Think about Mozambique
The hidden gem of Africa
Nestled among some of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa, Mozambique is often overlooked as a country to visit. Max Robinson makes a strong case for a visit, sooner rather than later, and has the latest on how to get there.
Those who decide to visit Mozambique are rarely disappointed, as the country is best described as an eclectic mix of the surrounding countries that so often overshadow it, while still offering a totally unique experience.
We’ve long expressed our appreciation of this country, but for those who haven’t yet explored Mozambique, here is a quick rundown of some of the more notable reasons to visit:
People seldom complain about the journey to Mozambique, as to get there you have to travel across some of the most beautiful parts of East Africa. If you’re flying then you’ll almost always need to take a stop in South Africa, which isn’t exactly a nuisance. From there you can either fly direct, or head to Malawi and take the train from there (also a great trip). But really, as long as you can get to any of the neighboring countries (including Tanzania and Zimbabwe), you’ll be able to get into the country easily. Due to the low-key nature of Mozambique, it’s really up to you when you decide to travel to the country – I wouldn’t necessarily say that there is a particularly busy or quiet period to head there. Go when it suits!
Like most countries situated on the East side of Africa, the history of Mozambique is varied, and has helped to shape the current state of the country. Before the civil war in the seventies, Mozambique is said to have attracted more annual visitors than South Africa. Despite severe political difficulties in the past, Mozambique is arguably one of the most politically stable countries in this part of Africa, and manages to stay relatively under the radar despite the size and location of the country.
The one thing that is still a major issue in Mozambique is that many people are living in severe poverty. The country is one of the poorest in the world, and attempts to resolve this crisis have remained largely futile. The government is making progress in terms of economic growth, with tourism playing a vital part in the struggle to overcome poverty, but there is still a long way to go for the country.
Looking at reasons why people might want to visit Mozambique, one of the major draws of the country is the number of diving spots. Trips to Mozambique are a diver’s dream come true, with areas like Bazaruto Archipelago boasting some of the most pristine diving spots in the world, characterized by coral reefs and clear water.
Compared to other countries in this area of Africa, Mozambique is very rural and untouched. There are no large resorts in the country, making the country perfect for animals who enjoy living in calmer environments, like the dugong and the rare sea turtle.
Mozambique feels like one big beach, with the country offering over 2500km of hidden beaches. Much of the accommodation in Mozambique is located on the beaches too, so you’ll probably find it hard to escape the sand during your visit.
If your idea of fun is spending all day lying on beaches and watching dolphins, then you need to visit Mozambique.
Mozambique has it’s fair share of chain hotels that you can easily book a room in, but a much better (and more affordable idea) is to book a beach hut type property. These can be hard to find online, and often the best way to find out more about these huts is to join local expat forums and Facebook groups, and ask them for advice. It’s a bit more hassle, but it will result in a much more enjoyable (and cheaper) stay.
Quirimbas National Park
If diving and lying on the beach aren’t the only things you want to do during your stay in Mozambique, then there are plenty of other must-see places to visit in the country.
For starters, Quirimbas National Park (https://www.mahlatini.com/mozambique/locations/quirimbas-archipelago/) is one of the most impressive parks in East Africa, and boasts all of the ‘Big 5’ that you’d expect to see on any safari.
If you want to do a bit of shopping and enjoy local cuisine then stopping off in the capital, Maputo, is another must do. There’s a great museum there, plus a busy market full of local delicacies.
I can’t stress how much I wish more people visited Mozambique. I love everything from the people to the scenery, and it truly offers the best of East Africa.
Max is part of the Mahlatini Luxury Safari team, and is based in Belfast.
Although the company specialises in providing exclusive trips around the East and South of Africa, their local knowledge also makes them more than qualified to provide insider tips for travelling around Africa on a shoestring budget!
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