Top Tourist Attractions in Mozambique

Mozambique is one of the most popular choices on the east African traveller route. Warm weather, ample sunshine and vast beaches have made this country a traveler’s paradise. There are no golf courses or shopping malls here, but the unspoiled natural beauty and rich marine life has pushed the country to the top of the list for honeymooners, scuba divers and water sport fanatics.

Bazaruto Archipelago Mozambique

A dhow at bay for lunch, Bazaruto Archipelago. Photo by Jokron

Maputo is the capital city of Mozambique. It is the largest city of Mozambique also with the country’s most important harbour. It is situated at the mouth of the Santo River in the extreme south 90 km from the border to South Africa.
Compared to some other sub-Saharan African cities the urban area feels small and concentrated with wide avenues and old trees. People are generally out and about in the streets, walking driving and getting on with life. The vibe is healthy and active, with little begging and lots of street vendors and markets. There is no heavy presence of police during the day, and no feeling that it is needed.
– The Railway Station on Praca dos Trabalhadores was designed by Gustave Eiffel (after his fall from grace in the Panama canal scandal), and bears the mark of his genius.
– The National Art Museum has a small but good collection of Mozambican art, including several large canvases by the world-renowned Malangatana.
– The Jardim Tunduru is a very pretty (albeit small) botanical garden.
– The Museum of the Revolution chronicles Mozambique’s fight for indepedence from Portuguese colonialism.
– The Mercado Central in the Baixa district has fresh fish, crabs, calamari, fruits and vegetables, and many household staples. Safe, lively and recommended, especially if cooking for yourself.
– Walk up Avenida Julius Nyerere. Start from the Hotel Cardoso or Natural History Museum along R Mutemba to Nyerere then left (north) to the Polana Hotel. Boutiques, restaurants, curio vendors, video stores, etc. to be seen in the relatively upscale Polana neighborhood.
– Visit some beautiful beaches, such as Catembe and Ponta d’Ouro. Ponta d’Ouro is a popular destination for South African divers and surfers. There is a small village, but it is mostly overshadowed by the tourist camps. It is very jovial in these atmospheres and it is not dangerous in the least bit.


Inhambane is a sleepy historic town some 485 km north of Maputo. It has some great colonial architecture (in a low-key sort of a way) and is considered by many to be one of the prettiest towns in Mozambique. It is situated on a peninsula overlooking a bay, and also serves as a springboard to the coastal resorts around Tofo beach (some 30 km due east, along a reasonably good road). Tofo Beach has been described as “the next Goa”, and while this may be pushing it a bit, Tofo has definitely become a traveller’s mecca on the Eastern coast of Africa. The reasons are not hard to discern: beautiful stretches of beach, a friendly laid-back vibe, a small but pumping nightlife, great diving and snorkeling and a few good restaurants too.
Tofo and surrounds have some truly excellent diving, with nice reefs and excellent large marine life. Whale sharks and Humpback whales in season, reef sharks and much more. Don’t miss Manta Reef, home of three cleaning stations where the critters really throng. Most of the better dive sites are at around 25-30 meters, requiring deep-dive certification (which you can get through one of the dive shops if you don’t have already).
Snorkeling is a MUST… swimming with whalesharks, the largest fish in the world is incredibly special. Although their mouths are over a meter wide and their bodies 8m long they are harmless. if you’re lucky you may also get to swim with wild dolphins, manta rays. Swimming with whales is prohibited, although you’ll be happy to see them from the boat. Inquire with the dive shops about trips. Surfing is also a nice possibility in the warm Indian Ocean and boards can be hired from the little cafe next to Diversity Scuba.

Wimbi Beach Pemba

Wimbi Beach, Pemba. Photo by MattR

Vilanculos (or Vilankulo) is a popular beach town and the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago, a group of five idylic islands off the coast of Mozambique the largest of which is Bazaruto Island. Others are Inhaca and Paridise Island. The Archipelago is truly one of the most beautiful destinations on the African continent. The area is now protected as a conservation area and national park. The park is one of the largest in the Indian Ocean and a crucial achievement in global marine conservation.
Sand dunes are found throughout the Archipelago and tidal flats and inland saline lakes support a wide variety of seabird species. Coral reefs are also home to thousands of fish and coral species and marine mammal species. The largest dugong population along the eastern African coast can also be found here.
Mile after mile of deserted sandy beaches also grace the island. The leeward side of the island chain is surrounded by calm turquoise waters while the windward side offers an even more isolated and untamed seashore with waves constantly pounding the coastline.
While offering an exquisite paradise, travelers may find accommodations on the islands prohibitively expensive particularly with the closure of the one of the last reasonably priced accommodation “Gabrielle’s” to make way for yet another luxury lodge. Fortunately, Vilanculos offers a plethora of affordable places to sleep. Daytrips by dhows can easily be arranged from the mainland.
A untouched paradise on earth, the archipelago has earned its reputation as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’.

Vilanculos

Typical homes and streets in Vilankulo

Ilha de Mozambique is a city in Nampula Province with a historical heritage that’s unmatched in the rest of Mozambique, and indeed the rest of Africa. It was the capital of Mozambique for nearly four centuries before the move to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), and had been used as a major base for the arab traders long before the arrival of the portuguese.
Everywhere. Ilha’s a magical mix of old portuguese and old muslim architecture. It basically divides into two halves – the old stone town in the north and the “reed town” in the south. However the reed town here is set down from the main streets. The museum is in the old Palacio Govierno, a big red building up in stone town. In the same building is a tourist information office that sells really good street maps and has all sorts of other information about the various restaurants and pensaos on the island. It’s well worth heading here as soon as you arrive. Also well worth a visit is the fort at the northern tip of the island, which contains the Church of Nossa Senhora Baluarte, almost certainly the oldest surviving European building in the southern hemisphere, dating back to 1522.
There’s a dive centre at the northern end of the island just down from the fort. You can take boat trips, visit the museums, or just laze on the beach. If you’re feeling adventurous take a dhow over to the mainland at Chaga or Mossuril and explore along the coast there.

Ilha de Mozambique, Nampula

Ilha de Mozambique seen from Fort San Sebastiao, in background the bridge connected to the mainland. Photo by Stig Nygaard

Nampula is the capital of Nampula Province in northern Mozambique, surrounded by plains and rocky outcrops. The city is connected by plane (LAM) to Maputo; it hosts the regional market and is well supplied with shops, banks, hotels and restaurants.
Nampula is the staging post for journeys further north (towards the Tanzania border) or west (towards Malawi). The only passenger railway service in the Country connects the town with Cuamba near the Malawi border.
Attractions in Nampula include the large, domed cathedral and the ethnology museum.


Pemba is a port town in Mozambique located on the south side of the world’s third largest natural bay. It is the most important centre in northern Mozambique, and therefore has banks, patisseries, supermarkets and restaurants, although the town is very run down with paved streets having massive potholes and other storm water damage. The town was built over rolling hills, and most people live in wooden huts set amongst many thick baobab trees.
The town is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture. It was renamed Pemba at the end of Portuguese rule, in 1975.
Pemba is also renowned as being a prime destination for water sport and diving enthusiasts as a coral reef lies close to the shore. Pemba has increasingly become a tourist destination, particularly for upper-middle class Mozambicans and South Africans. There is now a weekly flight from Johannesburg to Pemba, a five-star hotel, the Pemba Beach Hotel, restaurants, and other forms of entertainment.

Also worth visiting is the Cahora Bassa Dam, one of the three major dams on the Zambezi river system. Situated in the Tete Province the Cahora Bassa lake is southern Africa’s second-largest artificial lake. The nearby town is called Songo.

Cahora Bassa Dam

Cahora Bassa Dam. Photo by Nic

Mozambique has an outstanding climate for most of the year, boasting clear, blue skies that bask the coastline in sunshine, with temperatures ranging from around 24 to 27 degrees Celsius. However, there is a wet season which lasts from around December/January to April when heavy downpours can often turn the roads into rivers. This is also a very humid time, with temperatures often not falling below 30 degrees Celsius, so it may be advisable not to travel during this period. The best time to visit would be during the cooler, dry season which lasts between May/June to November.

There is a fusion of African, Arabic, Indian and Portuguese influences across the country, and you will be able to find evidence of this in its history and architecture, as well as from the inhabitants. Mozambique’s unique cultural heritage, architectural treasures and World Heritage Sites make it a great vacation destination for families in search of culture as well as sun.

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34 Responses

  1. Sebastiao says:

    Hi Laurentiu!
    My name name is S.Coana from Mozambique, majoring in fine Arts in the Central Academy of Fine Arts in China, Thanks for showing us the real mozambique in this home page.
    I should like to receive possible updadtings of this information in my e-mail adress.
    Hugs

  2. Mubas says:

    hi my name is mubas i’m from mozambique and i loved the photos that you published, keep on posting those pictures of this beautiful country that is mozambique.

  3. mike says:

    hey mubas and sebastiao im doing a project on mozambique. i am from the americas. id like to hear back from you

  4. abdul hafize says:

    hi
    woww what a great country that moz is! finally the world will be able to see a real pearl emerging, i was there last year, had to go to see by myself and wasn’t dissapointted at all the place is really buzzing, well done to you guys to promote my country, makes us moz really proud!!!

  5. Noleen Massuco says:

    Hi Mike,

    My name is Noleen and am a mozambican photographer. Email me so we can chat, photography of course. eventplan94@gmail.com

  6. drs manuela bauman-faria says:

    You have left out
    gorongosa game reserve, the city of Beira, and last but not least the beaches of Quelimane, Pebane,Maganja, all in the province of Zambezia…the largest coconut plantations are also there…Anyone venturing on a cross country drive from Maputo to Rovuma or vice versa has to travel through Zambezia…You have also left ouot the magnificient islands of Mozambique (the first capital city) as well as Mocimboa and the many islands…

  7. nelson saide says:

    hi,i’m nelson,i live in pretoria
    i’m really impressed on you guys expose our beautiful island
    please keep on showing more to the world what we have in our beautiful mozambique

  8. Maria Banda says:

    I plan to travel to Mozambiquw in August for site seeing this year can someone please help me with possible destinations to any areas and backparkers space in Maputo especially.
    I will really be greatful my email is bmaree2001@yahoo.co.uk

  9. Lasi says:

    hello
    im planning to travel to Mozambique in May til June, can you give me some more information on some great places for sight seeing?

    thanks for your help..
    my email: miss_tanielu@yahoo.com

  10. jayanta says:

    Hi Laurentiu, thanx 4 ur Gr8 input, I’ve been there in Tofo beach, Inhambane. also xperienced deep water fishing. its amazing.

    jayanta 4rm India.

  11. Jan Hubert says:

    Thank you for your info. The photo of the long beach got me to understand this was Valenculos or Bazaruto with the same vegetation and beaches as Wimbi beach but it is a completely different location! This is Wimbi Beach in Pemba the gateway of the Quirimbas Archipelago Islands. The coral reefs are right in front of this Dive Center in Wimbi Beach, snorkelling in warm shallow waters, with lots of marine life and of the best scuba diving I have ever done. The most special experience was to snorkel with the Dolphins. Inside Nacole bay at the bush camp was quite an experience to go kayaking through the mangroves then walk inside a huge boabab tree and ending the day with a unique sunset photo.

  12. manzi says:

    am yvonne from Rwanda and am a student at RTUC(Rwanda Toursim University College).i have been looking at your county and i really appreciate how far you ‘re making Africa a good continent.i wish i ll do my practice in your country.

  13. sirka says:

    what is the most tourist attraction in mozambique?

  14. neil says:

    im visiting zimbabwe and crossing the border at mutare in to mozambique. can you pleae email me some good tourist attractions from that border traveling down into south africa.

  15. lorraine petros says:

    hi,my name is lorraine petros and from Botswana,i cn sy mozambique is the place to be.iv learnt a lot thaty Africa is a beautiful continent full natural African beauty and its natural features that refresh one s mind after tiring from hard work.relaxing by the catembe was great!!!!

  16. Eric says:

    I am planning to visit Mozambique around May 2011 from South Africa with my male friends. I would be happy if you could help me with information around maputo tourists attraction and the standard accomodation for 6 people. email eric@tlhavhama.co.za

  17. Gloria Madrid says:

    Hey, I’m doing a 3rd Quarter Project on Mozambique for school. My name’s Gloria. I’m from the Americas too. Just wanted to thank you for your information. It really helps, since I couldn’t find it anywhere else.

  18. Gloria Madrid says:

    Oh, my e-mail is: gloria.madrid@juno.com

  19. Nkatha says:

    Moz is e most collest country so beutful i am from nairobi kenya!and moz has been e best country ive visited..

  20. Rookaya says:

    I writing on behalf of a grp of 30 people with disabilities We want to plan a tour of Mozambique arrive 26 April an depart 30. We are looking for self-catering apartment in Maputo and an island. Any help will be appreciated

  21. toria says:

    i have to write a report on mozambique for social studies, we are learning about Africa and it’s cultures right now. this website helps me alot for the project and the pictures are sooooooo beautiful and i thank the people who took them they are amazing!!!!

  22. toria says:

    i am from michigan and i am in 7th grade and when i am old enough i plan on visiting mozambique cant wait! the country is very beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D

  23. Hannes Schuster says:

    I’m a man – early retirered (59) but not quiet enough to stay at home… I was a traveler hole the time, but now the friends are rarely to find for adventures – for example to Mozambique, Madagaskar or Malawie, Tansania.
    I’m looking for people (50+) who wanna take part a little of my traveling-ideas.
    Kind regards
    Hannes (from Germany)

  24. carlos says:

    i like moz

  25. paride says:

    ciao sono paride, che dire io in mozambique ci sono stato nel 1997-98, per un viaggio di aiuti al popolo ,ho portato piante con rispettivi certificati, che personalmente ho piantato, e hanno fiorito fruttato, medicine materiale eletronico aiuti economici datomi da missioni, esattamente a quelimane, e monte rurupi. altri pesini o vilaggi sono andato per acquisti di materiale primario ariguardo una missione ancora da costruire ecc,ospitato prima da sorelle (suore) nella capitale, poi il volo aereo, per quelimane,con scalo a beira prima ,era difficoltoso farlo,non so adesso,il paese è molto verde e bellissimo, reperti rimasti dalla guerra si incontrano per strada, zone minate cerano cè una ekip antisminamento che lavora, ma ..ci vuole il suo tempo la capitale, consiglio di non girare da solo nelle zono isolatedi giorno anche, io ho subito un aggressione con 3 coltellipuntati nell corpo ma sono un matto , e la forza della ragione riguardo un rullino fotografico l’unica cosa che importava per mè, ci vorrebbe troppo tempo a scrivere tutto, e non so cosa vi interessa, quindi ragazzi se volete sapere altro riguardo il mio viaggio di allora contattatemi ,lo rifarei si vive una volta , se non lo facevo, non avrei piu’vissuto, spero un giorno di rivederlo quell paese grazie

  26. Estefania Guzman says:

    Thank you so much I needed information for tourist destinations for mozambque. I really dont know how to thank you because i hand to do a brousher amd i needed information like asap. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Luciana says:

    Hi, I’m Luciana, from Argentina and I’m planning to visit this country soon. I’d like some information about the different places, (historical and torusity) that I should visit. Thanx a lot!

  28. carla says:

    i love moz!!!!!

  29. Mwateta Tuso says:

    We want to visit Mozambique end of November 2012. We are a group of 22 teachers in Eastern Cape, South Africa.
    Could you please furnish us with information regarding tourist attractions in your country. If possible, please include the costs as well. Also furnish us with accomodation details.

  30. scylla says:

    Hey,thank u so much for all the info u posted, it was really enlightening.I am from just across the border in Zimbabwe & studying Business & Tourism in the U.K yet i had no clue how beautiful it was & was so much amazed at what Mozambique has to offer! surely Africa has got a lot to offer and yet its just not in the public domain, its about time the world got to know how magnificent it is!

  31. LUNGILE NHLENYAMA says:

    HEY IM DOING ASSIGNMENT ON MOZAMBIQUE CAN SHARE KNOWLEDGE?

  32. Ivo Glasser says:

    Hi. Everybody seems very enthusiastic and positive about mozambique. I am travelling there in early october and would like help in figuring out a good route round the country from north to south staying clear from tourist attracted places. Thank you.

  33. chiabi says:

    DEAR SIR/MADAM,

    I AM INTERESTED IN TRAVELING TO BOTSWANA FOR TOURISM AND I WILL APPRECIATE MORE INFORMATION FROM YOU . MY NAMES ARE CHIABI DERICK TUFON AND I AM FROM CAMEROON . WILL APPRECIATE YOUR KIND RESPONDS AT chiabiderick@yahoo.com

  34. solly Isaac Mathebula says:

    yeah guys that was really good actually my parents are from Mozambique but myself I was born in South Africa and we are currently living there so Im about to visit Mozambique just to see my relatives over there I like the beaches and everything I’ve seen it seems like Mozambique is a very good place to be. love you Mozambique byeee

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