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Mozambique

 
 

Mozambique is a country filled with warmth of beautiful places, exotic beaches, and sanctuaries for wildlife. The Republic of Mozambique offers almost a complete range of unique to Africa tourism destinations with its charming archipelagos, diverse cultures, unspoiled wilderness, and adventures.

 

General Information

  • Total area : 309,500 square miles with 2.2% of it is water
  • Capital : Maputo
  • Largest city : Maputo
  • Government : unitary semi-presidential republic
  • Climate : tropical climate with dry and wet seasons

 

Safety

Many travel organizations have issued warning concerning safety issues in some Mozambique’s provinces including Zamberia, Manica, Tete, and Sofala. In any other area of Mozambique, however, the condition is generally safe. The biggest threats include petty theft and robbery, but they should not be major problems as long as you practice basic cautions. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public places; if you have go somewhere on foot, keep your jewelries to minimum. You are in Mozambique to explore the country, see wildlife, and experience the adventures, so there is no need to wear your expensive pearls or Rolex for the sake of flashiness.

 

Physical Features

Mozambique is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east. It stretches to about 1,500 miles along the coast. South Africa and Swaziland border Mozambique to the south; Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe border it to the north. At about twice the size of California, the general physical features of Mozambique are low-lying plateau broken up by more than two dozens of rivers flowing into the Indian Ocean. The inland is made up of several chains of mountains that form the backbone of the country.

 

Natural Beauty

In the eastern coastline of the country, there are miles after miles of natural beauty stretching and offering seemingly unlimited adventures for scuba divers, sailors, fishermen, and the more causal beach lovers. Combine that with Monte Binga which stands at more than 2,400 meters tall, Mozambique delivers an exciting contrast to please all kinds of travelers from all around the world. Let us not forget the existence of multiple national parks in the country, reflecting many years of conservation efforts and preservation of its natural identity. Many forms of arts, cuisines, relics, and architectural styles are also in fact African cultural heritage to be proud of.

 

People

Nearly 98% of the entire Mozambique population is comprised of Bantu people. The remaining 2% is made up of Euro-Africans (descendants of Bantu and Portuguese), White Africans (mostly of Portuguese ancestry), and Indians. About 45,000 people of Indian descent live in the country. One of the most interesting facts about the citizens is that most of them can speak more than one language. The official language is Portuguese and it is spoken by more than half of the population. Mozambicans who live in the cities even speak Portuguese as their first language. There are also other language groups such as Swahili and Zulu, but they are not as popular as Portuguese. Some small communities such as Indians, Chinese, and Arabs speak their own native languages.

 

Climate

Almost all parts of the country have tropical climate including its one-and-a-half thousand miles coast. This is especially good for beach tourism in dry season when visitors are craving to get sunbathed and relaxed by the breeze blown by the Indian Ocean. Except for few nights in June and July, the rainfall is not that high to the point where it gets uncomfortable to visit. Even during the evenings, most parts of the Mozambique are generally warm. It also means that during dry season, both temperature and humidity can be quite high particularly in the northern region; the same thing applies to the interior plains. Compared to other parts of the country, the coast has lower rainfall and the temperature is also lower. In the mountainous regions, temperature is cool all year round.
Wildlife

Based on the flowing path of Zambezi River, Mozambique is divided into two major regions: north and south. The north region is dominated by main features such as low plateau’s, narrow coastline, and highlands, while the south has vast lowlands. Niassa Reserve is one of the largest protected areas across the country; it is home to about 16,000 elephants, 12,000 stale antelopes, and the rare African wild dogs.

Mozambique also has more than 200 endemic mammal species including Vincent’s Bush Squirrel and Selous’ Zebra. The African big five: Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhinoceros, and Leopard also found home in Mozambique. They can be spotted in many different national parks across the country. Mozambique has 13 forest reserves, six nature reserves, seven national parks, three wildlife game reserves, and three frontier conservation areas.

 

Birds

Home to more than 700 species of birds, Mozambique is a highly rewarding destination for bird-watching enthusiasts from all around the world. The bad news is that some species still live in highly threatened areas such as Miombo Woodlands and lowland forests.

Some of the most popular species in Mozambique are: African Pitta, Green-headed Oriole, East Coast Akalat, White-chested Alethe, Chestnut-fronted Helmet-Shrike, Olive-headed Weaver, Plain-backed Sunbird, Locust-Finch, Mascarene Martin, Crab-plover, Greater Frigatebird

 

Popular Destinations

Mozambique offers seemingly endless natural adventures and excitements to the point where you can spend weeks (if not months) in the country to just get a glimpse of what it can deliver. Some of the most well-known tourist destinations are as follows:

  • Gorongosa National Park: many parts of the infrastructure in Gorongosa is still undergoing overhaul due to ravages of civil war, but overall the condition is now more than acceptable for tourism activities. The national park is in good progress of making great comeback for sure not only in terms of infrastructure development but also wildlife population. During your visit, you will most definitely see lions, elephants, hippos, warthogs, sable antelopes, impalas, crocodiles, and waterbucks. Gorongosa is also inhabited by more than 300 species of birds, both endemic and non-endemic. Especially in the wetlands, plenty of waterbirds are ready to cheer up the air. Repopulation of other animals such as wildebeest, buffaloes, and zebras is in progress at the same time.

    Diverse animals are only parts of the excitements, as Gorongosa will also bewilder your mind with its stretches of green savannah, floodplains, woodlands, palms, forest, and vines; the national park makes great representation of how different ecological zones can blend with each other in good harmony. The most biologically diverse of all Mozambique, the Zambezi Valley lies in Gorongosa as well.

  • Lake Malawi: we will not blame you for assuming that Lake Malawi is located in Malawi. In such case, you are both right and wrong. Most of the lake is indeed located in Malawi (as the name suggests) but at least 25% of it is flowing through Mozambique; the part that flows through Mozambique is called Lago Niassa. It is actually the less developed portion of the lake, and this is always a good thing as long as nature-centric tourism is concerned.
  • The pictures of bamboo cabins and sandy coves come to mind, sprinkled with baobabs and local communities. If anybody wanted to take photographs of heaven on Earth, Lago Niassa would be a strong contender. Underneath its deep blue waters, the lake is home to more than 500 species of fish including 350 endemic ones. In this case, endemic means unique only to that lake, not the country.

  • Bazaruto Archipelago: off the southern coast of Mozambique, there are six islands including Bazaruto, Benguera, Magaruque, Banque, Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island) and Shell. The archipelago features clear turquoise water filled with colorful fish, and offers various adventures such as snorkeling, diving, and even birding; all of which are guaranteed rewarding. Since more than 45 years ago, much of Bazaruto Archipelago falls under the protection of Bazaruto National Park.

    Dozens of bird species can be found here in the islands for examples flamingos and fish eagles. Especially in the Benguera, you can even spot monsters that go by the name of Nile Crocodiles. In many parts of the archipelago, you have real chances of encountering dolphins and green turtles too.

  • Benguerra Island: Among all islands in the archipelago, Benguerra Island deserves its own highlight. After undergoing major overhaul worth of $5.5 million, the lodge in the island has turned into tourist concentration point, offering luxurious accommodations with all the amenities you can expect from world-class resort. With both land and water safari as well as helicopter flight, the island probably is the most desirable getaway location in Africa that guarantees your privacy, tranquility, and romantic atmosphere. Pristine beaches and deep sea catch-and-release fishing activities give a different experience from typical African tourism.

    Dozens of bird species can be found here in the islands for examples flamingos and fish eagles. Especially in the Benguerra, you can even spot monsters that go by the name of Nile Crocodiles. In many parts of the archipelago, you have real chances of encountering dolphins and green turtles too.

  • Ponta do Ouro: the biggest attractions in Ponta do Ouro include Dolphin Beach Camp Ponta do Ouro, diving into crystal clear water to see marine life, and simply the experience of walking in white sandy beaches while absorbing the paradise-like atmosphere. If you are lucky enough and the conservationists allow, you can also enjoy swimming with the dolphins in the conservation center.

  • Nampula: despite being the third largest city in Mozambique, Nampula remains an excellent stopover during your getaway travel. The combination of museum, cathedral and booming hotel business in the city should make your stay a little longer than typical stop-by durations.

 

Mozambique is not your average safari destination in Africa. It delivers all you ever want from wildlife safari with its Big Five, hundreds of bird species, endemic archipelago animals, and even Nile Crocodiles. In addition to that, the country is more ecologically diverse than you can imagine with a blend of forests, savannahs, lowlands, highlands, turquoise waters, ancient Baobabs, and sandy beaches. It takes patience to explore Mozambique at its best, but the rewards are greater than expected.

 

 
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