Mozambique lies along East Africa’s Indian Ocean coast, and off its shore are dozens of picturesque tropical islands just waiting to be explored. The largest and most exclusive of these is the Quirimbas Archipelago, much of which is protected within a marine park. Here you will find luxurious properties such as Ibo Island Lodge and Vamizi Island, not to mention the incomparable Azura Quilalea Private Island. The Quirimbas National Park has a large expanse of forest, coral reef, and mangroves, with wildlife including elephant, leopard, and wild dog, not to mention 375 species of fish.
Ilha de Mocambique is the tiny island paradise which time forgot. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the capital of Portuguese East Africa, a wealthy trading post for gold, ivory, spices, and slaves. Today this coral island is a ghost of its former self. The colonial era buildings, particularly the expansive villas and warehouses are crumbling, but it’s fascinating to tour the churches and the fort, the harbour and the old bazaar. The island feels like a living museum, the perfect place to get a shot of culture during your Mozambican beach stay.
Last but certainly not least, allow time to explore the Barazuto Marine Park, where small antelope roam the islands alongside freshwater crocodile and samango monkey. Flamingo make their nests here and there are mangrove crab scuttling their way across the rocks and sand. These islands are home to more than 240 species of birds, making a fabulous spot for birding. When you’re not exploring the deep seas, on the smooth sandy shores you can enjoy the freshest of seafood, spend time on a traditional dhow, and relax with the soothing sound of the waves.