It’s been just over 20 years since the civil war ended in Mozambique, but ongoing tensions have kept mass tourism away. While the southern end of the country is a summer playground for South African tourists who can easily hop across the border, the length and breadth of the country is rarely explored. With sensational strips of beach to play on, coral reefs abundant with marine life to dive and snorkel, a UNESCO World Heritage listed island to amble around and it’s very own wildlife park for action-fuelled wildlife spotting, this country, infused with a spicy Afro-Latin culture, offers a unique slant on African travel.
What to do:
– Soak up the artistic atmosphere of Maputo – home to some of Mozambique’s best live music and art galleries
– Sail the Bazaruto Archipelago on-board a traditional dhow – snorkeling, dune-climbing and feasting on freshly caught seafood
– Eat matata – a traditional dish of clams, pumpkin leaves and peanuts. Be warned this dish can be both spicy and addictive.
– Shop at the fish market in Maputo – persuasive local women will cook your selected freshly-caught fish to order amid the local, vibrant chaos
– Explore the cobblestone streets of Stone Town on Mozambique Island, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed former Arab trading port, where the crumbling architecture and slow pace of life will take you back a century or two
– Surf the breaks at Tofo and Ponta d’Ouro in the south of the country and then dance into the early hours at wherever the nightly party is at
– Spot lions, elephants, hippos, crocs and birds in Mozambique’s premier wildlife park, Gorongosa, fast recovering from the poaching that decimated it during the war years.
– Stay at Ruby’s on Mozambique Island, a beautifully renovated 400-year old house with doubles, dorms and an outstanding roof-top terrace to watch the colors change as the sun sets over Stone Town.
– Read: ‘Sleepwalking Land’ by Mia Couto
– Watch: a great clip of some incredible freestyle Mozambican guitar playing
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