Stretching nearly 2 500km from its border with South Africa in the south to the Tanzanian border in the north, Mozambique occupies a long strip along the southeast African seaboard. This extensive coastline of pristine golden beaches is lapped by the lukewarm waters of the Indian Ocean, and is undoubtedly Mozambique’s main drawcard. Holidaymakers flock here to indulge in the pleasures of sun, sea and freshly caught seafood, and watersports addicts take advantage of the wide range of adventure activities offered.
Mozambique is a little off the beaten track and its beaches are never crowded. Nevertheless, for those seeking the ultimate in seclusion, there are a few lodges that are tucked away on small private islands or secluded coves. With stunning settings and miles of undisturbed beaches, they come highly recommended.
Mozambique’s snorkelling and scuba diving sites rank among the best in Africa and there are opportunities to swim with dolphins and whale sharks while on marine safaris. The proximity of the continental shelf means that this is also one of the top spots for game fishing, and salt-water fly fishermen are spoilt for choice when it comes to idyllic spots to cast a fly.
The offshore islands boast luxury lodges that attract romantics, honeymooners and those needing time out of the rat race. The country also boasts a rich heritage. Ilha de Mozambique is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a ‘Stone Town’ reminiscent of that in Zanzibar.
The grand, if somewhat decaying, architecture of Ibo Island reflects the influence of Arab and Portuguese traders. The capital city, Maputo, is a fascinating mix of old and new, with wonderful museums and historic buildings, a lively music scene and a humming nightlife.
Although civil war and poaching have taken a heavy toll on the wildlife in the country, the Gorongosa and Limpopo National Parks have been restocked and game viewing opportunities are improving. The Limpopo National Park is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park that includes the Kruger National Park in South Africa and Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park. More recently, the Maputo Special Reserve has been extended and the adjacent wildlife sanctuary in the Futi Corridor fenced in, with the plan to ultimately link it to the Tembe Elephant Park in South Africa.
It will be a while before Mozambique can compete with its neighbours for wildlife safaris, but it is good to know that progress is being made.