Discover the Enchanting World of Ilha de Mozambique!

Ilha de Mozambique

We want to take you on a Special Mozambique safari holiday to a unique island destination in Nampula Province. Lying far north, between the Mozambique Channel and Mossuril Bay, the Island of Mozambique, commonly known as Ilha de Mozambique, was once the capital of Portuguese East Africa during the colonial era of 1898. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its extraordinary history and culture and is a great place to spend your holiday. We will take you to see it now at the click of a button, and we will recommend to you two of our best accommodation venues to delight and satisfy your budget Island needs! Read on for more information about your next Mozambique island holiday destination…

Ilha de Mozambique is accessible by air and by road. There is an international airport at Nampula and a small airport just off the island, about 7km away. Various well-known airlines operate to and from Mozambique, including LAM (Linhas Aereas de Mozambique), SAA (South African Airways), Air Mauritius and Air Zimbabwe (represented by LAM in Maputo). Please contact your travel agency for further details. You can also get there by road – the road condition has improved significantly and a wide tarmac road now runs from the city of Nampula to the coastal town of Nacala, which links to the Ilha de Mozambique.

Your holiday on this island is not about tanning and water skiing and deep sea diving although you can seek those activities out for sure. Your holiday on Mozambique Island is about cultural tours, architectural education and fantastic restaurant meals. It is about meeting the local community people and finding out more about the history of this fascinating region in a wonderful part of Africa.

The island was a major Arab port and boat building centre long before Vasco da Gama arrived in 1498. The Portuguese established a port and naval base on the island in 1507 and built the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte in 1522, now considered the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere!

Visit some of the historical landmarks to whet your appetite

Fort-Sao-Sebastiao , Ilha de MozambiqueWhen the Fort Sao Sebastiao was built during the 1600s, what is now called Stone Town became the capital of Portuguese East Africa. The island was then a vital missionary centre and was able to defy attacks from the Dutch in 1607 and 1608 while remaining a strong port for ships sailing to India. This was a major slave, spice and gold trading port. Only half of the town is made from stone. The hospital used to be the largest hospital south of the Sahara and was painted white after the Mozambican Civil War – people love its gardens with ponds and fountains.

Other buildings worth visiting include the Palace and Chapel of São Paulo, built in 1610 as a Jesuit College and subsequently used as the Governor’s Residence, now a museum. The Museum of Sacred Art, housed in the Church of the Misericórdia run by the House of Mercy displays an excellent Makonde crucifix and the Church of Santo António, the Church of the Misericórdia and the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte are extraordinary religious buildings worth exploring. Today the island is entirely urbanised and a few mosques and a Hindu temple peep out from the architectural collection. You can walk the 3km bridge that connects the island to the mainland, erected in the 190s.

The island in itself is not very big, about 3 km long and between 200 and 500 metres wide. Most historical buildings are at the island’s northern end. The majority of the residents live in reed houses in Makuti Town at the southern end of the island.

UNESCO and the Mozambican government agreed to rehabilitate the San Sebastian Fortress in 2003 and this conservation project is still in progress and worth a visit.

Recommended accommodation on Ilha de Mozambique

Villa Sands ,Ilha de MozambiqueVilla Sands Boutique Hotel is a charming aesthetic venue that makes the perfect base you’re your explorations of a magnificent isle steeped in culture and history, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991!

We certainly rate Villa Sands as one of best of Ilha de Mozambique hotels, lodges and guest houses as it takes luxury holiday accommodation to another level. The clever use of white painted walls is a wonderful extension of the white sandy beaches outside – bringing the outside in. The interiors are spacious with everything furnished to perfection – clean and uncluttered.

Created from 3 old warehouses, this elegant venue offers eight en-suite double rooms with king size beds, air-conditioning, ceiling fans,TV and stunning views. An exclusive rooftop suite boasts another a private pool, three double rooms, each with en-suite bathroom and private veranda. Honeymoon couples can settle in and stay a few days, enjoying the romance of an island lost in time…

You should really indulge in the seafront terrace swimming pool with its sun beds and bar service or try the fresh seafood in the restaurant. Shrimp is a seafood delicacy on the island, skilfully cooked at Villa Sands by the local chef. Conference facilities for up to 24 guests make this hotel a great business escape for tired businessmen.

Specials to Ilha de Mozambique will include day trips on board Edna, a custom made and handcrafted wooden dhow that is also motorized and can be hired for private use. While away time sailing leisurely in the vast blue ocean, exploring the nooks and cranny of this breath-taking nirvana.

Grab a bicycle and explore the island alone, stopping for a picnic on a secluded beach somewhere. Bird watching is also available for guests to enjoy. Embark on a journey of culinary discovery, savoring luscious dishes from the several restaurants and bistros in town.

We recommend a visit to this special island destination in Mozambique where you will enjoy a thrilling yet relaxing holiday in the tropics. Contact one of our consultants for more details!

10 Beach Holidays for Every Kind of Traveller

Mozambique Beaches

1. For the Conservationist – Vamizi Island

Vamizi Island is big on conservation and the preservation of the marine and island wildlife. Fly to the Quirimbas Archipelago and learn more how the community monitors turtle populations and manages the surrounding marine sanctuary. This could be the most meaningful Mozambique island holiday you have ever experienced. Vamizi is ideally situated in specific sea currents which contain huge reserves of minute plankton, a major food source for most species living within this complex coral reef system. Divers should look out for huge groups of Giant Potato Cod, Grey Reef Sharks, Snapper, Batfish, Turtles, Barracuda and more. Dive sites such as Neptune’s Arm, Fraggle Rock, and Skunk Alley suit both beginners and experienced divers.

2. For the Camping Expert – Ibo Island Dhow Safaris

It is all about snorkeling off deserted white sandbanks into clear blue seas then camping overnight on secluded Quirimbas beaches eating fresh seafood on the fire. Yes, Ibo Island Lodge is the only Mozambique island holiday resort offering fully tailor-made Mozambique Dhow Safaris into the Quirimbas Archipelago. Look out for indigenous fishermen drying their sardines on the sands,  whales frolicking in the lake-like ocean and turtles digging out a sandy nest.

You will be under the eye of an expert professional guide and local crew who will erect tents, arrange the food in an elegant picnic and ensure you are left alone in a discreet manner. Go for the standard recommended minimum itinerary of four nights island hopping by dhow or kayak and three nights at Ibo Island Lodge – but you are free to tailor make your perfect adventure and include some diving and snorkeling too.

3. For the Party Animals – Maputo

If you are looking for a trendy place for a weekend break, fly into the capital city of Mozambique, Maputo. All travelers love its diverse accommodation, cosmopolitan vibes and stunning setting of harbor and beaches. The architecture is a wonderful blend of Arab, French, Oriental, Portuguese and African, as well as fashionable Art Deco. Meet people gathering to eat great food in diverse restaurants, and to unwind in great nightclubs after long working days. Maputo is a place of music, dancing and great seafood. People are friendly and most places are safe. From exclusive hotels and restaurants to the more lowly, local and very real eating places, this is the place to be for fun and great tastes.

4. For Lovers of Sailing and Water Sports – Bazaruto Archipelago

Benguerra Island floats in the Bazaruto Archipelago like a diamond in the sun. Go and see for yourself an authentic Mozambique lifestyle with plenty of luxury thrown in. You can relax in your private villa at the edge of the sea or get out and scuba dive, walk, snorkel or enjoy ocean safaris to see dolphins and whales. The island is part of the Marine National Park which makes it a diver’s dream destination -offshore coral reefs, inshore seagrass beds, large stocks of pelagic fish and long stretches of pristine sandy beaches. Dolphins come regularly to the beach and whales migrate seasonally past these shores.

Go snorkeling to see underwater sights that take your breath away. Helicopter flips to overnight dhow safaris and ocean safaris to dive with the dolphins. The best way to get around between islands is by motorized boat or traditional sailing dhow – and island hopping safaris are now a popular way to get to see more than one island in this splendid Bazaruto Archipelago.

5. For those who are exhausted – Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa

For a very laid back, chilled Mozambique hotel, look for the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort on Bazaruto Island. Book a chic island style room and enjoy swish island style cuisine – far from predictable, your holiday in the Bazaruto Archipelago will be so remarkable that you will never want to leave this paradise!

Think hammocks swinging in the breeze, cocktails served around the lovely pool area and a deep tissue massage at the spa while the ocean view dominates your vision. All of this enriched by the genuine smiles of the staff, the genuine dedication to good service that is Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort and Spa.

The beach is pristine – leave only your footprints as you stroll daily along white sands, picking up shells and forgetting what happened yesterday. Tons of fresh air and sunlight spark that appetite so be ready to indulge in pancakes for breakfast, fresh salads for lunch from the hotel’s own garden, and seafood to die for in the starry evenings.

6. For Bird Lovers – Ibo Island Lodge

Ibo Island is not just any island – it is a floristic wonderland where all kinds of birds come to play, breed and feed. The headquarters of the Quirimbas National Park, surrounded by the Indian Ocean, find the isle in front of one of Africa’s largest mangrove forests. So, whether you are a dedicated ornithologist or an amateur bird-watcher, you will marvel at the wealth of beautiful, and often rare, birds in Mozambique.

Explore the wooded areas on Ibo and get there when the tides are coming in or going out. The lush, low-lying ocean mangrove forests are a special adventure for ardent bird-watchers. Settle in quietly at sunset when hundreds of birds fly in to roost – what an impressive sight! More than 700 different bird species, 10 of these being threatened, have made their home on Ibo. Goliath Herons, Fish Eagles, Egrets, Flamingo’s and Pelicans are all regular visitors and the tropical gardens at the lodge support a large range of Sunbirds, Woodpeckers, and the beautiful Lilac-breasted Roller. Trained guides teach you about every little Ibo flitter and flutter.

7. For Culture – Ilha de Mozambique

Your holiday on Ilha de Mozambique, a historical island and famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, guarantees unforgettable experiences. Discover numerous relics of its ancient past. Book an awesome accommodation special package and spend your holiday exploring ancient ruins, taking a traditional dhow cruise out to sea and watching local people go about their daily business.

Ilha de Mozambique is famous for its Stone Town and Fort São Sebastião, a reminder of an interesting past. Originally the capital of Mozambique, for 400 years, before the Portuguese decided to make their capital Lourenco Marques (now called Maputo) this island is a unique blend of cultural times gone by and breath-taking beauty. Book a few days at the unique Hotel Escondidinho, a renovated 19th-century house – once a trading house where slaves were housed.

Or the house of Terraco das Quitandas which is more than 300 years old, located in the heart of the island’s Stone Town. This gracious old colonial building dates back to a rich past of Portuguese, African and Arab influences. It was once home to many different merchants and traders, followed by Portuguese rulers and oozes with history and authenticity.

8. For Furious Fitness Freaks – Tofo

From scuba diving and surfing, snorkeling and deep sea fishing, Tofo offers a perfect outdoor activity for those who love moving. Horse riding, bird watching, quad biking, and dhow cruises are also fantastic fun on beaches and sand tracks around the region.

Explore some 15 pristine dive sites which are part of a renowned coral reef, one being Manta Reef. Come between October and February and catch a gigantic Black Marlin trophy. Catch a ride with big game fishermen to see how they do it. You may see Humpback whales breaching while out at sea and can also try your hand at sea and lagoon kayaking, kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing/bodyboarding, parasailing, and jet-skiing. Afterward, book your dhow cruise to Inhambane and see Tofo from a different angle completely.

9. For the romantic – Massinga Beach Lodge

Mozambique is the quintessential honeymoon hideaway, surrounded by aquamarine waters, beautiful beaches, tropical forests, and freshwater lakes.  For here you will find luxury island resorts and hotel accommodation, sunny skies, moonlit walks and candlelit dinners on a beach stretching for miles. At Massinga Beach Lodge couples are treated like royalty and respond well to five-star service, the huge lobsters grilled to perfection, the secluded beaches. Stay for longer in an Ocean View Villa complete with phenomenal views, beautiful decor, crisp white linen on comfy beds, rain showers and free standing baths. The private deck and plunge pool promote relaxation and romance.

Massinga Beach Lodge

Enjoy special meals served to you on your deck – or enjoy the elevated restaurant and bar. Cuisine at Massinga includes fresh seafood and other delicious dishes. A real hit with honeymooners is the private beach picnics – choose a secluded spot, sip a glass of bubbly and enjoy a swim in the warm Indian Ocean.

10. For Anglers and Scuba Divers – Machangulo Beach Lodge

High tide at Machangulo is a wild time of natural energies and surging waters. Fishermen love the deep channels here and all kinds of fishing are on offer. Guided offshore and channel fishing will teach anglers new tricks while rock and surf fishing is up to you although you can request a guide. This is a great fly fishing territory and the lodge can assist with tackle and set up. Fishing, like some of the other activities, is dependent on the weather and tides. Machangulo Beach Lodge uses two modern and safe powerboats designed for diving and fishing.

Diving is very rewarding at this lodge, the estuary and sea coming in to create a unique setting. Within the marine reserves lie some excellent visuals of protected marine species that create that ideal and sublime diving experience. The lodge offers courses for novice divers and some wonderful shipwreck sites for those in the know. The PADI instructor is one of the first Mozambicans to ever attain his Instructor Level with PADI!

We have mentioned 10 different beach holidays for all kinds of travelers. Mozambique has it all. We could go on until we reach 100 so allow this sample to whet your appetite to travel into Mozambique for your next holiday.

Contact Us to book your Mozambique holiday now

Villa Sands Ilha de Mozambique

Villa Sands Bedroom

Ranked #1 of 3 specialty lodgings in Mozambique Island (Ilha de Mozambique), Villa Sands is a luxury boutique hotel that caters for the needs of the discerning holidaymaker. Treat your loved ones to a holiday filled with culture and adventure on the historical island which was proclaimed World Heritage Site.

Let your imagination run away with you when you browse through the candid reviews and pics of Villa Sands where languid days await. Picture yourself sprawled on powder white sands, cocktail glass in hand and the sun’s rays caressing your skin. All this can be a reality when you choose the accommodation in Ilha de Mozambique.

With just 8 en-suite double rooms, guests are assured of an intimate experience during their stay. Encompassed in 3 lovingly restored old warehouses, this boutique hotel offers rooms appointed with modern conveniences including satellite TVs, air conditioning, king size beds and ceiling fans. The rooftop suite is sumptuously appointed with 3 en-suite double rooms as well as a private pool.

Our consultants rate Villa Sands as one of the best boutique hotels in Mozambique for providing excellent service, great food and a superb setting. Another plus for us are the state of the art conference facilities which make this hotel a great escape for corporate travelers.

“I stayed with my mom at Villa Sands for a weekend and had an amazing time! The space is very pretty, the rooms really nice and comfortable. We enjoyed the boat trip to an island about 45 minutes away where we had a picnic by ourselves. The food was great, we ended up eating at the hotel all the time! Shrimp, crab and lobster every night for dinner at the price of chicken!!! The staff and owners were incredibly lovely…” Amelia from Sacramento, California is amongst those who wrote their Trip advisor hotel reviews and guest feedback on Villa Sands, Ilha de Mozambique.

Book your holiday to this top Mozambique beach property today.

Discover Coral Lodge 15.41

Coral Lodge Ilha de Mozambique

Discover why Coral Lodge 15.41 receives glowing reviews and traveler comments on Trip advisor when you spend your Mozambique holiday there. Located at the tip of a peninsula close to Ilha de Mozambique, this stunning lodge is placed on a sublime location where the white pristine sands melt into the blue sea.

The perfect base from which to explore the culture and history of Ilha de Mozambique, Coral Lodge, will delight the most discerning of travelers with its personalised service, exceptional facilities and exciting activities. This Mozambique accommodation was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor and judging from the lodge’s candid photos, it is clear why it was bestowed such a prestigious accolade.

There are 10 elegantly furnished villas, some facing the lagoon and others overlooking the sea. Each has an en-suite bathroom with a free-standing stone bath, rain shower as well as complimentary toiletries. For heightened comfort, the villas are appointed with mini bars, tea / coffee stations and large ‘Evening Breeze’ canopy beds.

The villas are connected to the main lodge facilities by a wooden pathway. Guests can some delectable meals in the dining area of wind down in the lounge. There is a swimming pool with a deck where guests can enjoy some refreshing drinks while catching the sun. Guests can also retreat to the spa for an indulgent session of massages and treatments.

We like this top Mozambique beach property because it is both family-friendly and romantic, making it idyllic for family holidays and honeymoons. “We were given the royalty treatment by Sarah, Nelson and the rest of the staff at Coral Lodge 15.41. It was exactly what we had hoped for and needed. The setting was idyllic, the cuisine fantastic. We had the most amazing time and the kids are still raving about their experiences at the lodge.” YummiYanni from Durban, South Africa wrote.

Book your stay at this striking lodge during your holiday in the Nampula Province today. Contact our consultants to assist you with the travel arrangements.