Mozambique is enjoying a boost in popularity that is sure to be enhanced by the availability of visas on entry for visitors who require them
According to CEO of Thompsons Africa, Linda Pampallis, the destination is in a phase of resurgence. “Mozambique is surely finding its place again in the hearts of travellers looking for exotic beauty and food for their soul,” she says. The tour operator covers the country’s southern coastline to Pemba and finds that, since it has encouraged fam trips to the region, sales are hotting up. “With the recent announcement of a 30-day tourist visa now being available at borders for all visitors, we expect it to hot up even more,” she says.
Hot, balmy and luxuriating in the advantages of the tropics, Mozambique is an enticing cultural blend of African, Arabic and Portuguese strains. These multi-faceted influences have stamped the country’s history, architecture, lifestyle and, most famously, its cuisine, where seafood plays a leading role.
Set all of this against a background of tranquil beach and sea, unspoiled and sparsely inhabited, and you have a destination pretty close to paradise. This accounts for its popularity as a honeymoon location and romantic getaway.
Renewed interest in country’s Gorongosa National Park has prompted Gorongosa Collection to open Muzimu Tented Camp toward the end of this year. The camp will be the first of several tented camps in Gorongosa and will comprise six tents overlooking the Mussicadzi riverbed.
Of course, the country has its negatives – road travel can be hazardous and infrastructure lacking in the more remote areas. There are some political tensions and crime, but incidents are relatively rare. Tropical cyclones may occur during the rainy season (November-April) and protection against malaria is advised. But, as Pampallis points out, “even the threat of cyclones and malaria seem to be less of a deterrent than before”.
Mozambique has a long list of reasons to visit. Some of them are:
- Excellent diving with the opportunity to view the rare dugong.
- Superb big game fishing, including marlin and sailfish.
- Arts and crafts in the north of the country, particularly sculptures produced by the Makondo.
- The Gorongosa National Park for safaris.
- The Unesco World Heritage Site of Mozambique Island with its many historic, colonial buildings.
- Lake Niassa, the Mozambican name for Lake Malawi. Some 25% of the lake lies within the borders of Mozambique and although infrastructure is not well developed on the Mozambican shoreline, the lake does attract some adventurous explorers.
- Maputo, said to be one of Africa’s most attractive capital cities. At its heart is the old town, and the Municipal Market in Maputo is great for an early-morning walk to view the fresh produce and many other items on sale.