Mozambique is the 35th largest country, and it has a varied landscape. North of the Zambezi River, it has expansive hills and plateaus, and south of the river are lowlands and the Lebombo Mountains. Its rugged highlands lie west while it is bordered by the breezy Indian Ocean east, separating it from Madagascar, Comoros, and Mayotte.
The country’s tourism sector is yet to boom even as it is bordered by charming South Africa. Aside from its lush natural environment, travelers will enjoy exploring the cultural heritage, beaches, and ecotourism sites of this country. Anyone can get the most out of Mozambique.
A journey in the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” must start in its capital Maputo. This coastal city has a vibrant culture and eclectic architecture that will satisfy sightseers. Among its architectural wonders are the city hall, the central market, the fortress, Vila Algarve, and the railway station. Strollers should not miss visiting independence square and Tunduru Gardens, too. Jacaranda and acacia trees abound in the city, making any walk relaxing. From its museums to historical sites, Maputo won’t disappoint.
9 Gorongosa National Park
Gorongosa National Park has been dubbed “Africa’s greatest wildlife restoration story.” The reserve was affected by the civil war, and its wildlife is slowly making a comeback, and they are eager to welcome guests. The park is home to waterbucks, impalas, warthogs, antelopes, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, lions, and elephants. Birdwatchers are in for a treat, too, as the reserve has over 300 species of their feathered friends. Safari tours in Gorongosa are always a go, be it aboard a boat or a vehicle or by walking.
8 Quirimbas Islands
Called the “hidden gem of Northern Mozambique,” Quirimbas Islands are a beach lover and birdwatcher’s paradise. The archipelago is tentatively listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it should be because it’s stunning. The area is also a biosphere reserve where tourists can check out coastal mangroves and the mainland’s forest. Wherever they stay on its 31 islands, they’ll be accompanied by the tropical breeze as they enjoy basking under the sun. Whether they dive, paddle, or beachcomb, tourists in Quirimbas will have a blast.
Aside from the national parks of Banhine and Limpopo, the province of Gaza is also proud of the city of Xai-Xai. It’s a tourist favorite, thanks to its pristine beach. The place is pronounced “shy-shy,” but it’s not shy about its wonders. Divers flock to this town to explore its coral reefs. Another attraction is the Wenela Tidal Pool, which has a natural blowhole and tunnel linking it to the ocean. On the shore or under the sea, Xai-Xai offers a satisfying escape.
The city of Inhambane is another destination frequented by sun worshipers, thanks to its pristine bay, where sun-kissed memories are always possible. It has the famous Tofo flocked at night by fans of beach parties, and in the morning, it has a charming coastline. At Barra Beach, meanwhile, snorkeling is a thing. The city is also big in scuba diving, especially since it’s near Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, a 1,430-square-kilometer seascape. In this majestic park, tourists can see dugongs, manta rays, whale sharks, turtles, and lots of birds. Inhambane is inspiring indeed.
5 Island Of Mozambique
The Island of Mozambique is located off the channel and is connected to the mainland by a long bridge. It was the former capital when the country was still a colony of Portugal. It is a World Heritage Site praised by UNESCO for its remarkable architecture. The island has a thriving community that welcomes tourists to its stunning shores. In Stone Town, travelers can step back in time as they marvel at colonial structures that stood the test of time, like the fort, a chapel, and a hospital, among others. What they should not miss, however, is the pristine beach of Chocas Mar, where they can peacefully enjoy the sunset.
4 Ponta do Ouro
Ponta do Ouro is another beach destination located south of the country. Thanks to the relaxing breeze of the Mozambique Channel, anyone staying on the shores of this town will have superb moments. To start their day, tourists can explore the area’s dune forests, shop in the open-air market, and taste local treats from small eateries or hawkers. Afterward, they can place their mats on the white-sand bay and let the sound of the crashing waves help them reach nirvana.
The city of Tete lies by the Zambezi River, making it an attractive option for tourists who want to stay in an urban area yet can feel the call of the wild. For starters, visitors can head to the partially-runed Boromo Church, then drop by the 16th-century Forte de São Tiago Maior do Tete. For two contrasting destinations, tourists should first check out the natural spring at Village de Angónia and then follow it up with an excursion in the massive Cahora Bassa Dam. Since the city is by a river, travelers should not miss checking out its waterfalls and rapids, then end their day in the springs of Monte Zumbo.
2 Chimanimani National Reserve
Those who can’t get enough of Mozambican wildlife should head to the lush Chimanimani National Reserve. It is included in Time Magazine’s “World Greatest Places 2021” list because of its conservation efforts and biodiversity. The park is tucked into the Chimanimani Mountains on the border of Zimbabwe. It is home to the nation’s highest peak, Mount Binga, where wildlife abounds. In this pocket of paradise, hikers might be able to spot mountain elephants. The trails are untouched by vehicles, so a safari in this park is an enriching journey.
The town of Manica is known for Chinamapere Rock Paintings, an ancient artwork of human and animal figures dating back thousands of years. Locals consider the site sacred, but tourists are welcome to pay a visit. The town is near the teeming Penhalonga Mountains, an ideal playground for mountaineering adventures, thanks to its inviting hills. Tourists can even check out the traditional houses of the Shona people while in the area, appreciating its colorful facades while gaining new friends. Mozambique is indeed a must-visit.