Long and narrow, Mozambique’s calling cards are its gorgeous, untouched coastline – which stretches the distance equal to that from Maine to Florida – and the private Indian Ocean islands not far offshore. Your time here will be completely different from your other African experiences.
There are two main archipelagos just offshore: the six islands of Bazaruto in the south – Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Bangue and Santa Carolina (Paradise) and Pansy Shell; in the north, the equally beautiful Quirimbas Archipelago.
The islands are small and tranquil, only a handful of small, eco-friendly luxury resorts and private villas are nestled among the groves of the coconut trees.
The warm Indian Ocean offers a welcome retreat from sun-drenched sandy beaches. At sunset, watch the local fishermen and villagers tow their handmade Mozambican dhows (small sailing boats) through the low tide, fully loaded with that day’s catch (which is often your dinner).
In addition to these islands is ancient Ilha de Mocambique. It was a busy place even before Vasco de Gama arrived in 1497. It has a 16th-century fort and attractive colonial architecture. It was the original colonial Portuguese capital (before it was moved to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) in 1898. An Arab sultan gave the island its name. And in turn, it gave its name to the entire country.
The picturesque islands give way to the port of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, still known by many as Lourenco Marques. With a plentitude of acacia trees, you will discover a blend of colonial Portuguese architecture and traditions with African culture and the vibrancy of life and commerce in a 21st-century African city.
Long and wide avenues are cultural highways, inviting you to food stalls serving chicken piri-piri and marketplaces with local crafts, indigenous art, and the stuff of everyday life that somehow always seems more photogenic in Africa.
Safari in Mozambique is often overlooked. Strides are being made to focus attention on nature reserves and animal conservation. The Niassa Reserve, larger than Kruger National Park, hosts a large population of wildlife including the endangered African wild dog. Limpopo National Park has dropped fences with Kruger National Park in South Africa creating an enormous trans-frontier area in which wildlife can freely roam.
We can arrange for you to scuba or snorkel among coral reefs and in waters teeming with marine life, including seahorses, turtles, dolphins, and humpback whales. Visit our Idea Lab for more.
Or if that’s not quite your style, we can include a picnic lunch on a sandbar in the Indian Ocean with your girlfriend or boyfriend. If you come back engaged, we’ll take all the credit.