Occupying a great bend of East Africa, where the tropical heart of the continent slowly becomes the temperate south of the continent, the vast nation of Mozambique certainly has its fair share of touristic draws. Along the coast you’ll find alabaster-white sands with a fringing of palm trees; you’ll spot curious manatee-like creatures in the company of blooming coral sponges in the warm Indian Ocean waters. And as the interior takes over – a patchwork of swaying savannah grasses and baobab forests – the habitats of the famous Rift Valley begin in earnest.
There’s nothing quite like the Bazaruto Archipelago. A speckling of elongated isles in the Indian Ocean, they are a patchwork of shimmering, aquamarine seas and coral gardens, windblown sand dunes and ochre-hued coastal hills that come peppered with scrub and swaying coconut palm groves.
The largest island of the area is a place of open sandy bays patrolled by galumphing dugong, while the inland is carved through by karst hills and boulder stones. A little to the south and you’ll find the paradisiacal reaches of the Ilha de Benguerra, where luxurious honeymoon hotels poke above the white sands in a medley of swinging hammocks and sunning decks.
Pemba crowns the tip of its very own peninsula on the coastal reaches of Cabo Delgado. Known for its gorgeous colonial architecture and pretty Portuguese-style frontispieces, it does well to conceal the more industrial areas that have popped up here of late.
That honor goes to the strings of pearly-white African beaches that run along the shoreline nearby. These magnetize huge crowds with their tropical sun and swaying palms, while the shimmering waters of Pemba Bay have become a mecca for scuba divers. You can also come and visit rustic fishing villages between the coves of Ibo Island, hit the beautiful Quirimbas National Park, wander between forests of great baobabs, or see the sobering remnants of the slave trade at Ponta Romero.
A wide and sunny arc of powdery beige sand carves its way along the shoreline to the north and south of tropical Tofo. Meanwhile, the turquoise-blue rollers of the Indian Ocean buffet the bays, snorkelers, and swimmers whiz through the shallows and bobbing fishing skiffs house smiling locals.
Laid-back life mixed with the heady after-dark atmosphere of the half-Rasta beach bars of Tofo town make this all nearly irresistible for travelers in search of sun, sand, sea, and relaxation. It’s no wonder the popular town on the coastal bends of Jangamo District is being touted by some as the next Goa!
One of the best known Mozambique dishes is Shrimp or prawns done Peri-peri style. Seafood also forms a large part of the local diet, as it is abundant and cheap. A local dish without any Portuguese influences is Matata which is a seafood stew, usually made using clams in a peanut sauce.