After years of civil war, Mozambique is experiencing the renaissance of its once-thriving tourism industry. Many new hotels and award winning luxury lodges have opened while previously decimated game reserves and national parks are being re-stocked and returned to their former glory. Over 2,000 miles of palm-fringed beaches are the major draw, but Mozambique offer much more, with its blend of African, Arab and Portuguese influences.
The Bazaruto Archipelago
Sometimes referred to as ‘the crown jewels of the Indian Ocean’, the Bazaruto Archipelago is made up of four main islands, Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque and Santa Carolina. They are situated a short distance from the mainland and are easily accessed by boat, or light aircraft, from the town of Vilanculos. A wide range of activities are available from the various lodges, including snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, sailing and water-skiing. Small antelope roam the islands, alongside fresh-water crocodiles, while flamingo nest in freshwater lakes. The islands are in fact home to over 240 bird species, among them fish eagle and osprey. In addition to humpback whales, dolphins, manta rays, five species of turtle and over 100 species of dugong survive here. View Mozambique in a larger map
Quirimbas and Cabo Delago
Northern Mozambique is characterized by underdeveloped open spaces, stunning forests and breathtaking mountain passes. 4 x 4 vehicles are essential for self-drive visitors with a serious sense of adventure and who should adopt a relaxed mentality, the going is slow, particularly as the majority of road are unpaved. The rewards of braving this remote region are well worthwhile in sparcely populated country offering magnificent and unspoilt natural surroundings. The town of Pemba can be reached by air either from Johannesburg or Dar es Salaam. Arabs dominated trade for many years before the Portuguese and throughout history, Dutch, English, Indians and Chinese have all sought to impose their influence. To the south lies the sleepy port of Beira, where the wet lands and mangrove swamps attract an array of bird life – and best known, at least during the colonial era, for its enormous prawns.