Trip to Mozambique

Trip to Mozambique – 10 places not to be missed

10 amazing places to see in Mozambique Africa

One of my favorite African countries is definitely Mozambique . A trip to Mozambique which most people equate with wonderful beaches is much more than these. Mozambique is in fact a country that is still little explored and not very touristy, it offers a range of activities and wonderful and different places to discover.

Whether you want to snorkel in the coral reef , or climb the sand dunes of Bazaruto or swim with whale sharks or go on game drives (you didn’t know you can do them here too right?) Mozambique, and its delightful capital Maputo, it is a country that lends itself well as a single travel destination or as a combination with South Africa .

If you are reading this post you are planning, or thinking about, traveling to Mozambique.

In this post, discover what to see in Mozambique , the places not to be missed, the unique activities in the country but also the best time to go there and possible travel costs.

Good to know: For security reasons, the north of Mozambique is currently not accessible , in particular the Cape Delgrado region

How to get to Mozambique

To go to Mozambique there are no direct flights from Italy but there are very comfortable flights that stop in Johannesburg, which makes Mozambique perfect as a sea extension if you travel to South Africa, but also from Windhoek , if you travel to Namibia or from Kilimanjaro if you reach it after a safari in Tanzania.

If you travel to South Africa, for example on a safari in Kruger, you can reach Mozambique by car, reaching Maputo in just one day’s drive.

Have you found plane tickets? See also on Traveljourn
Read also: When to go to South Africa? Climate and Period

What to see in Mozambique – The 10 best places to visit in Mozambique

Mozambique’s 2,500km of palm-fringed beaches and remote islands with luxury lodges are Mozambique’s main attractions and have made the country an exclusive travel destination for many years.

If it is true that Mozambique is an exceptional country for a relaxing holiday , it is equally true that here you can do many other things besides relaxing by the sea (without necessarily sleeping in exclusive and expensive hotels).

There are many points of interest in this splendid country.

In addition to the most popular tourist attractions and paradisiacal beaches, you will find destinations off the beaten path, historic cities that tell the story of the times of Portuguese domination, which have left their mark in places such as the island of Ibo , Maputo or Mozambique island , reserves to do safaris and game drives among buffaloes, zebras and wildebeests and parks in which to go trekking. You didn’t expect it, did you?

Let’s start with the places to see during your trip to Mozambique.

green-leafed plant


The bustling city of Maputo is the capital of Mozambique and was once a favorite destination for fortune-seeking travelers. Its Portuguese colonial history and beauty attracted many visitors before the civil war of the 1970s and 1980s.

The war years had a very strong impact on the country’s tourist vocation, but Maputo has returned to the fore and today is a city that allows you to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage by tasting delicious local dishes, in Mozambique you eat very well, and have fun at night among the many bars and nightclubs.

The best time to visit the capital of Mozambique is during the dry winter months, from April to September, when the days are sunny and the nights are cool. From October to April, the rainy season, Maputo tends to be very hot and humid.

What to see in Maputo

  • Central railway station building
  • The Iron House, a unique and very particular historical building. The house was prefabricated in Belgium and later brought to Mozambique. the Casa de Ferro was built in 1892, according to the design of Gustave Eiffel
  • The Yellow House
  • The Cathedral in Independence Square
  • The fortress
  • The Mosque
  • The Council Chambers
  • Museum of the Revolution
  • Natural History Museum
  • art museum
  • The Money Museum
  • The Geology Museum

Inhambane to Taste Beach

The town of Inhambane is rich in history, it is one of the oldest settlements on the east coast and was once an important port.

Founded by Vasco da Gama in 1534 , it was the southernmost slave port, used by the Arabs. Today large ships rarely dock here, but you will notice the largest dhow fleet in the country.

The cathedrals, old Portuguese colonial architecture, African culture and local markets make Inhambane an interesting city to visit in half a day.

The main reason most guests visit Inhambane though are the surrounding coastal areas of Barra and Tofo , located on the peninsula east of the city.

While less scenic and with less beautiful beaches than the archipelagos of Bazaruto and Quirimbas or Vilanculos, these villages are exceptional for divers interested in pelagics rather than tropical fish and corals.

From July to November it is possible to spot humpback whales and whale sharks are present in the area all year round: sightings are almost guaranteed and snorkeling alongside these enormous creatures is an extraordinary experience.

Tofo is a pleasant, if a little scruffy, village set at the back of a wide sandy beach. This place has been a base for backpackers for many years and continues to be a rather economical destination today.

You will have no difficulty finding very nice and cheap hotels, such as the Kumba lodge and the Turtle cove .

Barra is located in the northern part of the peninsula and offers a more remote beach feel than Tofo.
In addition to swimming, snorkeling and diving, it offers the possibility of horse riding, kayaking and sailing cruises.

Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi) and Mansa

Lake Niassa, the third largest lake in Africa , is home to as many as 850 species of fish. This is more than the freshwater species of North America and Europe combined.

Lake Niassa is the Mozambican name for Lake Malawi. The shores of the Mozambican side are pristine and remote. It is an area of ​​breathtaking beauty, fringed by sandy beaches and pristine forests.

Although little visited in Mozambique, Lake Malawi , as it is known across the border, offers fantastic snorkeling opportunities.

Here you can stay in numerous small ecological lodges making the trip to this remote corner of Mozambique particularly interesting.

The Manda Wilderness Reserve , in northern Mozambique, sits right on the shores of Lake Niassa. The reserve was established to restore and rehabilitate the surrounding environment in collaboration with the local community.

The wilderness area features diverse flora and fauna. Visitors to this reserve will find a wide choice of luxury accommodation, lake and land activities, including walking and canoe safaris. Access is via Lichinga, Cobue or Likoma Island on the lake.

brown leafless tree on brown sand during daytime

Villancles at the Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary

Vilanculos is probably the most famous and easily accessible place from Maputo and numerous destinations in Africa.
It is a small and lively village, an access point to the Bazaruto archipelago and the Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary , it offers many accommodations for all budgets, from those for backpackers, such as the Baobab beach , to those of extra luxury, and can easily be considered a base for a few days of relaxation and activity.

The Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary is located south of the small town of Vilanculos, on the coast, the sanctuary covers an uncontaminated marine and wildlife territory of 30,000 hectares.

This diverse ecosystem of scrub and wetlands, with its white beaches and crystal-clear waters, is home to a magnificent variety of fish, dolphins and dugongs.

Shallow and deep water coral reefs reveal beautiful creatures such as green and leatherback turtles, sailfish and manta rays, to name a few.

Finally, there are over 300 species of birds, including the mangrove kingfisher, the crab plover and magnificent flocks of flamingos and pelicans.

Vilanculos is the perfect base for visiting the Bazaruto archipelago and is a wonderful place to relax and do many activities such as snorkelling, kitesurfing, diving and enjoying village life.

beach beside coconut palm tree

Bazaruto Archipelago

The Bazaruto archipelago is made up of five dune islands, immersed in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

The archipelago was declared a National Park in 1971 and is characterized by 6 wonderful pristine islands with white sand beaches and lush vegetation, where samango monkeys, green coucals and blue-cheeked bee-eaters live.

The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, declared a protected area in 1971, is made up of five islands, three of which are inhabited by 5,000 people. The archipelago boasts iconic megafauna, including whales, sharks, sailfish, manta rays, dolphins, marlin and nesting sea turtles, as well as the region’s last viable population of dugongs.

On some it is possible to sleep, in luxury and very exclusive lodges, alternatively you can base yourself in Vilanculos and organize your visit days from here.

The sheer beauty of this seascape, along with the diversity of wildlife, has made Bazaruto a sought-after tourist destination and will most likely be the highlight of your trip to Mozambique.

If you travel in high season I advise you to book tours and accommodation well in advance because you may not find a place.
To organize your trip to Vilanculos and Mozambique you can contact us via the form and speak directly with the local operator to make this wonderful trip happen.

Flamingos in Bazaruto

Island of Mozambique (Ilha de Moçambique)

This splendid island, about three kilometers long and no more than 500 meters wide, has been connected to the mainland via a narrow road bridge since the 1960s and still gives the feeling of being a distant place where time has stopped.

Ilha de Moçambiqu e is the ancient capital of Portuguese East Africa and has many splendid colonial buildings declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site . In fact, people come to this island more for its history and ancient importance than for the sea.

The importance of the island to the Portuguese for trade with other colonies led to a real mix of cultures and, in addition to the Mozambicans and Portuguese, you will find Malay, Indian and Brazilian influences.

The island, home to 52 national monuments, is divided into two: the Portuguese-built Stone Town in the northern half and the African-built Macuti Town at the southern end.

The island’s northernmost tip is crowned by the intact San Sebastiao Fortress , a large structure that once housed 2,000 officers and soldiers in the 16th and 17th centuries.

From the fortress, which overlooks the blue waters of the Indian Ocean, emerges the small chapel of Nossa Senhora do Baluarte, dating back to 1522.

Also worth a visit are St. Paul’s Palace , a restored red structure in the heart of Stone Town, and the small maritime museum on the lower level.

Remember that the majority of the population here is Muslim, so dress discreetly.

Mozambique island view

Quirimbas archipelago

The Quirimbas archipelago is made up of 32 coral islands off the coast of northern Mozambique on the border with Tanzania. Uncontaminated and largely unknown, these islands are visited by only a few guests because they are remote and complex to reach, unfortunately they are currently not accessible for safety reasons.

There are some luxury private islands such as Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort , reachable by plane from Pemba, and Azura Quilalea , reachable by helicopter or private charter from Pemba.

If sleeping in luxury lodges isn’t what you’re interested in, you’ll likely want to stay on the island of Ibo , which has the largest number of hotels, and organize boat trips to nearby islands from there.

The main islands to stay and visit in the Quirimbas archipelago are:

  • Medjumbe Island – Medjumbe is a tiny private island just 800 meters long, and is the perfect romantic retreat. In the waters of the island you will swim among numerous varieties of corals and fish.
    This is a fantastic island for those who want exclusivity and privacy in a remote tropical location. There is a small landing strip for small airplanes and the only accommodation available are the luxury beach chalets at Medjumbe Island Retreat (currently closed until March 2023).
  • Quilalea Island – I mmediately south of the island of Ibo, the island of Quilalea is a small, completely uninhabited tropical paradise. The island is private, there is only one lodge and by choosing to sleep here you will have the feeling of having the island all to yourself.
    Quilalea Island was the first marine protected area of ​​the Quirimbas . In the surrounding ocean there is an incredible abundance of marine life and a coral reef just five meters from the main beach. You can reach the island by helicopter from Pemba. 
  • Vamizi Island – The biodiversity of Vimizi Island is incredibly diverse. On the island you will find abundant tropical vegetation and samango monkeys. You can walk endlessly along deserted beaches where you can see the tracks left by hawksbill and green turtles; To date, over 300 turtle nesting sites have been protected.
    The rough coral reefs offer perfect conditions for snorkeling and scuba diving. All six beaches of Vamizi slope towards the sea, so it is possible to swim safely. On the island you will find some luxurious lodges directly on the beach including the wonderful and Beyond lodge .
  • Ibo Island – Ibo dates back to the early 1600s and has an interesting history of slaves, pirates and the ivory trade. This small wooded island is the most visited part of the Quirimbas archipelago and was recently nominated to become a World Heritage Site. Ibo City was once a prosperous trading post, but today many of the colonial houses have been abandoned and are dilapidated. On the island you can walk through its small historic center and visit the beautiful Catholic church and the San Jao Baptista fort, on the north side of the island.
  • Matemo Island – The island of Matemo, 20 minutes by boat from Ibo, is a true paradise of palm trees, beaches and turquoise water. Here you can do excellent diving, fishing and tours of the island’s cultural villages. The island can also be reached via a 20-minute charter air transfer from Pemba.
Quirimbas archipelago sea view


The city of Pemba is located in northern Mozambique, at the tip of a peninsula in Pemba Bay, not to be confused with Pemba Island in Tanzania and is the access point to the islands of the Quirimbas archipelago .

Many tourists spend only one or two nights here during their journey to or from the islands, but if you can I recommend you dedicate some time to it as it is a destination off the beaten track and with few visitors.

In Pemba you will find a large natural harbor with a beautiful bay, wide, sandy beaches lined with palm trees, a coral reef protects the beach and allows you to swim and snorkel.

The modern center of Pemba is not particularly exciting but the Muslim Quarter and port are worth a visit .

The Muslim Quarter, known as Paquitequette , is home to hundreds of traditional houses made of coral rock, mud and thatch.

The port and the old city are instead characterized by dilapidated colonial buildings.

Today, cashew trees grow from the walls of some buildings, while others house old-fashioned shops. Some have been purchased by investors and have been restored to their former glory.

The best part of the coast is the long, sandy Wimbe Beach at the end of which is the luxurious Pemba Beach Hotel .

Gorongosa National Park

In the middle of Mozambique, at the southern end of the Great African Rift Valley, lies Gorongosa National Park , a true paradise for wildlife.
The park, which covers an area of ​​4,000 square kilometers, is now thriving and a popular destination for tourists, but has had a tumultuous history.
Gorongosa was established as a game reserve by the Portuguese rulers of Mozambique in 1920. They gradually opened it to tourists and in 1960 it was declared a national park.
In 1977, two years after Mozambique declared independence from Portugal, a bloody civil war broke out and Gorongosa became a battlefield .

Elephants were hunted for their ivory, which was used to buy weapons, and almost all other large animals were slaughtered to feed the soldiers.
By the end of the war in 1992, the landscape was devastated and more than 90 percent of Gorongosa’s large mammals had been killed.
After the war, efforts were made to rehabilitate Gorongosa , but it wasn’t until 2004, when American philanthropist Greg Carr worked with the Mozambican government to restore the park, that it began to come back to life.

Since 2006, millions of trees have been planted, many animals have been relocated – including wild dogs, elephants, hippos, zebras and buffaloes – and a team of rangers has been trained to combat poaching.
These efforts have borne fruit. In 2018, more than 100,000 large herbivores were counted in the park .

In addition to restoring the park, Carr and her team created new opportunities for women in an effort to address entrenched gender inequality in Mozambique.

Parco Nazionale Chimanimani

Decades ago, poaching in the Chimanimani mountains helped finance wars, today the Chimanimani National Park , located in Manica province, bordering Zimbabwe, is a testament to the country’s ongoing conservation efforts.

With a vast landscape that includes Mozambique’s highest peak, Mount Binga , the park is home to rare mountain elephants and dozens of birds, reptiles, butterflies and plants unique to the area.

Chimanimani as one of the main attractions, boasting walking and trekking trails and the chance to spot some of the hundreds of species identified by recent biodiversity studies in the area. Ideal for those who want to add a nice trekking experience away from the tourist circuits.

man in blue shirt and yellow shorts walking on beach during daytime

What is the best time to organize a trip to Mozambique

Mozambique has a warm tropical climate making it a stunning holiday destination.

The dry season is considered the best time to visit Mozambique, this also corresponds with the high tourist season, which means that it is recommended to book well in advance because, especially in the most popular destinations, you may find little availability.
The months between June and September are the best for traveling to Mozambique.

The best season for diving and snorkeling

In Mozambique you can dive all year round, but the best time for diving in Mozambique is winter, between May and September , because there is less wind, fewer storms and the current is not strong. All this increases visibility.

Whales are generally spotted off the coast from June to October .

The best time for whale shark sightings in Mozambique, and at Tofo Beach in particular, is between June and January.

The best time of year for bird watching

Mozambique is not considered one of the world’s great birding destinations, but its diverse ecosystems are home to over 600 bird species. In midsummer, between November and February, many species can be observed, including rare cuckoo species and many migratory species.

Travel to Mozambique Frequently asked questions

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