Ponta do Ouro Cruise Port

If you've ever dreamed of cruising to a wonderland whose name translates to "tip of gold," then the port of Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique is an adventure of a lifetime. Located in the country’s extreme south, the town (also called Ponta d'Ouro) lies on the Mozambique Channel, just north of South Africa. The origin of its name is somewhat of a mystery, referring to either the gleaming sands at sunrise and sunset, or a cargo ship that sunk nearby, dumping its gold cargo. Attempts to reach Ponta do Ouro from other parts of Mozambique require a four-wheel drive vehicle, thanks to no paved roads. This is a haven for anyone looking for a more low-key visit. While there are resorts, they are older with limited facilities. Instead, the focus is on diving, deep-sea fishing, and watching dolphins. Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Ponta do Ouro:
 
  • Ponta do Ouro beaches are plentiful, and full of thick, white sand. Many of them are associated with the private resorts, but since the entire town is easily walkable, there are plenty of options to swim and surf without having to book a room at a hotel. Water sports that require motorized transport are mostly forbidden, as the locals are more interested in preserving their environment and wildlife (such as the nesting turtles).
     
  • The Dolphin Encountours Research Center, which initiated Africa's first "swim with dolphins" program in 1995, has a strict code of conduct to make sure no animals are disturbed while interacting with humans. With highly knowledgeable tour guides, your encounter with these friendly mammals will not soon be forgotten.
     
  • If you're interested in a drink or two after a long day of sand and sun, try the local pub or shebeen tour. Stroll through town and check out the seven or so rustic taverns along the way. Many of them are charming and have a great vibe, but limited facilities (other than offering beer).
     
  • Of course, shopping and eating are favorite pastimes here, thanks to fresh seafood and handcrafted souvenirs. Haggling is absolutely encouraged.

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