Because of Mozambique's proximity to South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and even Victoria Falls, it is often used as the beach element of a two-centre “Safari & Beach” holiday. It is also perfect for a purely beach based holiday, island hopping up and down the coast.
On the trail of whale sharks
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…
Offering an exclusive and hard-to-beat experience thanks to its unspoilt reefs and low visitor numbers, Mozambique is widely regarded as one of the best spots in the Indian Ocean for diving. My top tip for where to head in order to encounter whale sharks (as well as the equally impressive manta rays) is the village of Tofo in southern Mozambique. Although, you’ll quickly realise that this isn’t the picture-postcard image of Mozambique that you might imagine, the quality of whale shark sightings is hard to beat!
Best time to visit: November-April
My accommodation pick: Baia Sonambula – a rustic option but with a fantastic location (a short walk from the dive school) and friendly staff.
Further north, Mafia Island in the Zanzibar archipelago offers white sandy beaches and outstanding snorkelling without being too touristy. Accommodation here is more rustic in nature, but the quality of snorkelling is truly outstanding with a Marine Park encompassing the Rufiji River Delta providing one of the most complex marine ecosystems in the world.
Best time to visit: October-March
My accommodation pick: Chole Mjini – an eco-lodge made up of tree houses on a private island with incredible views over the Indian Ocean.
Kenya is often regarded as where the concept of safari originated and it is one of the most popular destinations in Africa for those in search of the big five and wildebeest migration. Now it is also becoming one of the hottest spots in Africa to head to in search of whale sharks. Basing yourself on the southern coast around Diani and Msambweni will give you the best chances of whale shark interaction.
Best time to visit: February-March
My accommodation pick: Msambweni Beach House – a boutique, luxury beach house providing an exclusive and highly-personalised stay on one of the most secluded of Kenya’s beaches.
Characterised by white sands and crystal blue waters, this island-strewn archipelago offers a tropical paradise with some of the most luxurious beach properties that Africa has to offer. With a unique Creole culture, satellite islands to explore on romantic bike rides and island chains to sail around, the Seychelles has lots to offer, and the elusive whale shark is amongst these offerings!
Best time to visit: August-November
My accommodation pick: Four Seasons Seychelles – one of the most sought-after properties in the Seychelles, the Four Seasons offers exclusive luxury in stilted villas nestled within the jungle.
Whether it’s staying on a live-aboard dive boat, simply snorkelling off one of the pristine white sand beaches or taking a cruise over the crystal blue seas in a glass bottom boat, the Indian Ocean can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of whether you’re a true water baby or not.
Call us now on 020 3141 2810 so that we can help you plan a trip.