Looking out the window as you fly down the thousand mile long Mozambican coastline you see dozens of idyllic little islands strung in long archipelagos, surrounded by pristine reefs and beaches. They have beguiling names like the Quirimbas, the Bazaruto Archipelago, Azura and Benguerra. If you are seeking a real “civilised desert island” experience, perhaps seeing yourself as a pampered Robinson Crusoe, these islands will fulfil your dream.
Like all genuinely remote islands they are not easy to reach – that is part of their appeal. Once you are there however, you can look forward to superb snorkelling and diving on the thriving reefs where an astonishing variety of coral gardens flourish, home to iridescent coral fish, moray eels and sometimes whales. Should you find yourself marooned on the tiny Vamizi Island, you and a few fellow survivors will have to endure cordon bleu cuisine, lazy rides at sunset in an old dhow, the occasional massage, perhaps a spot of deep sea fishing, or snorkelling over glorious reefs. If the lapping of the waves yards from your bed wakes you early, you might sit on the deserted beach outside your villa and watch a big sun emerge from the immense Indian Ocean heralding the start of another day in “paradise”.
Mozambique is also becoming one of Africa’s most exciting “new” safari destinations as the remote Gorongosa and Nyassa National Parks are reopened. Between April and December, Africa Exclusive can arrange superb walking, open vehicle and river boat safaris. Staying in small remote camps you have one of Southern Africa’s most beautiful national parks literally to yourselves. Explore the beautiful rivers, floodplains and palm forests seeing elephant herds, sable and lion. Then it’s just a hop in a small plane to one of those delightful islands.
Choosing the right island and the right lodge at the right time of year is not straightforward and you should call Africa Exclusive to discuss which would combine best with your safari and whether you should go to the coast first or after your safari. The larger more southerly islands like Benguerra have several large beach lodges and a different weather pattern from the smaller exclusive islands of the more northerly Quirimbas Archipelago such as Vamizi.
Currently Mozambique is principally seen as a beach destination, so weather considerations are important. The southern beach locations near Maputo and Benguerra have a likelihood of heavy rain and the occasional cyclone from January to mid-March though even in those months you can find a week or two of gorgeous hot weather with no more than a few thundershowers. These areas are at their driest from April to late December and a little cooler from late June to mid-August.
The northern beach locations around Vamizi and the Quirimbas have a more complex climate. They are generally hotter and drier than those in the south as they are closer to the Equator and in a more arid region. There are other considerations of timing such as the deep sea fishing season so call us to discuss the ideal time to travel to a particular group of islands. Mozambique also has a growing number of relatively “undiscovered” safari locations such as the delightful Gorongosa National park. These safari areas are generally best from April to late November during their long dry season.
Mozambique - Useful Information
There are no direct flights from London or northern Europe to Maputo, and the easiest way to reach Maputo is by a short connecting flight from Johannesburg. There is also a variety of flights from Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg direct to certain Mozambican beach destinations. A visa is required by most visitors and must be obtained in advance from your local Embassy or High Commission.
Mozambique has some of the Indian Ocean’s finest and most private small island beaches offering outstanding snorkelling and diving, simple though very comfortable accommodation and great food.
Travel within Mozambique is mainly by air and there is a developing network of scheduled light aircraft transfers between small islands and safari locations. If you wish to combine Mozambique’s magical “desert island” beaches with a safari, there are connections through to Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
Whether you choose an exploratory safari adventure in Mozambique or a luxurious tropical getaway (or both!) your accommodation is bound to be truly remote. Safari camps here sit in the middle of vast, unexplored parks and reserves whilst the beach lodges are located on the shores of secluded sandy islands, all far, far away from the hassles of everyday life.
Mozambique’s coastline is dotted with chains of tiny but pristine and idyllic islands. These groups of peaceful islands are the perfect place for a luxurious desert island getaway. Beneath the crystal clear waters live hundreds of fascinating marine creatures, from tiny tropical fish to large turtles and rays, all gliding gracefully through colourful coral caves. When you’re not exploring the deep seas, on the smooth sandy shores you can enjoy the freshest of fresh seafood, spend some time on a traditional dhow and relax with the soothing sound of the waves.
Best Diving in the World at Quirimbas
The Quirimbas Archipelago, made up of over 30 breath-taking tropical islands, is known as one of the best diving spots in the world. Both snorkelling and diving here are simply remarkable; swimming through the clear turquoise waters you’ll find yourself in another world, a world of vibrant coral caves, schools of tropical fish, huge rays, cheery dolphins, huge whales, turtles and dugongs. With spectacular vertical drop offs, some around 400m tall, and warm waters that never drop below 18 degrees Celsius, diving at Quirimbas is simply extraordinary!
Wild Safaris in Remote National Parks
Mozambique is fast becoming the latest exciting unusual safari destination for adventurous travellers looking for a real Robinson Crusoe experience from their safari. If that sounds like you, you’ll love Niassa National Reserve. You’ll be able to explore the remote parks, staying overnight in authentic bush camps – a real pioneer’s safari!
Call us now to start planning your holiday to Mozambique.
These are just a few experiences you can enjoy on your Mozambique safari. Contact us now to plan your perfect safari.