Looking for a vacation that is off the beaten path? Well, look no further than Mozambique.
Mozambique is a beautiful country, bordered by Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and South Africa. Whether you are after a luxurious beach holiday or the safari of a lifetime, Mozambique is the place for you. Visit between May and November to make the most of the cooler, dry weather.
Here are some of Mozambique’s must-see gems to help you get started with planning your trip:
1. Bazaruto Archipelago
Bazaruto Archipelago (Richard Moross, Flickr)
Bazaruto Archipelago is a stunning collection of five islands. Each island is lined with vast, empty golden beaches and surrounded by the blue ocean, making it wonderful for relaxing and swimming. The two biggest islands, Benguerra and Bazaruto, are the most popular destinations to experience true serenity. If you want to go scuba diving or snorkeling, go to Bazaruto’s Two Mile Reef for a chance to see the spectacular coral.
2. Gorongosa National Park
Gorongosa National Park (F Mira, Flickr)
Wildlife lovers with a sense of adventure will enjoy exploring the Gorongosa National Park. Going on safari here is a once in a lifetime experience. The national park’s wildlife includes hippos, lions, impala and more. It is also a renowned birdwatching location. Visit Lake Urema to see its floodplains teeming with animals. The Gorongosa National Park is also home to Mount Gorongosa, which has a rainforest where you can walk through the thick vegetation.
3. Quirimbas National Park
Mangroves in Quirimbas National Park (Andres Moreno, Flickr)
This coastal national park encompasses eleven islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago. The attractive landscape has white sandy beaches, coral reefs, mangroves and dense forest. On land, you can see the many varieties of wild animal, such as lions, elephants, and crocodiles. At the coast, observe the dugongs, rare tropical fish, and turtles. Quirimbas National Park has accommodations to suit every visitor, including eco-lodges, coastal cottages, and deluxe villas.
Pemba (Rosino, Flickr)
Pemba is a quaint port town close to the Quirimbas Archipelago. It is located on one of the world’s largest natural bays. Locals live in small huts surrounded by large baobab trees. The popular Wimbe Beach is near a coral reef, making it a prime scuba diving and snorkeling location. If you’re looking for some authentic souvenirs to take home, visit Pemba’s traditional market, where you can buy arts and crafts made from local materials.
5. Maputo central market
Maputo Central Market (Rosino, Flickr)
At the heart of the charming city of Maputo you will find the Maputo Central Market. The market stalls fill a large building and spill out onto the streets outside. Inside the market, you’ll find everything you can imagine, from fresh fruits and vegetables to hand-crafted carvings and baskets. Experience the culture of Mozambique by getting to know the market vendors and talking to the friendly locals.
6. Island of Mozambique
Island of Mozambique (Stig Nygaard, Flickr)
This small and picturesque island is full of history. It has two main areas, each with its own individual character. In the north, the island’s quiet stone town is full of historical buildings. These were built between the 16th and 19th centuries when the island was occupied by the Portuguese. Here, you can see the grand churches and stately buildings that were once the pride of the island. In contrast, the southern part of the island is a more modern, vibrant fishing community. Most of the islanders live on this side, in thatched-roof huts.
7. Maputo special reserve
Maputo Special Reserve (Meraj Chhaya, Flickr)
The Maputo Special Reserve is an area of wilderness that runs along an isolated coastline, 100 kilometers southeast of the city of Maputo. It has a unique, natural feel to it and is home to over 300 varieties of birds. On the coastline, you may be able to catch a glimpse of loggerhead and leatherback turtles. The reserve is also inhabited by small populations of elephants, hippos, and antelopes. 35km from the main gate, in the heart of the reserve, Ponta Milibangalala has a simple camping ground where you can pitch a tent. Bring everything with you, including plenty of water for washing and drinking.
8. Lago Niassa
Children at Lago Niassa (Edson Chilundo, Flickr)
One of the African Great Lakes, Lago Niassa is the ninth largest lake in the world. It borders Mozambique, Malawi, and Tanzania. The lake is home to thousands of varieties of tropical fish. You can go snorkeling or swimming and see some of these most spectacular fish up close. Looking for breathtaking views? Explore Lago Niassa’s white, sandy shoreline, go canoeing on the lake, or hike in the surrounding unspoiled forest.
With its stunning coastline and diverse landscape, this African country has so much to offer. Visit Mozambique to enjoy the peaceful shorelines and see some of the most remarkable animals, fish, and birds that nature has to offer.