In recent years there has been an increased interest in ‘ocean safaris’, where the most sought-after sighting is the elusive whale shark! These migratory gentle giants are hot property in the Indian Ocean, with many travellers scrambling to board a dive boat in the hope of their very own encounter. Here our Africa specialist Annie gives her rundown of the best places to go to catch a glimpse of one of these elusive creatures…
Azura at Quilalea is the archetypal Robinson Crusoe castaway retreat in northern Mozambique’s untouched Quirimbas islands. Small, chic, low key and full of lovely personal touches, Azura at Quilalea makes for the perfect chilled honeymoon escape.
The ultimate in luxury safari and beach, combining dramatic Big 5 game viewing in Zambia with the high end paradise of Northern Mozambique’s exclusive beaches. A superb itinerary allowing you to experience the best of these incredible countries.
With brilliant-white beaches, sparkling turquoise Indian Ocean waters and superb diving, a holiday to Mozambique will not disappoint on beauty. Located off Africa’s east coast and running from Tanzania in the north down to South Africa in the south, this nature-rich land lures with exotic islands, dense bush and 2,500-kilometres of gasp-inducing coastline to delight both sunseekers seeking tropical glamour, and intrepid travellers keen to venture off the beaten track.
Once battered by civil war, famine and natural disasters, Mozambique is sealing the past and facing the future. Set on the east coast of Southern Africa, it is characterised by a north-south divide. Its north is loaded with dense bush, climb-worthy mountains, idyllic islands and rustic-chic retreats; its south has all the ingredients for a beach-focussed escape.
With pristine sandy stretches lapped by crystal-clear Indian Ocean waters, the beaches are exquisite. Most seductive, though, is touring the two clusters of castaway islands - Bazaruto Archipelago in the south, and Quirimbas Archipelago in the far north.
Beyond the palm-lined backdrops, there are many subaquatic thrills to please, including scuba diving at Two Mile Reef - the shallow waters between Bazaruto Island and Benguerra Island that are home to all types of coral, boulders, rocks, and overhangs. Dive with whale sharks and the magnificent manta ray at Inhambane, and take a big game fishing expedition to seek out sailfish, tuna and the elusive blue marlin in the Quirimbas National Park - the country’s newest national park that protects some 750,639 hectares of coastal forest, mangroves, and rich coral reefs.
There is also plenty to impress the culturally-minded, too. Visit the colonial building and mosques at UNESCO-listed Ilha de Moçambique, watch Makonde carvers at work in the port town of Pemba, and spend time with the traditional Silversmiths at Ibo Island who make intricate jewellery by hand using age-old Arabian techniques. Also enchanting is the capital city of Maputo, nicknamed the 'Havana of Africa’. Here you can relax at Portuguese-style pavement cafés, shop at the fish market, and visit both the colonial-era fortress Fortaleza and the architecturally-striking train station on Praca dos Trabalhadores.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870