There are a few very good reasons why they call Mozambique the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. Firstly, its mainland has 2,500 km (1,550 miles) of pristine beachfront. Secondly, it has a string of beautiful and idyllic tropical islands, glittering like jewels in the warm, blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Thirdly, on these soft, white-sand beaches you’ll find swaying coconut palms as far as the eye can see and shows with billowing sails gracefully cruising past. Fourthly and finally, it has incredibly rich marine life and offers world-class scuba diving and watersports.
Some consider Mozambique one of Africa’s best-kept secrets with its more high-profile counterparts – such as Seychelles, Zanzibar and Mauritius – getting a little more foot traffic when it comes to luxury travel in southern Africa. But Mozambique enchants in its own unique way. Beyond the islands and coral reefs, Mozambique (especially its capital Maputo) offers colonial-style architecture, pulsating nightlife and a fascinating cultural mix.
Ultimately, if it’s a barefoot luxury holiday you’re looking for, then Mozambique has it all and is our preferred destination for a beach holiday!
Vilanculos is a sound – of the call of market sellers, horses galloping on a beach and the sail of a dhow unfurling in the wind. It’s also a smell – of the famous Mozambique prawns sizzling on an open flame, or an ice-cold beer cracked open in the sun and the smell of the ocean breeze drifting through the town as evening sets in. But Vilanculos is also a sight – of beautiful beaches along the coastline, crystal-clear waters, and plenty of marine species such as manta rays, whale sharks, turtles and humpback whales.
One of the experiences that Scintilla recommends is a trip on a dhow. Dhow travel is relaxed, simple and unhurried – the perfect way to experience a sunset in Mozambique. We recommend Santorini’s traditional dhow, a hand-crafted wooden vessel with distinctive lateen rigging. The ancient art of dhow travel has been practised in this region for centuries, where fathers have passed on the craft of skippering dhows to their sons through generations. Still used today, it’s a vital part of everyday life in Kingfisher Bay.
Scattered off Mozambique’s southern shores, the collection of treasures that form part of the Mozambique Islands are real showstoppers. There’s the magical Quirimbas Islands, the enchanting Ibo and the dreamy Bazaruto Archipelago. The latter is a glittering cluster of five tropical islands. Benguerra and Bazaruto are the two largest islands in the archipelago. Both are fringed by golden beaches and an impossibly blue sea and each offers luxurious, stress-busting accommodation where you can easily spend a week winding down to the slow rhythm of island life: swim, snorkel, eat and sleep – and why not enjoy a massage or spa treatment while you’re at it.
If you’re looking for a toes-in-the-sand, cocktail-in-the-hand type of day, then Azura Benguerra’s new Peri-Peri Beach Club is Scintilla’s pick for you. It has an ocean-facing swimming pool, personal grills to perfectly sizzle your fresh from-the-ocean seafood and on selected nights, an open-air cinema. You can even create your own cocktails with an expertly designed mixology menu.
One of East Africa’s most attractive capitals, Maputo is home to wide avenues lined with eye-catching trees, Mediterranean-style architecture and a seaside setting. It also offers a glimpse into understanding the real Mozambique. The local walking tours will provide the history, the hotels, restaurants and shade sidewalk cafés provide the food and hospitality and the lively arts scene a peek into the culture.
One of Scintilla’s favourite places to stay in the area is Machangulo Beach Lodge, which is accessible from Maputo via boat transfer. Machangulo offers child-friendly activities, snorkelling, romantic meals under starry skies and lazy hours on sandy beaches. Guests can tour nearby local villages, Inhaca Island and the bay, canoe along quiet inlets and even battle it out with some of the region’s monster fish.
Mozambique truly lives up to its reputation as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” with its breathtaking beaches, tropical islands, rich marine life, and unique cultural experiences. Mozambique offers a perfect blend of barefoot luxury, adventure, and relaxation. One of the standout experiences in Mozambique is to discover the thriving ocean life on a mangrove snorkeling trip. You’ll explore pristine coral reefs and encountere a profusion of fish species and other fantastic beasts, such as frogfish, pipefish, cowfish, pufferfish, seahorses and much much more.
From the charming town of Vilanculos with its bustling markets and pristine beaches to the captivating Mozambique Islands with their idyllic beaches and luxurious accommodations, to the vibrant capital city of Maputo with its history, architecture, and arts scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this enchanting African destination. Get in touch with one of our travel consultants to start planning your trip to Mozambique today.