Mozambique

Often overlooked as an Indian Ocean destination, Mozambique can offer you great seafood, water activities, and barefoot bliss accommodation at a reasonable cost. The small tropical islands dotted along the east coast of Africa are the perfect way to have a beach break after an action-packed safari. Low-key beautifully styled resorts, white sandy beaches, spectacular reefs and laid-back African charm with Portuguese influence are all just waiting for you. Despite talks about reintroductions and conservation gains, wildlife viewing and accommodation in the interior are just not on par with other destinations due to human-wildlife conflict. We suggest wildlife viewing elsewhere and beach time here.

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What to Expect

Tourism is still quite new, and guests are genuinely welcomed on the Mozambican coast. On the mainland at Vilanculos, you can venture to markets and villages with no pressure to buy or awkwardness sometimes associated with more commercial tourism.

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Local fishermen still stroll the beaches and people choose their dinner to be cooked on the spot. Incredibly beautiful natural surroundings juxtaposed with impoverished communities may take you ‘out of your comfort zone’ but the warmth of the people, including the outstanding staff at properties in Mozambique, will stay with you forever.

Don't Miss Out

The Essence of Mozambique — The sparkling waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park are one of the last remaining habitats of the endangered Dugong.

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This a pale, voluptuous sea mammal is fabled to have made bygone mariners believe in mermaids. You may be fortunate enough to glimpse one of the 250 residents of the park while they feast on seagrass in shallow areas. You may also spy marine turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks, rays and amazing coral reefs packed with fish on your water activities.

Island paradise (part 1) – Within the jewel-like Bazaruto Archipelago of the South, our favorite islands are Benguerra and Bazaruto, located just offshore the mainland of Mozambique. On these islands, you will find unspoiled white beaches, excellent fishing, and outstanding SCUBA diving and snorkeling. Inland, Benguerra is comprised of forest, savannah, freshwater lakes and wetland ecosystems. Bazaruto has rocky and sandy shores and trails that are full of reptiles, endemic butterflies, freshwater crocodiles, and suni.

Island paradise (part 2) —The Quirimbas Archipelago in the North, with Medjumbe and Vimizi islands are more proof that Mozambique can provide an impressive experience on the coast. These tiny private islands share many of the qualities of the more popular Bazaruto Archipelago but feel just a little more remote and exclusively stylish in their ‘Robinson Crusoe’ type accommodations.

Hidden gem— Ibo Island was once the heart of trade along the Mozambican coast. A small colonial town which used to trade amber, ivory, and turtle shells dates to the 1500s. Visit the old forts and romantic buildings while hearing tales of pirates and explorers. Spend time with the islanders who share a blended European, Arabic, and Asian culture with tribal beliefs and customs. This combination forms a completely unique culture like nowhere else on earth.

Need to know

Flights are easily arranged into Vilanculos usually via Johannesburg or Mpumalanga. Islands accessed by helicopter.

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  • We recommend 3-7 days in Mozambique as a beach extension easily combined with other safari destinations in Southern Africa.
  • Mozambique coastal holidays work for any type of traveler, including families that want beach time and water activities! Most popular for couples or those searching for a honeymoon destination, there are many romantic places and experiences to discover.
  • Visas are required for most visitors and it’s best to be organized in advance as they are not always available on arrival. Inoculations may be recommended. We suggest you see a travel medicine specialist for advice.
  • Infrastructure is limited due to the size of the country and remote destinations. Flying in/out to Vilanculos is the norm with helicopter connections to the islands.
  • Portuguese is the main language, with limited English spoken in the hospitality industry.
  • Guides will have qualifications to operate the activities and excursions you choose.
  • Mozambique is not known as a culinary destination, but the seafood is amazingly fresh.

When to go

Mozambique enjoys a tropical climate year-round. Winter generally occurs between May through September and means drier conditions and cooler temperatures, only a light jacket is recommended.

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Between the months of October through March expect high humidity and intense tropical thunderstorms including cyclones.

June– October: This is the long dry season with typical clear skies and mild temperatures in the high 80s F (low 30s C). This is peak season on the coast.

November – March:  This is typically the rainy or ‘green’ season, when landscapes are lush but high temperatures, humidity, and chance of thunderstorms or cyclones.

April – May: Pleasant weather as the rains subside and humidity drops. Occasional showers can still happen. 

Accommodation

Properties here are known for their stunning locations, dedicated staff and warm hospitality. Most are the result of local involvement in tourism initiatives—being locally built and staffed by villagers and a bit rough around the edges.

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We choose resorts that are lovely, offer excellent services to our guests, and offer value to their beach holiday. Every property booked on a Rothschild Safari is vetted by staff and offer the highest standards in each category.

What our travelers say

Amy Lundberg

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. 

Betsy Robertson

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! 

Dawn Jacobs

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.

George Kowalski

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.

Jackie Smith

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.

Jamie Scarlett

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. 

Joe Moravec

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.

Kim Mather

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! 

Lisa Anderson

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.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (and family)

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.