With a diverse landscape and a unique geographical location on the Indian Ocean coast in Southeast Africa, Mozambique is a stunning country, yet one of the least visited.
Mozambique combines extensive beaches, fertile grasslands, plateaus, mountains, savannas, and paradise islands. It also boasts a rich culture, ancient traditions, and cultural heritage.
Here are six of the best attractions and sights that every Mozambique traveller should include in their travel itinerary.
1. Gorongosa National Park
Gorongosa National Park is located in central Mozambique, on the southern edge of the Great Rift Valley. With approximately 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 square miles), the park boasts a remarkable biodiversity in the context of the African continent. The region has many diverse ecosystems, such as grasslands, savannas and forests, which create unique conditions for wildlife. Visitors to the park can spot herds of antelopes and elephants, lions, crocodiles, hippos, and more than 300 different bird species.
Bazaruto is an archipelago comprising six islands: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and Bangue. Home to numerous wildlife species, pristine and desert beaches, reefs with a variety of brightly coloured fish, the archipelago is also a safe haven from mass tourism. Actually, Bazaruto offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience with everything you might expect from a tropical paradise.
3. Quirimbas Islands
The Archipelago of Quirimbas comprises 32 coral islands off northeastern Mozambique along the Cabo Delgado Province, between the mouth of the rivers Rovuma and Pemba. Swimming and diving are the main things to do in this paradise destination. Sharks and manta rays can be spotted throughout the year in the warm waters of the Quirimbas Islands.
4. Island of Mozambique
North of Mozambique, between the Mozambique Channel and Mossuril Bay, and part of Nampula Province, the Island of Mozambique (locally known as Ilha de Moçambique) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991.
Notable buildings include the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Baluarte built in the first quarter of the 16th century, the Fortress of St Sebastian and the Palace of São Paulo (also known as Palácio dos Capitães-Generais), which occupies the place where the Portuguese built the Tower of St Gabriel in 1507, the same year when a port and naval base were established.
Set only 30 kilometres (about 18 miles) from Maputo, the Inhaca Island is perfect for a day trip from the Mozambican capital. With beautiful and serene beaches, it’s a great area for diving with an abundance of colourful fish and reefs, and for deep sea fishing. You can also visit the old lighthouse, as well as Santa Maria Island, and the Museum of Marine Biology. Finally, you can take a hike around the island or explore its interior.
Maputo is the capital and largest city of Mozambique. With a relatively small and compact city centre, Maputo has plenty of attractions to keep you busy for a while. These include a beautiful railway station from the early 20th century, the Cathedral of Maputo (or Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception), Casa do Ferro (Iron House) from the late 19th century by the school of Gustav Eiffel, and Casa Amarela (Yellow House), home to the first colonial government, now the Botanic Garden of Tunduru.
Make sure you go to the lively Mercado Central and find a variety of fresh fish and local produce. Also interesting might be the Museum of National History housed in an impressive building from 1911. For an entrance fee of only 50 MZN, you get to see a lot of stuffed African animals in their habitat.