28 September 2016
Mozambique is a holiday destination of note where beaches, wildlife, scuba diving and great food ensure every tourist is happy. Explore the extensive coastline from Ponto do Ouro in the south to Pemba in the north, island hop in the stunning Bazaruto Archipelago and the remotely beautiful Quirimbas Archipelago. Dine on huge prawns, grilled lobster, soft fresh bread, tropical fruits, coconuts and cashew nuts. Check out our 5 top choices for your travel this season:
1. Sunny Inhambane
Find it en route to Ponta da Barra peninsula and Tofo, home to magical beaches lined with tall coconut palms. Set off on an ocean cruise or deep sea dive to see the world’s most famous Manta ray or swim with huge Whale sharks.
Inhambane is a sleepy historic town featuring some great colonial architecture and some say it is one of the prettiest towns in Mozambique. Use it as a springboard to the coastal resorts around Tofo beach (some 30km due east, along a reasonably good road). Try a bit of canoeing and dhow trips are also a wonderful and relaxing activity for all those set on chilling. Do something typically local – visit the Mocucune Peninsula to chase a chicken for the grill and drink a local beer.
Stay at Pensao Pachica guest house on the bay of Inhambane with its quaint bayside restaurant, bar and pizza parlour. The Crab curry is a must! he recently refurbished Castelo do Mar Villa at Inhambane’s Linga Linga beach is a dream Mozambique holiday destination or business meeting place right on the beach. Enjoy deep sea fishing, deep sea diving, snorkelling, canoeing, relaxing in the stocked library, or having fun in the games room. Rates are inclusive of three meals a day and guests can enjoy exquisite food in the Portuguese restaurant.
2. Wilderness Wonders in Gorongosa National Park
Explore this incredible 4,000 square kilometre Park at the southern end of the Great East African Rift Valley. The park includes the valley floor and parts of surrounding plateaus. Rivers originating on nearby 1862-meter Mount Gorongosa water the plain. Seasonal flooding and waterlogging of the valley creates a variety of distinct ecosystems and huge grasslands are dotted with patches of acacia trees, dry forests on sands and seasonally rain-filled pans and termite hill thickets. So Gorongosa at one time supported some of the densest wildlife populations in all of Africa before the war.
Now on the road to recovery thanks to many committed individuals and organisation, you can look out for lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, hippo, crocodile, zebra, sable, kudu, nyala, waterbuck, impala, bushbuck, reedbuck, oribi, Lichenstein’s hartebeest, warthog, bush pig, serval cat, civet, genet, chacma baboon and vervet monkey.
Book yourself onto the unique ‘Explore Gorongosa’ Private Safari ‘, a private ecotourism outfit which runs exclusive luxury walking safaris from a luxurious custom-designed tented camp. Find out more about the game around you. Or choose Chitengo Safari Camp which was reopened after the civil war and now offers 9 modern and comfortable double cabanas with en-suite toilets, air-conditioning, and thatch chairs.
3. History and Culture on Ilha de Mozambique
This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the capital of Mozambique before the move to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo). Explore what used to be a major base for the Arab traders since around the 8th century, long before the arrival of the Portuguese. It won’t take you long as this tiny island is only 3km long and very narrow. Connected by a concrete bridge to the mainland most of the 16 000 people live in bustling Macuti Town. Stone Town occupies the northern half of the island and boasts significant architecture and cultural traditions.
Be sure to visit the museum in the old Palácio dos Capitães-Generais and the Church of Nossa Senhora do Baluarte, almost certainly the oldest surviving European building in the southern hemisphere, dating back to 1522. If you’re feeling adventurous take a traditional dhow over to the mainland at Cabeciera where there is a beautiful lagoon or Carusca a popular restaurant and bar on a truly magnificent beach.
Stay at the famous Hotel Escondidinho in Stone town, a tastefully renovated double storey building with 10 rooms, swimming pool and restaurant. Or choose the Quitanda´s Terrace Guest House separated from the beach by a garden outside with 6 exotic individually decorated suites.
4. Delightful Diving in the Bazaruto Archipelago
Some of the highlights of your beach break in Mozambique, when you holiday in the Bazaruto Archipelago, include excellent diving and snorkelling over clean coral reefs where dugongs, game fish and whale sharks swim. You will also swim for hours in the clear, warm sea, take hundreds of perfect photos of sunsets, beaches and traditional people doing traditional things, and you will indulge in delicious fresh seafood after a day spent in the sun with loved ones.
The Bazaruto Archipelago offers some of the best diving in the world so choose a lodge which offers top class diving and you will spend your days gasping at the underwater fantasy worlds that await you. Choose Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa on Bazaruto Island, the largest isle in the Archipelago, for spacious deluxe accommodation in a master and second bedroom, made for couple alone time or family fun time.
Or Benguerra Island’s Benguerra Lodge villas decorated with rich earthy colours and fabrics – complimenting their natural thatched roofs, deep copper baths and outside showers. This is luxury defined – plunge pools, stone walls and mosaic floors allow you to relax, yet feel totally pampered.
5. Beaches and Nightlife in Pretty Pemba
Discover the world’s third-largest natural bay and also the most important centre in northern Mozambique with banks, patisseries, supermarkets and restaurants. Take time to explore the Slave Trade Fort at Ponta Romero Lighthouse, a great lookout point for incoming ships. It is worth visiting Nacole Baobab, an eco-friendly nature estate with 3 types of mangrove estuaries, bird watching, a secluded sunset beach fire with savanna bush.
Take a walk around Paquitequete, an old traditional fishing village where you can witness authentic building and repairing of the ancient Dhows, which are still active today. Pop into the Banguia Authentic Traditional Market selling everything and anything and you can see tailors sewing on the side of the road.
Stay at Pemba Beach Hotel, a large Arabian style open plan hotel with 60 sea-facing rooms including 2 suites and some interconnected rooms suited for families. There are also 8 two-story villas with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms each, and all the above amenities plus fully equipped kitchens and washing machines and dryers and electronic safes. The villas are serviced and accommodate a maximum of 6 guests.
For something new and luxurious, book into the elegant Diamonds Mequfi Beach Resort, 30 km south of Pemba in one of the most unspoilt corners of Mozambique. Stay in one of 40 deluxe rooms and 10 suites spread out over natural dunes with private terraces overlooking the ocean you are assured of a refreshing break.