15 Best Things To Do and See in Mozambique

Mozambique beckons good times, enigmatic coasts, and plenty of sunshine! This inexplicably beautiful East African country is a result of several political and social changes that happened over time. Throughout time, the change has been a complex one, but the country emerged without losing its soul and spirit.

The capital city is Maputo. With 44% coastal lowlands, all of the country’s eastern coast is lined along the Indian Ocean. And there are islands, plenty of them! There are many great places to visit in Mozambique, its well-preserved corals at the Reefs of Hope, mangrove-covered archipelagos like the Ibo and Benguerra, Portuguese-inspired colonial-style architecture, cosmopolitan lifestyle of Maputo, and pulsating nightlife create a fascinating mix and you will have plenty to look forward to. 

Exploring Mozambique may not always be easy, and you would require bringing along a lot of patience, but the rewards are far greater! That being said, here are some of the fun things to do in Mozambique.

1. Explore the capital city of Maputo and its attractions

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Image Source: Flickr.com

The Mozambican capital city of Maputo is rejuvenating and is considered a gateway to the rest of the country. Well-connected to most of the major African cities, Maputo should ideally be your first stop. The city has re-emerged after the Mozambican Civil War and has so many great things to offer. You can check out the Maputo Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Iron House, and the Tunduro Gardens apart from its colorful art markets and lip-smacking street food.

2. Visit the exceptionally beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago

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Image Source: Flickr.com

Made up of 6 islands including the famous Benguerra and Magaruque, the Bazaruto Archipelago is known for their white-sand beaches and world-class scuba-diving facilities. Lying off the Mozambique coastal town of Vilankulo, these islands are home to over 140 bird species and pristine coastlines that will spoil you forever! Wild and windy, some of the ocean’s best marine life can be seen here. Located inside the Bazaruto National Park, these islands are just two hours from Johannesburg. 

3. Head to the historic Island of Mozambique 

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Image Source: Flickr.com

Connecting the mainland via a bridge, the Island of Mozambique, or the Ilha de Mocambique, is a tiny island that will make you forget time. This crescent-shaped coral island is located 2 kilometers off the coast and was a capital and trading center of Portuguese East Africa for 4 centuries. Narrow streets, local markets, historic buildings, and the Fort São Sebastião dominate the island to create a timeless atmosphere making this one of the famous places in Mozambique.

4. Enjoy your very own private stretches of the sea at the Quirimbas Islands 

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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The little-known Quirimbas Islands are untouched and fragile. These 32 idyllic islands are dotted along the Mozambican coastline, hiding a multitude of treasures. Coral reefs of Medjumbe, ancient baobab trees of Quillaia, the endangered dugongs (sea cows), secluded islands of Matemo, Medjumbe and Vamizi all call this place a home! These ultimate magical islands are just 40 minutes plane ride away. 

5. Drive through the ‘most diverse park in the world’ at the Gorongosa National Park 

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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The 4,000 square kilometers of this park include valley floor, plateaus, rivers, mountains, rainforests, and some of the densest wildlife populations in all of Africa. One of the top things to do in Mozambique getting into the heart of its wild jungles and what better place than the premier Gorongosa National Park? A part of the Great African Rift Valley system, some of the vegetation and wildlife found here can be found nowhere else on the planet! 

6. Take a weekend break at the Inhaca Island 

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Image Source: Flickr.com

The Inhaca Island, or the Ilha de Inhaca, was once a part of mainland Mozambique. Today, almost 7000 years later, this island lies 40 kilometers off its coast. Wondering what to do in Mozambique on a weekend? Head to the Inhaca Island. Surrounded by a marine reserve, some of the world’s most southerly coral reefs can be found here. Swim, snorkel or sip a drink, the options here are plenty!  

7. Visit the perennially wild Niassa Reserve 

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Image Source: Flickr.com

Twice the size of the Kruger Park, Niassa Reverse is untamed and enchanting. This is the largest conservation area in Mozambique and combines magnificent scenery with a dense concentration of wildlife to create a true African wilderness experience. Large populations of cape buffalo, sable antelope, elephant, impala, wildebeest, zebras, leopards, and three of the park’s endemic species - the Niassa wildebeest, Boehm's zebra, and Johnston's Impala are some of the wildlife species that reside here. 

8. Take a ride through the beautiful Zinave National Park 

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Image Source: Wikipedia.org

The Zinave National Park of Mozambique was a hunting area before it was declared a national park. Seven elephants undertook a 1,500 km journey from the Maremani Nature Reserve as a part of the reintroduction of wildlife at this park. Other animals that followed suit included impalas, reedbucks, waterbucks, and buffalos. Today this park is listed as a major African wildlife park and a visit here is one of the most fun things to do in Mozambique.

9. Explore the hidden treasures of Mount Mabu 

This 5,600-feet mountain is truly a treasure, best known for its virgin rainforest that is surrounded by savanna. Interestingly, this forest was undiscovered till 2005 when the scientists came across this while browsing Google Earth and hence this forest is also referred to as Google Forest. It is believed that more than 8 million species in the world reside here. Spectacular, isn’t it?

10. Experience luxury at the Medjumbe Island

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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

This island is privately owned and operated. The Medjumbe Island, off the coast of Mozambique, is truly spectacular. Home to many luxury resorts, including the Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort, do not miss visiting this sophisticated island. Delivering ultimate tranquillity, Medjumbe is a jewel of the Indian Ocean. 

11. Head off to the Vamizi Island

Home to a selection of luxury villas, Vamizi is Mozambique’s over own Zanzibar. Yet another world-class diving site, this place boasts incredible privacy! 

12. Visit the mysterious Ibo Island

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Image Source: Flickr.com

A traditional Muslim trading port, the island of Ibo is a magical place. With a history dating back as early as 600AD, this is one of the country’s oldest settlements. Today, this island has a few residents who live in crumbling houses and earn their means by crafting unique bracelets, rings, and necklaces for sale. You can visit this island by a powerboat or dhows. The views from the island are unparalleled. 

13. Swim with Wild Dolphins near the Ponta do Ouro

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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

In the warm waters off the coast of Mozambique lies a truly life-changing experience. Easily one of the top things to do in Mozambique is to swim with the wild dolphins. Accompanied by researchers and guides, these tours are offered from Ponta do Ouro in southern Mozambique. This is the closest you can get to the wild dolphins in its natural habitat.

14. Explore the Indian Ocean in traditional Dhows

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Image Source: Flickrcom

Dhow sailing is one of the best things to do in Mozambique. A Dhow with its lateen sails is a traditional Arabian boat that rocks gently with the waves. The best of African, Arabic and Portuguese traditions combines to give you this unique experience that will help you explore some of the most untouched locations in the Indian Ocean. 

15. Go big game fishing off the coast of Mozambique

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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The islands off the coast of Mozambique are recognized as some of the best destinations in the world for fishing! Fishes like black marlin, blue and striped marlin are best caught between October and the end of January. You can also go fly-fishing for queenfish, ladyfish, bonefish, pompano and several species of kingfish in the channels between Bazaruto and Benguerra. If you are really lucky, you can spot the rare whale shark, which is the largest shark and the largest fish in the world.

Mozambique is quite unique in its own way. Visit this lovely country on your next trip to Africa and be prepared to be blown away by its stunning landscapes, great hospitality, and the yummiest seafood!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ever since my first trip at the age of 4, I’ve been fascinated to explore places around the world. Lover of world cultures, food, souls and all things blue; I spend most part of my day writing about travel ...

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