Mozambique Island

The Ilha de Moçambique is a historical gem, and just a wonderfully laid-back slice of heaven. The entire island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural and architectural significance, in particular its fine 16th century fort and associated chapel. It’s the island, not the mainland that first took the name ‘Mozambique’, derived from the sultan Ali Musa Mbiki who was the ruler here in the late 15th C. When the Portuguese arrived, and drove the sultan out, they established an outpost that would dominate the region for nearly four hundred years. Eventually the mainland assumed the name of this European base and when the bulk of trade then shifted south to Maputo, the Island of Mozambique faded from the world stage.

capela de nossa senhora mozambique architecture

Highlights

The Island of Mozambique is the oldest European settlement in East Africa, with the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte (Our Lady of the Ramparts) thought to be the oldest European building south of the equator. The chapel dates to 1522 and is protected by the impressive limestone of Fort of São Sebastião. The fort was completed in the second half of the 16th century and saw off a number of major attacks, most notably by the Dutch in 1607 and 1608. The São Paulo Palace Museum is fascinating, as are the Sacred Art and Maritime Museums. And to top off these more cultural pursuits, there’s also sea-kayaking trips, excellent snorkelling, diving and boat-based humpback whale watching.

coral reef mozambique diving holiday

Travel tips

The Island of Mozambique is not easy to get to. It’s in the far north of the country and the roads can be slow. The closest airport, at Nacala, is a two-hour drive to the north and the international airport at Nampula about three hours’ drive inland. The island’s upmarket hotels will arrange all necessary transfers, but if you’re on a tighter budget then prepare for an adventure. Regional buses and taxis only cost a few dollars, but you may have to switch between them en route. When you arrive you’ll find a wide range of hotels, from breezy romantic suites to family resorts and affordable backpackers. There are cash machines on the island and the bigger hotels accept credit cards, and everywhere you stroll you’ll feel completely safe, day and night.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Magical Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)

day 1

  • Magical Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)
  • Magical Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)
  • Magical Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)
  • Magical Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)
  • Magical Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)
  • Magical Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)

day 2-5

Island-style romance

day 6

Thank you for visiting

View Full Itinerary

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Mozambique in October

Throughout October the heat gradually builds and there’s an ever-increasing chance of thunderstorms in the south. The southern coast averages around 29°C (84°F) although some days can get considerably hotter. The north-eastern coastline is always slightly warmer than the south, and has a more consistent local climate with fewer extremes. Nights are warm – about 20°C (68°F) – and…

Mozambique in December

Mozambique’s summer rainy season begins in earnest in December. The south of the country receives the rains first, which get heavier and more frequent as they spread north up the coast. Inland areas also see heavy rain, although like the far north, the biggest downpours usually arrive in January. December is one of Mozambique’s hottest months with average day-time temperatures well…

Family holiday in Mozambique

Mozambique has long been a family holiday favourite with South Africans and over Christmas and Easter in particular, the wide, southern beaches are a playground for kids. There’s plenty of space for children to run around and explore, plus laid-back, family-friendly resorts that offer kids’ clubs, child discounts and day care. Credit: Santorini Mozambique You’ll need something…

Vilanculos

Vilanculo is probably Mozambique’s fastest-growing and most bustling beach town, a jumbled network of half sealed, half sandy streets, on a typically lovely ribbon of coastline. With a small, but international airport that sees daily flights from South Africa, it’s popular with luxury fly-in visitors and backpackers alike. Though it has its own gorgeous beaches and is a much-loved…

Mozambique in February

January and February are much the same in Mozambique. It’s the height of summer, with similar conditions through to March. Temperatures along the coast average 31°C (88°F), the nights are warm and humid and hot days can top 35°C (95°F). There’s regular rainfall, which can be torrential at times, especially in the north where there’s a chance of severe storms. December to April…

Inhambane and Tofo

The sleepy town of Inhambane was once a key trading centre in southern Mozambique. But the days are long gone since Portuguese galleons plied these shores for ivory and slaves. A neat, attractive town it’s now best known for its handful of good restaurants, Art Deco cinema and 19th century Catholic church. Most visitors stop only briefly, however, on their way to the popular beach…

Popular Mozambique Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Blissful Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)

Blissful Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)

Romance, exclusivity and barefoot luxury are the themes of this honeymoon...

 | Mozambique Island Honeymoon Getaway (6 days)

Mozambique Island Honeymoon Getaway (6 days)

Spend 5 romantic nights at Ibo Island Lodge, situated in the magical Quirimbas Archipelago in Northern Mozambique. ...

 | Luxury Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (7 days)

Luxury Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (7 days)

Powder white beaches and crystal clear, warm ocean water is what honeymoons are made of - and this is the perfect honeymoon option for you if this is what you are looking for. ...

 | Kruger to the Mozambican Coast (7 days)

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Combining the bush and the wildlife found in the famous Sabi Sand in the Kruger National Park with a tropical stay in one of the sublime lodges of Mozambique's Ponta Mamoli...

Dhow at andBeyond Benguerra Island | Luxury Land and Sea Safari in Botswana and Mozambique (10 days)

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Experience the Okavango Delta and the tropical Indian Ocean island of Benguerra for the best of both the bush and the beach...

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South African Bush to Mozambican Beach Holiday (8 days)

In this exciting safari holiday, you'll get to experience both Southern Africa's bush and beach beauty...

Relax on the hammock  | Magical Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)

Magical Mozambique Honeymoon Holiday (6 days)

White sandy beaches and the warm waters of an Indian Ocean island make a perfect setting for the most romantic getaway of your life...

The beach deck at Anantara Bazaruto | Bazaruto Private Island Holiday (8 days)

Bazaruto Private Island Holiday (8 days)

Enjoy sandy beaches and scenic lakes on Bazaruto private island in Mozambique, try your hand at water sports or simply laze the days away at the pool...

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