Mozambique is a large country with a unique blend of Portuguese and African styles. Its history lays claim to pirates, slavers, and ivory traders while the colonial architecture, marimba bands and local music provides a touch of drama to the towns. Mozambique is all about the beaches, fresh seafood, fishing, snorkeling and diving. Wild, beautiful, hot and sandy, this is the perfect place to unwind, unplug your gadgets, and soak up the sun.
Romantic and unspoiled, Mozambique’s deserted white sand beaches make for a perfect and relaxing end to a safari. Visitors can happily do nothing, but serious or curious divers will find it hard to pass up the opportunity for some of the best scuba diving in the world. Mozambique offers excellent dive sites with awe-inspiring marine life and top-notch facilities and equipment to make for a seamless and memorable experience. For those who are interested in fishing, Mozambique offers challenging big-game fishing (marlin and sail fish) that will surely be a highlight. No matter what your desired level of activity, sundownder dhow rides are the perfect way to end your day in paradise.
The south offers more polished beach accommodation and the capital city of Maputo is home to interesting architecture, jazz music, and some great properties. Northern Mozambique's isolated islands and coastline offer a more remote and barefoot luxury experience compared to the south. Mozambique's Niassa Reserve in the north also provides a safari experience with game-viewing, making Mozambique more than just a beach destination.
Northern Mozambique combines well with East Africa, and the south can be easily added in a Southern Africa itinerary. Mozambique's extensive coastline takes in varying degrees of latitude, making it a year-round destination and the perfect way to end your safari.
Mozambique is the perfect end to a safari. With world-class scuba diving and easy access from East and Southern Africa, Mozambique is the perfect place to unwind.
Mozambique is a beach destination that offers superb diving, stunning scenery, and a chance to relax and recharge. Whether you stay at the beach in the northern Quirimbas Archipelago or the south around Inhambane or Bazaruto depends on your interests. The Quirimbas is known for its healthy coral reefs while Inhambane is known for big fish, sharks, whales and more technical deep water dives. Bazaruto has a bit of both and has the most polished luxury properties. While safaris and game-viewing aren’t Mozambique’s strength, we do like the Niassa Reserve for a few days of remote, uncrowded game-viewing if you are coming from a more crowded safari destination like Kruger.
Mozambique is a beach destination with world-renowned diving and big-game fishing. Stretches of pristine beaches, coral reefs, and seas teeming with marine life make this an ocean lovers' paradise. The country is a terrific add-on destination for those who have enjoyed a safari and want to follow it up with a little rest and relaxation.
The scuba diving is considered some of the best in the world. The north offers gorgeous coral reefs, and the south provides sightings of humpback whales, reef sharks and manta rays. Depending on where you stay, you're offered everything from shallow reef dive sites to those up to 30 meters in depth. Strict PADI standards are always adhered to and you can always do an introductory PADI “discovery” class to test out the diving experience.
Many properties in Mozambique err on the side of barefoot or eco-luxury and are often open to the elements. Even 5-star luxury properties may be without air-conditioning. This is not universally true and there are properties that can meet the needs of travelers looking for polished luxury rooms, but eco-luxury is the general trend.
Overall, Mozambique is the perfect beach destination; great for a romantic honeymoon, serious divers, and those looking for remote island beaches and fresh seafood.
Mozambique is a casual and relaxed beach destination, ideal for diving enthusiasts and those who want an uncomplicated end to their safari.
If your priority is game-viewing then the reserves in Mozambique may not quite meet your needs. They cannot compete with parks in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana or South Africa for density of game and ease of sightings. The Niassa Reserve is largely a hunting destination. Its advantage is that there is a low density of vehicles so it will feel very remote. Only one area is used for photographic tourism and you would be best served staying 3 nights to have the best chance to see the cats. Gorongosa is currently inaccessible because of ongoing instability in the region.
The country is quite large and many of the beach properties are on islands off the coast, which increases the likelihood of spending time in a small plane. For travelers who don’t enjoy flying, then Mozambique might not be the right choice. Finally, Portuguese is widely spoken and while it’s not likely to be a problem at most properties, the language barrier may make some travelers uncomfortable.
Depending whether you go to the north or the south, Mozambique can be a year-round destination. January through March/April are the hottest and wettest months and there is always a good chance of rain. But we wouldn’t rule these months out altogether, especially if you are staying as long as a week. It won't ruin your trip, but be prepared for some rain.
Game viewing in Niassa is best during the dry months of July, August, and September.
If you are traveling to Mozambique specifically for the diving, we recommend going between July and October. The humpback whales migrate into the Mozambique waters during that time, so if you have your heart set of viewing these magnificent creatures, time your vacation accordingly.
Because it is so easily accessible from South Africa, Mozambique (particularly in the south) gets very busy during the South African holiday seasons: December to January, the Easter Holidays, and July. If you want to avoid the masses, then perhaps look at traveling out of these periods.
In addition, the south (Bazaruto, Inhambane, Ponta ma Moli) can have heavy rainfall and even cyclones on certain parts of the coast between January and March. In the north (the Quirimbas, Ilha de Mozambique) the rainiest time of year is more closely aligned with the rains in East Africa, between March and May. Of course there is annual variation and in theory it could rain for a day or two at any time of year.
Mozambique has a wide range of beach accommodation at different price points. You can stay somewhere for under $300 per person per night or spend up to $1000 per night to stay in a private villa at Azura Benguerra or Vamizi.
If you add Mozambique on to a safari you will almost certainly have to fly into Pemba or Vilanculous which will add to your cost. Among the properties we favor, White Pearl is one of the few that you can reach via road from South Africa.
Mozambique is for travelers interested in watersports and gorgeous beaches. Diving, snorkeling, fishing, dhow sundowners, or simply relaxing on the beach are the best ways to fully experience the coastal regions of Mozambique; Bazaruto, Inhambane, and Quirimbas.
Mozambique offers world-class diving opportunities where scuba divers can explore sites that reach up to 30 meters in depth. Water activities such as kayaking and kite surfing are also possible in Mozambique. Many properties also offer deep sea fishing and ocean fly-fishing on a catch and release basis.
Game-viewing in Mozambique can be done in Niassa (and hopefully soon again in Gorongosa). The safari experience is an enjoyable one because of the lack of crowds, but you do need to search a little harder for the animals. You don’t trip over them as you do in Kenya and Tanzania!
Maputo and the other Mozambique towns are historically fascinating. The architecture, museums, markets, bars and cafes can best be explored on foot or on guided walking tours.
The Niassa Reserve (and Gorongosa which we are not using at the moment) are home to big cats, elephant, hippo and crocodile, a wide variety of antelope and smaller animals such as civets, genets and cerval. However, the game-viewing is just not as dense or prolific the Serengeti or Maasai Mara.
In terms of wildlife, Mozambique’s big draw is its marine life. Depending on where you are and the time of year you can see manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, turtles, humpback whales, whale sharks, reef sharks, hammerheads, enormous grouper, barracuda, snapper and tuna. The southern waters are good for seeing these larger creatures while the northern waters are rich with beautiful coral reefs.
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