Mozambique doesn’t see as many visitors as popular neighbours like Tanzania and South Africa, and to the north its infrastructure is poor, but that makes it the perfect destination for overlanders and adventure travellers looking to step away from Africa’s tourist track. It has so much to offer. It’s not always easy to travel here, but those intrepid travellers who do brave the journey will be deeply rewarded. We take a look at some of the reasons why below.
We pair Mozambique with Zimbabwe on our new overland loop starting and ending in Victoria Falls. We ran this three-week tour for the first time in 2019, so the route is still new to us, making it overlanding at its finest.
Mozambique was once one of Africa’s most-visited destinations, but the Mozambican Civil War fought between 1977-1992 decimated the tourism industry as well as wildlife conservation efforts. Tragically, much of the country’s big game was wiped out during this time. Yet, slowly but surely, Mozambique is restoring both its coastal resorts and its game and nature reserves, and it is once again becoming an attractive destination for wildlife lovers - especially since, the parks being relatively inaccessible compared to those of neighbouring South Africa, you’re rarely competing with any crowds.
Mozambique’s main attraction might be the longest stretch of Indian Ocean coastline in Africa, consisting of palm-fringed and mostly empty beaches, warm turquoise waters, abundant marine life and tranquil islands, all to be enjoyed in the year-round sun.
One of the best beaches to visit on a Mozambique tour is the Bazaruto Archipelago, protected since 1971 as Bazaruto National Park. Consisting of five untouched islands and pristine coral reefs, it’s home to red duikers, bushbucks, Nile crocodiles, dolphins, dugongs, some 2,000 types of fish, dozens of bird species, as well as green, loggerhead, and leatherback turtles. We’ll spend a few days here exploring the archipelago, taking part in activities like birding, surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving.
We also visit Tofo Beach, which, despite its popularity, is still sleepy and laid-back. There are a few excellent restaurants here, where we can sample some of Mozambique’s cuisine. Mozambique is one of the top foodie destinations in Africa, and dishes typically rely on fresh seafood sourced from the country’s bountiful coastline. Nearly 500 years of Portuguese colonial rule have also had an influence; early colonial settlers are attributed with the invention of piri-piri, the famous spicy sauce which is used as a marinade in so much of Mozambican cooking. Look out for dishes like grilled prawns, Prego rolls, Matata, and Ncima.
Mozambique’s Portuguese heritage can also be observed in the colourful colonial architecture of Maputo, one of Africa’s most attractive capital cities. It’s easily the most developed place in Mozambique, with a number of superb restaurants and sidewalk cafes nestled among wide avenues lined with flame trees. It also has a renowned and eclectic cultural scene, along with plenty of casual bars, cocktail lounges and clubs, and yes, more beaches to check out and relax on.
Mozambique is pushing forward with restoring its potential as a tourist destination, but for the time being it’s still well off the beaten track and ideal for overlanders! So now is the perfect time to explore this beautiful destination with us. Check out our Zimbabwe & Mozambique overland tour, or contact Dragoman’s Sales team to get yourself booked on!