Top 10 Things to Do in Mozambique

  • Africa.com
  • 16 April 2012

This article was published by our friends at Africa.com, who have agreed to its republication here. View the original article on Africa.com.

Often described as one of Africa’s last frontiers, Mozambique, a large country in the southeastern part of the continent, is among the most variegated places in the world. Geographically, it has a rugged, underdeveloped north, a hiker’s paradise, along with an extensive coastline with innumerable opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

The population is just as diverse, reflecting the indigenous African tribes who first settled there, the Arab seafarers who traded along the coast for centuries, and, finally, the Portuguese colonists who ruled until 1975. Despite the many setbacks that have plagued the country since then, including civil war, floods and drought, Mozambique is starting to bounce back and is slowly gaining a well-deserved reputation as a country that promises as much adventure as relaxation.

1. Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park: A massive swath of land that comprises national parks in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe and allows visitors to cross the borders freely within the park, Limpopo is home to nearly 150 kinds of mammals, including elephants, giraffes and buffalo.

2. Gorongosa National Park: This once-legendary park in northern Mozambique was nearly destroyed during the country’s civil war. Now newly refurbished, it’s returning to its former preeminence and is worth a visit to check out impalas, warthogs, unusual birds and more.

3. Local Fare: In Maputo, feast on some of the ultrafresh seafood caught off Mozambique’s 2,500-kilometer-long coastline; the grilled prawns and octopus are especially good.

4. Montes Chimanimani: Along the Zimbabwe border, this mountain range, thick with pine and mahogany trees and scores of medicinal plants, is ideal for rugged, off-the-beaten-path hiking and camping.

5. Ilha de Moçambique (Mozambique Island): This tiny island off Mozambique’s northern coast was once an important Arab trading port; today its historic, colonial-era buildings and diverse population, with strong Islamic and African ties, make it a fascinating place to explore.

Medjumbe Lighthouse in Archipelago das Quirimba, Mozambique

The archipelago das Quirimbas is a collection of 32 coral islands off the Coast of Mozambique. Photo courtesy of Flickr/Spacmonster

6. Archipelago das Quirimbas: These 32 islands off the town of Pemba, which can be reached by motorboat, offer white-sand beaches, snorkeling among coral reefs, and sightings of humpback whales.

7. Ponta de Ouro: Just miles from the South African border in southern Mozambique, this quaint town boasts some of the country’s loveliest beaches and opportunities to scuba dive among dolphins.

8. Lago Niassa: A giant, incredibly clear lake that borders Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania, Niassa (also known as Lake Malawi) is thought to contain a greater number of fish than any other lake in the world.

9. Angoche: A quiet, historic town in the northern part of the country that still bears the influence of precolonial Swahili and Arab traders, Angoche is worth a quick trip for a look back in time.

10. Manica: Once an important gold trading area, this picturesque town in central Mozambique is now known for its thousand-year-old Chinamapere rock paintings, which are considered sacred by local residents.

Maputo, Mozambique

Maputo is the capital and largest city of Mozambique. Photo courtesy of Andrew Moir

When to Go

The best time to visit Mozambique is between May and October, when it’s pleasantly sunny and dry and temperatures average 66 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celcius.) The country’s rainy season generally lasts from October to April, with temperatures jumping up to the 80s (20s). Overall, the southern part of the country is cooler and drier than the north.

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Africa, beaches, Eastern Africa, game reserves, islands, lakes, local knowledge, Mozambique, national parks, opinion, whl.travel,

4 Responses to “Top 10 Things to Do in Mozambique”

  1. Hard to put so many places into a top ten list, that’s why we have a Top 101 list that is going through its final vote now to be posted in May (2013). What really contrasts with out list, however, is Limpopo National Park, that in our lists comes only in the 50s! Why? Well, there just aren’t many animals in this park. Crossing the border post into Krguer you are suddenly overwhelmed with the Big Five and extensive wildlife, in Limpopo you will be very hard pressed to find anything other than deer. Indeed, they are considering rebuilding the fence that was removed between Kruger and Limpopo because there is far too much hunting on the Mozambique side, including the worrisome practice of Rhino horn trafficking.
    We were also surprised by Ibo Island not being included, it’s a travellers’ favourite. The Nampula-Cumaba Train ride? We fear that this list is based on one persons opinion. Look out shortly for our Top 101 for a lot more ideas, and a ranking based on *real travellers experiences*.

  2. Mozambique seems like such a diverse country. I would love to visit Gorongosa National Park one day.

  3. I am saddened you did not mention the Bazaruto Archipelago and the town of Vilanculos. One of the most beautiful spots on the planet.

  4. Jesse says:

    Africa do have a lot of places to be proud of. Only if they have good reputations for safety, the world must be pouring some slash of the tourism economy for them also.

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