Enjoy breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean or immerse yourself in the local culture. Mozambique is a great place to see colonial architecture and learn about Africa's art, food, and music. However, the country’s biggest draw card is certainly its swaying palms, white sands and sun-dappled turquoise waters along its long stretch of coastline. The country is an ideal destination to dive and snorkel among the fish-riddled reefs and during June – November Mozambique becomes a whale watcher’s paradise, as thousands of humpback whales migrate along the coastline.
Waves, Whales & Tropical Scenes
Humpback Whales visit the Mozambique coastline between June to November. Travelling thousands of kilometers from Antarctica, the whales come to mate and give birth in the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean. It’s at this time of year that mother and calf can be seen together playing and nursing in these shallow warm waters.
Humpback whales are generally quite curious about their watery environment and this generally makes them easily approachable. They are often seen displaying many marvelous surface behaviors which makes them a firm favorite in whale watching tourism around the world.
There are many activities that tourists can participate in along the coast, scuba diving down on the coral reefs and ship wrecks, and snorkeling along the waters edge are two of the main activity attractions.
However, there are many more water sports to choose from, wind-sailing, canoeing, sailing, surfing... you name it, it happens along the coast and on lakes of Mozambique.
The top surfing spots are Ponta do Ouro and a few secluded beaches close to Inhambane.
Dhow boats are also a common sight on the turquoise waters of Mozambique, once used for shipping goods and slaves, today they are mainly used by locals for trade and fishing, and make for an idyllic island-hopping boat trip or sunset sail.
Some of the best beaches in Africa are found along the Mozambique coastline, some bustling with beach life and others secluded and serene.
Otherwise known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” Mozambique is tucked between Tanzania to the north and South Africa, with a coastline stretching roughly 1,535 miles along the Indian Ocean.
Some of our favorite beaches and islands include - Wimbi Beach, Tofo Beach, Xai Xai Beach, Vamizi Island, Bazaruto and Magaruque Island Beach.
When to go
January – February | This time of year is usually avoided as this is the rain and cyclone season.
March – April | These months are pleasant in Mozambique, with clear sunny days and light winds. The scenery is lush and green and is a great time to dive and snorkel.
May – June | One of the favoured times of year for visiting the coast, with day temperatures hovering around 28°C (82°F) accompanied by clear blue skies and light winds. June also marks the start of the whale season.
July – August | Classified as winter in Mozambique and the heart of the dry season, which brings clear sunny days. The game viewing in the national parks inland is superb. Whale watching opportunities abound during these months as humpback whales make their epic annual migration from Antarctica to warmer waters off East Africa to have their young.
September - October | On land, animals are having their young and gathering around the waterholes in Niassa National Park, making great game viewing. The water is clear and calm during these months, creating superb conditions for diving and getting close to the fascinating marine life.
November – December | November is a hot and humid month in Mozambique. There is abundant sunshine but also the risk of a few thunderstorms, and temperatures peak in the mid to high 30°Cs. December, the hotels fill up well in advance as the Christmas season approaches.
(April/June & Sep/Nov – Best time of year for snorkelling and diving)
(June – Nov – Humpback Whale Season)
• Whale Season (June-November)
• Bazaruto and Quirimba archipelagos
• Niassa Game Reserve
• Tofo & Barra Beach
• Maputo (Capital City)
• Gorogosa National Park
• Lake Nissa
• Ibo Island
• Chimanimani Mountains
• The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, however this is only spoken by about 25% of the population who have been to school.
• Roughly 60 distinct languages and dialects are spoken in Mozambique. At all the lodges English is fluently spoken, although it never hurts to learn a few words of the local dialect (Bantu language).
• Along the coast the meals of choice are, naturally, seafood based.
• Tipping is not compulsory but always enthusiastically received if you are happy with the service and would like to tip. It is however a nice gesture to give waiters/general camp/lodge staff tip's; we would recommend a tip of around US$3 per guest per day.
• The currency of Mozambique is the Metical. You can buy Metical on arrival in Mozambique and it is useful for buying curious and items from local shops. Credit cards are usually accepted only at the more upmarket hotels.
• All hotels & lodges accept and prefer payment in US dollars.
• Conservative casual wear is generally acceptable everywhere, but revealing clothes should be avoided since they may cause offence, particularly in towns and villages.
• Note that in Swahili towns and villages in northern Mozambique you should always cover your knees and shoulders.
Our favourite lodges
Accommodation; five ocean facing suites
Room type; Double or twin beds (customers can choose). Fan.
Bathrooms; Toilet, single wash basin & shower.
Location; On the beach, south of Barra Beach. Easiest way to get there is to fly to Inhambane (the transfer is only 25km) or fly to Vilanculos (but that is a 4h transfer)
Meals; Plated, delicious local cuisine with lots of super fresh seafood.
Lodge facilities; Bar, restaurant, pool, wifi (central lodge building only).
Room type; All villas have a beachfront location and view, airconditioning & fan. Double or twin beds (customers choose). The cliff-top villa is on a separate part of the island with access to a private beach, and has a private pool.
Accommodation; Sea-facing rooms as well as garden-facing rooms. The latter have small lounge ares that can accommodate extra beds for small children.
Room type; Double beds. Air conditioning & fan. Wifi.
Bathrooms; Toilet, double wash basin, bath & shower. Some have outdoor showers.
Location; On Ibo Island, off the north coast of Mozambique. There are daily flights from Johannesburg to Pemba (the nearest airport). From there, another air transfer costs about 500$ pppn (return flights).
Meals; Plated, local cuisine with lots of seafood.