it is very small. We recommend you don't go with the Pomene Fishing Campsite - these South Africans are not very welcoming.

Things to do in Pomene?

If you're looking for things to do in Pomene Village, keep in mind that it's a small and impoverished community without pre-organized tours or activities. However, you can ask Rito to take you on some adventures (highly recommended). Good to know, there is no 'fixed price' you just give Rito what you think it's worth.

1. Visiting Blowhole beach next to Pomene Beach

We highly recommend adding this location to your Mozambique itinerary. If it were located in Europe, it would attract thousands of visitors daily. Picture a stunning blue ocean with crystal-clear water, surrounded by tropical fish. One of the highlights is the blowholes, where you can stand in naturally created holes in the water. This destination is a must-visit for your itinerary.

 

2. Explore the Pomene Lighthouse

Have you ever had a dream of scaling one of those classic red and white lighthouses? Well, at Pomene lighthouse, you can do just that in exchange for some cooking oil and a bar of soap. It’s only 5km away from the village, which you can either drive or walk uphill. The old lighthouse looks very iconic and is worth seeing. If you head there early in the morning, you may even get a chance to spot Black Mambas! But don’t worry, they are in the reserve and the rangers have already de-fanged them. They pose no threat to humans.

The beautiful old lighthouse. Only people not afraid of heights dare to climb it, but once up the view is 100% worth it.

3. Learn to cook with Pomene Ingredients

In Pomene, there is a distance to the nearest supermarket, so the locals make do with what they have. Their diet mainly consists of fish, coconuts, and vegetables. Rita can teach you how to make her secret coconut rice, but be cautious of the chili peppers! The chief prepares his own chili oil, and it's quite spicy.

This is the house of Rito. The building on the left is his kitchen. On the right - still in construction - is his new kitchen.

4. Play football with the locals of Pomene

Every day at 3:00 PM, the boys and men from the villages come together at the football field to play soccer. It's a wonderful experience to join them on the field or to watch from the sidelines. All the young kids in the village gather to watch the game of the day as well. Afterwards, people either head home or proceed to Elvis Bar for a game of pool.

The football field in the mangrove of Pomene Beach. Goals are self-made with wood.

5. Watch the most beautiful sunset of Mozambique

From the Old Shipwreck hotel you have a beautiful view of Pomene Beach. The hotel is deserted for 40 years, so you don't need to worry about trespassing. In the right season you will spot dozens of whales dancing in front of the shore!

The sunset from the Old Shipwreck Lodge in Pomene. This time it was low tide as you can see.

Community Lodge Pomene Mozambique 

It’s important to note that many resorts and hotels in Mozambique are owned by foreigners, which means that most of the tourism revenue doesn’t benefit the local community. However, Pomene is a unique destination where every dollar spent goes directly towards supporting the local community. This is especially important as the community needs funds to upgrade their huts from palm leaves to stone to make them more cyclone-proof. On average, a cyclone hits the village every five years, which is why the Pomene Village camp has already built a stone safe house in the town to prevent any loss of life during previous cyclones. But much more money is needed to improve the village further. By choosing to stay at Community Lodge Mozambique, you can support the local community and help them to thrive.

Pomene destroyed by hurricane freddy
Destruction on pomene by hurricane freddy 2023

These pictures we took 5 months after the cyclone hit. Some parts of the village are still wrecked. And nobody is helping the villagers clean up the mess in Pomene.

How long should you stay in Pomene?

It's a tough decision to make. Our stay there lasted only three days, but we could have extended it for months if we had done our grocery shopping beforehand. Unfortunately, the Mozambican visa is only valid for 30 days, which limits our time in the country. If you're unsure about which place to visit between Pomene and Morrungolo, I would recommend Pomene without hesitation. We visited both places for three days, and looking back, we would have chosen to spend four days in Pomene and only two in Morrungolo (mainly for the Instagram-worthy palm tree beach pictures).

Can you do Wild camping in Pomene?

Yes, you could. But I believe you shouldn’t. The village needs your money. And as you are staying on their lands. It’s nice to reward them for it. It’s not much that they ask. At the time of writing, it was 350MTS per night with free coconuts (as many as you like).

Do you need to pay an entrance fee to the nature reserve?

Yes, you do. It's 450mts for internationals and 400 per vehicle. But the nature reserve is beautiful. White beaches, palm trees, monkeys swinging in the trees. A variety of unique dune landscapes we haven’t seen before. It’s worth it!

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