Every year, hordes of beach lovers and adventurers escape the humdrum of city life and flock to the enigmatic resort villages of Mozambique to unwind and recharge under the tranquility of the sea. The year-round sunshine and warm weather provide a suitable setting for sunbathing and a variety of activities such as scuba diving, sailing, snorkeling, and fishing.
With a fascinating mix of vibrant cultures characterised by centuries of Portuguese and Arab influence, Mozambique’s coastal resorts offer a perfect retreat whether you’re seeking adventure or an idyllic, serene getaway.
After the civil war ended in the early 1990s, Mozambique’s beautiful beaches once again buzzed with activity. Interest in the coastline grew higher than ever, with investors flocking to get a slice of this piece of heaven. Luxurious hotels, lodges, and facilities were built and Mozambique’s tourism industry started flourishing, raising the country’s economy from the ashes.
The attractive city of Inhambane in southern Mozambique is home to famous beaches like Tofo and Barra. Tofo, historically a fishing village, has morphed into a tourist magnet, thanks to its palm-fronted, white sandy beaches and glittering blue waters. Tofo’s reefs attract big sea creatures such as whales, dolphins, and whale sharks. The picturesque village is also fantastic for swimming, surfing, and deep-sea fishing. If you feel like shopping, you can visit the local market where you’ll find fresh fruit and vegetables or fish and seafood straight from the ocean.
The Barra Peninsula is a hit with honeymooners and is also great for a family holiday. Barra is where you’ll find the Manta Reef, one of the world’s top hotspots for manta ray sightings. September to February is the perfect time to spot these giant, elusive creatures.
Tucked away a little farther from Inhambane is the Bazaruto Archipelago, an attractive cluster of five sandy islands near the sleepy mainland town of Vilankulo. The islands include Bazaruto, the biggest in the group surrounded by stunning beaches and clear waters with colourful fish; Benguerra, the second-largest; and the smaller islands of Magaruque, Banque, and Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island).
The Bazaruto Archipelago is the ultimate retreat for anyone looking to experience the soothing quietness of island life. Here humans coexist with an incredible diversity of marine species. In 1971, much of the Bazaruto Archipelago was turned into Bazaruto Marine National Park to protect local marine life such as the endangered dugong. There are more than 200 dugongs in Mozambique, which remain Africa’s biggest population of the grey mammals. Boasting some of the least disturbed coral reefs in the Indian Ocean, the marine park is home to a slew of deep-sea species offering scuba diving enthusiasts the opportunity to swim with humpback whales, green and hawksbill turtles, and spinner or bottlenose dolphins. There are also barracudas, marlins, and thousands of varieties of fish.
There’s some eye candy above the ocean too in the form of dozens of bird species that add more colour and life to the Bazaruto. Pink flamingos, fish eagles, red duikers, and bushbucks are some of the bird species that call the islands home.
Despite the unmistakable magnificence of its shoreline, Mozambique remains an unassuming, underrated holiday destination shaded by it’s more popular African counterparts like Mauritius and the Seychelles. This, though, works in the Southern African getaway’s favour as most of its beaches and reefs remain unspoiled by human activity.