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Inhaca Island

The tiny 12km long by 7km wide island of Inhaca sits at the gateway to the Bay of Maputo, at the northern tip of Machangulo Peninsula, which forms a protective break between the Indian Ocean and the sheltered bay. The low key tropical escape is only a short boat ride, or an even shorter hop in a plane, from Mozambique’s wonderfully colonial capital city Maputo. But once on Inhaca, you’re on the verge of the tropics, among palm trees and golden beaches.

At the northern limit of the newly established Maputo Marine Reserve, which stretches from northern KwaZulu-Natal to Maputo, Inhaca is a haven for marine life. Resident pods of dolphins are sighted year round, humpback whales are often seen off the shores between July and November, and whale sharks and manta rays visit in the summer months (November to February) – during which time female loggerhead and leatherback turtles haul themselves up the beaches of the eastern shores to breed. 

The island boasts a myriad watersports, incredible snorkelling, and, thanks to its open ocean location, some awesome SCUBA diving. But Inhaca is best known for its fishing: the game fishing is excellent with dorado, barracuda, king mackerel, tuna, kingfish and even marlin the main prizes and salt water fly fishermen are spoilt for choice when it comes to idyllic spots to cast a fly. 

With the wonderful beaches and lake of the adjacent Portuguese Island just a short boat ride away, Inhaca is perfect for a family holiday. But the island also has a lively local nightlife for those seeking a taste of authentic Mozambique. Highlights of a stay include walks or guided tours to the lighthouse, and the rather oldie-worldie Marine Biology Museum, which displays the animal, plant and fish life of the island.

Best time to visit