At more than 1,000 kilometres in length, Mozambique’s greatest border is the Indian Ocean, a stretch dotted with warm, sun-filled beaches and peaceful, pristine swimming spots that are fast making the country a prime place for a holiday in Africa.
A trip only a few kilometres outside of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique and a large port city, leads to a number of quiet hidden beaches perfect for snorkelling, diving and fishing. And across Maputo Bay, just far enough to be beyond the horizon, are islands like Portuguese and Inhaca, where isolated retreats provide hours of opportunity for quiet walks and tranquil reflection.
Alternatively, when you feel like sinking your feet into something other than sand, there’s a world of African wildlife waiting in the south of country. Right on the South African border, 100 kilometres south of Maputo, lies Kruger National Park, one of the best places in Africa to spot the ‘Big Five’ – lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinoceros – animals that old-time hunters used to risk life and limb to shoot.
Of course, there are plenty of things to see and do in Maputo itself. With impressive colonial architecture, the city lends itself to wandering along cobblestone streets, sipping coffee at local cafés and perusing colourful downtown markets. A tour of the Mafalala district opens windows onto Mozambique’s more recent and turbulent past, putting the country’s rich ethnic and cultural diversity into historical perspective.
As Mozambique continues to navigate its post-war development, effort is being put into building better infrastructure, like the good mix of Mozambique accommodation. Many Maputo hotels, like the Cardoso Hotel, realise the importance of connecting business development with community development and are actively involved in the local Maputo non-profit sector. A number of Mozambique spas and resorts are gaining popularity as well. Resorts like Indigo Bay balance diving and other water-sport activities against community involvement, an important part of creating successful ecologically and socially minded enterprises.
Natalie Tenzer-Silvia and her team at Dana Tours, the new whl.travel local partner in Mozambique, are no strangers to the community development that is so central to Mozambique’s success. In addition to organising a number of Mozambique tours and running their own Mozambique transport company, Dana Tours is actively involved in hosting volunteers through programs that connect North American students with hands-on learning experiences in Mozambique orphanages.
Dana Tours has been in operation since 2002 and Natalie is very excited to be expanding her business with the whl.travel family. “One of the attractions of joining whl.travel is that I will be dealing with the clients directly,” says Natalie. “So often we don’t get a feel for what the client really wants because there are agents in between us who don’t really know much about Mozambique and what it has to offer – though this is no fault of the agent. There is not much available in the way of tourist information about Mozambique. By dealing directly with the client, we can elicit exactly what he expects to accomplish, and ensure that we realise his dreams.”