Mozambique general information and map
Getting there: There are regular flights from Johannesburg and the Kruger NP in South Africa to Vilanculous for the Bazaruto archipelago and from Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam and Nairobi to Pemba for the Quirimbas archipelago
Time: GMT plus 2 hours
Try not to miss: The stunning Bazaruto archipelago off the southern coast of Mozambique, which offers the perfect end to a bush safari in the landlocked countries of Botswana and Zambia, or even South Africa. Choose from one of the three excellent hotels recommended by Wild and Exotic, and enjoy sensational deep sea fishing, wonderful diving and snorkelling and a true Indian Ocean ambience that is complemented by superb service and delicious food. 800 miles up the coast lies the Quirimbas archipelago, rich in cultural history and a trading post for Arab dhows since time immemorial. Here Wild and Exotic offer three sensational and complimentary destinations for the discerning traveller on three different islands.
Visas: Visas are necessary for UK visitors to Mozambique. These can be purchased on arrival in Vilanculous or Pemba for approximately US$35.
Why Mozambique: A visit to the pristine and remote Indian Ocean archipelagos of either Bazaruto in the south or Quirimbas in the north is the perfect way to relax after the excitement and dust of an inland bush safari. The visitor will find a different pace of life amongst golden sand dunes and warm, stunning blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
The Bazaruto Archipelago
The Bazaruto archipelago comprises five main islands that lie a short distance offshore from the southern Mozambique port of Vilanculous, which is a two hour flight from Johannesburg in South Africa. Guests are met on arrival at Vilanculous airport and either flown to the islands by private charter or transferred across the aquamarine straits by boat. A visit to this idyllic archipelago in the Indian Ocean is the perfect way to relax after the excitement of a bush safari in either Botswana, South Africa or Zambia, and the visitor will find a different pace of life amongst golden sand dunes and warm blue waters of the archipelago. The hottest months are from November to February, this is also the rainy season but outbursts are rarely prolonged.
At Marlin Lodge on Benguerra Island immaculately furnished cottages are separated from the ocean by a band of talcum white sand. Each is privately located off a walkway spanning tropical foliage that lends a romantic ambience to this intimate retreat. The management offer private beach barbeques and sunset cruises in an Arabic dhow, and there is also a well equipped diving and fishing centre. A great place for honeymoon couples or anyone seeking a romantic getaway.
Azura is a recent addition to the properties we represent in the archipelago, and is also located on Benguerra Island. Described by the owners as an Eco Boutique retreat, the property offers 15 hand built rooms decorated with a combination of modern chic and traditional Mozambique furnishings. Each room has a private infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean, and the retreat also boasts a unique African spa where guests can be pampered with signature treatments based on local ingredients and traditions. Activities here include snorkelling, diving, sailing and fishing.
Indigo Bay is a Caribbean style resort on the slightly larger Bazaruto Island overlooked by a towering gold sand dune. Here attentive staff and a plethora of activities combined with state of the art equipment, facilities, and a variety of restaurants keep the visitor well entertained The décor enjoys an Arabic influence in keeping with the dhows that once plied their trade between Arabia and the east coast of Africa. Activities include excellent deep sea fishing (best from September to January) riding, boating, diving and snorkelling.
Nyati Beach Lodge lies close to the fishing village of Vilanculous on the mainland, a hidden paradise surrounded by white sandy beaches, turquoise seas that are home to colourful tropical fish, and miles of pristine coral reefs. This beautiful lodge reflects centuries old traditions whilst combining modern comfort with local craftsmanship and natural raw materials including exotic woods, reed, bamboo and straw. Perched atop high sand dunes, the lodge offers stunning views of the lagoon and the ocean beyond, and can accommodate up to 20 guests in three executive villas and five exclusive chalets. Dinners alternate between exquisite gourmet meals served by candle light in the restaurant overlooking the Bazaruto archipelago, sumptuous seafood buffets around the illuminated pool and casual barbecues on the beach where the fresh seafood includes crayfish, tiger prawns, and fabulous fresh fish. Nyati Beach Lodge is also a fisherman’s paradise, where the resident fishing guide can help guests to land species on a fly rod that include king mackerel, kingfish, yellow fin tuna, and bonefish.
“What a most extraordinary and fantastic place Nyati Beach Lodge is. It is a fisherman’s paradise. We caught King Mackeral to about 40lbs, Kingfish to 20lbs, Yellow fin Tuna to about 30lbs, Grunter to about 6lbs, Bonefish and numerous other species, plus a 350lb Bull Shark. If you are not a fisherman you can walk on deserted beaches, use a quad bike on 60 klms of beach and not see a soul!! The cuisine at Nyati is the best we have had anywhere in Africa. Crayfish, Tiger Prawns and plenty of fabulous fresh sea fish, many of which we caught ourselves. Superb fresh fruit and other sumptuous dishes.Overall 10 star. Cant wait to go again.”