It's hard to believe that Mozambique—mired for two decades in guerrilla warfare—is now an up and coming hot spot. Sparkling beaches, tempting off-shore islands and superb diving and snorkeling at the Bazaruto Archipelago are attracting visitors like never before. Visitors also are known to sail through mangrove channels looking for wildlife, relax beneath palm trees in Quirimbas Archipelago, go on safaris in Gorongosa National Park, enjoy city life in colonial-era towns on Ilha de Mocambique, sit for hours in cafes in Maputo, buy silver jewelry on Ibo Island, or take dance lessons to the country's famed marrabenta music.
None of these enticements were available to visitors during the war. With dark times hopefully in the country's history books, Mozambique is on its way to opening its doors and letting the world in. Be amazed at the friendly open smiles you’ll receive in the market places and especially in the villages. The country has 2500 kilometers of coastline to explore, much of it pristine. Tamer travelers will stick to the south of the country where roads are in better condition and transport is well linked to South Africa. Accommodations are also easy to find in the south. More adventurous souls head to wild northern Mozambique with its last frontier feeling after crossing the Zambezi. Getting around this area isn't always easy but this is where some of Africa's most beautiful island lodges are found as well as its most remote wilderness.
Tofo makes for a fabulous get-away with its turquoise waters, powder white sand beaches, and jovial atmosphere. Be warned that there aren’t any banks here or even ATMS.
The capital city of Maputo is also stunning with its Mediterranean architecture, outdoor cafes, wide avenues and coastal setting. Men wear jellabas and the women wear colorful long cotton flowing robes, all designed to keep people cool in the hot sun. Try the seafood, the spices and the deliciously sweet mini bananas at the market and listen to the musicians play on the streets.
Gorongosa National Park is a premier wildlife park, home to a splendid variety of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. Here you'll find African elephants, the largest living land mammal with an incredible sixty to seventy year life span. The park also contains the Nile crocodile, the largest crocodile in all of Africa. Watch out for the beautiful Baobab trees. Their trunks are fire resistant and in the wet season, the trees store water inside their corky thick trunks to prepare for the dry months ahead.
Also visit the Inhaca Island, Mozambique for its beautiful beaches and coral reefs, Benguerra Island for its rich marine life, and Azura Mozambique for its deserted beaches of pure white sand.
For excellent reading on Mozambique, read "At the Mercy of the River: An Exploration of the Last African Wilderness" by Peter Stark.