Africa

Mozambique

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Mozambique is one of Africa’s best beach destinations: snorkel the coral reefs or curl your toes in the sand with a book in hand. But it offers much more than just sun and sand – from a vibrant cultural scene and Mediterranean-style architecture, to a World Heritage Site and a wildlife reserve sheltering vast herds of elephant.

Mozambique’s tranquillity combines well with some wonderful accommodation, great dive sites and delicious creole cuisine with an emphasis on locally caught seafood. Round off your day in Mozambique with sundowners on a dhow as it sails through the warm tropical waters of the Indian Ocean.

Places To Visit

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If complete peace in a tropical paradise is high on your priority list, then a visit to the Bazaruto Archipelago is a must. Declared a National Park in 1971, the group of islands, including its coral reefs, is one of the only official marine reserves in the country. It remains a fairly well-kept secret, with gorgeous white-sand beaches and crystal-clear, warm waters with excellent diving. On each of the five untouched islands, sandy beaches squeak underfoot and palm trees give way to lush vegetation. However, it is perhaps the sea that holds the greater attraction, with three species of turtle, including the loggerhead, along with frequent sightings of spinner and humpback dolphins.

With its Mediterranean-style architecture, Maputo, is a fascinating and vibrant capital city. Formerly known as Laurenço Marques, the city reveals some of its old-time atmosphere as a Portuguese colonial port. Places to visit include the cathedral, fortress and Museum of National History. You’ll find streets lined with market stalls, pavement cafés, and some really delicious crab curry or piri piri chicken. At the very south of Mozambique is the coastal town of Pemba, boasting more fascinating architecture (in Baixa, the old town) and some beautiful beaches, which lie just east of town.

Stretched between Pemba and the mouth of the Rovuma River is the Quirimbas Archipelago, a captivating chain of 32 coral islands, just off the coast of Northern Mozambique. This largely undeveloped jewel in the ocean is protected by the Quirimbas National Park and contains some of the richest coral reefs in the world. Apart from local fishermen paddling dug-out canoes, there are no people anywhere to be seen. Pristine and largely unknown, these islands – rich with birds, butterflies and tropical flowers – are visited only by a handful of travellers. It is a place to be visited before it is discovered by the rest of the world.

Local Weather & Useful Info

Weather

Capital
Maputo

Currency
Mozambican Metical

Languages
Portuguese

Best combined with
Kenya and South Africa

Flying Time
14 hrs

Fly To
Vilanculos or Maputo via Johannesburg, Pemba via Nairobi

Time Zone
GMT+2

Travel Details
Visa required for British passport holders

Health Risks
Malaria, bilharzia, hepatitis, cholera,
typhoid, dengue fever

Hotels

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Bazaruto Archipelago
Benguerra Lodge

Quirimbas Archipelago
Vamizi Island