With a coastline stretching from South Africa to Tanzania, the southeast African country of Mozambique covers an expansive area of 800,000 square kilometers. A combination of bush and beach, this vastly unexplored country’s shoreline meets the warm Indian Ocean with islands and archipelagos dotting its coast. Hidden off the north coast of Mozambique is the Quirimbas Archipelago. This stretch of 32 coral islands is home to an array of marine wildlife from whales to the rare and elusive dugong. Mangrove covered Ibo Island is the best known of the archipelago, hosting traditional architectural villas from a bygone era. Further south, you’ll find the protected Bazaruto archipelago. Consisting of 5 islands, including Benguerra and Bazaruto, the archipelago is popular for diving and snorkeling and promises an array of wildlife from leatherback turtles to Nile crocodiles. Moving to the central inlands you’ll find Gorongosa National Park, considered the most biologically diverse of Mozambique’s conservation areas, this national park covers an area of 5370 square kilometers.
What type of wildlife will we see?
Mozambique is home to an array of wildlife from land to shore. The country is home to 740 species of bird, 200 mammals, 170 reptiles and 40 amphibians. With wildlife making a thriving comeback from the ravages of Mozambique’s civil war, Gorongosa National Park boasts lion, cheetah, elephant, leopard and rhino as well as antelope, hyena, hippo, buffalo and over 300 species of birdlife. The Bazaruto Archipelago is a marine reserve home to over 2,000 species of fish. Take to the waters to discover an array of marine life from humpback whales, whale sharks, manta rays, sharks, turtles and dolphins, to the largest east African dugong population.
Best time to go and why?
No stranger to tropical heat, the best time to visit Mozambique is over the dry winter season from May to November. The warm temperatures of both the air and water call out to all beach lovers and are ideal for an island getaway. The winter months invite whales to the coastline of Mozambique and the unrivalled water visibility during the dry months makes for epic scuba diving.
When is high season?
Peak season in Mozambique falls over the school holiday periods of Christmas, Easter and August. The influx of travelers from South Africa rapidly fill the southern resorts, so be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The best time for game viewing is over August and September when the bush has thinned out and wildlife is concentrated around the park’s waterholes.
When is low season?
The country’s wet season falls between January and March. Expect steamy thunderstorms paired with high humidity as well as occasional flooding and washed-out roads.