Known as a friendly country with diverse landscapes and distinctive and vibrant culture, Mozambique beautifully blends African, Arabic, Portuguese and Indian influences to give visitors an unforgettable African holiday experience. It beckons with swaying palms, endless coastlines, remote archipelago of islands and opportunities for adventure on land and sea. Whilst it’s off the map for most, a Mozambique holiday is high on our list for its history, colonial style architecture, stunning stretches of beach, tropical islands and untouched vastness of bush that’s abundant with wildlife.
We create Mozambique African Safari holiday packages to incorporate as much or as little as you would like to experience, whether that’s the remote wilderness of Gorongosa National Park and Niassa Reserve to the island beauty of the Quirimbas and Bazaruto Archipelagos and culture and history of Ibo Island and Ilha de Mozambique.
Three times the size of Britain, Mozambique stretches 2,500 kilometres along the east coast of Africa and over time has played a crucial role in international trade, from spices to slaves. Civil war and poaching wreaked havoc on the country’s formerly abundant wildlife but times have changed significantly. Turning conservation areas into earners of foreign exchange has become a government priority so national parks are becoming attractions once again.
Maputo & surrounds
The administrative capital of the country, Maputo suffered during civil war but efforts are underway to restore its former glory. The city itself is very busy with a party atmosphere on weekends. Further out of town along the coastline, you’ll find hidden accommodation gems for barefoot luxury Mozambique beach holidays.
The archipelago is made up of 32 coral islands strung along Mozambique’s northern coast, from Pemba to the Tanzanian border. Many are uninhabited, and Quirimbas accommodation is limited to a handful of luxurious lodges and romantic beach bungalows, so it’s easy to find an empty stretch of beach or virgin reef all to yourself. Coconut palms and powder-white beaches line small private islands like Medjumbe, Vamizi and Quilalea. Add to this a fantastic range of activities – from thrilling scuba-diving to peaceful dhow cruises – and you’re looking at the perfect off-the-beaten track post safari holiday escape.
Inhambane & Tofu
The long coastal stretch of Inhambane Province is the most developed in terms of tourism with idyllic and low key accommodations. The coastal town of Inhambane itself is one of the oldest settlements in southern Africa and boasts a colourful history of Portuguese trade. It’s a tropical area with deserted white beaches and clear tropical waters and often, hundreds of graceful dhows in the tranquil waters. Expect friendly people, beautiful scenery and great diving with sightings from Manta rays, dugong and whale sharks to migrating humpback whales and reefs teeming with colourful fish.
Ilha de Mozambique & surrounds
This is a former Portuguese trading-post that is now recognised as a world heritage site. It’s truly enchanting as you wander through the maze of narrow streets fringed by tall buildings with a bustling harbour and market. This is a must for history buffs with a 7th century palace museum bursting with cannons, muskets and other memorabilia.
Lake Niassa & Reserve
The 9th largest lake in the world, Lake Niassa borders Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania. Abundant with tropical fish, it’s very deep and home to more species of fish than any other lake on earth. It is tranquil, unspoilt and remote, ideal for those seeking exclusivity and enjoyment on their Mozambique holiday. The reserve covers over 40,000 square kilometres of land and is the largest conservation area on the continent. Dominated by the Rovuma and Lugenda rivers – crocodile and hippo filled waterways meander their way through the reserve. Perhaps the most striking feature of the Niassa Reserve are the spectacular granite inselbergs that rise imperiously from the surrounding bush. The highest of these, the Mecula and Jao mountains, are almost a vertical kilometre from top to bottom.
Gorongosa National Park
Enjoy Gorongosa in its lush splendor and directly participate in one of the greatest restoration projects in Southern Africa. See firsthand how rapidly and positively nature responds when nurtured. Enjoy game drives, community walks and a visit to Mount Gorongosa. The Park is home to significant populations of oribi, reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog and sable, with large herds of the latter up to 120 animals per herd. Predators are recovering slowly, with a number of lion prides and a few male coalitions within the Park. Elephant herds and bulls are regularly encountered, with the bulls being particularly relaxed providing great viewing. Birding at Gorongosa is incredible with excellent quality and quantities of special and endemic birds and Lake Urema provides a home to a huge number of water birds, so one can literally sit for hours watching fish eagles swoop down, spoonbills forage, jacana’s tip toe across lilies and herons pluck fish.
Dhow and Kayak Island hopping
Explore beautiful coastlines fringed by tropical islands on a motorised Dhow complete with Mozambican captain and crew. You will sea kayak or sail up wide river mouths and mobile fly camp on various islands with dome tents and expedition equipment. Along the way enjoy swimming, snorkelling, cultural interactions at local villages, kayaking and island exploration.
Fast becoming one of the most popular dive destinations in the world, Mozambique offers numerous unspoilt reefs and rich sea life. There are PADI Dive Centres throughout the country offering training and equipment hire for beginners, novice and advanced level divers. Some of the most popular sites are Ponta Mamoli for its shallow dives and extreme deep dive (40 metres) particularly during humpback whale season (Jul – Nov). Inhambane and Tofo are famous for the whale sharks and manta rays that favour its surrounding waters (Nov – Apr). Bazaruto Archipelago offers a protected reef and exceptional marine life. Quirimbas Archipelago in the far north is remote with many undiscovered sites and reefs, 30 separate coral islands and also a proclaimed national park to protect its rich and varied sea life.
Mozambique is rich in history and culture. Bantu speaking people were the first residents migrating through the Zambezi River Valley to then cattle herd in the area. Swahili and Arab settlements formed and existed for centuries along the cast bringing in trade from the Far East and Madagascar. The Portuguese got control in the 16th century and there is great history and a number of significant sites along the coast. British companies got involved in trade and politics in the 19th century and the 20th century saw Mozambique Company, Niassa Company and Zambezia Company take control of trading, all controlled and financed by Britain. After the colonial period came independence. Learn more on your Mozambique holiday and visit historical hub of Ilha de Mozambique.
Not just gorgeous beaches, turquoise sea, beautiful islands and palm fringed coastline, this country has exceptional cuisine. Make sure you experience freshly caught prawns served grilled or fried with portuguese created peri peri sauce. Peri Peri Chicken is also a highlight and usually eaten with french fries. Pao can be found in any Mozambican market. Pronounced pow, these Portuguese white bread rolls are baked in wood fired ovens in villages and truly delightful. Once the world’s largest producer of cashews, buy a bag from locals who sell them road side and on the beach. Our favourite cashew is one roasted with peri peri. There are two Mozambican beers that deserve mention, the Laurentina and 2M that is pronounced doish-em, both ideally enjoyed super cold at sunset after a day on the beach. Lastly, fruit and fish galore for you to try and we recommend papaya, coconut, avocado and mango. A bucket of 20 mangoes in a local village may set you back $2.
Like South Africa’s many townships, Maputo has its fair share of poverty. For a completely new perspective of Maputo, take a tour of the Mafalala area. There is a tour company we use because it was set up as an NGO and social enterprise in an effort to positively benefit an entire local community, not just its founders. It allows you to really get close to the reality in a local township. You will see first hand the joy on children’s faces and experience kindness from the underprivileged people who manage to find happiness in life’s simplicity.
Mozambique has some fantastic shopping and our favourite is Maputo’s FEIMA, an artisan style market that is filled with locally produced arts and crafts. You can find everything here from jewellery, interior decor and home items to painting and sculptures. Remember to barter and you are likely to get the goods for less than the starting price – they do this for fun and often to practise their english which is usually good to begin with. There are onsite restaurants and on the first weekend of each month a food fair is presented alongside the artisan market.
This is like staying in one of the most undiscovered, pristine island settings removed from the hectic pace of first world life. With villa accommodation, this is exclusive Mozambique holiday romance at its best. Private sparkling pools, Mozambican butler host, fresh seafood daily, outstanding activities and experiences to choose from what more could you want? Snorkel or dive, fish, sail or simply laze, the choice is yours here.
White Pearl Resort, Maputo & surrounds
Sitting on the far south east coast, this gorgeous beachside escape is in a sublime position with 2 kilometres of soft white sand beach, subtle luxury accommodation tiered along the sand dunes and surrounded by vast tracts of untouched bush. There are 22 stilted suites linked by wooden walkways, each offering sophisticated simplicity, cool, clean lines, contemporary furnishings and a palette inspired by the surrounding coastal landscape. The rooms are well kitted out with flat screens, wifi, iPod docks, air conditioning, butler service, indoor and outdoor showers and private plunge pool with sun deck. The main area boasts a coastal comfort fit for royalty with lounge, swimming pool and bar, beach bar with tapas menu and four poster day beds on pool deck. Here you can do nothing or everything from diving, horse riding, snorkelling, whale watching (Jul – Nov, fishing and nocturnal turtle walks (Dec – Feb).
Azura at Quilalea, Quirimbas
Nestled on a small island in the southernmost part of the Quirimbas Archipelago, surrounded by crystal clear waters of a fully protected marine sanctuary, Azura Quilalea is spread along two of the four sandy beaches and a true island paradise. Luxury seafront villas with indigenous gardens and bush settings are well spaced out along sunrise and sunset beach and boast beach-chic finishings and furnishings. The main areas include plenty of comfortable spaces to relax and unwind. Cuisine is focused on natural produce available locally with seafood dominating the menu. There is a wine cellar, swimming pool, spa and well equipped waterspouts centre. Diving and snorkelling are offered along with island walks, fishing, dhow sailing, kayaking picnics, dolphin and seasonal humpback whale watching and cultural visits at nearby Ibo Island. Note it is a coral island and beach shoes should be worn when walking around.
Santorini Villa, Vilanculos mainland
Just a few kilometres north of Vilanculos is this exclusive use villa owning unparalleled views and privacy from an elevated position overlooking a long stretch of beach and the Bazaruto Archipelago. It’s the ultimate beach retreat for up to 10 guests or 8 adults and 6 children in five ensuite bedrooms with private balconies and stunning sea views. The multi level designed property means there are spaces and places for everyone to relax and unwind or gather and celebrate. Cool and uncluttered, expect endless classics like courtyards, large swimming pool, alfresco dining complete with pizza oven and BBQ facilities. There’s a kids playroom, small library and second deck and pool. The boma is set away from the main area offering space for night time campfires. Serviced daily, you have a full team who are there to look after your every need.
Nuarro, Northern Mozambique
This unique beach and bush lodge sits in an 800 hectare concession on the beautiful Baixo do Pinda Peninsula with 3 kilometres of ocean front. Indigenous bush, sand dunes, secluded beaches and magnificent sea views not to mention beachfront chalet accommodation is all you need for an African beach holiday. The chalets are dotted along the dunes amongst the trees for privacy and minimal environmental impact and feature hammocks and sun loungers on the expansive front verandah, spacious bedroom and ensuite bathroom complete with indoor and outdoor showers. Each one has direct beach access and outstanding views. The reception is on top of the dune overlooking Memba Bay and leads down to the beach bar and Marine Activitiy Centre. At the other end of the beach is the panoramic restaurant and cocktail bar with sunken lounge and library. World class shore diving is a highlight plus dhow sailing, sea kayaking, picnic trips to isolated beaches, mountain biking and village visits.
Lugenda Wilderness Camp, Niassa
This spectacular seasonal camp is located in the greater Niassa Reserve and truly one of Africa’s last wild places. The camp is set on the banks of the Lugenda River surrounded by sacred sites and pigmy paintings dating back 4000 years. It’s very intimate and understated with just eight tents spaced out along the river, each with private patio, bedroom and ensuite bathroom. The main area is the heart of the camp and a shady refuge from the midday harsh sun. Here you will relax, dine and enjoy the pool and boma. Activities include game drives i open sided vehicles, walking safaris and night drives. It is open April, May, November and December. Final opening and closing dates are dependent on weather conditions. Note this camp is not suitable for children under 12.
Magarugue Island, Bazaruto Archipelago
This 1.6 kilometre long and 1.4 kilometre wide island has a lovely self catering lodge that is easily accessed from the mainland by a 10 minute light aircraft flight. If you are looking for affordable island seclusion and beach relaxation along with the natural beauty of a tropical paradise, this is the place. A permanent deep water channel runs in front of the villas meaning you can experience reef snorkelling on your doorstep. The extensive tidal flats on the landward side create a mosaic of sapphire, aquamarine and indigo with the tides and the area boasts 2000 species of fish including the challenging marlin and sail fish for those who love to cast a line. The 6 luxury villas are designed with comfort in mind and offer either two, three, four or seven bedrooms,lounge, dining and kitchenette with outdoor seating. The master villa, Cowrie has 2 ensuite bedrooms, full kitchen, lounge, dining, wine cellar, laundry, patio and swimming pool. Ideally set for the pure exclusive beach holiday, you can dive, snorkel, deep sea fish, hire boats and head out on sunset cruises.
Machangulo Lodge, Maputo Region
Tucked away on the very edge of the southern Machangulo Peninsula, this lovel lodge overlooks the channel, endless white beaches, untouched dune forests, estuaries and the open ocean. There are beautiful ocean view chalets perched on a ridge with ensuite bathroom and private deck. Other villas nestled in the dunes closer to the beach are ideal for larger groups or families with four bedroom villa with own pool, lounge and kitchen and two two-bedroom family villas. Villas are connected by walkways and staircases to the beach and main lodge where you will find spacious lounge, bar and dining area. Hidden behind the main area is a boma for nightly campfires and nearer to the beach is the beach bar and pool with sun deck. Transfer times to the lodge are determined by the tide and it takes one hour from the marina in Maputo. Activities on offer are dune walks, village visits, fishing, snorkelling, beach picnics, whale watching and turtle nesting in season and a wellness spa.
Historical Ibo Island became the former capital of Mozambique and today is home to one of our favourites, award winning Ibo Island Lodge. Built from three colonial mansions that have been meticulously restored, Ibo offers a really unique stay with an insight into the country’s history and local customs over hundreds of years old like silversmithing. This is not an island paradise with swimming from the shore, it is more about landscape and historical exploration. The lodge staff do take guests over daily to a pristine sank bank for swimming and picnics, snorkelling and sunbathing which is a wonderful day’s adventure. Other days, enjoy dhow sailing, kayaking, fishing, historical tours, birding or a relaxing massage and swim in one of the two pools.
We cannot speak highly enough for Azura Benguerra Island. Everything made for a perfect honeymoon, we loved it. Service was second to none and the food was delicious. Beach, weather, romance, relaxation… absolutely everything was fantastic.
We enjoyed our honeymoon very much. It was great to have everything booked and organised for us in advance so that when we got to Africa, we didn’t have to stress about transfers or bookings, we were just able to relax and enjoy ourselves on the spectacular Mozambique beaches.
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