Mozambique – African Fairytale

by Oliver Hyde

in Places

Post image for Mozambique – African Fairytale

In the distant 15th century when Vasco da Gama rounded Africa, he made a stop at the city of Inhabane (on the territory of today’s Mozambique) to replenish his stocks. He instantly fell in love with this place and called it the Land of the Good People (Terra de Boa Gente). Not much has changed since then, because Mozambique can still inspire and enchant its visitors. After years of civil war, and struggles to get back on its feet economically, this country has finally managed to upgrade its tourist offer in a way worthy of its sublime natural beauties. A staggering 2470 km (1500 miles) of coastline, fascinatingly rich marine life and other perks are just some of the reason to visit this African gem.

The Archipelagos of Wonders

With the incredibly long stretch of coastline, it is no wonder that Mozambique is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is very difficult to point out some exact places that make this country a true dreamland, it would be a sin not to mention its two tourism giants – Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos. The first located in southeast of the country is comprised of five islands surrounded by mesmerizing turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

The group of islands is known for a very diverse underwater world (more than 2,000 kinds of fish) and wildlife in general (flamingos, Nile crocodiles, dugongs, etc.). Going up towards northeast, you may end up stumbling upon another unique Mozambican paradise – Quirimbas Archipelago, which consists of 32 islands, many of which are still uninhabited. Still, the tourist offer here is quite rich, since there are plenty of luxury resorts and historic sites.

Mother Nature’s Artwork

If you have ever had any doubts in a true artistic nature of Mother Nature, Mozambique will prove you wrong. It is beyond questioning that this country is not your typical African safari, but that does not have to be bad. Before the civil war (1977 – 1992) Gorongosa National Park attracted more tourists per year than Zimbabwe and South Africa combined. That should not come as a surprise if you know that the 4,000 square kilometers of this park are home to a very dense wildlife population (lions, elephants, hippos, antelopes, the Green-headed Oriole, etc.).

Besides this park, there are many more wonders of nature in Mozambique, such as Mount Mabu, Inhaca Island, Maputo Elephant Reserve, Ndzou Camp, Limpopo National Park, etc. With such a wonderful nature go great opportunities for outdoor adventure, and Mozambique would not disappoint not even the most experience adrenaline junkies, with its paragliding, hiking, snorkeling, diving and surfing locations.

The Epicenter of It All

The nature in Mozambique is obviously stunning, but if you want to know what makes this culture so special, it is best to visit its lifeblood, the capital Maputo. Here, you will truly get a taste of the unique mix of African culture, colonial, Arab and Swahili influence, and you will want to prolong your stay for a day more on the each and every single day of your stay . Do not worry, if you get the Maputo-crush, the guys from Casa Mozambique state that you can find great renting deals in some of the city’s suburbs (Alto Mae, Costa do Sol, Bairo Jardim and Polana). This way you can prolong your staying and discover the pulsing life of the capital and its eclectic architecture (socialist apartment blocks and wealthy colonial buildings).

Not only is the architecture of Maputo eclectic, but also its cuisine and music. Home to many great international cuisine restaurants, Maputo is still best when offering authentic local experience of Portuguese style dishes spiced up with local flavors. Some of the most amazing signature dishes to try are matapa (stewed cassava leaves with coconut milk) and cassava chips. If you pair them up with local wines, your taste buds will experience fascinating explosion of aromas. After all, Mozambicans had the best teachers in wine making – the Portuguese.

Perhaps Mozambique was never on your travel bucket list, but there is no reason not to re-write it and add this magical destination. After all, in today’s hasty and gloomy world, people look for their fairytales in the most unexpected places. Who knows, maybe yours is hidden somewhere between the sand dunes of Bazaruto Archipelago and mangrove forests connecting the islets of Quirimbas with the mainland?

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