Vamizi Island © vamizi.com
Situated on the southeastern coast of Africa, Mozambique has persevered through a violent civil war and terrible floods, and is emerging from a ruinous past to stake its claim once again as one of the jewels of Africa. A holiday in Mozambique provides a combination of glorious weather, gorgeous scenery, friendly people and great value for money, ensuring that this country is becoming an increasingly trendy destination for global travellers. In fact, Mozambique has become one of the most-visited countries in Africa in recent years, drawing around two million annual tourists to its welcoming shores.
The 1,500 miles (2,414km) of palm-fringed coastline is washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and graced with long white beaches, excellent coral reefs and strings of pristine islands. The idyllic Bazaruto archipelago, off the coast of the Inhambane province, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, consisting of four main islands that make up one of the most beautiful places on the continent. The islands offer a classic tropical getaway, with superb fishing, water sports, shaded beaches, surf, and a marine park offering outstanding diving and snorkelling opportunities.
Attracted by rumours of pearls in the 1700s, the Portuguese established the capital city of Maputo, formerly Lourenzo Marques, in the southern reaches of the country. It became one of the most stylish cities in Africa, with broad avenues lined with jacaranda and acacia trees, sidewalks paved with mosaics, tall buildings and a unique Mediterranean/African atmosphere that attracted a wealthy cosmopolitan crowd. The civil war left the city in a dismal state of disrepair, and although still tainted by shabbiness, Maputo is slowly recovering some of its former glory. Today the bustling capital reveals many Portuguese-style colonial buildings, and offers culture and old world charm along with numerous places to enjoy Mozambique's famous peri-peri prawns.
Lying just off the coast of Maputo is the popular Inhaca Island, which has extensive coral reefs, a fascinating maritime museum and a historical lighthouse. Most of the wildlife reserves are located in the central and southern parts of the country, with the exception of the important Niassa Reserve on the northern Tanzania border; and although they were largely decimated during the civil war, they are currently being restocked and improved, with large populations of elephant, buffalo and antelope. North of Maputo there are beautiful beaches, perfect for summer holidays, and a number of centres that offer some of the best fishing in the world, particularly the areas around Guinjata Bay and the Mozambique Channel.
Whether you're seeking a sun and sand beach holiday, or sport fishing and off-road adventures, warm and welcoming Mozambique will cater to your every desire.