Diving, dhow cruises, deserted islands, snorkeling and sunset cruises; Mozambique is a tropical paradise waiting to be explored. Here’s a few ideas of what to do when you visit…
1. Discover the Bazaruto Archipelago
As a group of five islands in the Mozambique Canal, the archipelago is protected as part of the national park. Created in 1971, it includes the coral reefs surrounding the islands, making it the only protected marine area in Mozambique. The park is one of the largest in the Indian Ocean.
The major attractions are dolphins, humpback whales, and dugongs which are the last population of the African coast. And there are, of course, hundreds of colourful fish. Inland you can meet monkeys, antelopes, otters, pelicans, and flamingos. In the lakes of the two main islands (Bazaruto and Benguerra), you can see crocodiles as well. For lovers of beaches, the proposed activities are diving and fishing. For those who are more into hiking or horse riding, this is the place to visit.
2. Visit Maputo
Located in the extreme south of Mozambique, Maputo is the capital of the country. Known for its colourful markets and a thriving nightlife, this harbour city was founded by the Portuguese and became a diverse and vibrant metropolis. On the list of the places to visit in Maputo include Baixa (port and market), the Tunduru Botanical Gardens, the Eiffel House, Notre Dame Cathedral of the Concession or the National Museum of Arts.
From the culinary point of view, we recommend you taste local seafood, especially the prawns with a peri-peri sauce which are the specialty of the region. When the prawn tasting is over, move to the vibrant nightlife area of Fere Popolare, and enjoy the local beer in one of the bars or nightclubs.
Photo Credit: Rosino
3. Explore Inhaca Island
This little peaceful land is reputed as a home of the rarest fauna and flora species of the world. It’s only a few minutes by boat from Maputo. If you dream about sumptuous, deserted beaches, and you wish to lose yourself in a tropical environment, swim with sea turtles in mild and crystal-clear water, do not forget to have a stop on Inhaca island for few days. Here coral reefs and exotic marine species live in harmony.
The island has only a few hundred inhabitants who are entirely involved in the preservation of the island’s wilderness and biodiversity. Remember that at low tide you can easily walk to the Portuguese island which is a rise of white sandy beaches surrounded by azure blue seas.
4. Dhow Cruise in the Quirimbas Archipelago
This wonderful journey will offer a breathtaking landscape waiting for you to be discovered. Jump aboard of a traditional sailing boat locally called a “Dhow” and navigate peacefully with the wind in the Quirimbas Archipelago. The Quirimbas Archipelago is made up of 27 coral islands that are strung along the northern coast of Mozambique. You will discover secluded and privileged places in the north of the country: river mouths, pristine mangrove forests and rare species of birds and the marine biodiversity.
Photo Credit: Wayfaring Sinh
5. Diving with Whale Sharks
Considered as the “official” capital of diving, Tofo is one of the hot spots in Mozambique. You feel the diving culture everywhere in the city. The beach is beautiful. However, the coral reef is less spectacular then in other regions of the country. The presence of manta rays, whale sharks and humpback whales in the season are a real compensation. There is nothing like swimming with a whale shark, the largest fish in the world! You can find humpback whales throughout the year in the popular diving resorts of Ponta do Ouro and Ponta Malongane, but the best time to observe them is during the summer. As for manta rays, they occur in Tofo Bay the whole year.
6. Take a Break at the Polana Serena Hotel
When you are at the very heart of Maputo, on one of the most prestigious avenues of the city, take a break at the magnificent Polona Serena Hotel. The historical building has a classic charm, elegance and was built in a colonial style. Take the time to enjoy an afternoon tea here, even if you do not stay overnight. Taste teas, savour pastries or the delicious short eats in a relaxing and quiet atmosphere of the Polona Bar or on its outside terrace overlooking the pool. You can also relax in the hotel spa, which offers a wide range of massage treatments such as steam, sauna and more. This is exactly what you need after a long day of diving or sightseeing.
Photo Credit: Serena Hotels
7. Cultural visit of the Island of Mozambique
This island was part of the Old Portuguese trading route on the road to India, and was fortified by the Portuguese. Today you can observe the remarkable architectural unity of the fort due to the technique, materials (stone or macuti) and decorative elements used, which have remained the same since the 16th century.
The Island of Mozambique was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in the early 90s. In addition to the beautiful beaches, there are other historical buildings to visit, such as the Palace St Paul, the interesting Museum of Sacred Art and the Fort of San Sebastian, which is the oldest fort still standing in sub-Saharan Africa.
With so many things to do in Mozambique, you may even forget to sit back and relax but definitely do that too. With all the beaches, island life vibes and dreamy waters, it would be a tragedy not too.
What would you love to do when you visit Mozambique?