Ilha de Mozambique
Ilha de Moçambique (Portuguese for Island of Mozambique) is a small and beautiful coral island located in the warm Indian Ocean waters in the north of Mozambique. This small island is not only the oldest European settlement in east Africa, but arguably also the most bizarre.
Declared a World Heritage Site in 1992, the island, known to locals simply as ‘ilha’ (pronounced ilia), must surely rank as northern Mozambique’s most alluring travel destination both for its singular atmosphere and for its wealth of beautiful old buildings.
Linked to the mainland by a 1.5km long single lane causeway, the crescent shaped island measures a mere 2.5km from north to south and is at no point more than 600m wide.
Despite its small size, the island supports a population of roughly 7000, and as the most important Portuguese settlement on the east African coast for the best part of four centuries, it boasts several of the oldest extant colonial buildings in the southern hemisphere.