Mozambique's best kept secrets
If you are planning to travel to Mozambique, here are some ideas to ignite your imagination and whet your appetite for an unforgettable holiday. We specialise and delight in constructing unique holiday itineraries that inspire and that are as individual as each of our clients. Let our ideas kick start your imagination – tell us what matters to you and we can provide you with an itinerary that is perfectly crafted to meet your needs and aspirations.
1) Step back in time at Ilha de Mozambique and Ibo Island
Mozambique’s best-kept secrets are Ilha de Mozambique and Ibo Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago. Both offer ‘step-back-in-time’ experiences that combine beaches with the history of the slave and spice trades, as well as Indian, Portuguese and African culture. Photographers will enjoy shooting the evocative ruins and old churches in a tropical setting while shoppers should be sure to check out the traditional silver jewellery on offer.” A Unesco World Heritage Site, Ilha de Mozambique features a fortified city, which was a former Portuguese trading post on the route to India. The island’s fascinating mix of African, Arab and European culture and history is displayed in the churches and mosques, its beautiful colonial buildings with thick walls, and its small traditional houses. There is a colourful and vibrant feel to the island with all the hustle and bustle; yet you can still feel the charm, sophistication and culture.
2) Lugenda Wilderness Camp in the Niassa Reserve
Lugenda is accessed via a 90-minute flight from Pemba to a small dirt airstrip with some stunning views along the way. The camp itself features only eight tents, set among the trees along the banks of the Lugenda River. The game viewing might not be as prolific as somewhere like the Masai Mara but with a little patience, travellers will be able to see everything from lions to leopards, elephants and crocs. Game drives are supplemented with canoe trips down the Lugenda River, walking, and trips to see cave paintings from Batwa tribes that used to inhabit the area. Every sundowner and coffee break spot is breathtaking and gives you the chance to really appreciate being the only safari-goers in this massive area.
3) The hidden treasures of Maputo
The capital, Maputo, is situated on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Although the city was badly damaged during the civil war, it is now an up-and-coming tourist hotspot once again. With its many pavement cafés, jazz bars and its vibrant arts scene, the city is undoubtedly one of Mozambique’s ‘hidden’ treasures.
There are numerous tours of the city but, the historical and art deco walking tours of the city organised by Jane Flood are an unforgettable experience. Flood takes travellers on a walking tour with her partner, Walter Tembe, showing them the secrets of downtown Maputo, including the city’s best architecture, such as the impressive CFM train station and the art deco splendour of Sé Cathedral. Flood says her tours take travellers to many hidden gems in the city such as the Trichardt Monument, Radio Mozambique and Gerald Pott´s house. They include visits to the Baixa heritage area where the Tunduru gardens are expected to open on June 25, as well as to Pekiwa´s sculpture garden.
4) Gorongosa National Park
Once the haven of the greatest populations of wildlife in Africa, the Gorongosa National Park in central Mozambique was almost completely destroyed during the country’s civil war. The numbers of some of the species fell by almost 95% and up until a decade after the civil war, Gorongosa remained in ruins. However, today the rehabilitation of Gorongosa National Park is well on its way and represents one of the great conservation opportunities in the world. The Carr Foundation, a US not-for-profit organisation, teamed with the Mozambique government to protect and restore the ecosystem of the park and to develop an ecotourism industry to benefit local communities. Gorongosa National Park has become one of Mozambique’s special national treasures. It is home to good populations of oribi, reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog and sable. Predators are also recovering slowly and elephant herds and bulls are regularly encountered. Birding is also very good, with special and endemic birds such as the Collared Palm thrush, the Green coucal, Narina trogon and spotted creeper.