Unspoiled Interior and White Sandy Beaches
Boasting palm-studded coastlines, inland belts of savannah and woodland, fertile rivers, and forested mountains, it is no wonder that Mozambique offers exciting adventures for all travellers. With over 2,500 kilometers of idyllic Indian Ocean coastline, and sharing 21% of Lago Niassa with Malawi, Mozambique also shares her land borders with six countries.
While her independence from Portugal in 1975 was followed by years of civil war, Mozambique’s Portuguese influence can still be found in her unique culture, people, cuisine and language. Emerging from natural and man-made hardships, this country has earned her place as a popular wildlife and marine travel destination.
Often described as one of Africa’s last frontiers, Mozambique offers a feeling of truly remote hunting. The Mozambican government is very supportive of her safari industry, and sees sustainable hunting as a valuable contributor to her conservation efforts. Government concessions, vast tracts of privately-owned wilderness, as well as tribal lands, have been made available to hunters. Accommodations vary from wild, rustic bush camps to luxury safari lodges, and there are spots where the hunting is as good, if not better, than anywhere else in Africa.
In addition to hunting, there is no shortage of other things to do and see in Mozambique. Her extensive Indian Ocean coastline boasts some of the most pristine beaches and finest fishing in Africa. She is also one of the best diving and snorkeling destinations in the world, with remarkably unspoiled coral reefs and an abundant variety of marine life to enjoy year round.
Sea temperatures are comfortable, varying between 30°C in summer to 21°C in winter. Reef depths range from 10m to 40m, offering good visibility and fantastic photo opportunities, not only of the incredible range of coral, but of over 6,000 species of fish. Whale and dolphin are also frequently seen, as are the leatherback, loggerhead and green turtle.
If luxury is on the menu, some of the islands off the Indian Ocean coast offer accommodations that specialise in absolutely decadent pampering. Deep sea and fly fishing are also rewarding ways to enjoy Mozambique. Catch a marlin, a tuna, or even the ever-elusive Giant Trevally (up to 50kgs), which make these waters their home.
Lago Niassa, Africa’s third-largest lake, and one of the largest natural lakes on earth, is also a must-see for marine life lovers. In fact, it is arguably one of the most bio-diverse lakes in the world. In 2011, the Mozambican Government declared it a Reserve, in an effort to protect her marine life. More fresh water fish species are found in Lago Niassa than practically anywhere else on the planet, including hundreds of species of cichlids, some of which are exceptionally colourful, and very popular with aquarium enthusiasts worldwide.
If you find yourself in Maputo for any length of time, the nightlife is vibrant, the seafood is superb, and day trips to Inhaca Island are popular. Just remember that it is illegal to photograph airports, government buildings and anything to do with the police or military. Make sure you pack a sweater or jacket for tours from May through August, and suntan lotion, sunglasses and hats are a must.
Whether you’re on safari, or discovering unspoiled beaches of your own, whatever activities you choose, a trip to Mozambique will be one adventure that you will always remember!
HUNTING ASSOCIATION: Association of Mozambican Safari Operators (AMOS) association Chairman Mr. Adamo Valy at firstname.lastname@example.org
AREA: Mozambique has a land mass of over 799,000 square kms, and her coastline is over 2,500 kms long.
CLIMATE: Mozambique is a year-round destination, with temperatures varying from region to region. Winter is the dry season, lasting from May to September. October to April is the summer season, characterized by rain, high heat, and humidity.
POPULATION: Mozambique's population is over 23.7 million (2012).
PROVINCES: Mozambique is divided into 10 provinces: Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Sofala, Manica, Zambezia, Nampula, Tete, Niassa and Cabo Delgado
LANGUAGES: Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique; however, English is also widely spoken at popular travel destinations. Local languages dominate in the rural areas.
CAPITAL: The capital, and by far the largest urban centre, is Maputo.
CURRENCY: The currency is the Mozambican Metical (MZN). 1 MZN equals 0.03367 USD (September, 2013). The import and export of local currency is forbidden, and changing money on the street is illegal, but you can easily exchange currency at local banks or hotels. Most hotels, shops, and markets accept both South African Rands and US Dollars.
COMMUNICATIONS: Mobile phone, data and Internet services are easily accessible in Maputo, but are not readily available in rural areas. (Please check with your booking agent ahead of time).
TIME ZONE: Mozambique, like South Africa, is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) year round.