Top Experiences – Mozambique

February 25th 2019  |  Mozambique, Unique Experiences  |  by  Alice Gully
Top Experiences - Mozambique

Vast, often overlooked, and once Portugal’s most important African colony, Mozambique stretches all the way up the Indian Ocean cost from South Africa to Tanzania. Its beaches and island archipelagos provide the perfect setting for a number of small resorts. We’ve had a lovely time exploring here – as you can see from the highlights below:

Richard – Aerial splendour

I hadn’t expected the stunning views from the plane as we hopped from Vilanculos to Benguerra Island. The sea between the mainland and island varies enormously in depth between sand spits, which are uncovered at low tide, to deep-water channels that snake between the shallower water like spaghetti. The colour changes too from almost white where the sand is above water, through a variety of blues, to almost indigo where the water is at its deepest. It’s a very short flight, so you don’t get to enjoy this aerial view for much time, but it’s lived long in my memory.

Aerial of the shifting white sands of Benguerra Island

Aerial of the shifting white sands of Benguerra Island

Francis – Ila da Mozambique, an ancient abandoned Portuguese colonial town, now a World Heritage site

The Portuguese arrived in Mozambique in 1498 and although their legacy is somewhat dubious, they did create a fascinating and rather beautiful outpost of Portuguese architecture and life at Ila da Mozambique on the coast not far from Nampula. It’s a maze of beautifully crafted ancient buildings, each relatively well preserved but unused now. It’s a fascinating relic from 400 years of European presence, and wandering through the streets you get a powerful sense of how life must have been for those with power here and those with none.

Abandoned colonial fort

Abandoned colonial fort

Francis – Snorkelling at Benguerra – psychedelic colours and corals, and so many different fish

It was like Finding Nemo, every manner of shape and colour of fish and coral. I’ve never seen anywhere like it for the kaleidoscope of patterns, designs, psychedelic blends of colour, and sheer quantity and variety of life. The reef I visited was protected from the Indian Ocean swell and a bit like a fish tank, a big one for sure, with raised sides, a relatively flat floor, and every sort of marine life contained within it. It stands out as the most spectacular snorkelling I’ve ever done.

Wonderful snorkelling at Azura Benguerra

Wonderful snorkelling at Azura Benguerra

Alice – Indian Ocean dhow safari

This Ibo dhow safari was like a Swallows and Amazons trip magnified ten-fold. Setting off in a balmy warm breeze our traditional Indian Ocean dhow cruised waters of brightest blue stopping on beaches with icing-sugar-white sand. The snorkelling was some of the best we have done and we didn’t see another tourist or another hotel for a week, just us. Oh, and did I mention the fresh lobster …

Richard – swing in the sea

A broad smile broke across my face when I saw Benguerra Island Lodge’s swing in the sea for the first time. Who doesn’t like a swing? Little kids and big kids alike love the feeling of powering yourself ever higher. And, in my opinion, placing a swing in the sea simply adds to the delight.

Lucinda –  Guided Island Hop from Azura Benguerra Island

It would be tempting to stay close to the lodge at Azura Benguerra Island, enjoying the luxurious facilities on offer. But one of my favourite days was an outing simply termed ‘guided island hop’. First stop was to snorkel along a two mile reef with all manner of fish, then a hike up Bazaruto Dune with spectacular views from the top. From there you hop across to Pansy Island. This tiny spit of sand all but disappears during high tide. Then as the tide ebbs it reveals neumerous delicate pansy shells.  We arrived at the picnic to be greeted by huge squishy beanbags to sit on, delicious food cooked in front of us, and shade from a cloth suspended over bamboo. We spent the afternoon swimming and relaxing on our deserted beach, at North Point, the nrothern most tipe of Benguerra. Heaven.

Guided Island Hop, a day tour from Azura Benguerra Island

Guided Island Hop, a day tour from Azura Benguerra Island

Any questions?

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What next?

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