#Mozambique #Bazaruto #holidays #trip #adventure
The Republic of Mozambique is situated on the eastern side of the southern region of the African continent. It shares a huge coastline with the Indian Ocean on the eastern side and shares borders with Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Eswatini and South Africa on the northern, western, southwestern, and southern sides respectively. It is quite a tempting country to visit offering a varied range of geographic features as well as natural attractions to tourists. From excellent beaches to wild savannahs, this nation has it all. With the geographic variation also comes a huge bounty of flora and fauna, both marine and terrestrial, for you to explore through. Having been a colony of the East, Mozambique is also flamboyant about its Portuguese charm that draws quite the crowd, especially to the capital, Maputo! However, before we just into all the wondrous sites that Mozambique has in store for you, a word of warning- check for the FCO warnings and such before you plan a trip since the nation has seen recent civil upheavals.
The Bazaruto Archipelago is located as a set of long isles on the Indian Ocean and is one of the most recommended sites to visit in Mozambique. It falls under the Inahambe Province. The best mode of entry into the islands is through Vilanculos or Inhassoro. There are regular flights scheduled into these regions from Maputo as well as international flights from Johannesburg. You could take motorboats from the mainland into the island as day trips, or book a resort in one of the islands to stay.
The Bazaruto Archipelago falls under the Bazaruto National Park and is a great place for marine explorations. There are several coral gardens that you could visit while you are scuba diving on the island. you could also go snorkeling into the sea as a fun way of exploring it. You will also find many different species of fish including dugong in the seas.
You could also take motorboats to other islands and explore them. The largest island in the archipelago is known simply as Bazaruto and features quite a scenic setup. There are open, white, sandy beaches from where you are sure to see dugongs. Behind you will be a set of karst hills and huge boulders. A little towards the south is the Ilha de Benguerra, an exclusive, paradisical, luxury hotel overlooking this romantic site.
The capital of Mozambique is Maputo. The airport here sees most of the international flights that come into Mozambique and is probably the best way to enter this nation. There are regularly scheduled flights from Lisbon, Johannesburg, and Addis Ababa as well as flights within the nation. You have to take an airport cab to make the journey from the airport to the city center.
It is quite the picturesque capital of a nation. It was raised by the Portuguese and has ample colonial charm to make it look like a slice of some European city. The European connection has also given many exciting attractions such as the extensive railway line (albeit, not very useful to the tourists), the Casa do Ferro constructed under Gustav Eiffel, and boulevards lined with palm trees! The European-looking city has is run by the locals now and this shows quite a terrific confluence. The streets are crowded and lined with bazaars selling all kinds of wares- an ideal place to look for souvenirs. It is a great place to look out for East African Batik. There are loud and happening hip-hop bars in the city as well as amazing restaurants that serve delectable Keralan and Arabic fusion food items.
Pemba & Quirimbus National Park
Pemba is a coastal city towards the northern side of Mozambique and is the capital of the Cabo Delgado Province. The airport sees regular international flights from Johannesburg, Nairobi, Der es Salaam, and Dzaoudzi. You could also get a domestic flight from Maputo, Beira, or Nampula if you are already in Mozambique. Pemba is also well-connected by road to the capital and thus there is easily accessible on a private vehicle.
The geographical location of Pemba gives it an exotic vibe- it is situated at the tip of a peninsula and opens up into the third largest natural bay in the world! This city gives off a similar Portuguese aura, just like Maputo, and has its share of beautiful colonial architecture. The city is so beautiful to look at that it easily shrouds over the numerous industries recently popping up in the outskirts.
However, the city is just the starting point- more mesmerizing locations await you as you head towards the beaches. Pearly-white sand, swaying palm trees, and shimmering clear waters make this a favorite spot among tourists. The deep waters in the ay offer ample opportunity for Scuba divers to explore the marine ecosystem.
Of the other major attractions that you have to cover while you are in Pemba, the fishing villages among the coves of the Ibo island are a must-visit spot. You will get quite the rustic feel as you explore the villages. At Ponta Romero, the remnants of the colonial slave trade could be seen, as a saddening sight and quite an important aspect of the history of Africa.
While you are in Pemba you should also visit the Quirimbus National Park. It is often regarded as a jewel of the Cabo Delgado Province and is just a short distance away from Pemba. The National Park area starts around the northern mountain plateau of the country and continues into the Indian Ocean in the form of an archipelago. This is a wonderful place to explore all kinds of marine flora and fauna. The region near the mountain plateaux on the other hand offers savannah, montane forests, and mangrove stretches that are abounding in wildlife. Some of the most common fauna species that you would find here include African leopards, crocodiles, dugongs, herds of elephants, and schools of vibrantly-hued fish!
Grongosa National Park
The Grongosa National Park area is regarded as the best safari destination within Mozambique. It is situated towards the central part of the country just where the East African Rift Valley ends. It is fairly easy to reach Grongosa from Maputo or Beira. You would have to hire a car from either of Beira and travel about 200 to 250 km to reach your destination. The roads are made from tars and are loaded with potholes at some sections. You could also get a bus from Beira if you have a tight budget. However, the bus sticks to the highway and you have to get off at Inchope wherefrom you have to take another bus to Vila Grongosa. Every non-Mozambican individual is charged about USD 8 for entry into the park area.
The park area has a huge expanse of savannah grasslands and has been active as a game reserve since Portuguese times. It was in the 1960s when the area was converted to a national park and has held that status since. Some of the most common animals that you get to see in this park include waterbucks, bushbucks, herds of elephants, wild warthogs, and crowned cranes.
Tofo is one of the most irresistible beach destinations to visit while you are in Mozambique. You have to get to Inhambane first before you get to Tofo Beach. You have to drive for about 30 km from the city through some scenic roads before you reach the beach destination. You could even drive into Tofo Beach from Maputo- it will take you about 6 hours. If you are thinking of driving from Vilanculos, it will take you about 5 hours to reach the beach. In either case, you should make a halt at the beach. You could also take a bus from Inhambane or Maputo if you are traveling on a budget.
Tofo has a scenic arc-shaped beach loaded with beige-hued, powdery sand that extends in the north-south direction along the shoreline. The beach is washed by the brilliant turquoise blue waters of the Indian Ocean. This is a laid-back area where you can just relax on the beach and laze around. Opportunities for snorkeling and swimming would be plentiful in the clear waters of the ocean. The semi-Rasta beach bars within the town come alive after hours and make this place even more enjoyable to the oncoming tourists. If you just want to shut the world off for a while and rejuvenate yourself, Tofo Beach is the perfect destination for you.
Ilha de Mozambique
Ilha de Mozambique has once been the epicenter of the Portuguese presence in East Africa. It is now regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and thus has to be on the list of places you have to visit in Mozambique. The island is situated just outside Nampula and you can easily access the island from different parts of Mozambique by car. A causeway extends from the mainland into the island. you could also get on one of the minibusses as they leave from Nampula. Once you are within the island you could easily cover it on foot since it is very small. You can take a bike on rent to explore the island.
The island started rising to greatness as more and more European merchants and traders started coming here in the 16th century. This has also brought in the touches of colonial architecture into this island. Thus, attractions such as the old town fortifications, the Church of Santo Antonio, and an old hospital are some of the most interesting facets of this island. The tropical beaches and Makuti, a thatched town, on the other hand, bring about the Mozambican charm into this island.
Inhaca Island could be accessed just off the coast at Maputo Bay and is quite a stunning place to visit especially as a day trip from Maputo. The island has a cool atmosphere which makes it the perfect getaway from the heat of the capital city. The curious little island was once a part of the mainland in the recent past, about 7 centuries ago. However, now it is separated from the mainland by an amazing bloom of coral gardens. The island itself has golden, sandy beaches lined with swaying palm trees. There is not much development on the island, especially because it is a marine research center. Thus it might get difficult for you to access or explore this island.
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