Mocambique is a country with 2500 kms of coastline, of which most is sandy beaches with a warm sea, which cannot be all that bad! Emerging slowly from a terrible civil war, the friendly people of Mocambique are keen to share their sprawling country with visitors, and tourism is the great hope for the upliftment of a very poor community.
The roads and communications into the interior and up the North Coast are generally bad, and a visit to these areas is usually along the lines of a 4 x 4 expedition. Further south however, and along the cost, excellent facilities exist for beach holidays, with great emphasis on diving and fishing.
The resort of Ponta do Ouro for instance, has some of the finest scuba diving in the world, and the Bazaruto Archipelago has many superb diving and fishing lodges. Access to the area is usually from South Africa via Vilanculos Airport, or via Maputo, although there are not many flights and it must all be planned carefully.
A popular option for those from the Northern Hemisphere is to flee their winter, take a safari into South Africa, and finish their holiday with some time on Mocambican beaches. That makes a great mix. The history of the coastline includes a great trading tradition, conducted by sea, in dhows, which has left a strong Arab and Swahili cultural imprint. Visitors are fascinated by the traditions of the local villages, as they are not yet destroyed by the ravages of mass tourism. For the diver, the fisherman, or the beachcomber, and for those after something just a bit different, Mocambique is a great destination.
Due to the devastating floods annually around December, in certain places much of the already poorly developed infrastructure has been severely damaged, particularly along the floodplains of the great rivers. The problem was mainly the amount of rain that fell in adjoining countries, and drained into Mocambique, hence the problems in floodplains. However, we can recommend travel to the unaffected offshore islands of Bazaruto, which can be accessed easily by air and boat from Johannesburg, and to many other areas -including around Inhambane and Vilanculos.
Do not be put off by pictures of disease and chaos seen on world TV screens, as they do not reflect the situation in most of the country, where there are many areas that remain largely unscathed. Tourism is even more vital to the local people than it was before, and those that wish to experience Mocambique should ask for up to date advice.