Mozambique is a paradise for lovers of beaches, romance, tropical seas and tropical stars. If you tire of gazing into the perfect blue yonder, there's always game fishing, diving and water-sports to distract you before another session of star-gazing! It is also a land of amazing contrasts - in geography, climate and culture. A grassland plateau rises towards mountains in the north and the west and there are a number of river valleys, lakes and wildlife areas to be explored.
Follow the haunting cries of the African Fish Eagle... Mozambique has 2, 800 kilometers of pristine, palm-fringed coastline, gently lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. A variety of hotels and lodges provide relaxed accommodation, ranging from cozy to five-star. Easily accessible from South Africa is Ponta do Ouro at the southernmost tip of the country. Travelling north, there are beautiful beaches near Maputo, including a surfer’s paradise at Praia da Macaneta.
Gaza province, north of Maputo, is characterized by coral reefs and lagoons, with famous beaches at Bilene and Zongoene at the Limpopo river mouth.
Inhambane hosts a range of superb, isolated beaches, while Sofala province offers resort facilities near to the port city of Beira - most easily accessed from Zimbabwe. The northern provinces of Zambezia, Nampula and Cabo Delgado are graced by white sand beaches and crystal-clear, blue waters.
The Bazaruto Archipelago, situated off the coast of Inhambane province, is one of the most popular tourist areas in the country. . The four islands that make up the archipelago are perfect for getting away from it all, and offer superb water-sports and deep-sea fishing.
Beautiful Inhaca Island is situated in the bay, only 34 kilometers from Maputo, and is accessible by boat or aircraft.
Mozambique Island is a UNESCO world heritage site, with a fascinating history a rich variety of architecture – some of the buildings here are constructed from coral.
Ibo Island was once an important Portuguese trading post. This lovely island can be reached by boat from Pemba in Cabo Delgado province
Gorongosa National Park is an enormous safari area, currently being re-stocked and improved. Maputo Elephant Reserve is home to flamingoes which flock to its inland lakes, and large herds of elephant. Marromeu Buffalo Reserve is currently attempting to replace the 30 000 buffalo that once lived there. Niassa Reserve in the north of the province, contains large populations of elephant, buffalo, and antelope.
PLACES TO SEE
Maputo is the capital city of Mozambique, featuring Portuguese colonial architecture, churches and museums. The city provides airport facilities and a range of accommodation. Beira is the country’s second largest port, with beautiful old buildings, lively street markets and an interesting shipwreck near the lighthouse.
Inhambane and Pemba are historical towns, largely untouched by the march of modernity.
Lake Niassa is a real piece of unspoilt Africa – largely because it is so inaccessible. Mozambique shares the lake with Malawi, but the shores on this side remain utterly pristine because it takes a journey in a 4x4 vehicle to get here.
Mozambique offers some of the best fishing in the world. A number of centers along the coast cater for deep-sea, rock, surf and fly-fishing. The Mozambique channel is famous for its trophy-sized marlin and sailfish. The country’s lakes also provide excellent fishing spots.
The Bazaruto Archipelago boasts brilliant scuba diving waters around the coral reefs. On the north point of Bazaruto Island, is a marine reserve perfect for underwater photography.
Zongoene Lodge, on the Limpopo river mouth, offers quad biking, fishing and canoeing activities. Other resorts specialize in yachting, water-skiing and windsurfing. Ponta do Ouro and Inhambane are particularly good surfing areas.
The rugged areas in the north and west are excellent for hiking and mountaineering, although these areas are largely undeveloped, so expeditions need to be planned carefully.
Traditional life is still very important to the people of Mozambique, and a rich kaleidoscope of living cultural heritage is discernable, varying from province to province.
The Makonde people of the north are famous for their fearlessness and initiation rituals, as well as fine wooden carvings. The people of Niassa province are musical, and make wind instruments from calabashes, which produce a trumpet-like sound. The Makua women of Nampula province paint their faces with a white root extract, and make beautiful baskets and sculptures. Zambezia is well-known for delicious, spicy cooking.
The Nhau of Tete province perform a spectacular dance to resounding drum-beats, holding frightening wooden masks. In Inhambane, the Chope people dance the “timbila”, which is both the name of the instrument they use (similar to a xylophone) and the name for the dance itself. No matter where you are, the people of this country will share their way of life with you, and welcome you to the land of smiles.