Mozambique

 

Due in part to its troubled past which has deterred large scale development, Mozambique has some of the most pristine beaches and spectacular coral reefs anywhere in the world.

Mozambique

A small number of exclusive “barefoot luxury” beach lodges have been developed in the protected bays and lagoons along Mozambique’s coastal paradise.

As the coast has been largely untouched by tourism, the coral parks just offshore are home to wonderful marine life. The unbleached coral sustains a bewildering variety and abundance of tropical fish and rays, which makes snorkelling and scuba diving here sensational.

Benguerra Lodge in the Bazaruto Archipeligo in the south was the original beach hideaway.Now fully refurbished, this has been joined by Azura Quilalea , Indigo Bay and Marlin Lodge, all of which are high end properties offering excellent levels of accommodation a variety of water-based activities including scuba diving and characteristic Mozambique friendly service.

Most recently, small but stylish places to stay have been built on the north coast beaches and islands, such as Azura Quilalea, Mejumbe and Vamizi Island. Again, the emphasis is on conserving the local areas of outstanding beauty, so that you can appreciate the unspoilt surroundings, whilst at the same time being utterly spoilt yourself. If you are travelling in the northern islands, a couple of nights at Ibo Island Lodge is recommended - a combination of fascinating history and stunning location. You can also use this as a base from which to explore the islands by traditional dhow.

Another example of the new breed of ecotourism that is making Mozambique the most exciting tourist destination in Africa is Nkwichi Lodge, in the Manda Wilderness Conservation area on the shores of Lake Malawi. A small, comfortable lodge, in a secluded and beautiful part of the lake, Nkwichi is ideal for unwinding after a busy safari in Malawi or Zambia.

The extraordinary remoteness of the Mozambique beaches is the essence and charm of staying here, but it also means that it can be quite a mission to get there. There are regular flights available from Johannesburg (though not every day) to Pemba in the north and Vilanculos in the south. There are also some flights from Nairobi and Dar es Salaam on specific days of the week. It is however well worth making  the effort and this is the perfect place to relax after a safari in Southern Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia or South Africa.

The limited number of stylish, luxury lodges and the unrivalled diving and snorkeling make this the new “It” beach destination.

 

Images courtesy: Azura Benguerra, Vamizi