People don't generally think of Mozambique when the topic of warm-weather destinations comes up. Which is a shame, because this beautiful country has many of the features which make the islands so appealing: beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, exotic wildlife, and a variety of adventures to go on. Even better, the places are generally free of crowds, and accommodations can be quite inexpensive. The next time you plan a trip to the tropics, consider these unique destinations and experiences.
Found in Inhambane province, there are few places better to learn diving. The waters tend to the calm and clear, and many instructors are happy to walk newcomers through their first few lessons before going on an inaugural dive. Once under the waves, explore colorful fish, beautiful coral reefs, and swim with the manta rays. If you're an experienced diver already, the Bazaruto archipelago features stunning underwater vistas.
No trip to Africa is complete without seeing some incredible animals in their natural habitat. Gorongosa and Marromeu National Parks are dedicating to protecting these wonderful animals. At Marromeu, you can also watch rare African waterbirds, such as the African skimmer or wattled crane. For best results, you absolutely want to book a tour with a professional safari guide.
When you feel the need for some true isolation, charter a boat to take you to Inhaca Island. Primarily a research station, nothing lives here except wildlife. Enjoy the tranquil beaches or wander through palm tree groves. There are no trails or signs, so make sure to dress and equip yourself appropriately.
Reachable by passenger car from the beachfront town of the same name, this fully-developed campsite is available year-round. The campsites feature water taps and hot water showers, and campers are invited to swim, hike, or sail among the islands. Electricity is unreliable, so campers are advised to bring their own generators if needed.
In the highlands of Mozambique, the forests surrounding Mount Mabu are some of the last remaining old-growth forests in the country. The forest is home to some truly unique species, many of which wait to be discovered by botanists. Because this place truly is wild, book a tour to ensure the best possible experience.
Or don't, you'll be there all day! Nowhere on Earth is home to more fish species than Lake Niassa, many of which are only found here. Once called the Lake of Stars, several nearby lodges provide a variety of adventures. Book an overnight stay, then take a snorkeling trip the next day. You can also canoe along the Rift Valley, or catch fish in a traditional dugout.
Trains are one of the preferred ways to get around Mozambique, and if you find yourself disembarking at Maputo, take some time to appreciate the station. Alexandre Eiffel, of the famous Eiffel tower, designed the beautiful architecture. The station resembles a dollhouse, with its picturesque latticework and graceful verandas. When you're done exploring the architecture, swing by the Kulungwana Espaco Artistico, and pick up an art piece from a local crafter.
Experience the beauty of the islands from thousands of feet in the air! Pilots are available to take you up in their small crafts. This can be a unique way to get to your next travel destination. Or just take a sightseeing tour by air. If airplanes aren't your thing, yachts are also available for charter on the ground.
On the shores of Beira are what remains of an old shipwreck. Much of the boat has rotted away, but some of the hull and core engine remains. Take a few selfies at low tide, then wander down the beach to iconic red and white striped lighthouse. If you want to go inside the ruins, be prepared to pay the guards a small fee.
Connected by bridge to the mainland, this tiny island was once a nexus of trade between Asia, Africa, and Europe. Portuguese buildings, many of which have been long-abandoned, cover the island. This incredibly Instagrammable area has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and features an old church, an abandoned hospital, and several forgotten fortifications.
In the heart of Maputo, a larger than life statue celebrates Samora Michel, the first president of Mozambique. Surrounding the square are several other buildings of interest, such as the Tunduru Botanical Garden and a gorgeous cathedral. If you travel here in June, the whole square, and the city beyond, light up with a weeks-long party celebrating Mozambique's independence in 1975.