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Overview

Boasting more than 1200 miles of sultry Indian Ocean frontage, Mozambique has the potential to be Africa's ultimate beach destination, and it was widely recognized as such prior to the succession of civil wars that tore it part between the 1970s and early 1990s. Its beach tourist industry is currently in an advanced stage of reconstruction. Overall, the country’s main clientele consists of overlanders and South Africans rather than upmarket fly-in tourists, but this is rapidly changing with the emergence of several classy resorts in the Bazaruto and Querimba Archipelagos. Only as hour's drive from South Africa's Kruger National Park, the ...

Boasting more than 1200 miles of sultry Indian Ocean frontage, Mozambique has the potential to be Africa's ultimate beach destination, and it was widely recognized as such prior to the succession of civil wars that tore it part between the 1970s and early 1990s. Its beach tourist industry is currently in an advanced stage of reconstruction. Overall, the country’s main clientele consists of overlanders and South Africans rather than upmarket fly-in tourists, but this is rapidly changing with the emergence of several classy resorts in the Bazaruto and Querimba Archipelagos. Only as hour's drive from South Africa's Kruger National Park, the capital of Maputo is one of the region's most compelling cities, known for its atmospheric art deco architecture, palm-lined beaches, and sumptuous restaurants showcasing the superb local seafood and distinctively spicy Afro-Portuguese cuisine. Farther north along the coast, the resorts around Xai-Xai, Inhambane and Vilanculos are geared more towards outdoor enthusiasts, offering excellent game fishing, scuba diving, sunbathing, swimming and other water-based activities. The more remote north of Mozambique is not without its charms, most notably the fascinating former capital of Ilha da Mozambique, whose atmospheric alleys are lined with examples of Portuguese architecture dating back to the early 17th century. The main resort here is Pemba, while the interior is home to the Makonde, a tribe renowned for its ghoulish masks and oddly surreal sculpture style. Birdlife and marine wildlife is excellent throughout. Terrestrial wildlife suffered badly from poaching during the civil war, but the likes of Gorongosa National Park, the Mozambican portion of the Limpopo Trans-frontier Park, and the vast Niassa Wildife Reserve are now well on their way to recovering as tourist destinations. However, the beaches of Mozambique make an ideal vacation partner with the region’s more established safari destinations such as Zambia, Botswana and even South Africa.

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

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Philip Briggs for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Mozambique is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest.
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Currency: Mozambican Metical
  • Research: Mozambique
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall