Venturing Beyond The Beach In Mozambique

A recent study by the Family Travel Association found that 79% of participants are likely to travel with family members in the next 12 months. Respondents said that having their children discover new places and experiences as a family was paramount.

As a remote, exotic and adventurous destination, Mozambique ticks all the boxes for the ideal family holiday.

The country is mostly known as an attractive beach destination, and for good reason. As Joss Kent, CEO of AndBeyond, explained: “Mozambique offers travelers a balmy climate, miles of untouched beaches and colorful Portuguese and Arabic heritage. Add to this the warm and friendly people, incredible cuisine, based heavily on abundant seafood and fiery spices. It’s what has made and strongly continues to make Mozambique an irresistible and authentic African beach experience.”

However, a holiday in Mozambique does not need to be a mindless beach holiday. A dhow safari, for example, is a great option for family travelers. Most popular in the Bazaruto Archipelago and the Quirimbas, these safaris follow the ancient Arabic trade routes. Guides are eager to share the history and traditions with visitors, making it an educational experience, yet one that is packed with adventure, as well.

Other activities available on dhow safaris include beach picnics, land excursions and tours, fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling as well as experiences such as swimming with dolphins. In Tofo and the Bazaruto Archipelago, visitors also have the opportunity to swim with whale sharks and manta rays.

It can be incredibly rewarding for parents to teach children about the wonders of the underwater world. Mozambique is one of the finest diving destinations in the world with numerous incredible diving sites boasting remarkably unspoiled coral reefs and an abundant variety of marine life.

In July, August and September, travelers will also be able to enjoy whale-watching season. During this time, southern right whales and humpback whales migrate to colder waters to feed and then make their way to warmer waters to mate and birth their young.

Meanwhile, Ponta Mamoli is a great place to see turtle nesting. Female turtles come here to lay eggs along the beaches between November and March.  They crawl along the beach right through the night, dig holes and lay up to 300 eggs, cover them with sand and then return to the sea.

There’s no shortage of cultural experiences, either, for parents who want to open their children’s eyes to the different cultures of the world. Dana Tours’ Stephanie von Allmen noted that Inhambane, for example, is known as the “terra da boa gente — land of the good people.” The locals are helpful and friendly in Inhambane and always welcome travelers with a smile. She said she can’t think of a better place for visitors to interact with some friendly locals and learn a bit about Mozambique culture.

Another enjoyable way to learn more about the culture of the country is with a trip to Ibo Island, which formerly was a key Swahili trading post. Travelers can wander the main streets there, which feature fascinating albeit very crumbling colonial architecture, or they can visit various silversmiths on the island making silver jewelry from old coins.

In the capital of Maputo, taking a Mozambique City Tour is highly recommended. Travelers can explore the city on a hop-on, hop-off train, which loops the city in two hours with 10 scheduled stops at the main sights. Visitors can purchase tickets from the kiosk at the main entrance of the train station.

For some adventure and adrenaline, parents can take the kids to Bazaruto Island for a dune boarding adventure. After a somewhat steep climb to the top, the younger travelers will love the rush of sliding down the dunes. The good news is that there are dunes in various shapes and sizes, making it the perfect activity for various experience levels.

Anvil Bay in Southern Mozambique also offers traveling families some truly unique adventure experiences. In this exclusive resort travelers can explore the coastline by “fat sand” bikes or take to the seas on body boards. This exclusive barefoot beach camp is set on a rare untouched stretch of coastal wilderness in Mozambique’s most southern national park. Just 10 casinhas are nestled in the dune forest on stilted wooden decks, each with its own stretch of beachfront.

Experiencing the best of both worlds by combining a holiday in Mozambique with a wildlife safari experience in South Africa has also become a lot easier and more affordable thanks to the new Mozambique road, which includes the longest suspension bridge in Africa (https://www.travelweekly.com/Middle-East-Africa-Travel/Africas-largest-suspension-bridge-opens-in-Mozambique). The long-awaited road is set to cut travel time between Kosi Bay and Maputo from six hours to a mere 90 minutes.

“Until now a time-efficient transfer to White Pearl has only been possible by chartering a private helicopter. The improved infrastructure means that it will not only be much quicker and easier to access Mozambique’s coast but also much more affordable,” said Cordelia Masher, managing director at White Pearl Resorts. “The potential to lure more tourists is high, given the unique wildlife experiences and eco-attractions this part of the country has to offer.”

There is no doubt that Mozambique has a lot to offer travelers, and more is still in the cards. The country is expected to receive a further boost in popularity in the years to come, as president Filipe Nyusi has announced he aims to position the country as the most sought-after tourist destination in Africa by 2025.

Source: Travel Weekly

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