Mozambique has some of the best beaches in Africa that stretch for miles with alluring turquoise waters in a tropical climate, abundant marine life, excellent diving and snorkelling in coral reefs and idyllic islands. Along the southern coastline you will find the popular beaches of Ponta d’Ouro and Ponta Malongane, Inhaca Island, Machangulo Peninsula, Bilene, Xai Xai, Zavora, Pomene, Tofo Beach, Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Islands.
The coast of northern Mozambique is less developed though equally beautiful. Destinations worth visiting along this stretch include the remote Quirimba Islands and the former capital Ilha de Moçambique, a World Heritage Site with a fascinating history.
Swim with Dolphins
Ponta Malongane and Ponta d’Ouro are two of the best places in the world for ethical dolphin encounters. Located in the south of Mozambique, this area is home to populations of bottlenose dolphins. Swimming with the dolphins is an extremely rewarding and spiritual experience. Dolphins are very intelligent animals who are not shy of humans, and people feel great awe when swimming with them. They live in warm waters worldwide and in Mozambique are seen all year round.
Guides will take you out to swim with dolphins and join you to monitor the needs of the dolphins and lead your group into the dolphin pod, if the dolphins are agreeable.
If the dolphins want to swim with you, they swim up to you and around you in a playful, circular motion. All you need to do is relax, float, feel their energy and enjoy. If the dolphins seem to want to avoid your group, they will go off to feed and you will have to leave them alone. No one is allowed to touch these protected marine animals and the dolphin swim programmes in Mozambique are regulated by a responsible Code of Conduct..
If you go underwater, you may be able to hear the dolphin’s sonar frequencies and it is said that this energy can alter your cellular structures to encourage a real sense of happiness.
Scuba diving and snorkelling are wonderful activities offering you a great opportunity to witness what lives below the ocean, like an underwater game drive. Mozambique has a 2,500 km shoreline of warm tropical Indian Ocean waters making for wonderfully pleasant diving conditions where you will find a diversity of ocean life.
Coral reefs and colourful fish can be found all along the coastline from Ponto do Ouro in the south to Pemba in the north. Beginners and expert divers can go down to 15 metres and see amazing underwater sights. You will find world class snorkelling and scuba diving spots at many places along the coast.
A dhow trip is a must for everyone that wants to explore the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago and Quirimbas Islands. Sailing by wind in complete silence and admiring the beauty of the islands on a traditional boat is a wonderful experience. A dhow is the traditional Mozambique wooden sailing vessel that has been used for centuries as the main boat to transport people and goods to and from the mainland. It is also the preferred boat of the local fisherman.
Mozambique has a handful of impressive game reserves. The jewel in the country’s wildlife crown is Gorongosa National Park, a reserve that has recovered admirably after the poaching epidemic brought on by civil war. Located at the southern end of the Great African Rift Valley, the park’s floodplains are now a haven for lion, leopard, hyena, elephant, hippo and antelope. It is considered one of the most important areas of conservation in Mozambique and is recognised throughout the world.
Niassa National Reserve in the Niassa province, covers an area of 42,000 square kilometres. Landscapes include miombo and mountain forests, open savannas and plains with a complement of wildlife that include lion, leopard, wild dog, elephant and buffalo. It is the largest reserve in Mozambique and is home to the largest population in the country of both wild dogs and elephants.
In the north of the country is Marromeu National Park, a coastal reserve which has the highest density of waterbirds in Mozambique.
Located in the south of the country, the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park covers wildlife areas of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe to create a super-park of 35,000 sq kms.
Self drive in Mozambique is possible though it is recommended to restrict travel to the south of the country due to sporadic conflict in the north.
Recommended routes include the extreme southern coastal areas of Ponta Malongane and Ponta Mamoli close to the South African border, the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park entering from the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the coastal areas from Maputo travelling north until Vilankulo.