Mozambique is usually not at the top of travellers’ itineraries when they plan an African safari, but this Southern African country has a lot to offer visitors. With fantastic palm-fringed beaches along a coastline stretching 2500 kilometres, idyllic island archipelagos, abundant marine life and well preserved corals, and up and coming wildlife reserves Mozambique is a great choice for travellers who love a bit of adventure.
Here are our five reasons to go on safari to Mozambique:
Mozambique is one of Africa’s best beach destinations, and it’s easy to see why, with spectacular stretches of sand dotted all along the coastline. Some spots on the coast are developed, with resorts and villas and beach bars, but many are deserted, completely unspoiled beaches where you’ll have the entire expanse of sand to yourself. Bilene, with its soft white sand beach and tranquil lagoon offering lots of watersports, is a popular choice for weekend breaks for South African holidaymakers because it’s close to the border, while further north up the coast is Tofo, a longtime backpacker favourite. With a lovely beach and a good surf break, lots of surf schools, backpackers, hotels, restaurants and beach bars, it’s got something for everyone. It’s also a good diving spot and you can go snorkelling with whale sharks.
Mozambique is home to two archipelagos of islands, full of atolls to live out your ultimate deserted tropical island fantasies. The Bazaruto Archipelago, which lies offshore from Vilanculos, is made up of five idyllic islands of palm trees, long stretches of icing sugar sand, coral reefs full of fish where you can go snorkeling and diving and traditional dhow boats for sunset sails. To the north, the Quirimbas Archipelago is said to be one of Africa’s best-kept secrets, with 32 coral islands and islets – most of which are uninhabited – surrounded by turquoise sea.
Mozambique draws scuba divers and snorkellers with its abundant and rich marine life. The Indian Ocean that flanks the country is home to dugongs, turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, humpback whales and shoals of tropical fish.
Wildlife without the crowds
Mozambique is not famed for its wildlife but as its National Parks are being rehabilitated to their former state before the country’s civil war, it’s an up and coming wildlife safari destination. There’s Gorongosa National Park, which is praised as one of the most biodiverse places in the world and is known as the “Serengeti of the South” for its lions stalking the savannas, the Maputo Elephant Reserve near the capital of Maputo, which is home to around 300 elephants, and Limpopo National Park, which forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (which straddles Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe) – one of Africa’s largest wilderness areas. Because Mozambique is not as famous as other Southern African countries for wildlife safaris, you don’t get the crowds and traffic jams that you find in the more well known parks.
The delicious food is a highlight of any trip to Mozambique. One of Africa’s most flavourful cuisines, Mozambique has delicious seafood – try prawns covered in spicy piri-piri sauce – as well as traditional dishes such as crab matapa (a tasty stew made from cassava leaves, coconut and peanuts). Browse the food markets to buy sweet, juicy mangoes and other tropical fruit, head to Maputo’s bakeries for pasteis de nata (baked egg custard tarts) and when you’re road tripping, stop off on the side of the road to buy home made jars of piri-piri sauce and spicy roast cashews.
Inspired to go on safari to Mozambique? Check out our Mozambique overlanding safaris
Discover the beaches of southern Mozambique and the wildlife of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park over a two-week overlanding safari which also covers game parks in South Africa.
Beach your heart out on this overlanding safari, which takes you to the idyllic islands of the Bazaruto archipelago and Mozambique’s beautiful southern beaches.