The capital of the country is located on the coast of the Indian Ocean on the site of the former Portuguese fort Marques (Lourenco Marques), from which the fortress walls, old guns, and the courtyard have been preserved. The city has modern hotels and restaurants, numerous historical and cultural attractions, many old colonial Portuguese mansions buried in jacaranda trees. Among the sights stands out the station, designed at the beginning of the 20th century. Eiffel – the creator of the famous tower in Paris. It is also interesting to visit the beautiful Museum of Natural History, the National Art Museum, Fort Maputo and the colorful municipal market.
How to get there. Regular flights from Johannesburg, Durban and from East Africa, from the Kruger area can be reached by car in an hour and a half.
Inhaca Island is located 30 km from Maputo (opposite). There are many beautiful beaches, coral reefs and other marine exotics. The habitat of the fish is practically untouched, and the reefs are not spoiled by human impact. Diving on sunken ships and diving with sharks, sea fishing are organized in these places. There are many dolphins, whale sharks and rays, as in South Africa, from July to November you can watch the migration of whales here. Here is a curious institute of marine biology, a trip to the neighboring Portuguese island and the island of Santa Maria deserves attention.
How to get there: by boat from Maputo or 15 minutes by charter flight from Maputo.
Neighborhood Maputo. 100 km south of the capital there are two famous resorts of Ponta do Oro and Ponta Malongane. White sandy beaches are surrounded by coconut palms. And although there are no 5 * hotels here, there are good lodges and guesthouses. Diving centers provide all the opportunities for excellent recreation, world-class fishing and diving, snorkeling and surfing. The local underwater fauna is represented by a wide variety of tropical fish, dolphins, rays, whale sharks. On the way from Maputo to the southern beaches lies the Maputo Elephant Reserve – a large coastal reserve (104 thousand hectares), which includes both forest on sandy soil and swamps. This is one of the best places in southern Africa for bird watching, here you can also watch hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, and the elephant population has been restored. From October to December, sea turtles lay their eggs on the coast, and until April in the area during special safaris you can see a lot of baby turtles. This reserve is combined with the South African Tembe Park.
How to get there. 117 km south of the capital can only be driven by an SUV in two hours, it is much easier to visit these places from South Africa – from neighboring Cozi Bay, from where an asphalt road reaches the border.
The famous Praia do Xai-Xai beach is located 224 km north of the capital. It is protected by a long coral reef from strong waves at high tide, and at low tide, small lagoons form here, where shellfish can be collected and children can frolic. From the shore, the beach is surrounded by a luxurious palm forest. Bilene Beach is located 145 km from Maputo on the shore of a long lagoon (27 km) that can be crossed by boat and reach the sea. Another popular beach – Zongoene – is located at the mouth of the Limpopo River.
How to get there: Ground transfer from Maputo.
Bazaruto Archipelago National Park(area 1400 sq. km) – one of the largest reserves in the Indian Ocean and the most popular tourist area in Mozambique, is protected by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It is a chain of five magnificent sandy islands – Bazaruto (Bazaruto), Benguera (Benguera), Magaruque (Magaruque), Santa & Carolina (Santa Carolina) and Bank (Bangue Island), located 35 km from the mainland and 700 km north of Maputo, as well as part of the San Sebastian Peninsula (Saint Sebastian), adjacent to the archipelago from the south. About 25 thousand years ago, part of the land here broke away from the African continent and an archipelago was formed. In 2000 it was declared a national park. The high level of service and the extensive program of ecological opportunities and beach holidays attract visitors from all over the world. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, you can go snorkeling, diving near coral reefs (there are about 600 species of marine tropical fish, sunken ships, depths up to 40 meters), deep sea and sea fishing, sailing and water skiing, sandboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, surfing, yachting, trips on off-road vehicles and horses around the island… The diverse fauna also attracts here. Dolphins, whales, stingrays, turtles, whale sharks, mangrove crabs, dugongs (sea cows) live in coastal waters… On land, there are samango blue monkeys, pygmy antelopes and more than 240 species of birds, including flamingos and pelicans. sailing and water skiing, sandboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, surfing, yachting, off-road trips and horseback riding around the island… The diverse wildlife also attracts here. Dolphins, whales, stingrays, turtles, whale sharks, mangrove crabs, dugongs (sea cows) live in coastal waters… On land, there are samango blue monkeys, pygmy antelopes and more than 240 species of birds, including flamingos and pelicans. sailing and water skiing, sandboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, surfing, yachting, off-road trips and horseback riding around the island… The diverse wildlife also attracts here. Dolphins, whales, stingrays, turtles, whale sharks, mangrove crabs, dugongs (sea cows) live in coastal waters… On land, there are samango blue monkeys, pygmy antelopes and more than 240 species of birds, including flamingos and pelicans.
How to get there. Transfer from Vilanculos by boat or small plane to the islands.
Bazaruto Island (Ilha do Bazaruto) is the largest island of the archipelago (37 x 7 km) and the most distant from Vilanculos (30 km). The eastern part of the island consists of huge dunes, the rest of it – forest thickets, plains and swampy lands, fresh lakes, where you can even meet crocodiles. Even before the 16th century Portuguese caravels landed on the shores of the island, Arab traders began to export pearls, ivory and rhinoceros horn from here. There is a legend that pearls for the Queen of Sheba were collected in these places. Later, the Portuguese set up a colony of prisoners here, who in 1914 built the Farol do Bazaruto lighthouse on the island. Now it is not active, but you can visit it. Breathtaking views open from its top.
Small Pansy Island adjoins the southern part of Bazaruto Island. The tiny sandy island, a sandbar completely flooded at high tide, is a popular fishing and picnic spot for tourists from neighboring islands.
Benguerra Island (Benguerra Island or Ilha de Santa Antonio) is the second largest in the Bazaruto archipelago (11 x 5.5 km), located at a distance of 14 km from the mainland and Vilanculos. It separates from Fr. Bazaruto is a small canal. And although Benguerra is four times smaller than its neighbor, this idyllic island has everything for a wonderful holiday – snow-white beaches, sand dunes with islands of evergreen palm forest, fresh lakes. On the sandy shores of Benguerra, as well as on the adjacent island of Pensu (Pansy), you can find the famous pansy shells – shells with a violet pattern. Two species of pansy molluscs live here, one of which is found only in Mozambique.
Magaruque Island – Margaruque (Ilha Santa Isabel). It takes only three hours to walk around the third largest island in the archipelago. A long sandy spit that stretches along the eastern shore forms a bay – a favorite habitat for flamingos. Opportunities for diving and fishing are no less than on neighboring islands.
Bangue Island is a small sandy island in the south of the archipelago, a very romantic place for excursions.
Paradise Island (Ilha Santa Carolina), its area is only 1 sq. km, is the oldest of the islands of the archipelago. Once a Portuguese settlement was founded here. His houses later housed the administrative buildings of the colony of prisoners. Before the Civil War, the island was a popular resort – newlyweds spent their “honeymoon” here, avid fishermen came here. After the civil war, this place again acquired the status of a resort, but not for long – the hotel built here (Art Deco Hotel) was closed after the death of its owner. While the further fate of the island remains unknown, tourists from neighboring islands come here on excursions, which usually include a small picnic. Bazaruto National Park also includes part of the San Sebastian Peninsula. Here in the neighboring areas in the south of the archipelago, excellent conditions for diving. The local reefs are much deeper than in other places of Bazaruto (up to 30-40 m). They are covered with stunningly beautiful coral thickets.
Vilanculos is located about 700 km north of Maputo on the coast and serves as a gateway to the romantic islands of the archipelago. It is a business bustling city with friendly people and a lively atmosphere. The markets of Vilanculos sell fresh products, there are many restaurants serving seafood and Portuguese cuisine. Island hotels organize excursions to Vilanculos, and the town itself deserves attention in order to stay there for the night.
How to get there. Flight Johannesburg – Vilanculos (2 hours 15 minutes) or Kruger Park – Vilanculos (1 hour 15 minutes), Vilanculos can also be reached from the capital Maputo by regular flights of local airlines.
Inhambane. The city was founded in 1534, 470 km north of Maputo, as a Portuguese trading post. It is one of the oldest European settlements in South Africa. The Inhambane area is famous for its excellent beaches, among them Baia dos Cocos, Praia do Tofo, Praia da Barra, Pomene, Praia do Jangamo, Guniata Bay (Gunijata Bay). These places are exceptionally good for divers, fishermen and just for relaxing on the ocean.
How to get there. Twice a week flights from Johannesburg or from Maputo.
Beira. The town square of the second largest city in Mozambique (350 thousand inhabitants) is surrounded by old colonial buildings, boulevards, cafes and shops. There are many beautiful buildings here, including the cathedral, partly built from the stones of Sofala Fort, dating from the 16th century. In the city, it is interesting to visit the markets and the surroundings of the lighthouse, where, oddly enough, several shipwrecks have occurred. The city has a very colorful lighthouse Estoril. The best beaches in Beira are located between the Nautical Club (Club Nautico) and the lighthouse. The Six Miles Recreation Area is located about 10 km from the city center. It is formed by an artificial lagoon with islands located close to each other. An average swimmer can easily overcome the distance between them. Or you can do it on a rented water bike.
How to get there. By plane from Maputo.