If you dream of wild beaches and gin-blue sea, Mozambique offers that rare type of paradise. The perfect accompaniment to either a Botswana or South African safari – it’s a direct flight from the Kruger National Park – this feeling of off-grid adventure continues for those who like to fling off their shoes and keep their feet firmly dug in the sand.
Your starting point is the cosmopolitan capital city of Maputo. While its rich colonial architecture and spice markets might be tempting, a speedboat ride south takes you to the beautiful untouched coastline of the Machangulo Peninsula where thick dune forests meet rambling gold-sand beaches. It’s virtually impossible to access by road. With no neighbours in sight, aside from a local fishing village, it’s all too easy to slip into laidback life with little to do but roll out onto the beach and stroll for miles lapping up the ebbing waves. Much of the peninsula is part of the Machangulo Reserve encompassing winding emerald waterways, peaceful lagoons and mangroves which you can explore by kayak or paddleboard. Further offshore dolphins and humpback whales breach the tumbling waves of the Indian Ocean while below the surface you can snorkel around barely visited coral beds alive with shoals of exotic fish.
In the Bazaruto Archipelago, you almost have to shield your eyes from the shimmering turquoise water and icing-sugar white sand. Sandbar swirls mix into the Indian Ocean like creamy gelato providing good castaway spots for seafood beach picnics. Toes nudging the glistening shallows, you can reminisce about the 16th-century Portuguese ships, trawling the horizon. If you can tear yourself from the beach, the sea holds top-notch diving territory frequented by hawksbill turtles, manta rays and occasionally the rare dugong bobbing along the seabed. On land, enormous dunes rear out of the sand, which you ascend on horseback for dreamy ocean views before wading through the azure water to cool off.
From rustic lodges to swanky resorts, Mozambiques beach retreats offer some variety. It’s worth speaking to our team who can help you decide how and where to stay in this unblemished paradise.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Adele, who knows Mozambique well. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - people that can direct you to the best locations to spot dugongs, turtles and angelfish; who'll take you to their village so you'll get a real insight into local culture; and who'll invite you to join them for a spot of sandboarding.
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Time difference: GMT +2
Flight time: London + 15-16 hours
Currency: Mozambican Mettical (MZN)
Telephone code: +258
Tipping: Tipping isn’t compulsory but it’s customary to add on around 10% in restaurants and bars, and the same for taxi drivers. There’s normally a communal tipping box in hotels. We’d suggest around 150MZN to 300MZN per guest per day for staff as a rough guideline, and around 100MZN for porters. For guides, budget around 300MZN to 600MZN per day.
Etiquette: Mozambicans are welcoming towards travellers, but it’s worth considering a few cultural factors. These include deference to elders and those in positions of authority, especially in traditional society. Greetings are important and often involve small talk, and handshakes are normal between both men and women, sometimes given with both hands. Hissing is often used to get someone’s attention, so it’s not seen as rude. If you’re receiving a gift, take it with both hands and not just the left.
Religions: Christians make up about half of Mozambique’s population, with the majority either Catholic, Protestant or Zionist. Around 19% are Muslim, mainly concentrated in the northern provinces. There are small numbers of Jewish, Hindu and Baha’i communities, and many also follow indigenous beliefs.
Visas: You can look up the latest advice on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mozambique. Please be aware that this information can change at short notice.
Vaccinations: Health risks vary depending on the destination so it’s essential to check the specific vaccination and hygiene requirements for Mozambique on the NHS Fit for Travel website.