Mozambique For Scuba Diving, Backpacking, Beaches and Privacy!

Mozambique is an up-and-coming tourist destination – a diamond in the rough which is rapidly being polished up to a sunny sparkle and attracting tourists from all over the world. Scuba divers love it for the world-class diving. Beach lovers love it for the pristine beaches. Backpackers love it for the hostels and accommodations on the beaches. Lovers of luxury love it for the privacy and upscale, idyllic lodges and resorts.

Travelers who enjoy activities like scuba diving, water sports and adventure travel are always hungry for new places to explore and conquer. In these days of easy travel it can be a challenge to find new and unique places to one-up your buddies – so maybe Mozambique will provide the solution.

Mozambique is a diverse and still-developing country and there is no question that the main reason for its rising popularity is the spectacular Mozambican coastline. The almost 2,500 km (1,550 miles) of unspoiled beauty and palm-fringed beaches are met by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, along with its lagoons, coral reefs, and hundreds of unspoiled islands. There are plenty of activities other than diving and snorkeling, such as sailing, sport fishing, salt water fly fishing, canoeing, water skiing, jet skiing and windsurfing.

Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony on the southeast coast of Africa on the Indian Ocean and separated from Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel. Scuba divers can experience swimming with whale sharks, humpback whales, dolphins, manta rays, turtles and dugong – and the courageous can opt for shark encounters. It is also popular with nature lovers and those with an interest in bird watching and wildlife photography. Be sure to read up on the environmental concerns in the area and the rules and regulations that are in place to protect and preserve the natural beauty,

When traveling to less developed countries it is always important to remember that the medical facilities may be below the standard we are used to. In Mozambique serious problems may require medical evacuation to South Africa. Therefore, when choosing travel insurance make sure that it includes medical evacuation by air ambulance and emergency repatriation. Carefully check the insurance policy wording for exclusions or restrictions on scuba diving and water sports activities – especially regarding liability. There’s no question that any type of insurance has baffling terminology which can be hard to read through, so if in doubt always call to clarify.

In the unlikely event that the beaches and islands become boring there are plenty of other activities to explore. Try a dhow cruise or a safari trip, or browse the colorful markets. Many visitors prefer to stay in the south of the country close to the capital city, Maputo, where the roads and transportation systems are better and there is access to a wider range of modern facilities. When it comes to nightlife, there is plenty to do with the jazz bars and street cafes or dancing the night away to the thrilling Mozambican marrabenta rhythms.

Access to funds may be difficult without some prior research and planning. Check out the best way to carry currency or access your funds in Mozambique. The best times to visit are between May and November when the climate is a little cooler and temperatures range from 24-27%u02DAC in coastal areas.

Most visitors and backpackers head north of Maputo to the gorgeous beaches and backpacker lodges at Tofo and on to places like Vilankulo and the Bazaruto Archipelago. The adventurous or those seeking ultimate privacy and exclusivity may prefer to take the road less travelled and venture further north in the country where the scenery becomes even more natural and unspoilt and there are fewer tourists.

This jewel of a country with its dreamy beaches, islands and coral reefs is a place to visit while it is still relatively undiscovered by mainstream tourism. The locals are friendly and eager to give visitors a big smile and warm welcome. While you are busy packing the snorkel, fins, and sunscreen don’t forget your sunglasses – because so much beauty can be dazzling!

Backpacking in Maputo, Mozambique

Thousands of backpackers pass through Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, each year. It is worthwhile spending at least 3 days in Maputo before travelling inland to the traditional backpacker destinations of Xai-xai and Tofo. Mozambique’s history of colonisation by the Portuguese has left a colourful and eclectic legacy in Maputo, where the fusion of Portuguese and African cultures gives backpackers the opportunity to enjoy unique cultural and culinary experiences.

Maputo has two major backpackers that accommodate travellers, Fatima’s Place and The Base. Both of them offer dorm beds, single rooms and doubles at reasonable rates. Fatima’s Place is generally busier and louder than The Base, sometimes making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. The accommodation facilities at The Base are cleaner and more comfortable than at Fatima’s Place, and The Base’s location is more central as it is closer to the bus stop used by the major bus lines that transport passengers to and from Nelspruit and Johannesburg.

The most famous tourist attraction in Maputo is the fish market at Costa do Sol. It is relatively easy to get to the fish market by using one of the chapas, or local minibus taxis. The fish market sells freshly caught fish, and upon walking in, one is greeted with a visual spectacle of seafood. When walking through the fish market, one can see live clams in large buckets, endless heaps of prawns, large lobsters and crayfish and dozens of local fish species. Fish and other seafood are sold by weight, and customers are expected to negotiate regarding the price. Store-owners will often initially quote inflated prices which they are willing to reduce through negotiations.

In a section adjoining the fish market, there are various restaurants where patrons can sit down and eat the seafood purchased in the fish market. These restaurants expertly clean, spice, cook and serve the seafood to their patrons. Purchasing fresh seafood from the market and immediately enjoying it as a delicious meal is a memorable experience.

Mozambique is well-known as a producer of cashew nuts, and visitors to Maputo can purchase freshly roasted cashew nuts, as well as raw cashew nuts that are sold by the kilogram. Cashew nuts are also used in the production of a local alcohol, Cajoe, which should not be indulged in by the faint-hearted as it is known to be very strong.

Maputo also has a lively nightlife, and there are a number of live music venues towards the south and east of the city. There are also a number of popular nightclubs, the most famous being Coconuts and Navau, both of which are frequented by locals and travellers alike.

Catembe Island, a small island located across the stretch of water in front of the Maputo Harbour, is also a worthwhile attraction for backpackers. There is a ferry that transports passengers between the harbour and the island, and the journey takes approximately 20 minutes. Visitors can explore the island, enjoy a meal at a local eatery, and drink a local beer at one of the many bars on the island.

Maputo is a city with a unique cultural heritage. Backpackers using Maputo as their point of entry into Mozambique should spend a few days exploring the sights and enjoying all that the city has to offer.