The People’s Republic of Mozambique is located in south east Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean. It is also bordered by Malawi and Zambia in the north east, Tanzania in the north, Swaziland and South Africa in the south west and Zimbabwe to the west. The country is divided into two by the river Zambezi which is 2650 kilometers/ 1650 miles in length and drains its water in the Indian Ocean. It divides the country into the northern part which is covered in uplands, high plateaus, mountains including well known Limpopo-Nyasa highlands, the Shire Mountains and the Angoria. The southern part is made up more of plateaus and the river enables it is o have the most fertile land in the country. This is where most of the farming takes place. Mozambique also has coastal uplands terrain which covers its 1000 kilometer coastline with the Indian Ocean. The ocean is separated from the mainland by the Mozambique Channel which has beautiful coral reefs and clear blue waters that attract divers the world over to explore the diverse underwater world that also harbors thousands of species of fish. Off the coast also lies the Mozambique Islands which were used as the Portuguese capital and due to its impressive bio diversity, has been made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Mozambique is also home of the Bazaruto archipelago and Inhaca islands which are very popular among divers because of their blue waters and sandy white beaches. Apart from the Zambezi River, Mozambique also has the Limpopo River and three major lakes which are part of its northern border. These lakes are Lake Malawi on the border with Malawi and Tanzania, Lake Chiuta and Lake Shirwa.The total land mass area of Mozambique is measured at 308,642 square miles or 799,380 square kilometers which makes Mozambique three times the size of the United Kingdom. Mozambique has a population of 25,303,113 people according to figures from 2015 which in comparison is less than half of the population of the United Kingdom. The capital city of the country is called Maputo and has a population of 1,187,000 Mozambicans, which is what people from Mozambique are called. Mozambique is also the only one word country with all the vowels in its name.
The Republic of Mozambique enjoys a tropical type of climate with the rainy season starting from November to April and the dry season from May to October with temperatures going up to 28°C. The country has a diverse cultural terrain with influences from the Portuguese colonialists, Arab traders and Bantu speaking natives. There are various ethnic groups which include the Makhua, Tsonga who are also in South Africa, Makonde who are known for their artistic wood carvings, Shangaan, Shona, Sena, Ndau and many others. They also include about 45,000 Europeans and 15,000 Asians. Mozambicans are mostly Roman Catholics but also have other religions like Protestants, Muslims, Hindi, and Buddhists. Mozambicans are lovers of music and use for various cultural purposes like celebrations and mourning. Their music has been said to be similar to an amalgamation of reggae and Indian Calypso. Mozambican culture has been touted to have influenced some of Portuguese culture. Mozambican art was also heavily used in the struggle for independence as artists rendered the suffering of the people through their crafts. They had a strong literary culture and although written material was limited, they had a rich array of oral material. However, writer Luis Benado was imprisoned for his works which spoke out against the colonial regime.
All this turmoil and strife led to a nine year struggle for independence in Mozambique where many were killed and property destroyed but finally led to the end of the 477 year colonization by the Portuguese. The struggle started off when a few riots in different pockets of the country were inspired by the various revolts and independence of many African countries like Ghana but soon grew as the Front for Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) led by Phillip Magia led the organized struggle. Magia was soon replaced by Samora Machel an army commander. The Portuguese government even sent hundreds of troops to the African nation but with help from Tanzania, China and Russia, Portugal had to give in and let Mozambique have independence. Independence was gained on 25 June 1975 and Samora Machel became the first president of the country.
Mozambique’s economy is considered to be one of the fastest growing in the continent and is mainly supported by agriculture with many people practicing farming crops like cashew nuts, cotton, tea, sugarcane, cattle fish and poultry. Mozambique is also a major exporter of aluminum, prawns, cotton, sugar, citrus fruits band electricity. The country also has the second biggest hydro electricity distribution scheme with three major dams on their biggest river, the Zambezi River. The dams include the Cahora Bassa, the Karina and Itezhi-tezhi dam. The Cahora Bass a dam happens to be the biggest dam in Africa and generates electricity for parts of South Africa and Zimbabwe as well.
Mozambique is also home to the place popularly known as “the place where Noah’s ark was parked “. This place is the Gorogonsa National Park which is famous for its rich variety in wildlife that made it a play ground for the rich. Mozambique also has the 42000 kilometer game reserve called the Niassa Game Reserve which is the largest in the country. It is roughly the size of Denmark. Mozambique has a variety of wildlife with 232 species of mammals and 740 species of birds. Some of the mammals include the Elephant Shrew which has a long snout and resembles a real shrew, aardvark, Dugong, Vervet monkeys, 350 African Wild dogs, and 12000 sable antelopes, 16000 African bush elephants which roam freely through Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Some of the birds include Ostriches, Penguins, Grebes, Albatrosses, Storm petrels, Tropicbirds, Shearwaters and petrels, gannets and boobies, Darters, Frigate birds, Pelicans, Bitterns, herons and egrets, Hawks, Hammer kop, Storks, Ibises and spoonbills, Flamingos, geese, Ducks and swans, Osprey, eagles and kites, Secretary bird, Caracaras and falcons, Pheasants and partridges, Guinea fowl, Buttonquails, Fluff tails, Rails, crakes, gallinules, cranes and coots, Sungrebe and fin foots, Jacanas, Bustards, Painted-snipe amid others.
THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN MOZAMBIQUE.
The Niassa Game Reserve:
The Niassa Game Reserve is located in the Niassa province and is a 10 million acre (42,000 square kilometer) stretch of woodland and grassland which makes it the biggest national reserve in the country. It is linked to the Lukwika Lumesule Game Reserve of Tanzania and is twice the size of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Niassa Game Reserve is as big in Size as Denmark. The game reserve is half covered in miobo woodland vegetation making it the largest miobo woodland reserve on the planet! The other half is covered in savannah vegetation and harsh grasslands where it too harsh for plants to grow successfully. The game reserve is home to 350 African Wild Dogs which is a significant number out of the 8000 recorded worldwide. Wild dogs are known to be social animals and are indigenous to southern Africa. They regurgitate food foe their young and the females level the pack once sexually mature. The young always feed fast on kills like antelopes which the pack chases to exhaustion. The park also harbours 16,000 African bush elephants, a number of cape buffalo, impala, wildebeest, zebras, leopards and 400 species of birds.
The Bazaruto National Park:
Bazaruto National Park is a 1,400 square kilometer of protected reserve located on the Bazaruto archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It’s separation from the mainland Mozambique helped to protect the game reserve from the effects of the mainland like the ravages of the nine year long war for independence and hence had a conducive environment to develop a diverse ecosystem. The archipelago has managed to develop a variety array of animals and plants some of which are endemic to the area. Some of these animals include the Fish Eagle, Pink Flamingoes, red dujckers, bush backs and Nile Crocodiles which are some of the biggest crocodiles. Dolphins can also be regularly sighted in the game reserve together with over 2000 species of fish including sharks and Orca. There are also loggerhead, leatherback, and green turtles and Dugong. The archipelago is also home to 3500 humans who call it home, rounding off a very unique ecosystem.
Mountain Namuli is found 15 kilometer North West of the city of Gurue. The mountain stands at a height of 2419 meters/7936 feet and is the second highest mountain in Mozambique. It connects to the rivers Lugela and Malema. the foot of the mountain is dominated by tea plantations which is the main agricultural activity for residents of that area. Further up, there is the Namuli forest which is bio diverse and has a wide range of birds and animals and is a haven for birdwatchers. There are species like the Vincent Bush Squirrel and the Namuli Apalis. The mountain however has some very steep slopes and those climbing to the top have to be very careful and preferably go with a guide.
The Gorongosa National Park:
Gorongosa National Park is located in the southern end if the great rift valley and measures 4000 square kilometers. The reserve is covered in grasslands with dotting of acacia trees, and savannah vegetation. The reserve also has plateaus with miobo forests and montane forest. The reserve also has rainforests in its limestone gorges. It also harbors Mountain Gorongosa which was added to the game reserve to protect its biodiversity. Mount Gorongosa is the second highest mountain in Mozambique and is one of the best places for bird watching. It has an abundance of rare bird species like the Green Headed Oriole among others. In the past, Gorongosa National Park had the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa with countless carnivores, herbivores and about 500 species of birds. However, most of it was reduced by the civil wars in Mozambique and the consequent neglect and in the end, the wildlife was reduced by nearly 90%. The park has animals like the busback and the kuddu together with 400 species of birds including
The Island of Mozambique:
The island of Mozambique is situated off the coast in between the Mozambique Channel and the Mossuril bay in Nampula Province. The island of Mozambique was the capital of the Portuguese East African protectorate state in the 19th century. It has been classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO and is the fastest growing tourism site in Mozambique. It has a permanent population of 14000 Mozambicans and is a major port for boat building. Mozambique Island was named after the Sultan Musa Mbiki (musãmbiki) who was the ruler of the island when the Portuguese first came onto it. The name was later also exported to the mainland which today is known as Mozambique. Some of the attractions on the island include the Palace and Chapel of Sao Paulo which was built in 1610 and was intended to be a Jesuit chapel but is now a museum of sacred art, Church of Santo Antonio, The Nossa Chapel and Makuti town which is where most of the residents of the island stay. Most of the historic buildings are in the northern part of the island.
Maputo fort was built by the Portuguese in the 19th century as a defense port against attacks. Today it has a museum with remnants of the weapon the Portuguese used and even houses the coffin of Ngungunhane who was the final ruler of the Kingdom of Gaza.
Other notable places to visit are the train station in Maputo which was designed by an associate of Gustav Eiffel, who is most famous for the Eiffel tower in Paris, France. Also the Military museum which showcases and tells the independence struggle, the Museum of Natural Science, the beautiful coral reefs on the 1000 kilometer coastline which are ideal for divers, the countless white sandy beaches, Binga mountain which is the highest in Mozambique and sits on the border with Zimbabwe. It is good for mountain climbers due to its rocky barren terrain. You can also visit the restaurants which serve the rich Mozambican cuisine.
WHERE TO STAY IN MOZAMBIQUE.
Paraiso do Our Hotel:
Paraiso hotel is located in the Ponto do Our village on the coast of Mozambique. It is privately owned and sits on the beach front offering very good relaxing environment for its guests. The Hotel offer many wonderful activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, dolphin watching, deep sea fishing, boat rides sport fishing and other water sports and activities. They provide elegant suites with self contained bathrooms including showers and bathtubs and flush toilets. They have air conditioning, ceiling fans, TV, DVD players, connection to DSTV, strong Wi-Fi connection, balconies that offer a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean and the beach, children’s playground, spa and a 250 seater restaurant with delicious local and international cuisines. For the romantics they offer a wooden log cabin that is self contained with all the amenities.
Southern Sun Hotel:
Southern Sun Hotel is a luxury hotel that is a haven for you if you seek to relax in a beautiful place. It is very scenic with palm trees lining its boundaries and set alight with an array of lights in different colors. It can make you feel like you are stepping into a palace. Southern Sun is only four kilometers from the National History Museum and hence makes for ideal accommodation if the museum is on your to do list. They offer different suites from standard suites, superior suites, executive suites and presidential suites all self contained with bathroom, flush toilets, room service, air conditioning, and big comfortable beds. They have ample parking space, free and fast Wi-Fi, swimming pool, fitness area, restaurant and bar, and they offer a rewards programming which you can redeem in rands or any other specified means. Children under 18 enjoy breakfast for free.
White Pearl Resort:
White Pearl resort is situated in the Maputo city centre 25 kilometers north of the Kosi bay on the southern coast of Mozambique. It has close proximity to the Maputo Elephant Game Reserve and is ideal if the Reserve is on your to do list. Their beautiful decor is modern and influenced by the Mozambique daily life. They offer Wi-Fi, one of the best restaurants in the town, bar, swimming pool, parking space, spa among other amenities. They have nice comfortable rooms which are self contained with bathroom, shower, and flush toilet.
Mazaika Guest House:
This lush guest house is also in the capital city of Maputo and is covered in lush green gardens and colourful walls which fill visitors with a cheerful mood within. They also offer a cheerful cuisine in their restaurant made up of international and local cuisines. They have a swimming pool in case you want to take a dip and they offer comfortable rooms with all the necessary amenities.
Escondindinho is located in stone town in the Island of Mozambique. It is built into an old trading house with a high ceiling that gives guest a feel of the old days of the Portuguese traders and administrators who plied their trade on the island. They offer comfortable rooms with four poster beds like the old European style beds, covered with mosquito net. Some rooms have a balcony which offers a beautiful view of the island coastline and the beautiful lush garden in the compound. They also have a restaurant which offers breakfast lunch and dinner.
Why take a safari in Mozambique?
Mozambique The pearl of the great Indian Ocean prides in 2,500km / 1,550 miles of unspoiled beachfront on its mainland, with a stretch of gorgeous and peaceful tropical islands, sparkling like jewels in the stunning warm, clear waters of the huge Indian Ocean.
The beautiful beaches with white sand are lined with numerous coconut palms and these extend as far as your eyes can see. Mozambique has continued to be an exceptional destination as most of its islands plus mainland beaches are secluded and out-of-the-way, offering visitors the perfect get-away. You won’t find any shopping malls or golf courses here, but the untouched natural beauty as well as rich marine life has led this country to the very top on the list for those on honeymoon, scuba divers as well as other water sport adventurers.
What to see on a safari in Mozambique?
Mozambique has numerous tiny island paradises, among which is the Bazaruto Archipelago, found just off the ocean coast
Enjoy top-notch angling that includes saltwater fly-fishing as well as big game fishing for sailfish plus marlin.
Send time at the Tropical lavishness resorts found on the mainland as well as on the islands
Mozambique is an ecstasy for scuba diving as well as snorkeling
See the uncommon dugong plus 5 dolphin species in Bazaruto
Visit Gorongosa National Park, which possesses a remarkable list of species with increasingly more species being re-introduced from month to month. The Park is habitat to sizeable numbers of oribi, reedbucks, waterbucks, warthogs as well as sable. The Warthogs are more prevalent compared to the impala. On the other hand, Predators are restoring slowly, with some lion prides plus some male coalitions inside the Park. Elephant herds plus bulls are frequently come across, with the bulls being especially relaxed offering great viewing. Not too long ago a number of large elephant bulls were relocated from Kruger National Park.
Birding in Gorongosa is amazing with superior quality plus quantities of exclusive and endemic bird species for example the Collared Palm Thrush, the Green Coucal, Narina Trogon and Spotted Creeper. Lake Urema offers a habitat to very many water birds and you can virtually sit for hours viewing fish eagles pounce down on their prey.
Which Safari Company or Tour Operator?
You can find numerous tour operators along with safari companies within Mozambique, and a number of the most widely used. A large number of companies provide safaris to the various areas of the country and give you the chance to have a look around the different attractions inside Mozambique. Furthermore, it’s crucial that you make certain that company you decide to pick is registered with some of the country’s accepted Tourism associations
Where to Stay On a Mozambique Safari?
Mozambique beach holidays have for ages been linked to the notion ‘barefoot luxury’, because of partly the intimate and outstanding accommodation readily available. The Casually high-class beach lodges as well as boutique hotels found on the mainland coast and also on the islands in Quirimbas as well as Bazaruto Archipelagos constitute a lot of their most desired accommodation across Mozambique. Examples include: Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa, Azura Benguerra, Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort & Spa,Vamizi Island Lodge,Azura @ Quilalea Private Island, Coral Lodge, Lugenda Wilderness Camp,
When to Go on a Safari in Mozambique?
Mozambique is a stunning destination throughout the year. It’s warm climate results in warm winters ideal for remarkable sightseeing adventures as well as hot summers which are excellent for water sport fanatics
The winter season from May to November is the best time to visit Mozambique for colder temperatures and the minimum possibility of rain; from December to April is the wet summer time even though it usually rains in short but heavy downpours and after that the sun shines again. Remember that January and February is the cyclone season in the southern regions of Mozambique and there is every possibility of a great amount of torrential rain – I recommend avoiding visiting Bazaruto Archipelago in those months.
In case the main purpose of your Mozambique safari is game viewing then the ideal time to go to Mozambique is in the dry months from August to the finish of September as the vegetation has thinned out and wild animals are concentrated around the waterholes plus rivers.
How much does a Mozambique Safari cost?
8 days safari Leaves from Maputo, finishes in Maputo
Check out Mozambique’s Perfect Beaches on Mozambique Coast. Visit Bazaruto Islands, Praia de Závora plus Vilanculous, as well as Inhambane for excellent swimming, scuba diving, surfing, snorkeling and fishing.
Accommodation in budget and costs R8450 per person
Are Mozambique people Friendly?
The men and women of Mozambique are extremely warm and friendly and highly welcoming. you will find various tribes here each with their unique norms and practices. Mozambique hosts a number of groups, that speak close to forty various languages plus dialects that belong to the Bantu family.
Among these Groups are the Yao, Makua, Nyungwe, Thonga, Sena and Shona/Ndau. Mozambicans usually move about to get work and just as most nations, the people are accustomed to intermingling.
What is the Weather like in Mozambique?
The coastline of Mozambique extends for nearly 2,000km, spanning latitudes from 11° to 27° South, and it has a warm ocean current spreading north to south down its length for the entire year.
In spite of this variety of latitudes, the entire country largely follows a southern-African weather pattern, the rains coming heavily between the month of December and March.
This varies slightly between the northern and southern parts of the country, with the down pours lasting a couple of weeks longer in the northern areas compared to the southern parts, however the pattern is identical. Humidity may be irritatingly high throughout that period.
The majority of Mozambique’s rainfall comes with the moist southeast trade-winds, however looking at a map you will observe that it is found in the rain shadow of Madagascar. This offers Mozambique a comparatively low yearly rainfall – as well as a great amount of protection from the destructive tropical storms as well as the occasional cyclone that head towards its direction during this time period.
Around April or May the rainfall decreases, the sun begins to shine and the humidity lowers – better weather distributes progressively from the south up to the north.
From June to October is the country’s dry season, with often excellent tropical weather: the skies are clear, there is a lot of sun and hardly any rain. This is actually the best time for many people to go to Mozambique. Despite the fact that still tropical, the months of June, July and August are the coolest months in Mozambique; you will need a light blanket at night, although the temperature reaches beyond 30°C during the day. In the course of September and October it continues to be dry and the daytime temperatures rise, though it in the night it significantly cools down.
The month of November is then less predictable as there is transition. In some cases the rains begin, although most days continue to be sunny and hot. The rainfall generally begins earlier in the northern parts of Mozambique.
Mozambique has a variety of attractions to offer to all types of visitors that come to this country that vary from the beautiful beaches, ideal for relaxing, the fresh water lakes, the high sand dunes, together with the forests plus the wetland of Benguerra island. Detailed below are some of the best attractions in Mozambique that are worth touring.
Buzarato is the biggest among islands in the archipelago covering an expanse of about 37 kilometers long and 7 kilometers wide. The island is lined by splendid white sand and the eastern stretch is characterized by large sand dunes. Special about this island are the numerous fresh water lakes found on its interior that are usually crowded with flamingos among other water birds in addition to the resident crocodiles. The lighthouse on the northern stretch offers magnificent views of the surrounding that are not worth missing. There are luxurious resorts and lodges just to make your holiday here a memorable one.
Central Railway Station
This eas constructed in 1910 by Gustave Eliffel and is ranked as one among the most beautiful internationally. The station was built with stunning marble pillars, iron work and has a very big central dome. This is one of the finest structures that is worth touring while in Mozambique
Gorongosa National Park
This is renowned as the place where the biblical Noah’s Ark parked after the heavy floods. In the 1960’s, this park boasted in a rich abundance of wildlife bit following the various wars around this locality, the number of game greatly declined. In the recent years, several projects have been established to ensure that their numbers are restored. The area has luxurious lodging facilities at the Chitengo Safari Camp which will definitely make your stay a comfortable one.
This is also referred to as ‘the next to Goa’. Within Mozambique’s Inhambane Province lies Tofo Beach which over the recent years has become a traveler’s paradise with long stretches of beautiful sand, with a slack atmosphere, wonderful restaurants plus a vibrant nightlife worth experiencing. In addition to viewing the seasonal Whale Sharks and the reef sharks, there are various water sports that can be enjoyed among which are: body boarding, surfing and kite surfing.
Museum of the Revolution
The museum of Revolution is found within Maputo and clearly narrates the revolution history of the country. It well details the violent struggles that took place with the Portuguese colonialists until the time the country gained its independence in the year 1975. It houses several significant maps, weapons and photographs of the ancient times, although it should be noted that all wording and captions are in Portuguese language.
Ponta d’Ouro is a famously toured travelers’ destination particularly for divers as well as surfers. The place has some of the most spectacular waves in the whole world which make it an ideal destination for swimming with the beautiful dolphins. There are several tours organized within this area which entail touring the rural drinking houses, and tasting the tasty Tipo Tinto Rum which is a locally made drink that has a characteristic vanilla taste.
Great, frequently overlooked, and previously the most crucial African colony of Portugal, Mozambique extends up the coat of the Indian Ocean from South Africa tote border of Tanzania.
Some Useful Travel Tips for Mozambique
The Brand-new air services help make holidays to the beautiful tropical beach much easier to access from Johannesburg or even Dar es Salaam.
Mozambique is an ideal holiday destination all year round.
Taking a Holiday to the lavish beach properties on the Bazaruto Archipelago found in Southern Mozambique is a good combination to your Africa safari itinerary.
Holidays to the Quirimbas Archipelago found in Northern Mozambique are as well good additions to a safari in Kenya or the neighboring Tanzania.
Taking a safari holiday in Mozambique is a perfect choice that will give you an opportunity to experience the ancient beauty of the colonial time, with several Portuguese buildings break downing to the tropical heat. The city of Maputo is a wonderful place with some of the very best seafood on the African continent, Ilha de Moçambique ports together with Beira Port are rich with the ancient colonial architecture, however that majority of the visitors that travel to Mozambique opt for a beach holiday on the hideaway archipelagos of Bazaruto plus Quirimbas in the wide Indian Ocean. There are a couple of nice resorts set on unspoilt small islands encompassed by beached with beautiful white sand. The adjacent waters have some of the most unspoilt beautiful coral reefs on the African continent and can easily be explores through snorkeling or scuba diving. The general atmosphere is very stunning and calming making it the perfect place for beach breaks, family holidays or even honeymoons. When is the best time to go on holiday in Mozambique? Despite the fact that this country stretches for approximately 1250 miles along Africa’s eastern coastline, it generally has a uniform climatic zone across the entire country, with wonderful properties on the island of Benguerra like Azura experiencing an identical weather pattern just as Vamizi found in the distant north.
January to March
This country is found in the rain shadow area of Madagascar and because of that; it experiences a relatively low amount of rainfall. Most of the rainfall is received in January and February with temperatures being rather high and, regardless of some humidity, several people visit the country to escape the very cold weather of winter in the northern hemisphere.
March and April
These are the best months to visit Mozambique since the humidity drops and the sun is out for more hours. However areas like the Quirimbas Archipelago may continue to receive some rainfall.
May to October
During these months, Mozambique is experiencing the dry season, with warm sunny days plus occasional clouds or rain, which could be received around the coastal areas. The early mornings and nights are cold in August, June and July with the sun rising earlier.
November and December
The initial rains could fall in the northern part of Mozambique in the month of November and then in December it is probable that it’s raining across the country. The Days are much hotter so this is the best time to take you long awaited beach holiday.