Mozambique

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Mozambique

After recovering from many years of civil war, Mozambique opened its doors to tourism and is fast becoming the hottest beach destination in Africa. With an enviable position between Tanzania in the north, Malawi and Zambia in the northwest and South Africa to the south, Mozambique has become the perfect compliment to any African safari.

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With an enviable position between Tanzania in the north, Malawi and Zambia in the northwest and South Africa to the south, Mozambique has become the perfect compliment to any African safari.

With almost 2,500 kms of palm fringed beaches with warm turquoise Indian Ocean waters, silky white sandy beaches and spectacular coral reefs, The Bazaruto Archipelago in the south and the Quirimbas in the north both offer excellent diving, fishing and small, friendly boutique accommodation.

Away from the coast Lake Niassa lies to the west and for the safari connoisseur the recently restored Gorongosa National Park offers isolated wilderness with an incredibly diverse range of rare birds and big game.

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Quick Facts

Capital
Maputo

Population
29 million

Area
812,379 sq km (313,661 sq miles)

Major Languages
Portuguese (official), several indigenous languages, including Makhuwa

Major religion 
Christianity, indigenous beliefs, Islam

Monetary Unit 
Metical

Flight time from London
14.5 hours via Johannesburg,

Time Difference 
GMT + 2

When to go 
Sunshine, blue skies and temperatures averaging between 24°C and 27°C along the coast are the norm, except during the rainy summer season from about December/January through to April when everything gets soggy and sticky, and temperatures exceed 30°C in some areas.

The best time to visit is from May/June to November, during the cooler dry season. During the Christmas/New Years holidays, around Easter and in August, the southern resorts fill up with the vacationing South African neighbours.

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Highlights

Bazaruto Archipelago

The Archipelago consists of four main islands: Bazaruto Island, Benguerra Island, Magaruque Island and Santa Carolina Island.

The islands are covered by large sand dunes and freshwater lakes (nesting grounds for beautiful black-winged flamingoes) and to keep environmental damage to a minimum visitors can only stay in one of a handful of private lodges which offer excellent scuba diving, deep-sea fishing and sailing.

Crystal white beaches squeak beneath your feet and just offshore, in warm waist deep waters, one floats amidst coral gardens of infinite beauty and colour, examining and being examined by shoals of fish that move amongst the corals like clouds of living jewels.

Declared a National Park in 1971, the Archipelago boasts among its wildlife, 180 species of birds, endemic butterflies, suni antelope and freshwater crocodile. The protected reefs and beaches support dolphin, dugong, gamefish, giant lobster and several species of marine turtle.

All of the islands support populations of traditional fisherman and their families, many of whom are not permanent residents and may migrate between the Archipelago and the mainland in their pursuit of good fishing waters.

The Bazaruto Archipelego is the perfect beach destination to combine with any southern African safari in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa, where there are direct flight from the Kruger National Park into Vilanculos (gateway to the archipelago).

Gorongosa National Park

The rehabilitation of Gorongosa National Park in Central Mozambique represents one of the great conservation opportunities in the world today.

The 4,000 square kilometre Park is located at the southern end of the Great East African Rift Valley and as a result it is a region with high species diversity and environmental features found nowhere else in the sub-continent. Seasonal flooding and waterlogging of the valley, which is composed of a mosaic of different soil types, creates a variety of distinct ecosystems and the grasslands are dotted with patches of acacia trees, savannah, dry forest on sand and seasonally rain-filled pans and termite hill thickets.

This combination of unique features at one time supported some of the densest wildlife populations in all of Africa, including charismatic carnivores, herbivores and over 500 bird species but sadly large mammal numbers were reduced by as much as 95% and ecosystems stressed during Mozambique’s many years of civil war between 1981 – 1994.

In 2004 the Government of Mozambique and the US-based Carr Foundation agreed to work together to rebuild the park’s infrastructure, restore its wildlife populations and spur local economic development – opening an important new chapter in the park’s history. Between 2004 and 2007 the Carr Foundation invested more than $10 million in this effort and during that time the restoration project team completed a 60 square kilometre (23 square miles) wildlife sanctuary and reintroduced buffalo and wildebeest into the ecosystem.

Due to the success of this initial three-year project, the Government of Mozambique and the Carr Foundation announced in 2008 that they had signed a 20-year agreement to restore and co-manage the Park and now it is home to an intriguing diversity of animals, birds and plants – some of which are found nowhere else in the world.

With more and more species being reintroduced on a monthly basis Gorongosa is starting to boast an impressive species list and it is home to significant populations of oribi, reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog and herds of up to 120 head of sable.

Predators are recovering slowly, with a number of lion prides and a few male coalitions within the Park and Elephant herds (and loan bulls) are regularly encountered. Leopard do occur in small numbers and in the rivers and lake there are good populations of hippo and crocodile. Nocturnal species include serval, civet, genet, both bushbaby species and porcupine.
Guests visiting Gorongosa can take guided game and birding walks, night drives, and play an exclusive part in the park’s visionary Restoration Project.

Quirimbas Archipelago

The Quirimbas Archipelago stretches for 100 kilometres along the north Mozambique coast.
These tropical islands contain some of the richest coral reefs in the world and provide habitat for an abundant array of marine life. The Quirimbas Archipelago consists of 32 tropical coral islands stretching from Pemba (the capital of Cabo Delgado Province) to the Rovuma River, which forms the natural frontier between Tanzania and Mozambique. The area has never been developed and remains an unexplored tourist paradise.

Pemba is the access point for the Quirimbas Archipelago and although more remote and less frequented than Bazaruto Archipelago, the snorkelling, fishing and diving in the surrounding water is second to none for the most of the islands feature phenomenal vertical drop-offs, some of up to 400 metres.

Marine activity aside, the Quirimbas have enormous cultural and historical value, with a combination of Arabian, Portuguese, and African influences. The magnificent old fortresses on Ibo Island boast intriguing historical and fascinating sites. With mangroves, coral and palms this island tells a story of slaves, pirates and ivory.

Bazaruto Archipelago

The Archipelago consists of four main islands: Bazaruto Island, Benguerra Island, Magaruque Island and Santa Carolina Island.

The islands are covered by large sand dunes and freshwater lakes (nesting grounds for beautiful black-winged flamingoes) and to keep environmental damage to a minimum visitors can only stay in one of a handful of private lodges which offer excellent scuba diving, deep-sea fishing and sailing.

Crystal white beaches squeak beneath your feet and just offshore, in warm waist deep waters, one floats amidst coral gardens of infinite beauty and colour, examining and being examined by shoals of fish that move amongst the corals like clouds of living jewels.

Declared a National Park in 1971, the Archipelago boasts among its wildlife, 180 species of birds, endemic butterflies, suni antelope and freshwater crocodile. The protected reefs and beaches support dolphin, dugong, gamefish, giant lobster and several species of marine turtle.

All of the islands support populations of traditional fisherman and their families, many of whom are not permanent residents and may migrate between the Archipelago and the mainland in their pursuit of good fishing waters.

The Bazaruto Archipelego is the perfect beach destination to combine with any southern African safari in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa, where there are direct flight from the Kruger National Park into Vilanculos (gateway to the archipelago).

Gorongosa National Park

The rehabilitation of Gorongosa National Park in Central Mozambique represents one of the great conservation opportunities in the world today.

The 4,000 square kilometre Park is located at the southern end of the Great East African Rift Valley and as a result it is a region with high species diversity and environmental features found nowhere else in the sub-continent. Seasonal flooding and waterlogging of the valley, which is composed of a mosaic of different soil types, creates a variety of distinct ecosystems and the grasslands are dotted with patches of acacia trees, savannah, dry forest on sand and seasonally rain-filled pans and termite hill thickets.

This combination of unique features at one time supported some of the densest wildlife populations in all of Africa, including charismatic carnivores, herbivores and over 500 bird species but sadly large mammal numbers were reduced by as much as 95% and ecosystems stressed during Mozambique’s many years of civil war between 1981 – 1994.

In 2004 the Government of Mozambique and the US-based Carr Foundation agreed to work together to rebuild the park’s infrastructure, restore its wildlife populations and spur local economic development – opening an important new chapter in the park’s history. Between 2004 and 2007 the Carr Foundation invested more than $10 million in this effort and during that time the restoration project team completed a 60 square kilometre (23 square miles) wildlife sanctuary and reintroduced buffalo and wildebeest into the ecosystem.

Due to the success of this initial three-year project, the Government of Mozambique and the Carr Foundation announced in 2008 that they had signed a 20-year agreement to restore and co-manage the Park and now it is home to an intriguing diversity of animals, birds and plants – some of which are found nowhere else in the world.

With more and more species being reintroduced on a monthly basis Gorongosa is starting to boast an impressive species list and it is home to significant populations of oribi, reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog and herds of up to 120 head of sable.

Predators are recovering slowly, with a number of lion prides and a few male coalitions within the Park and Elephant herds (and loan bulls) are regularly encountered. Leopard do occur in small numbers and in the rivers and lake there are good populations of hippo and crocodile. Nocturnal species include serval, civet, genet, both bushbaby species and porcupine.
Guests visiting Gorongosa can take guided game and birding walks, night drives, and play an exclusive part in the park’s visionary Restoration Project.

Quirimbas Archipelago

The Quirimbas Archipelago stretches for 100 kilometres along the north Mozambique coast.
These tropical islands contain some of the richest coral reefs in the world and provide habitat for an abundant array of marine life. The Quirimbas Archipelago consists of 32 tropical coral islands stretching from Pemba (the capital of Cabo Delgado Province) to the Rovuma River, which forms the natural frontier between Tanzania and Mozambique. The area has never been developed and remains an unexplored tourist paradise.

Pemba is the access point for the Quirimbas Archipelago and although more remote and less frequented than Bazaruto Archipelago, the snorkelling, fishing and diving in the surrounding water is second to none for the most of the islands feature phenomenal vertical drop-offs, some of up to 400 metres.

Marine activity aside, the Quirimbas have enormous cultural and historical value, with a combination of Arabian, Portuguese, and African influences. The magnificent old fortresses on Ibo Island boast intriguing historical and fascinating sites. With mangroves, coral and palms this island tells a story of slaves, pirates and ivory.

Where to stay

These are just a selection of the properties we can personally recommend. Please get in touch to hear more about our full portfolio.

Azura Benguerra

Azura is Mozambique’s first luxury ‘eco’ retreat. Built entirely by hand by the local community and operated in partnership with them, this boutique resort has just 15 villas, each with their own infinity pool and designed for both pampering and barefoot escapism.

take me to Azura Benguerra

Azura Quilalea

Quilalea brings Azura’s trademark African-chic style to Quilalea Private Island, a wholly uninhabited island paradise surrounded by the pristine waters of the Quirimbas Archipelago marine sanctuary. It is a hidden gem with a relaxed and understated ‘Robinson Crusoe’ castaway style.

take me to Azura Quilalea

Ibo Island lodge

Located on the prime waterfront site on Ibo Island in the Quirimba’s Archipelago, three historic and magnificent mansions, each over one hundred and fifty years old, have been lovingly restored to their former glory and make up Ibo Island Lodge.

take me to Ibo Island lodge

Nuarro Lodge

Nuarro Lodge offers tropical private beaches and unspoiled bush with a unique biodiversity, where amazing hidden secrets can be found along the coastline including enchanting traditions, history & culture – the perfect ingredients for an authentic holiday experience.

take me to Nuarro Lodge

Vamizi Island Private Villas

Vamizi Island defines castaway chic, with five impossibly romantic timber villas strung loosely along one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Vamizi isn’t about the usual five star luxury and all mod cons, it’s about the more rarefied pleasures of exclusive island life.

take me to Vamizi Island Private Villas

Get in touch with us now to start planning your journey

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