Occupying a great bend of East Africa, where the tropical heart of the continent slowly becomes the temperate south of the continent, the vast nation of Mozambique certainly has its fair share of touristic draws. Along the coast you’ll find alabaster-white sands with a fringing of palm trees; you’ll spot curious manatee-like creatures in the company of blooming coral sponges in the warm Indian Ocean waters. And as the interior takes over – a patchwork of swaying savannah grasses and baobab forests – the habitats of the famous Rift Valley begin in earnest.
There, it’s all about the hopping gazelles and the elephants, the sculpted highlands of Zambezia, and the earthy tribal villages of the native folks. And who’s forgetting Mozambique’s enthralling capital? That Maputo is a pulse of life, beating with jazz and reggae and flavoured with just a taste of Portuguese charm. (After a lengthy civil war, hopes were high that the nation would stabilise and open for good, but recent upheavals have wobbled expectations – so be sure to check ahead for FCO warnings and the like.)
Lets explore the best places to visit in Mozambique:
1. Bazaruto Archipelago
There’s nothing quite like the Bazaruto Archipelago. A speckling of elongated isles in the Indian Ocean, they are a patchwork of shimmering, aquamarine seas and coral gardens, windblown sand dunes and ochre-hued coastal hills that come peppered with scrub and swaying coconut palm groves.
The largest island of the area (called, simply, just Bazaruto) is a place of open sandy bays patrolled by galumphing dugong, while the inland is carved through by karst hills and boulder stones. A little to the south and you’ll find the paradisiacal reaches of the Ilha de Benguerra, where luxurious honeymoon hotels poke above the white sands in a medley of swinging hammocks and sunning decks.