Just off the coast of Mozambique lies a string of paradisiacal islands, each with their own unique charm. From the powdery white beaches of Bazaruto to the colonial history and architecture of Ibo, there’s an island to suit every type of traveller, whether you’re a family, a romantic or looking for that unique culture experience. In this Mozambique travel guide, we’ll explore some of the most popular islands off the coast of Mozambique and what they have to offer visitors.
The Quirimbas Archipelago is a group of 11 islands located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of northern Mozambique. The archipelago covers an area of 2,600 square kilometers and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa. The archipelago is also home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins, turtles, and whale sharks.
The Quirimbas are known for their raw natural beauty, with unspoilt beaches and lush rainforests, and no wonder they feature at the top of the list of Mozambique holiday destinations. This is an ideal region for those looking to get away from it all and truly disconnect from the outside world. There are a few small luxury lodges on Quirimbas Island, which offer guests a chance to experience true Robinson Crusoe-style living.
The best way to get to the Quirimbas Archipelago from mainland Mozambique is by boat or charter flight. There are regular flights from Maputo (the capital of Mozambique) to Pemba Airport (the nearest airport to the archipelago), which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. From Pemba Airport, it is then a short boat ride to reach your chosen island destination.
Bazaruto Island is located off the coast of central Mozambique in the Indian Ocean. It is part of Bazaruto National Park which was established in 1971 and covers an area of 1,000 square kilometers. It’s renowned for its stunning beaches, clear turquoise waters, and abundance of marine life. There are plenty of things to do on Bazaruto Island, such as sailing around the island on a dhow (a traditional Arabic sailing vessel), scuba diving or snorkeling to see coral reefs and fish, windsurfing, kitesurfing, or stand-up paddleboarding.
The best way to get to Bazaruto Island from mainland Mozambique is by plane or helicopter. There are daily flights from Maputo International Airport (the capital of Mozambique) which take about 1 hour and 30 minutes. From Vilanculos Airport (the nearest airport), it is then a short boat ride or drive through Bazaruto National Park to reach Bazaruto Island.
Benguerra Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mozambique. The island has several beautiful sandy beaches and is surrounded by coral reefs, making it a popular spot for snorkelling and diving. Benguerra is also home to a number of luxury resorts, offering visitors 5-star accommodation and facilities. In addition to its natural beauty, Benguerra Island also has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. Visitors can explore historical sites such as the Vasco da Gama Pillar, where the famous explorer first landed in Mozambique.
Matemo Island is a small but beautiful island located just north of Bazaruto Island. The island is less developed than its neighbouring islands and as such feels more remote and authentically African. Matemo is perfect for those looking for a relaxing beach holiday; and ideal for a barefoot-luxury honeymoon.
Ibo Island is a small island located off the north coast of Mozambique. It’s known for its colonial history and architecture – such as the imposing Portuguese fort – as well as its sandy beaches. Ibo truly offers a unique, cultural experience for visitors, and is recommended to include on a Mozambique holiday as a contrast from the pristine white-sand relaxation on neighbouring islands!
If you’re looking for an exotic African holiday destination with plenty of activities and stunning natural scenery, then look no further than Mozambique’s islands. Whether you want to relax on pristine beaches or enjoy cultural experiences – there’s something for everyone! And with a range of Mozambique accommodation options available – from luxury resorts to all-inclusive packages – you’re sure to find something within your budget too. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
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