There is so much to see and do in Mozambique, from Maputo, the vibrant and lively capital, to charming Inhambane, with its bevy of beautiful beaches. With three wonderful national parks, Mozambique’s depleted wildlife is on the rise and its off-the-beaten track safaris offer a true wilderness experience. The Quirimbas and Bazaruto Archipelagos are the jewels of the Indian Ocean, with a handful of small luxurious private island resorts perfect for a blissful relaxing retreat. Here is our pick of the best places to visit in Mozambique.
In the far south of the country, Maputo, Mozambique’s lively capital city, is nestled in a gorgeous bay on the Indian Ocean. Formerly the Portuguese city of Lourenco Marques, Maputo is an eclectic mix of European, Arab and African cultures, with a large harbour, historic buildings, a vibrant Municipal Market and lively nightlife. From Maputo visit Inhaca Island or the picturesque Maputo Elephant Reserve.
Gorongosa is Mozambique’s flagship conservation area which comprises 1.2 million hectares of open plain, bush, swamp and waterways. Gorongosa was one of Africa’s greatest game parks until the majority of its large game was killed during the civil war. Thanks to extensive conservation work, Gorongosa is slowly returning to its former glory and the park is now home to rhino, lion, elephant, leopard, zebras, kudu, cheetah, warthog and over 500 different bird species.
The Bazaruto Archipelago consists of 5 idyllic tropical islands which can be reached by boat or light aircraft from Vilanculos. These islands with their deserted white sand beaches and swaying palms form part of the Bazaruto Marine National Park which is home to endangered dugongs, turtles, mantarays, dolphins whale sharks and humpback whales, amongst other marine life. Diving and snorkelling here is considered to be the best in Africa.
The Quirimbas Archipelago in northern Mozambique is one of the most unspoilt destinations on the planet. Of the 32 pristine coral islands, the 11 southernmost islands form part of the Quirimbas National Park, which protects some of the best coral reefs in the world, teeming with marine life and wonderful for diving. The coastal town of Pemba is the gateway to the Quirimbas Archipelago, accessible by air from Maputo or Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.