Mozambique

Mozambique offers an extensive coastline and it is this, along with its archipelagos of small islands, that is the jewel in Mozambique’s crown. Tourism, particularly safari tourism, is still very much in its early stages, though improvements over the last decade or so have been significant. While many venture instead to the more renowned countries, such as Kenya and Tanzania, Mozambique is rapidly gaining favor as a nation of diversity.

                                                         

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activities & experiences

Ocean-borne activities are one of the country’s highlights and for many, the safari lies beneath the surface of the clear waters of the Mozambique channel as opposed to within the game reserves and national parks. However, with a rich, colonial past, innumerable islands to explore and several flourishing parks, there is also plenty to do when you come up for air.

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Wildlife numbers are rapidly increasing across Mozambique, and animals of all kinds are in abundance. Mozambique suffered greatly with unregulated hunting and unmanaged poaching over the last century, but with a new incentive in tourism, numbers are recovering swiftly.

Elephant, lion and African wild dogs, once so rare here, are now thankfully regaining in population, and Gorongosa National Park in particular is a haven for a wealth of big game.

  • Take a safari through the lush and verdant national parks in search of lion, wildebeest, hippo, elephant and more
  • Explore l’Ilha de Moçambique – a UNESCO World Heritage site with a 500-year history of Portuguese culture and governance
  • Meet the mammals of the ocean, including dolphins and dugongs, as well as huge manta rays, turtles and a myriad of fishes
  • Learn to SCUBA dive in this world-renowned warm-water diving destination
  • Indulge in the local cuisine, abundant in seafood with more than a hint of Portuguese influence
  • Board a traditional dhow and island-hop for a day, exploring the Quirimbas Archipelago in search of giant leatherback turtles
  • Catch your dinner, with a deep-sea fishing expedition
  • Discover the tranquil romance of Zongoene, with innumerable secluded beaches to choose from, cascading into the warm, azure ocean.
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Benguerra Island Mozambique

destinations

Mozambique enjoys three key features: its national parks, its coastline and its islands, but within these many more attractions lie. From the world’s ninth largest lake to untouched cave art and ancient towns, there is much to see and do in Mozambique, from the savanna to the seashore.

Lago Niassa


Lake Malawi, or Lago Niassa as it is known locally, is little short of an inland ocean. As the world’s ninth largest lake, it is home to more fish species than any other lake on the planet. At almost 11,500 square miles (29,600 km²), its vast expanse, along with its crystal clear waters and sandy shore, makes one wonder whether indeed there is a far bank at all. With both Malawi and Tanzania sharing this immense span of water, you can leave one shore and arrive in a completely different country on the other.

Wonderfully uncrowded, Lago Niassa is an exquisite place to enjoy the serenity. Curiously, the lake has two islands within Mozambique’s borders yet they are actually provinces of Malawi.

Gorongosa National Park


Just 14 years ago, Gorongosa was still an unmanaged region of Mozambique. When the Carr Foundation persuaded the government that it was in their best interest to preserve the park, a powerful alliance emerged and the park flourished. Wildlife has rebounded greatly and many species are finding a firm foothold in this lush, wooded national park. Enjoy a cycling safari or canoe on the waterways in search of hippo, elephant, pangolin, painted wolves, antelope and much more.

The Quirimbas Archipelago


The 32 small islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago are scattered along Mozambique’s northernmost coastline and are paradise in waiting. Averaging eight miles (13km) from the mainland, there are several ways to journey there, but nothing is more magical than boarding a traditional timber dhow and sailing your way gently across the calm channel.

Throughout the islands you will find incredible snorkelling and nature watching, with marine life, including dolphins, dugong and several turtle species, in residence.

Quirimbas National Park, which also incorporates a protected region of the mainland, boasts lush woodlands and mangroves to explore, filled with a vibrant collection of birdlife and fauna.

Ibo Island


The largest of the Quirimbas Islands, Ibo is worth noting individually due to its rich cultural history. One of the most ancient settlements of Mozambique, the islands were colonized by Arab traders in 600 AD. Known for their exquisite cloth, or maluane, for which the islands were named until Portuguese settlement in 1590, the islands were a vital trade route, first for the Arabs, then the Portuguese, and finally the British, who arrived in the late 1800s. Historical, Portuguese-inspired architecture abounds on Ibo, as do tales of piracy, a dark history of slavery and trade. With much of the architecture unchanged since the early 1900s, Ibo is a remarkable time capsule and island paradise.

Ponto do Ouro


For lovers of the underwater world, Ponta do Ouro is unmissable. While many species of fish, invertebrates and crustacea reside here, it is the aquatic mammals for which the region is known. Humpback whales migrate along the coastline and several dolphin species frequent these crystal clear waters. But it is the loveable bottlenose dolphins who provide much of the area’s appeal. Research and conservation have combined to make the curious dolphin colony welcoming of humans. Extreme effort has been taken to ensure no harm or exploitation takes place. While the dolphins have become friendly and accommodating of their land-dwelling visitors, they remain untamed, wild and completely free in this highly ethical dolphin encounter.

accommodations

One of the greatest appeals of almost all Mozambican accommodation is the warmth of hospitality you will find almost everywhere. Residences perhaps lack the polish of some other African countries, but their locations more than compensate.

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Gorongosa National Park offers several camp venues that, again, while on the more rustic end, present an exceptional opportunity to reside in the park in an intimate, canvas-clad environment. These smaller camps take you right to the heart of this national park, and with guest numbers delightfully small, you can be assured of a premium service wherever you go.

Luxury does exist in Mozambique, most frequently found on the coastal islands. To the south, Benguerra Island offers an intimate escape in luxurious accommodations. What makes these venues particularly appealing is that, while your comfort and indulgence is of primary importance, this opulence remains subtle, the buildings carefully designed to both reflect and complement their natural surroundings.  

You can also find wonderful privacy in Mozambique, some lodges offering single bookings only, ensuring that you and your guests will be the only residents, not only to the property, but also to the region. You are even able to reserve an entire island just for you, making Mozambique’s archipelago a wonderfully romantic destination.

Benguerra Island Mozambique

MOZAMBIQUE ESSENTIALS

001 Calendar 01

BEST TIME: Sep – Nov

003 Thermometer 01

CLIMATE: LOW: 55-77ºF (13-25ºC) Jun – Aug / HIGH: 70-88ºF (21-31ºC) Dec – Mar

002 Blood 01

SEASONS: DRY: Apr – Dec / WET: Jan – Mar

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BEST FOR: A sea change. Game viewing is reasonable, but Mozambique’s coastal regions are its primary attraction

Mozambique is still building its reputation as a tourist destination. Far behind its peers, it is often overshadowed by the quintessential safari experiences found in other countries. But what Mozambique offers is distinctly unique, making it highly worth considering as a destination or portion of your itinerary.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN MOZAMBIQUE?

Many clients incorporate Mozambique into their itineraries as a coastal reprieve from the drier safari destinations. Indeed, a weekend on an island surrounded by azure waters and bathed in the cooler sea breeze is the perfect complement to a week-long safari through South Africa’s Kruger National Park or similar destinations. For this purpose, a long weekend would suffice. However, there is much to discover in Mozambique and, if you are willing to forego just a little of your absolute luxury and are open to new experiences, a week to 10 days could be happily spent exploring the coastlines, national parks, lakes and archipelagos of Mozambique.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Between May and November, Mozambique offers warm, dry days and a comfortable climate. Your reasons for visiting will determine the prime months to some extent, but from September to November game and whale watching is at its peak. The short rainy season of January to March is best avoided, but it is the oceanic appeal of Mozambique that brings many to the country, for which most of the other months of the year are perfectly suitable.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM ACCOMMODATION IN MOZAMBIQUE?

Decadence and premium luxury are in somewhat short supply in Mozambique, but location frequently makes this a worthy compromise. Numerous private villas and lodges are available, and the warmth of hospitality provides a home-away-from-home comfort to these venues. What is lacking in Ritz-Carlton glitz and luxury is more than compensated in scenery, destination and attentiveness.

OTHER DETAILS:

Visas are required for most visitors and should be organized prior to arrival from your home country. Inoculations are recommended and we suggest you contact your travel designer or a travel medicine specialist for advice.

International flights are best taken to a neighbouring country, incorporated into a larger itinerary. Internal travel can be a little challenging, but helicopter transfers are easily arranged by your Travel Designer for excursions to national parks or when travelling to the outer islands.

Almost 500 years of history have made Portuguese the predominant language of Mozambique. You can usually convey your wishes in English, but for more guaranteed communication and understanding, a basic understanding of Portuguese is recommended.

Guiding is perfectly adequate through national parks and you will be treated to the best offerings of the region. However, with its long coastline and innumerable islands, it is in the ocean where the best guiding takes place. Conservation has become imperative to Mozambique’s stance on tourism, so guides will provide the very best experience without compromise to the oceanic life.

With the ocean on all sides, seafood features strongly in much of the island and coastal regions, and almost 500 years of Portuguese influence has created gastronomic excellence. Aside from seafood, Mozambique’s culinary offerings can be a little limited, but you will find adequate fare wherever you travel.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

- Amy Lundberg

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

- Betsy Robertson

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

- Dawn Jacobs

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

- George Kowalski

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

- Jackie Smith

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Jamie Scarlett

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Joe Moravec

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Kim Mather

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Lisa Anderson

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (& family)