Vast, often overlooked, and once Portugal's most important African colony, Mozambique stretches all the way up the Indian Ocean coast from South Africa to Tanzania.
Years of civil war took its toll on the Mozambique's infrastructure - it's not easy to get about overland - and most of its wildlife was eaten. Now three national parks have been established and fences are down along the border of South Africa's Kruger National Park: animal numbers are beginning to recover.
A holiday in Mozambique is an excellent place to experience the faded glamour of the colonial era, with many Portuguese buildings crumbling in the tropical heat. Maputo is a fascinating city with some of Africa' finest seafood, the ports of Beira and Ilha de Moçambique are rich with colonial architecture, but most visitors travel to Mozambique for a beach holiday in the small Indian Ocean hideaways found on two offshore archipelagos, Quirimbas and Bazaruto. A mere handful of small resorts are set on small and unspoilt islands ringed by white-sand beaches so fine they squeak. The surrounding waters are filled with some of Africa's most unspoiled coral reefs and are easily explored with a snorkel and mask or by scuba diving. The atmosphere here is of little oases of luxury pinned on the very edge of the known world, perfect for family holidays, honeymoons and beach breaks.
Mozambique Holidays - Travel Tips
- New air services make holidays to Mozambique's tropical beach havens easier to reach from either Dar es Salaam or Johannesburg.
- Mozambique is a good year round holiday destination.
- Holidays to the beach properties of the Bazaruto Archipelago in Southern Mozambique combine well with safaris in Southern Africa.
- Holidays to the beach properties of the Quirimbas Archipelago in Northern Mozambique combine well with safaris in Tanzania or Kenya.
Mozambique Holidays - A Personal View
On my first visit eleven years ago, Mozambique was just beginning to gain a reputation as a great holiday destination. I remember endless white beaches, snorkelling in crystal clear waters – seeing whale shark above and manta ray below - and ever since, it’s been one of my favourite beach locations.
I spent my honeymoon in northern Mozambique, where several islands have been developed in the last few years to offer unthinkable comfort and luxury in truly glorious settings.
On returning to the south of the country recently I was treated to stunning accommodation, superb diving and wonderful deserted beaches. I was delighted to find my earlier memories of an unspoilt paradise still rang true - nothing had been ruined, only improved by better infrastructure in a country whose people delight in showing visitors its treasures.
Alice Gully - One of Aardvark Safaris' Mozambique specialists
Mozambique Holidays - Ideas You Might Not Have Thought About
Fantastic Fishing from Benguerra
Mozambique boasts some of the finest saltwater fly fishing on the continent. Benguerra Lodge lies within the famed Bazaruto Archipelago the experienced, professional fishing guides there have exceptional knowledge of the archipelago’s waters. Fly fishermen can enjoy the luxury of having specialist boats and can throw a line for an absolute wealth of species. Commonly encountered are kingfish, king and queen mackerel, kawakawa and springer; even the much sought-after bonefish is found around the island and is occasionally caught fishing deep.
Ibo Island is regarded as one of Africa's best-kept secrets. One of the 32 beautiful tropical islands that make up the Quirimbas Archipelago, Ibo Island is one of the most ancient settlements in Mozambique. A stay at the Ibo Island Lodge, comprising three magnificent mansions each over one hundred years old, will give a flavour of the islands haunting history which can be dated back to at least the 16th Century. Located on the waterfront with stunning views over the island, this romantic hideaway has a glorious beach. Choose from fishing, kayaking, dhow sailing trips or scuba diving, whilst an Island tour will introduce you to the wonderfully hospitable islanders and their unchanged, ancient culture that makes Ibo Island magical and unlike anywhere else.
Whale Watching Paradise
Bazaruto Archipelago and surrounding reefs are home to over 80% of all marine fish families of the Indo-Pacific. Experience the excitement and anticipation of seeing the endangered dugong, or the emotional experience of swimming with whale sharks, the gentle giants of the ocean. The resident minke and Southern right whales that ply surrounding seas alongside common, spinner and bottlenose dolphins make this destination a whale watcher’s paradise.
Private House on the Beach
Pambele is an exquisite private house on the white sand shores of southern Mozambique. Pambele provides exclusive accommodation in four separate villas for ten adults and five children, ideal for a family group or friends. Indoor and outdoor living areas stretch out along the beach with uninterrupted views from wooden decks; the infinity pool merges seamlessly with the sparkling Indian Ocean dotted with dhows. Unobtrusive house staff take care of your every need, whilst drivers with vehicles and boats are available for diving, snorkelling, whale watching, sailing and kayaking trips.
Nesting Turtles on Vamizi Island
Vamizi Island is the nesting place of two species of threatened turtle; the hawksbill and green turtle. A community based conservation programme, run jointly with the London Zoological Society, is monitoring and tagging the nesting turtles to understand how they use the western Indian Ocean, and guests staying on the island can participate in this conservation work. Accommodation at Vamizi comprises ten luxurious beach houses spread across a long white sandy beach and other activities on the island include fishing, snorkelling and world class diving.