Mozambique Safari & Beach Holidays
Almost 2500 kilometers of breathtakingly beautiful golden beaches and sparkling blue waters, make the southern African beach destination of Mozambique a diver’s delight. The unspoiled scenery, offshore marine parks and slow-paced beach lifestyle of this sublime beach vacation destination often mark the beginning or end of an East or South African Safari tour itinerary.
Mozambique is easily accessible by air with direct flights from Portugal and South Africa into the capital of Maputo. From here, travel on to the popular desert island destinations of the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos via boat, light aircraft or helicopter transfer. Exploration of the less inhabited inland wooded areas is best done by guided tour.
Mozambique has something for everyone in terms of accommodation. Value-for-money vacation packages include backpackers, beach chalets, tented camps or family villas and beach resorts; but why not go all out and treat yourself to an extreme luxury eco-lodge experience?
This region is famous for its wildlife and beautiful beaches as well as a rich Portuguese cultural heritage. Mozambique is not a mass-tourism destination and the privacy of the beaches is a big draw card, depending where you go. The small, quiet town of Tofo boasts an incredible dive site while the more popular Ponto d’Ouro offers dolphin and whale diving along with a bustling market and opportunity to hob-nob with the vibrant local community. Don’t miss the chance to sample the exquisite Portuguese-influenced local cuisine that is provided by the restaurants and bars dotted around these towns.
Although Mozambique is best known for its water activities, a visit to the diverse landscapes at Gorongosa National Park in the Great Rift Valley, or Niassa National Reserve in Cabo Delgado provides an exceptional crowd-free big game viewing experience as well.
A Mozambique safari and beach vacation package does not end with scuba and game viewing, however. From snorkeling the pristine coral reefs and diving with dolphins, to horse riding trails on the beach, sunset trips on a traditional dhow or sipping cocktails in a hammock between the palm trees; Mozambique is a melting pot of memorable experiences.
Best Time to Visit Mozambique
The subtropical climate of this area means that during the dry months of April to December temperatures settle at a moderate to warm 25°C to 32°C. Between September and November, the weather in Mozambique is calm and warm. Over this time the game viewing is optimal and the whale migration is at its peak.
Browse our Mozambique vacation packages below…
Mozambique’s superb climate and warm waters allow for year-round diving with whale sharks and manta rays.
Sail out to one of the exotic islands on a traditional wooden dhow for a beach picnic.
The massive dunes and utopian beaches of Zongoene, northeast of Maputo, promise a sanctuary for honeymooners.
Top Destinations in Mozambique
The Bazaruto Archipelago is a cluster of five islands in the Mozambique channel which, together with the surrounding waters, comprise the 1400-sq-kilometer protected area of the Bazaruto National Park, and make for the ultimate romantic or family beach holiday.
Just 30 km offshore, to the south of the Mozambique coastline, the natural haven of Bazaruto overflows with flora and fauna, including world-class marine life. Dolphins gambol in the azure waters alongside humpbacked whales, manta rays, sailfish, marlin, and nesting marine turtles, making dhow-safari and diving activities particularly rewarding. The seagrass meadows around the islands are home to more than 2000 varieties of fish as well as the rare dugong mammal, which is thought to have inspired the mermaid legends.
On the islands themselves, a burgeoning wildlife population of antelope, pink flamingos, and freshwater crocodiles are part of the idyllic landscape.
Bazaruto is famous for its breath-taking natural beauty and rich snorkeling and diving opportunities, but its pleasures are not limited to underwater adventures. Bazaruto island vacation packages allow you to take full advantage of laid-back island life; whiling away the hours in a hammock under rustling palm trees and inhaling the subtle fragrance of wild orange trees from the nearby groves.
Also available are scenic horse-riding trails, guided 4x 4 trips, sandboarding on the dunes, or picnicking on one of the secluded smaller islands. A trip to Bazaruto island is easily combined with a safari in South or East Africa and the sheer beauty and seclusion of the Archipelago make it an ideal honeymoon escape for romantics.
Direct flight links between Vilanculos International and Kruger International Airport offer an easy solution to combine a Big 5 Safari in Kruger National Park with a Bazaruto island vacation.
When to Go to the Bazaruto Archipelago
The Islands are quite hot and wet in December and January and are more pleasant to visit in the cooler dry months between May and November where the temperatures settle at a moderate 25 degrees. Between June and November is a good time to combine a Mozambican beach holiday with a safari in South or East Africa where it’s dry season all around and prime game-viewing time.
Set on a verdant peninsula and surrounded by the deep rich fishing grounds of Pemba Bay, Pemba, capital of the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, is a launch site for many of the surrounding dive sites and the gateway to the Quirimbas Islands with their luxurious castaway lodges and palm-fringed coastline.
Regular flights connect Pemba International Airport (POL) with South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania, making a Pemba, Mozambique vacation an ideal add-on to a Big Five safari. A ten-minute drive from the airport through vervet-populated forests brings you into the center of Pemba City, where you can search for treasures amongst the plethora of art, crafts, and silverware at the central market, absorb the vibrant local culture or admire the historic Portuguese architecture.
Here you can cast a line for sailfish and barracuda or swim, scuba, or snorkel at your leisure amongst moray eels, turtles, stingrays, and sparkling corals on the nearby reef. Pemba’s varied marine life yields regular sightings of humpbacked whales, dolphins, manta rays, and once in a while, even the elusive dugong.
Accommodation in Pemba ranges from high-end holiday resorts and hotels to rustic villas and self-catering lodges. A highlight amongst things to do in Mozambique is to sample the mouth-watering array of locally-sourced succulent seafood on offer at most eateries in the area.
Best time to visit Pemba
Warm waters and a tropical climate make the Mozambican coast a year-round paradise for divers but the rainy season between December and April can affect diving visibility, so if you are a water-sports enthusiast, it is best to visit Pemba during the dry Winter season between May and September where the humidity abates, the temperatures drop slightly and clear waters and sunny skies are the order of the day. The warmest months are January and February and the coolest is July.
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Scattered along the northeastern Mozambican coastline, is a constellation of 32 islands that make up the remote Quirimbas Archipelago. These secluded islands are known for their wild beauty and extraordinary marine life. 11 of the southernmost islands form part of the Quirimbas National Park, some 7,500km² of protected mangrove forests, coral reefs, and idyllic beaches with a rich cultural and natural heritage. The main islands are Metundo, Vamizi, Matemo, Sencar, Mefunvo, Quisiva, Ibo, Medjumbe, Quirimba, Rolas, and Quilaluia.
The Ilhas Quirimbas offer the ultimate romantic beach escape. Many of the islands are uninhabited, all are spectacularly scenic, and each offers a slightly different vacation flavor.
End a day of scuba diving or snorkeling amongst exotic Indian Ocean fish and bright corals with a sunset stroll, cocktail in hand, across the powdery beaches of the privately-owned Quilálea Island – the ultimate exclusive barefoot luxury.
Explore the Arab, Indian, and Portuguese cultural influences on Ibos Island where traditional silversmiths produce unique jewelry and collectibles. Soak up the history on a tour of Ibos’ historical buildings, forts, and the ancient Catholic church, or the pre-colonial Swahili settlements of Quisiva.
Fishing is bountiful throughout the Quirimbas, but you can enjoy both land and sea fishing as well as learn to dive at the well-known local dive school on Matemo Island. Matemo also offers a great family-oriented vacation atmosphere.
Whether you are an experienced sportsman or a complete novice, a stay in the Quirimbas lends itself to water activities of all kinds. You can glide through the clear water on a kayak, test your balance on a stand-up paddleboard or harness the breeze to adventure around the islands on a Hobie Cat.
Best Time to Visit the Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique
The Quirimbas have a lovely tropical climate and temperatures hover around 30 degrees all year round. Seasoned beachgoers may prefer to visit the islands during the Summer, but the allure of a beach vacation for many is improved by the lowered humidity, scarce rainfall, and cooler ambient temperature in the winter months between May and September.
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The Quirimbas Islands north of Pemba offer some of the most spectacular diving and snorkelling locations in Africa. Swim with whale sharks and manta rays between September and February, and even get the chance to spot an endangered turtle or two. The reef ecosystems here are beautiful.
There’s nothing like cantering along long stretches of white sand, with the turquoise ocean as your backdrop. Horse rides in Mozambique are quite adventurous, but are also one of the country’s most romantic experiences.
The vibrant waters off the coast of Mozambique are well known as being excellent for big game fishing and draw local and regional fishermen all year round. Tuna, marlin and wahoo are all up for grabs, but are seasonal. Most fishing takes place on a tag and release basis.
Set sail in a traditional dhow sailboat and experience a typical African coastal experience. Best experienced in a day trip from one of the island, a sail in a dhow can also include a picnic on a remote island, snorkelling and diving.
Discover Mozambique’s spectacular natural wilderness in Gorongosa National Park. Once heavily ravaged by poachers, the park has seen tremendous recovery in the last 15 years and is thriving again with antelope, predators and a diverse birdlife.