Mozambique is a unique African destination offering beautiful beaches, wild game reserves, diving escapes, swimming with dolphins, city breaks and more. Many people head straight to the beaches, forgetting that the country is brimming with kind local people, fresh markets, rich historical architecture and a past that included slavery, spice trading and the export of homegrown nuts and cotton.
We now let you in on 10 facts about Mozambique that you probably didn’t know:
1. Geography: Mozambique is mainly a savanna plateau drained by the mighty Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers and the warm tropical climate is conducive to plenty of rain and flooding which has displaced thousands of people in the past who live in simple villages along the coast and in the river valleys. Thousands of tourists looking for beach resorts and accommodation along with the Mozambique coast head here annually. The top visited areas include the beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago and resort towns like Vilanculos and Inhambane. It has a coastline of over 2400 km most of this undeveloped and pristine with rural fishing villages dotted here and there.
2. Mozambique borders: The most popular border entry posts for tourists in Mozambique are Komatipoort and Kosi Bay. With the new tar road to Maputo travelling time from Kosi Bay is now less than an hour and a half. So the days of the dreaded 4 wheel drive trek into Southern Mozambique are over. Visit resort towns like Ponta do Oura or treat yourself to some luxury accommodation in Ponta Mamoli at places like White Pearl Mozambique. There’s some useful and current travel information available from the SA high commission in Maputo.
3. Visas – Mozambique has revised its visa policy and visas are issued on arrival to ALL nationalities at border posts and international airports at a cost of USD 60. South Africans do not require a visa and there is no charge for entering the country.
4. Driving in Mozambique: This has also got a whole lot easier and less stressful. Do familiarise yourself with the rules and allow for delays at the borders in peak holiday times. Adopt a sense of humour its Africa after all! You will be stopped at a police checkpoint so you need to remember to wear seat-belts, obey the speed limits, carry your driver’s license, your 3rd party insurance and road tax documents and a huge smile. It will be worth it and when you are at your final destination sipping a cold 2M beer and eating the most ridiculously fresh prawns you have ever seen, the drive will feel like a small sacrifice for such a stunning holiday.
5. Top destinations in Mozambique for holidays and leisure include the Islands of the Quirimbas, the Bazaruto Islands, Inhambane Tofo and the Barra Peninsula, the beaches of Vilanculos and the capital city of Maputo.
There is a wide range of resort and lodge options in Mozambique all offering something different from small rustic barefoot eco-friendly owner operated guests house, to luxury small resorts, to private islands and everything in between. Some of our handpicked favourites include Azura at Benguerra Island, Anvil Bay, White Pearl Resort at Ponta Mamoli, Machangulo Beach Lodge in Santa Maria, Ibo Island Lodge and Azura at Quilalea in the beautiful Quirimbas Archipelago, Santorini in Vilanculos, Diamonds at Mequfi south of Pemba, Sentidos Beach Retreat on Barra beach, Coral Lodge near Ilha de Mozambique, and Massinga Beach Lodge. There are of course lots more, but these are some of our personal recommendations and where we get consistently great feedback from our clients.
6. Independence: Mozambique became independent in 1975 and the country was devastated by war, also enduring almost 500 years of Portuguese rule. Thereafter there was plenty of fighting against white rule in Rhodesia and South Africa and between the government and right-wing guerrillas. Thousands of people died.
7. Official language: Portuguese, spoken by 50.3% of the population. More than half the population is Christian, nearly 20% is Islam, 10% is animism and some 20% of the population do not have religious beliefs. In Mozambique: shake hands wear neat casual gear to most venues. Formal attire is not really necessary in this warm climate. Don’t be in a rush in Mozambique – its all part of the charm and expect to make the small chat as you learn more from the people you meet about their culture and way of life.
8. Photographs: do not take photos of any armed forces, airports, bridges or government buildings but as a tourist, you can take photos of tourist attractions and beaches and wildlife, etc.
9. Some of the dramatic scenes from Blood Diamond starring Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio were shot in Maputo, Mozambique. Blood diamonds was a highly successful film centred around the realities of the illegal diamond trade in Africa. The crew were based in Maputo for months and hundreds of jobs were created and it paved the way for many more films and series shot on location in Mozambique.
10. Gay Travel to Mozambique: In 2017 Mozambique decriminalised homosexuality making it one of more gay-friendly travel options in Africa. Danilo da Silva is executive director and co-founder of the LAMBDA Mozambique, which supports the gay community in Mozambique. It was founded in 2006 and is supported by 164 full-time staff and volunteers across Mozambique. Maputo the capital city offers a wide range of night clubs and bars, live music venues and restaurants. Volare Bar, Coconuts, Lounge, 4U, Mafalala Libre (some offering gay-friendly nights every Thursday) Sheik and Havana clubs to name but a few!
Mozambique is a totally unique and awesome African destination offering beautiful pristine beaches, uninhabited island, wild game reserves, culture and heritage, incredible and in many case undiscovered scuba diving sites, swimming with dolphins, whale sharks, rays and turtles and Maputo city breaks and more.
Many people head straight to the beaches which are the major drawcard as they are world class, forgetting that the country is brimming with very kind local people, fresh markets offering all manner of goods to buy including fresh produce, art and crafts, jewellery and clothes, live music and jazz clubs, rich historical architecture and a heritage that included slavery, spice trading and the export of homegrown cashew nuts and cotton. It is a heady mix of cultures and a melting pot of people, famous for its fresh seafood, per peri hot sauce, Dois M local beer and very happy fun loving people.