The Top 5 Beaches in Mozambique
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Explore Our list of the best beaches in Mozambique includes everything from places on the mainland known for their barefoot nightlife to private Robinson Crusoe-style islands!
Situated between South Africa and Tanzania, on the east coast of the African continent, Mozambique receives far fewer visitors than its famous neighbors. However, with a coastline that stretches for more than 1,500 miles, it is a destination like no other for family beach lovers. In some places, the white or golden sand strips are semi-desert, allowing you to snorkel, swim, and sunbathe in peace. In the liveliest spots, you can embrace the relaxed pace of local life as you watch fishermen fish on wooden dhows and women in colorful skirts search for dinner on the shoals.
1. Ponta do Ouro
Located just 15 minutes from the South African border in the Bay of Kosi, the city of Ponta do Ouro is the most convenient option for those who wish to visit both countries. Once there, a strip of golden sand awaits you between the causaina-covered dunes and the warm blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Ponta do Ouro is known as a meeting place for surfers, fishermen, and divers with spectacular reef sites, including the legendary shark dive site, the Pinnacles.
If the sharks are a bit intimidating, swim with the bay's wild dolphin population. In the summer (October to December), the turtles land to spawn, while in the winter months the humpback whales pass close to shore on their annual migration. Ponta is also known for its lively atmosphere, with a colorful open-air market and many beachfront bars and restaurants. Don't miss the chance to unwind with an R&R, the local drink made with Red Type rum and Sparletta Sparberry soda.
2. Ponta Mamoli
Ponta Mamoli maybe just 11 miles north of Ponta do Ouro, but the two beach destinations couldn't be more different. Located on a secluded peninsula and part of the Lagoa coast of Mozambique, Ponta Mamoli stands out for its wild and unspoiled beauty. Here you will not find vendors on the beach or bars full of South African tourists. There is no light pollution to dilute the splendor of the night sky and the only sound is the sigh of the sea hitting miles of perfect sand.
Ponta Mamoli is synonymous with White Pearl Resorts. Tucked away in a sheltered bay, this 5-star accommodation option comprises 22 infinite luxury villas, perched on stilts in the middle of the seaside dunes. There are many ways to spend your days here. Go on a scuba diving adventure, ride a horse by the sea, or enjoy an outdoor spa treatment. In the unlikely event that you get tired of the beach, the game-filled Maputo Special Reserve is just a short drive away.
3. Inhaca Island
Ilha da Inhaca is located just 38 km across the bay from Maputo, but despite its proximity to civilization, it seems far from the hustle and bustle of the Mozambican capital. The island is a tangle of dune and mangrove forests, surrounded by many beautiful beaches and some of the southernmost coral reefs in Africa. To get a taste of the local culture, head to the beach in front of the town of Inhaca, where you can settle in to watch the locals do their thing.
There are also more isolated stretches of sand on the east and west coasts. Inhaca is home to a respected Marine Biology Station and is partially designated as a marine reserve. This has allowed aquatic and terrestrial life to flourish, which you will experience while diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and sailing to the nearby Portuguese island. In particular, Inhaca is an important destination for bird watchers, with more than 300 species recorded. Accommodations range from self-catering chalets to luxury chalets.
4. Tofo Beach
Tofo Beach is another continent favorite for tourists seeking a laid-back tropical living. Located half an hour's drive from the city of Inhambane in southern Mozambique, it combines world-class diving and surfing with sunny beaches and vibrant nightlife. The main beach is a thick strip of golden sand, conveniently located just steps from terraced bars perfect for enjoying cold 2M or Laurentina beers in the sun.
Ponta do Tofinho, at the southern end of the beach, is a well-known reef on the right, highly appreciated by surfers; while the coral reefs located just offshore offer some of the best diving in South Africa. Still don't know how to surf or dive? There are many surf schools and dive agencies for you to choose from and help you learn. However, you don't have to be a qualified diver to meet Tofo's most famous residents. Snorkeling safaris run year-round, giving tourists the opportunity to swim with giant (but harmless) whale sharks.
5. Magaruque Island
The private island of Magaruque is located almost directly in front of the city of Vilanculos. It is the third largest of the six islands that make up the Bazuruto Archipelago, with large expanses of white sand surrounding it on all sides. There are two ways to visit it: you can take a dhow ride from the mainland or one of the other islands and spend the day relaxing by the sea, or you can splurge on a stay in the only luxury accommodation on the island. The latter means that you will have the beaches to yourself only once the hikers leave.
The lodge is located on the west coast, facing a deep-water channel that offers excellent snorkeling, diving, and deep-sea fishing. The entire archipelago was designated a national park in 1971 and plays an important role as a sanctuary for various marine species. This includes whale sharks, stingrays, turtles, humpback whales; and most famously, the largest remaining population of endangered dugongs in Mozambique.
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