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Mozambique Beach Holiday

All our favourite beach lodges sit right at the ocean's edge yet each has a unique character and appeal.

Mozambique Safari

More affordable than the Seychelles and less built-up than Mauritius, Mozambique is fast becoming the place to go for classic tropical island holidays. Its wide mainland beaches are lapped by the warm Indian Ocean but the most appealing destinations lie just offshore: two clusters of postcard-perfect islands dot the blue horizon – the Bazaruto Archipelago in the south and the exclusive private islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago near the Tanzanian border in the far north.

A Mozambique holiday is the perfect excuse to kick off your shoes, take off your watch and gear down to the slow pace of island life: swim, snorkel, laze in the sunshine or set sail on a sunset dhow cruise. When the mood takes you there are richly coloured coral reefs waiting to be explored on scuba diving trips, and the clear waters are world-renowned for big game fishing.

All our favourite beach lodges sit right at the ocean's edge yet each has a unique character and appeal. For a Mozambique honeymoon we’d highly recommend our Quirimbas accommodation – choose between luxurious villas or romantic, thatched suites with virtually a whole island to yourselves – while our Bazaruto lodges combine easily with the Kruger National Park, making them ideal for a safari and beach holiday.

Mozambique also pairs perfectly with the under-rated kwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. Separated by the border, they both share the same subtropical climate, lush vegetation and kick-off-your-shoes atmosphere. The wildlife highlight in kwaZulu-Natal is Phinda Private Game Reserve where reclaimed farmland has over decades been painstakingly converted to indigenous bush. Phinda is a great combination for a Mozambique beach vacation. If you want to venture slightly further afield in search of game, then Madikwe Game Reserve is also easily reached from Mozambique. Lying in an ecological transition zone, Madikwe is wonderful place to look for endangered wild dogs.

Our Mozambique tours & holidays are about more than just lazing on soft sandy beaches. Once one of Africa's top big game destinations, the country’s wild reserves are recovering rapidly and are becoming a top choice for off-the-beaten-track safaris. In fact, Mozambique’s flagship park – the beautiful and diverse Gorongosa National Park – was recently the subject of an award-winning National Geographic documentary Africa’s Lost Eden and it won't be long before Mozambique regains its reputation as both a game-viewing and beach holiday destination.

Our top places to visit in Mozambique:

Best Time to Visit Mozambique

Cape Town

What is the best time of the year to visit Cape Town?

The May to November winter season is when to go to Mozambique for cooler temperatures and the least chance of rain; December to April is the wet summer season although it generally rains in brief but vigorous downpours after which the sun comes out again. Note that January and February is cyclone season in southern Mozambique and there's every chance of a great deal of torrential rain - we'd advise avoiding the Bazaruto Archipelago at this time.

If the main focus of your Mozambique holiday is game viewing then the best time to visit Mozambique is during the dry months of August and September when the bush has thinned out and wildlife is concentrated around rivers and waterholes.

Where to Go in Mozambique

With a 2 500km coastline and two sun-drenched archipelagos, the question of where to go in Mozambique often comes down to which beach or island best suits your sandy-toed dream destination. And while it's obvious that Mozambique is perfect for “laze and gaze” beach holidays, away from the coastline you'll also find wild reserves offering game viewing, bird watching and guided walking safaris in magnificent wilderness areas.

Maputo: seafood & spices, Mozambique’s bustling capital

Mozambique's rejuvenated capital city Maputo is set in the far south of the country and is best known for its colourful markets and thriving nightlife. It's also the best place to enjoy the country's signature dish: a plate of sizzling peri-peri prawns washed down with ice-cold Laurentina beer. That said, if it’s a beach holiday you’re after then we recommend that you don’t linger long in this bustling city but head further north to the long mainland beaches or the islands of the dazzling Bazaruto or Quirimbas Archipelagos.

Vilanculos: gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago & great diving

This coastal town is the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago and a great destination in its own right: there are some lovely Vilanculos lodges set right on the beach, the town has a scattering of good local restaurants and the marine life in the nearby Bazaruto Marine Park is phenomenal. Our top things to do in Vilanculos include horse rides along the beach as well as snorkelling and diving trips to the nearby islands.

Inhambane: long beaches, whale sharks & manta rays

If you’re looking for miles of palm-lined beaches and a lively atmosphere then set your sights on Inhambane and the nearby holiday villages of Tofo and Barra. The Barra Peninsula in particular has wonderful wide beaches and its clear waters are home to Manta Reef – known the world over as a top destination for excellent manta ray sightings. To top it all off, this region is one of your best bets for swimming with whale sharks.

Bazaruto Archipelago: tropical islands & luxurious lodges

Five glittering islands set in Africa’s biggest marine reserve, the Bazaruto Archipelago is a fantastic choice for a relaxing break with an exotic African twist. There’s no fighting for towel space on these largely empty beaches, the pace of life is wonderfully slow and the game fishing, snorkelling and diving are all world-renowned. Both Benguerra and Bazaruto islands are a short hassle-free flight from South Africa’s Kruger National Park - start your day with an early morning game drive and end it with a sunset dhow cruise.

Quirimbas Archipelago: private island escape

Scattered on a sea of brilliant blue, the Quirimbas Archipelago is where to go in Mozambique for a private island escape. Of the 30 or so islands, only a handful have accommodation or indeed development of any kind: the tiny thatched chalets on Medjumbe Private Island are perfect for honeymooners, while recently reopened Quilalea has coral reefs just a fin’s flick from shore.

Gorongosa National Park: magnificent, wild & diverse

Gorongosa is a wild tapestry of grassy floodplains, fever tree forests, palm thickets, wide rivers and the country’s last rainforest. Having recently undergone a hugely ambitious and successful rehabilitation programme, the rejuvenation of this remote reserve is one of Africa’s true good-news stories and while it's not yet the best option for a Big 5 safari, if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track escape with diverse game, rich birdlife and a real sense of untamed Africa then you’re sure to love Gorongosa!

Pemba: gateway to the Quirimbas Archipelago, crafts & culture

The port town of Pemba is built around a large natural bay and, although somewhat run down, has some beautiful examples of colonial Portuguese architecture shaded by large baobab trees. There are colourful reefs lying close to shore but most visitors focus on exploring this city’s markets and craft shops for a day or two before setting off for nearby beach lodges or the islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago.

Niassa Reserve: a vast, raw, beautiful wilderness

More than twice the size of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Niassa is one of Africa’s largest conservation areas but this remote and little visited reserve has only recently opened up to tourism. Consequently the wildlife is still skittish but you’re sure to have some good sightings including - if you’re lucky - lion, leopard or even wild dog, plus the bird watching is exceptional. Niassa’s biggest draw card is however the chance to experience guided walks and game drives in a truly wild, secluded and beautiful expanse of African wilderness.

Mozambique Travel Advice

There's nothing like up-to-date, relevant travel information direct from the experts - get Go2Africa's essential Mozambique travel advice before you go.

Money & Spending

Mozambique’s official currency is the Metical (plural Meticais) but if you’re travelling in southern Mozambique both the South African Rand and US Dollar are widely accepted. In the north it’s best to carry dollars. If you want to use a foreign currency instead of Meticais when souvenir shopping at markets and craft shops then we'd recommend that you bring small denomination notes.

Most hotels and lodges have credit card facilities but there are a couple of exceptions so be on the safe side and check with your Africa Safari Expert before you travel.

At our recommended beach and island lodges all non-motorized water sports are usually free though you might be charged for snorkelling trips if a boat is needed to take you out to the reefs. We’d advise that you find out which activities are included beforehand to avoid any unexpected extras when it's time to check out.

Tipping

A 10% tip for service in most Mozambique restaurants is standard. Tipping tour guides is at your discretion and depends on the size of your group and the level of service you feel you’ve received.

For in-depth tipping guidelines, enquire with one of our Africa Safari Experts - they'd be happy to share their knowledge with you.

Climate

Average summer temperatures: 21°C to 31°C

Average winter temperatures: 15°C to 26°C

Rainy season: mid-November to April

Refer to “best time to visit Mozambique” for climate charts and information on the cyclone season.

What to Pack

Generally, casual comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year for a Mozambique holiday. If you are visiting Mozambique for a beach holiday, pack plenty of light cotton tops and shorts, as well as a hat, sunglasses, beach sandals and a pair of comfortable walking shoes.

If you are planning on taking lots of photographs, be sure to pack extra memory cards and batteries for your camera as these are difficult to find in Mozambique and very expensive if you do manage to get hold of them.

For the evenings – or if you are going on safari in combination with Mozambique – pack long-sleeved clothing to protect against mosquitoes and a fleece or jacket for winter game drives.

Maputo International Airport: the main gateway into Mozambique with direct flights from Portugal, Johannesburg or Cape Town, holiday-makers are usually on their way to one of the country's smaller airports to access the Indian Ocean coast.

Vilanculos International Airport: fly from Maputo, Johannesburg, Cape Town or Kruger International for the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago. The Kruger connection means a great logistics solution for a Big 5 safari and beach holiday.

Pemba International Airport: gateway to the Quirimbas Archipelago, Pemba is accessed via Maputo, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam - the latter two making for a great East Africa safari and beach holiday combination.

Once you've arrived on the coast, travelling onwards to the islands themselves means a boat, light aircraft or helicopter transfer. The islands are small enough to get around on foot though there will be plenty of opportunities for sailing and boating trips.

Mozambique is not a self-drive destination and travellers who want to explore its inland regions should arrange a guided safari.

Visa & Passport Requirements

All visitors to Mozambique must possess a passport valid for at least six months after their departure from the country. Visas are required by everyone except citizens of South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Swaziland and can be bought at most borders for between US $35 and US $80 depending on your nationality. However, due to recent reports of visitors being refused this service, we strongly advise you obtain your visas in advance from your nearest Mozambican Embassy.

About Mozambique

History & Economy

Mozambique's indigenous Khoisan hunter-gatherers were displaced two thousand years ago by West African migrants, bringing with them Iron Age technology, cattle and crops. The result was a collection of powerful tribal kingdoms scattered between the Zambezi and the Limpopo Rivers, trading with Swahili and Arab coastal settlements. Plagued by slavers, the country fell under control of the Portuguese in the early 16th century but freedom came late. Only after a bitter struggle was independence achieved in 1975, and that was followed by a devastating 17-year civil war.

Coming off virtually a zero base, the Mozambican economy has been among the fastest growing in the world. Agriculture, which employs 80% of the country's workforce and makes up around 30% of GDP, has traditionally dominated but Mozambique's economic future lies in its extensive natural resources which include huge coal reserves and the world's fourth biggest natural gas fields. The country's tourism sector is growing but still performing well below its potential.

People & Culture

Since the post-independence departure of some 360 000 Portuguese, Mozambique's 24 million people are overwhelmingly drawn from its black ethnic groups, the largest being the Macau and Shangaan. Nevertheless, it is the Portuguese language that dominates and around 50% of Mozambicans speak it as a first or second language, despite the 60 or so regional languages.

Traditional African religious beliefs are still strongly held in Mozambique though some 56% of Mozambicans regarding themselves as Christian (especially in the south and in cities) with a further 18% adhering to Islam, particularly in the Arabian-influenced north. Music and dance feature prominently in Mozambican culture - the famous marimba is a local instrument - while the Portuguese influence on Mozambique's spicy, Mediterranean-style cuisine will be obvious to visitors.

Landscape & Wildlife

About three times the size of Great Britain, Mozambique is divided into two topographical regions by the Zambezi River. Northern Mozambique is a landscape of hills and low plateaus with rugged highlands in the west. Southern Mozambique is flatter due to the coastal plain which widens from north to south and accounts for almost half of the country's surface area. Away from the coast, Mozambique is very under populated and its vast open woodlands remain virtually untouched.

Most visitors to Mozambique head for the country's Indian Ocean coast. The mainland offers long stretches of palm-fringed beaches but it's the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos that are home to classic 'desert islands' and pristine coral reefs. Several of the best dive sites in the Indian Ocean can be found here and the marine life is exceptional. Highlights include year-round diving with whale sharks and manta rays, concentrations of which peak from October to April.

Once world-renowned, Mozambique's wildlife is still recovering from decades of war but one or two big game destinations are emerging as the herds return and conservation efforts pay off. Head for the Gorongosa National Park and the Niassa Reserve for some of Southern Africa's most remote, exclusive and crowd-free game viewing.

Best Mozambique Holidays & Tours

With miles of soft white sand fringing both its coastline as well as the islands of the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos, Mozambique is a classic beach destination for honeymooners and families alike. There's superb diving and snorkelling, the seafood is straight from the ocean, and if you're looking for exclusivity on your beach holiday then pick from one of the private islands - tiny Medjumbeor Quilalea with its beautiful villas.

There's a dose of history too: visit the enigmatic ruins on Ibo Island or spend time exploring the area around Pemba. And best of all, a Mozambique holiday is easily combined with a safari - it's a short flight from the Kruger National Park to the powder-white beaches of Benguerra Island, or you can even round off a safari in the world-famous parks of Tanzania or Kenya with a Mozambique holiday.

Our selection of top Mozambique tours and holidays includes everything from private island escapes to family friendly beach experiences - we've even got a couple of Mozambique safaris to super-remote big game reserves - but if you can't find what you're looking for, contact one of our Africa Safari Experts for a tailor-made itinerary.


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Tours & Safaris

12 Days Botswana Victoria Falls Mozambique Moneymoon Holiday

Top reasons to visit: Kick off this romantic escape in the magnificent Okavango Delta, one of Africa's greatest wetland

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$500

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Tours & Safaris

10 Days Kruger Mozambique & Swaziland Safari

Top reasons to visit: Experience the best of the Big 5 in Kruger National Park, the pristine beaches of Mozambique,and the

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

10 Day Mozambique Beach & Bush on a Shoestring

Top reasons to visit: Dive into the unexplored islands and wild beaches with lodges that epitomize barefoot luxury

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

9 Days Bush & Beach Holiday

Top reasons to visit: There is no better way to explore Africa than by combing a bush and beach safari. Enjoy four nights of

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

6 Days Mozambique Tropical Island Tour

Top reasons to visit: For the adventure traveler we have crafted a 6-day Mozambique tour. During this excursion

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

5 Days Mozambique Adventure & Beach

Top reasons to visit: Enjoy the best of Mozambique beaches on this 5-day beach and adventure holiday.Explore the

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

4 Days Mozambique Historic City & Idyllic Beach Tour

Top reasons to visit: This tour brings you into the southernmost portion of the expansive East and Southern African

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

3 Days Inhaca Island Mozambique & the Indian Ocean

Top reasons to visit: Inhaca Island Mozambique, take the 2 and a half hour ferry journey from Maputo to Inhaca

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

2 Days Mozambique Ibo Island Lodge

Top reasons to visit: What better way to experience than from paradise itself. Ibo Island Lodge is located on its own island in the Quirimba

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

15 Days Romantic Chobe Delta & Mozambique Island

Top reasons to visit: Spend 15 days enjoying the best of both worlds: a classic big game safari in Botswana and

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

12 Day the Best of Kruger & Mozambique Holiday

Top reasons to visit: This idyllic escape combines a world-famous safari destination with a quintessential tropical

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

12 Days Kruger Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday

Top reasons to visit: This idyllic escape combines a world-famous safari destination with a quintessential tropical

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

15 Days Romantic Honeymoon Chobe Delta & Mozambique Holiday

Top reasons to visit: Spend 15 days enjoying the best of both worlds: a classic big game safari in Botswana and a

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$8,895

Best Mozambique Accommodation

Mozambique beach holidays have long been associated with the concept ‘barefoot luxury’, due in part to the intimate and exclusive accommodation available. Casually luxurious beach lodges and boutique hotels set on the mainland coast as well as on islands in the Quirimbas and Bazaruto Archipelagosmake up some of our most sought after accommodation in Mozambique.

Best known for its beaches, Mozambique's wild and beautiful game reserves such as Gorongosa National Park are home to some of the most remote safari lodges in Southern Africa. Alternatively, regular flights between South Africa's Kruger Park and Vilanculos - gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago - ensure safari and beach holiday combinations are simple to arrange. Simply contact us for advice on choosing the right Mozambique accommodation for your holiday.


Mozambique Travel articles

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Accomodation

Kruger

Activities travellers enjoyed: Animal tracking experience Beach activities Bird

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$500

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Tours & Safaris

Siwandu

Activities travellers enjoyed: Bird watching Boat excursions Game drives Guided walking safaris Private game-drives

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$8,895

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Destination

Gibb's Farm

Activities travellers enjoyed: Biking Cultural tours Game drives Guided walks Jogging trails Local village visits .

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$8,895

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Destination

Fundu Lagoon

Activities travellers enjoyed: Boat excursions Canoeing Day tours Deep sea fishing Dhow cruises Fishing .

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$8,895

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Accomodation

Mnemba Island Lodge

Activities travellers enjoyed: Beach activities Deep sea fishing Scuba diving Snorkelling Kayaking Animal tracking experience .

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$8,895

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Tours & Safaris

Jabali Ridge

Activities travellers enjoyed: Game drives Guided walking safaris Night drives .

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$8,895

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Destination

Rubondo Island Camp

Activities travellers enjoyed: Bird watching Boat excursions Fishing Game drives Hiking Guided walking safaris .

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$8,895

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Destination

Singita Faru Faru River Lodge

Activities travellers enjoyed: Biking Bird watching Game drives Hot air ballooning Specialist guides Tennis .

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$8,895

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Accomodation

Sayari Camp

Activities travellers enjoyed: 4x4 Drives Bird watching Bush dining Fine dining experience Full-day safaris Game drives .

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$1,475

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Tours & Safaris

The Highlands Ngorongoro

Activities travellers enjoyed: Cultural tours Game drives Hiking Guided walking safaris Local village visits .

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$425

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Tours & Safaris

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Activities travellers enjoyed: Bird watching Game drives Local village visits Picnics Private game-drives Scenic drives .

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$1,115