As you are planning for your African safari to Mozambique among the frequently asked question is what are the best things to do in Mozambique?
For years, Mozambique’s international reputation has been overshadowed by civil war and natural disaster. If it is not war taking place in one place, it is a cyclone in a different part.
Now, almost a quarter of a century after the end of its most infamous conflict, the country is emerging as one of South Africa’s most rewarding tourist destinations, full of stunningly untouched wilderness, from lush game reserves to sun-kissed tropical islands.
Its capital, Maputo, is a cosmopolitan city characterized by European architecture and a diverse population, while the country’s cuisine is partly influenced by Mozambique’s Portuguese heritage. Here are eight of the best ways to spend time there.
The capital, Maputo, is a great place to start a trip and among the best things to do in Mozambique. This is especially as there are plenty of guided tours and day trips to help you understand the country’s vibrant African culture.
ASTHO Vacations offer guided tours in English and Portuguese. Its Maputo City Tour which is among the best things to do in Mozambique, focuses on the city center.
Mafalala Bairro Cultural Tour takes guests through historic alleyways and local neighborhoods – similar to a Soweto tour in Johannesburg, South Africa, if you’re visiting during a layover.
In the suburbs and see how the residents live their daily lives. It also takes place in the district where many Mozambican artists, politicians and sports legends come from.
You can also enjoy guided tours that highlight the art and culture of Maputo, including stops at the former home of popular Mozambican painter and poet Malangatana Ngwenya, the Ntsindya Cultural Center, Xipamanine Market, and the house of local artist Walter Zand .
There are several of the best things to do in Mozambique. They include tours that focus on Mozambican cuisine and offer deep dives into neighborhoods such as Mafalala and the historic center of Baixa de Maputo.
So what are the best things to do in Mozambique?
Learn about the country’s colonial past
The history of Mozambique is both fascinating and turbulent. From approximately 1500 to 1975, the country was a Portuguese colony; several centuries before that, it was visited by traders from Arabia, India, China.
It was also inhabited by the San, Khoisan, and other Bantu-speaking indigenous peoples who probably arrived in the region between the first and fifth AD through the centuries.
All these cultures left their mark on Mozambique, especially Ilha de Moçambique, which is connected by a bridge to the north coast of the country making this one of the best things to do in Mozambique.
The island was the capital of Portuguese East Africa until 1898. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for its historical architectural significance.
Notable buildings include the São Sebastião Fort, built in 1558, and the Nossa Senhora de Baluarte Chapel, completed in 1522, now considered the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere.
Located in the Quirimbas Archipelago, Ibo Island also offers an opportunity to explore crumbling mosques, churches, forts and cemeteries. A visit to Ibo is among the best things to do in Mozambique.
Learn to dive
For many visitors, Mozambique is associated with the ocean, especially because it has an amazing 1,550 miles (2,500 kilometers) of coastline. If you’re interested in exploring beneath the waves, it’s also a great place to learn to dive.
Tofo Beach in Inhambane Province is known for its world-class diving and offers a good selection of dive operators and training organizations. Diving here is among the best things to do in Mozambique.
Course prices are also quite reasonable, with entry-level prices starting in the mid-$20s (compared to over $500 in the US).
Conditions here are generally excellent for beginners, with warm water temperatures of -72-82°F or 22-28°C – limited current and good visibility.
However, the best reason to jump into Tofos is the marine life making it one of the best things to do in Mozambique. The surrounding reefs are home to colorful fish and coral, and the area is world famous for its populations of whale sharks and rays.
Other dive sites include Quirimbas and Bazaruto Archipelago, Ponta do Ouro and Guinjata Bay.
Learn about the history and culture of Mozambique
Enjoy some of the best things to do in Mozambique by touring Maputo, the capital city.
The capital, Maputo, is a great place to start a trip to Mozambique, especially as there are plenty of guided tours and day trips to help you understand the country’s vibrant African culture.
We at ASTHO Vacations offer guided tours in English and Portuguese. Our Maputo City Tour focuses on the city center, while the Mafalala Bairro Cultural Tour takes guests through historic alleyways and local neighborhoods. This is similar to a Soweto tour in Johannesburg, South Africa.
If you’re visiting while you’re alive the suburbs and see how the residents live their daily lives. It also takes place in the district where many Mozambican artists, politicians and sports legends come from.
We also offer guided tours that highlight the art and culture of Maputo, including stops at the former home of popular Mozambican painter and poet Malangatana Ngwenya.
The tours also go to the Ntsindya Cultural Center, Xipamanine Market, and the house of local artist Walter Zand .
Other available tours focus on Mozambican cuisine and offer deep dives into neighborhoods such as Mafalala and the historic center of Baixa de Maputo.
Go to Hopp’s Island
If you’re already a certified diver or interested in living on an island paradise, check out one of Mozambique’s offshore archipelagos.
In the south, the Bazaruto Archipelago has six idyllic islands, while in the north, the Quirimbas Archipelago is a treasure trove of 32 islands among the best things to do in Mozambique.
Areas of both are protected as marine national parks, and the landscape is a catalog of swaying palm trees and painted white sand beaches across turquoise seas.
Many islands and shoals are uninhabited or provide temporary homes for migrating fishermen. What an experience when undertaking one of the best things to do in Mozambique.
Traditional dhows and kayak canoes ply the canals between them, and the opportunities for snorkeling, diving and just lazing on the beach are endless.
Both archipelagos offer a choice of luxury accommodation tailored for a pampering holiday, such as Situ Island Resort in Quirimba or and Beyond Benguerra Lodge in Bazaruto.
Taste Mozambican food
Mozambique’s rich coastline is also an inspiration for its national cuisine, and seafood features prominently on menus across the country. Why not enjoy one of the best things to do in Mozambique by tasting the cuisine here.
Whether dining in a five-star resort or on the side of the road, you’ll have the chance to try fish, roe and octopus, while prawns are Mozambique’s most famous dish, along with galinha asada or roast chicken. Both are often marinated in piri-piri sauce, Mozambique’s most famous export.
Other important ingredients are coconut, cassava and cashews. The Portuguese influence is evident in many dishes, including rissóis de camarão (stuffed croquettes) and dobrada (pot stew served with potatoes, onions, tomatoes and peppers).
Whatever you’re looking for, don’t miss the paôa, a Portuguese roll best bought fresh from the early morning markets. Enjoying this is among the best things to do in Mozambique.
The most popular beer brands in Mozambique are 2M and Laurentina, the local rum type Tinto goes best with raspberry in the RandR drink.
Swim with wild dolphins and try deep sea fishing
Among the best things to do in Mozambique is to swim with the dolphins. Ponta do Ouro is known as one of the best places in the world to meet ethical dolphins.
It is located in the southern part of the country near the South African border and is home to a population of bottle-nose dolphins.
Local ecologists have been studying and working with them for two decades, slowly acclimating them so that people can safely interact with them in their natural environment.
Several companies offer dolphin tours, but the original is operated by the Dolphin Research Center. This operator adheres to a strict code of conduct that ensures a positive experience for the dolphins, using revenue from Mozambique safari tours to fund ongoing research and conservation.
You can sign up for a one-time snorkeling trip or increase your chances of success with a three-day starter package. Because dolphins are wild, there are no guarantees, but if you can swim with them, it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
Other possible sightings include porpoises, spotted dolphins and humpback whales in season. The Mozambique Channel offers excellent conditions for species such as sailfish, marlin, tuna and dorado, making the country a paradise for deep-sea fishermen.
The water is warm, while the dramatic underwater topography creates nutrient-rich upwellings that attract pelagic species that hunt irresistibly.
Although some of the best fishing spots are located in the Quirimbas and Bazaruto Archipelago, St. The legendary status of Lazarus banks is hard to beat.
It is located approximately 55 miles (90 kilometers) offshore and is only accessible by boat, usually a multi-day cruise.
Strong currents and abundant food attract trophy-sized fish from jumbo to tuna, and the season runs from August to late April. Be sure to opt for a catch and release policy as Mozambique (like most coastal countries) is increasingly suffering from overfishing.
Explore Lake Niassa
In the northwest of the country, Lake Niassa – or Lake Malawi as it is known to the rest of the world) – crosses the borders of Mozambique with Tanzania and Malawi.
One of the best things to do in Mozambique is to explore the ninth largest lake in the world and is home to more species of fish than any other lake on Earth.
The best known of these are cichlids, colorful freshwater fish with a surprisingly high level of endemism.
The Mozambican section of Lake Niassa, dubbed the “Lake of the Stars” by explorer David Livingstone, is pristine and remote.
The neighboring Nia Game Reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including more than 10,000 elephants and the critically endangered African wild dog. A safari here is among the best things to do in Mozambique
It is also a haven for endemic ungulates, including Boehm’s zebra, Johnston’s impala and the Niassa wildebeest. Luxury lodges such as Mbuna Bay Lodge and Nkwichi Lodge invite travelers to experience the best of the lake with a variety of water activities.
Look for exotic wildlife
While most Safari enthusiasts head south to South Africa or north to Tanzania and Kenya, Mozambique also has impressive natural resources. Looking for exotic wildlife here is among best things to do in Mozambique
The jewel in the country’s natural crown is Gorongosa National Park, a reserve that has admirably recovered from the poaching epidemic caused by the civil war.
Located at the southern end of the Great African Rift Valley, the park’s floodplains are now home to lion, elephant, hippo and antelope.
The north of the country is also home to Marromeu National Park, a coastal region with Mozambique’s largest waterfowl population, including rarities such as the African skimmer and grebe.
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park in the south combines several of the largest natural areas in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, creating 13,500 square kilometers (35,000 sq.miles).
One of your first adventures is to go to Bazaruto Island to sand-board. It’s gorgeous and one of those best things to do in Mozambique. You’ll have plenty of photo opportunities along the way.
Although it can be a bit difficult to organize on your own, you can find a number of tour options and hotels that organize sand-boarding tours.
Go deep sea fishing
The fishing here is among best things to do in Mozambique. Local charters will take you to epic catches like marlin, tuna or mahi-mahi. Each month has different weather conditions that attract different fish.
Even if you are not a serious fisherman or woman, it is widely regarded as one of the best places in the world to fish making it one of the best things to do in Mozambique.