Mozambique

Mozambique is Africa’s undiscovered jewel-with a coastline of nearly 2,500 kilometres with beaches bordered by lagoons, coral reefs and strings of islands. Mozambique is a place where time seemingly stands still and life is taken at one’s own relaxed pace. Ideal for relaxing after your safari!

Mozambique has enormous cultural and historical value, with a combination of Arabian, Portuguese, and African influences. Secluded mud house villages are hidden amongst coconut and cashew forests.

The best Island destinations in Mozambique are clustered in two widely separate areas: the Bazaruto Archipelago in the south and the Quirimbas Archipelago in the north.

The Bazaruto Archipelago consists of a string of idyllic islands that provide the most romantic getaways off the African coast. Palm trees line the sandy, pristine beaches and the water is translucent, aquamarine and crystal clear – an absolute dream for watersport enthusiasts.

The whole Bazaruto Archipelago is an ecological gem that has been granted National Park status. The string of tropical islands off the coast of Mozambique is part of the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park and is one of the largest marine parks in the Indian Ocean.

The main islands in the archipelago are: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque and Santa Carolina. Bazaruto, the largest of the four islands, has a number of freshwater lakes and exotic butterflies. Benguerra, south of Bazaruto, is smaller but with similar geography and wildlife. The closest island to Vilanculos is Magaruque and is small enough to make a day trip worthwhile as you can walk around the island in a couple of hours. Santa Carolina is the smallest island and is surrounded by the deepest waters of the islands making it ideal for game fishing.

On the north coast of Mozambique, at the mouth of a huge bay (the 3rd largest in the world), is the town of Pemba, the gateway to the magnificent Quirimbas Islands – Matemo, Medjumbe, Quilálea, Ibo and Vamizi. The Quirimbas is among the most undiscovered islands in the world. Privileged with gorgeous, pristine, soft white sand beaches and clear tropical waters, the region is spectacular.

The islands are composed of fossil coral rock and have lush vegetation and mangrove swamps. They support a wide variety of wading birds and turtles. Some of the charming islands in the south include a vast expanse of enchanted forest in the Quirimbas National Park. Feeding and nesting grounds for the park’s delightful population of sea turtles, dugong, dolphins, sharks and whales are found here.

White sandy beaches and swaying coconut palms coupled with rich marine life make the beaches and islands of Mozambique a highlight on any holiday to southern or east Africa.

The opportunities for diving and fishing are amongst the best in Southern Africa. As with everything else in Mozambique, the infrastructure is still in its infancy which means that the dive sites are uncrowded and the fish varied and plentiful. The southern Mozambican coastline also offers the high probability of seeing humpback whales between about September and mid November.

After years of civil war and associated poaching, Mozambique’s formerly abundant wildlife has been severely depleted. Although 11% of the country’s surface area has been gazetted as protected areas, little of this land is readily accessible to visitors. However a few fledgling safari options are starting to open up in the interior of Mozambique, in particular Gorongosa in Central Mozambique and Niassa Reserve alongside the Tanzanian border. These are true wilderness experiences and not as yet suited to those looking for a “once in a lifetime” safari experience.

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