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Mozambique: Go before the crowds

 

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Blessed by a pleasant tropical climate, warm ocean waters, exotic wildlife, scenic beaches, and great diving point breaks, Mozambique will soon make it to the list of top holiday destinations in Africa. Unlike other more touristy countries on the continent, this south-east African pearl is still unblemished by the negative side-effects of mass tourism: tourist crowds are few, beaches are clean and inviting, accommodation is decent and available for travelers of all budgets, and local culture has preserved much of its unique spirit despite globalization trends. If you want to visit Mozambique, the best time to go is now – and here are only a few reasons why you may want to explore this fascinating country before it turns into a large-scale tourist hub.

Holiday at the beach: Bazaruto and Quirimbas

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Though Mozambique inland has its charms, most holiday makers and honeymooners are drawn to the country’s coastline and neighboring archipelagos. Who would not be, after all? Stretching 1,500 miles along the Indian Ocean, local beaches are a true tropical paradise. Two most popular summer destinations include the archipelagos of Bazaruto and Quirimbas, both of them ideal for divers, snorkeling fans, and other water sports enthusiasts.

• Quirimbas Archipelago is mostly uninhabited, except for a few private islands with luxury resort facilities. Gathering over 30 small islands, the archipelago is popular among hard core divers across the globe: here, you can see impressive coral reef formations, over 350 species of reef fish, humpback whales, whale sharks, dugongs, and turtles.

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• Bazaruto Archipelago is another secret ocean gem of Mozambique. Unlike Quirimbas, though, Bazaruto comprises only six large islands soaked in warm and clean ocean waters. In addition to its vibrant marine diversity (in the mood for a quick race with dolphins?), Bazaruto is also home to Nile crocs, pink flamingos, suni antelopes, red duikers, samango monkeys, rare butterfly species, and over 150 bird species.

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Feel the positive vibes of Maputo

Mozambique’s main business and cultural hub, Maputo, takes pride in a unique mix of modern and quaint vibes. In the streets, you can see pieces of colonial architecture peacefully coexisting with 21st-century malls, flea markets, street vendors, and skyscrapers. Landmark historical and cultural sites every Maputo visitor should see include Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Fisheries Museum, Louis Tregardt Memorial Garden, National Art Museum, Museum of the Revolution, Central Train Station, Natural History Museum, Mesquita da Baixa, and Iglesia de San Antonio de la Polana.

As far as accommodation in Maputo is concerned, hostels and hotels are a go-to for tourists staying in the city for a few days. For longer stays, however, property rentals are a more affordable option.

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Gorongosa: Where wild creatures thrive

Though not blessed by multitude of wildlife resorts such as Kenya, Tanzania, or South Africa, Mozambique still has a few national parks up its sleeve. Apart from the protected wildlife areas in Bazaruto and Quirimbas, Gorongosa National Park has been popular among western tourists ever since the ‘60s: even John Wayne, Joan Crawford, and Gregory Peck checked it out! The park boasts impressive biodiversity, including populations of rhinos, elephants, buffalos, waterbucks, antelopes, zebras, hippos, lions, crocodiles, and over 500 exotic bird species.

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Make merry with the locals

Although its history is written in blood and tears, Mozambique is home to positive, friendly people who cherish a deep connection with their ethnic roots and their natural environment. The positive mindset of Mozambique locals is best reflected in numerous festivals that take place throughout the country on a monthly basis. If you are visiting Maputo in May, you may get a chance to take part in the three-day AZGO music festival. STRAB Festival is organized in Ponta Malongane in May, gathering over 20 R&B bands. Independence Day Festivities are staged in Maputo every June, while July is a month of music and arts, with FORR music festival in Ponta Malongane and TAMBO International Art Camp in Pemba featuring music, theatre and dance workshops and performances.

Are you ready to take a plunge into the lap of nature and freedom? In Mozambique, your wildest holiday dreams will come true, so make sure you explore this colorful country before throngs of tourists overtake its streets!

Blog by Oliver Hyde

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