Our Guide to
Mozambique combines the best of Safari luxury and untouched beautiful beaches.
Mozambique offers a genuine ‘African’ beach holiday plus fantastic safari opportunities in remote and relatively unknown wilderness areas. It sits on the southeast coastline of the African continent and neighbours multiple countries. Tanzania in the north, Zambia and Malawi to the Northwest, Zimbabwe in the West, South Africa to the Soutwest and Swaziland to the South. To its east is the warm azure waters of the Indian Ocean with white sandy beaches studded with palm trees. It certainly is a beautiful beach destination yet one cannot forget its wilderness, mountains and forests.
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.
Mozambique beckons with swaying palms, endless coastlines, remote archipelago of islands and opportunities for adventure on land and sea. The Marine version of the Big five is here, whale sharks, manta rays, hammerheads, reef sharks and sea turtles.
Some of the finest dive sites are here along the coastline from Vilanculos to Tofu and the Bazaruto Archipelago. 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. Dhow sailing, kayaking, diving, snorkelling to canoeing, walking safaris and game drives await.
We create Mozambique 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 Archipelago and Bazaruto Archipelago and culture and history of Ibo Island and Ilha de Mozambique.
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More on a Mozambique Holiday
Facts and figures are not for everyone. So we will keep this brief and interesting, mixing up some statistics and our take on Mozambique.
Where is it and what should one expect?
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 and thus national parks are becoming attractions once again.
These days, Mozambique holidays offer wonderful relaxation, water experiences and land safaris for those willing to go off the beaten track.
Mozambique Holiday highlights
Mozambique is very unique as it features beaches on one side, wilderness and rolling mountains and forest on the other that stem from the Great Rift Valley.
It is an Indian Ocean Island paradise with beaches on the mainland and islands dotted around two archipelagos.
Bazaruto Archipelago is a protected National Park with pristine and undeveloped islands, no roads, no shops, no tourist attractions – just unbelievable natural beauty. There are just five islands of idyllic unspoiled tropical paradise waiting for you to explore.
Seclusion, a laidback rhythm of life, a rich marine world and crystal clear waters are just some of the draw cards of a Quirimbas Archipelago holiday. 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 bucketfuls of luxury and a fantastic range of activities – from thrilling scuba-diving to peaceful dhow cruises – and you’re looking at the perfect off-the-beaten track escape.
Ibo Island is probably the most visited of the islands due to its unique blend of culture and architecture, and fascinating history. Previously inaccessible, the magical world of the Quirimbas Archipelago has opened up thanks to improved infrastructure and increased flight access. A Quirimbas island holiday is perfect for honeymooners, water sport enthusiasts, avid divers, groups of family or friends or those of you seeking a bit of solitude and the chance to soak up some sun in a tropical paradise. It is the perfect add on to a safari holiday, giving you the chance to escape from it all.
Spend long lazy days strolling along deserted beaches, feasting on delicious seafood, exploring colourful reefs and relishing the luxury and exclusivity of your accommodation. Choose between colonial villas or romantic, thatched chalets right on the water’s edge. Only a handful of the Quirimbas islands have been set up for tourism, and the archipelago remains one of the last undeveloped jewels in Africa.
Much of the countries colourful history, especially Arab and Portuguese influences, can be seen through architecture, diverse cultures, food flavours not to mention art works, music, dance and literature.
The Bantu speaking people were first residents here, migrating through the Zambezi herding cattle until they arrived on the plateau and coastline where they settled. Then along the coastline Swahili and Arab settlements formed bringing trade with the Far East, the Spice Route. Next was the Portuguese influence as they seized control in the 16th century and expanded their power over Mozambique. In the 19th century, British companies became involved in trade and by 20th century large private companies were controlled and financed by Britain.
In 1964 a guerrilla war took place against the Portuguese rule and after 10 years, independence prevailed. It was short lived as the country succumbed to a long and violent civil war. It ended in 1992 and within a year, more than 1.5 million refugees from Mozambique returned to the country.
Mozambique history is something guests learn during their stay as locals can be open in talking about it if you’re interested.
The coastal stretch of Inhambane Province is the most developed in terms of tourism with idyllic Mozambique beach holiday accommodation options on offer. This coastal town is one of the oldest settlements in Southern Africa and boasts a colourful history of Portuguese trade. It is a tropical area with deserted white beaches and clear waters with graceful dhows sailing on the horizon.
Expect friendly people, beautiful scenery and great diving with sightings of manta ray, dugong and whale sharks to migrating humpback whales and reefs teeming with colourful marine species. This is a must visit dive destination and during the months of October to March, people flock to the waters to dive with the whale shark.
Ilha de Mozambique is a former Portuguese trading post that is now recognised as a world heritage site. It is 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.
Mozambique Safaris & Wilderness
Gorongosa National Park is just 4,000 square kilometres of land that government deemed essential in one of the greatest restoration projects in Southern Africa. Here you can see firsthand how rapidly and positively nature responds when nurtured. Gorongosa safaris offer game drives, community walks and a visit to Mount Gorongosa to walk in the mountain forest and swim in the waterfall. The park is home to a diversity of wildlife from oribi, reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog and sable to elephants and lion.
Birding safaris are spectacular with exceptional quality and quantity of special and endemic birds. Lake Urema provides a home to a huge number of water birds, so one can sit for hours watching fish eagles swoop down, spoonbills forage, jacanas tip toe across lilies and herons pluck fish.
Niassa Game Reserve in northern Mozambique covers over 40,000 square kilometres of land and is the largest conservation area on the continent. Dominated by the Rovuma and Legenda rivers, crocodile and hippo filled waterways meander their way through the reserve. Perhaps the most striking feature is in the reserve is the granite inselbergs that rise imperiously from the surrounding bush.
The highest of these, the Jecula and Jao mountains are almost a vertical kilometre from top to bottom. Niassa is home to 370 bird species and endemic species including Niassa Wildebeest, Boehm’s Zebra and Johnston’s Impala. Other wildlife in the area include some over 300 wild dogs, 12,000 sable antelope and 16,000 elephants.
There is also buffalo, eland, antelope, lion, leopard and spotted hyena. Plains game is abundant with kudu, bushbuck, impala, wildebeest and more. Lake Niassa is the 9th largest lake in the world and it is deep, making it home to more species than any other lake on earth. It is tranquil, unspoilt and remote, ideal for those seeking exclusivity and enjoyment on their Mozambique holiday.
The Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park sits in Mozambique and is enclosed by Limpopo and Olifants river with the Lebombo Mountains its backdrop. The park has resident wildlife and visiting animals from Kruger National Park. Here you have exciting game drives, walking safaris and birding safaris. There is also a canoeing safari available here for adventure seekers.
Top Five Mozambique Highlights
- Take a catamaran to the Bazaruto Archipelago, a protected National Park home to some impressive marine life and stunning views.
- Enjoy a trip on a Dhow, which is a traditional sailing boat, and discover secluded beaches, or jump off and enjoy some incredible snorkelling.
- Pack a picnic, with so many private islands to pick from, grab your picnic basket and head out and enjoy a beachside lunch of fresh seafood.
- Hop on an ocean safari, where you can get up close to the massive Whale sharks and curious dolphins.
- Get to know the locals, take a tour of a local village or school and be inspired by the humbleness of the people that make up this beautiful country.
Best time for a Mozambique Holiday
Mozambique has a beautiful tropical climate and with the equator close, one can anticipate hot and humid days. Winter days average 20 – 25 degrees so beaches can still be savoured.
Wet season runs October to March and rainfall can be quite heavy. The country is also impacted by cyclones during the wet season.
Dry season runs April to September and this is the best time to travel for effortless conditions.
Conservation in Mozambique
Since 1975, an alarming 70% of the wildlife in Mozambique has been lost. Mozambicans have been forced to overuse their natural resources to keep up with a growing economy and population including timber for fuel. The result was deforestation and a rate of 1% a year and the loss of 70% of their wildlife due to habitat loss and poaching.
Government has responded and continue to take action to protect the country’s natural resources on land and water. Quirimbas National Park, Bazaruto National Park and Lake Niassa Reserve are at the heart of efforts whilst the largest coastal and marine reserve was created in 2012 seeing the archipelago chain of 10 islands become protected.
The ongoing challenge is providing sustainable livelihood for local communities and building infrastructure that fosters conservation friendly economic opportunities. An area of significance is tourism and a Mozambique holiday directly benefits the efforts so we encourage you to visit.