Mozambique’s the south east African country for remarkable Indian Ocean beaches, wild national parks, protected marine reserves and coral island enchantment. Bordering Kruger in South Africa and Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou, it’s also one of the more affordable Big-Five safari holidays with far fewer crowds than its famous neighbours.
And several of the country’s lovely archipelagos now have family-friendly eco-resorts and lodges where holidays are dense with culture and activity packed too. Is Mozambique right for you? It’s not malaria-free so most travel specialists recommend safaris for over 12s and advise against travelling without guides in the interior simply because of long distances and poor driving conditions. But if you want an all-out, unforgettable, memory-drenched beach holiday, Mozambique’s astonishing for all ages.
Flights from the UK to Maputo, Beira, Nampula, Vilanculos and Pemba access Mozambique’s entire coastline from north to south.
There are several direct flights every day from Johannesburg to Mozambique’s main coastal cities (between one and two hour’s flying time). Direct flights from the UK to Johannesburg take less than 10 hours.
Best time to visit is between May and September, the weather’s sunny and tropical with temperatures of 30˚ on average and low rainfall.
Mozambique has over 2000km of Indian Ocean coastline with white sand beaches, coral island archipelagos and protected marine reserves.
Limpopo National Park is a trans-frontier game reserve and shares borders and wildlife corridors with South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
The Island of Mozambique is a UNESCO World Heritage site and until the late 19th century was the capital of colonial Portuguese East Africa – Portuguese is still the official language of Mozambique.
The Quirimbas and Bazaruto Archipelagos are two of the world’s leading diving destinations.
For land that time forgot enchantment, Ibo is impossible to match. The island’s colonial buildings date back to the early 16th century and the fact that many are in ruins only makes the landscape more magical. Fishermen fish with nets as they have for centuries and traditional community life, customs and cultures haven’t changed too much either. Kids love the friendly, warm atmosphere and freedom. There are endless adventures to get involved in from Dhow island cruises, kayaking, snorkelling and exploring to dolphin and turtle watching, diving, swimming and hanging out playing with local children.
Castaway is the perfect description for gorgeous Vamizi Island, one of the furthest north in the Quirimbas Archipelago. It’s all sugary white beaches, transparent seas, seemingly endless sunshine and a gentle pace of life which, once tried, is hard to resist.
Tiny Mozambique Island may be only three kilometres long and half a kilometre wide, but it’s steeped in history like almost nowhere else in the country. It’s also awash with different cultures from distinctive Portuguese Stone Town to African Macuti Town and traces of India, Brazil and Malaysia in between.
The island’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and covered in imposing monuments including immense San Sebastio Fortress and Sao Paulo Palace.
Mozambique’s infrastructure’s can be quite basic and even travelling between cities along the coast makes challenging driving. The political climate’s as stable as it’s been for decades but there are still areas best avoided with kids. Beach tourism’s long-established, safe and very high quality. Safari tourism isn’t luxury standard but it’s well-managed in Limpopo, Maputo and trans-frontier Kruger.
The best, easiest and most enjoyable way to get about with kids is to pre-arrange transport as part of your holiday and consider lodges, hotels and resorts where transfers, island sailing and tours are included.