Mozambique has long been on our bucket list and after spending one month in this beautiful country with the most amazing stretch of coastline ever, we know why! Mozambique has been in the news a lot lately, and unfortunately that hasn’t done this country any good. Yes there is a conflict going on in the North of Mozambique but do you know how big this country is !? Although we would have loved to visit this northern part of the country too, there was enough left to see and do. So here’s our top 5 of things you should do in Mozambique, most of them with kids.
- Swimming with dolphins
This has to be our number one! What an amazing experience to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat in the Mozambican waters of Ponta do Ouro. A big part of the coastline of Ponta do Ouro is a marine reserve protected area, so there’s no mass fishing. The dolphins of Ponta, as they are called by Dolphin Encounters Research center, are researched by Angie and her collegians for over 25 years. Therefore, this company is in our opinion the best one to go with for a swim with dolphins, making this an edutourism activity. They know where are the best chances of finding them and how to behave when in the water. Being in the water with a big group op dolphins was an experience we can’t even describe. We were in the water with all our kids (age 9, 7 and 3) and they all loved it. And so did the dolphins! They really liked the presence of kids in the water and kept coming back to us. We could stay in the water with the dolphins as long as we wanted, but we have to admit that after one hour of playing with the dolphins, we all got a little tired.
2. DAYTRIP TO BAZARUTO ARCHIPELAGO
When you really want to experience the whitest beaches and clearest waters you’ve ever seen, then a boat trip to the Bazaruto Archipelago is absolutely something you don’t want to miss. From the city of Vilanculos, there are several operators that offer day trips to this little group of islands. We went with Bazaruto Encounters and spent a full day on a very fast speed boat that brought us to various places. Our first stop was two mile, a famous reef for snorkeling. Although it was a little choppy, we were all able to go in the water and see some great fish and amazing coral. The kids sat in front of the speed boat and really loved this part of the trip where the boat cruised over the waves and splashed the kids faces. After snorkeling, we stopped at the first island and climbed a big sand dune, from where we had great views over the archipelago. With no other people around, we felt on top of the world and ran down to dive in the clear blue waters. The boat picked us up again to have lunch at another amazing beach. The lunch is freshly prepared by a chef on the beach. After lunch, we spent a few hours exploring more of the island and ofcourse we soaked ourselves in the warm Indian Ocean. On the way back to the mainland, our guide dropped us of at the famous red dune for a beautiful sunset.
3. CAMPING IN MAPUTO SPECIAL RESERVE
Just an hour south of Maputo, lies this beautiful national park. It was taken over by Peace Parks a few years ago and has since then undergone major developments in restoring wildlife, as well as in accommodation facilities. The park is a beautiful mixture of thick bush and grasslands with never ending horizons. Our private camp was situated right next to the beach and had two brand-new bathroom facilities. Although we weren’t very lucky with viewing any game, we enjoyed being in this beautiful piece of nature, that our experience still made it to number three. Sleeping in an area where wildlife just grazes around your tent at night is always very special.
4. DIVING WITH SHARKS
Ponta do Ouro is not only a great place for dolphins, but also one of the view places in the world where you can dive with sharks in their natural habitat without using bate to get their attention. This sure was one of the most thrilling things we ever did. First you dive in the big blue on a depth of 30 meters. Then you just relax and wait….. The anxiety of being very deep in the ocean without seeing anything but blue around already got our adrenaline pumping. Only a few minutes after we were down, the first curious bull shark came swimming up to us to check it out. After this we saw more bull sharks, white tip sharks and a hammerhead shark. Realizing that there’s absolutely nothing to protect you makes this experience very thrilling. At the same time, we never felt unsafe with our dive instructor, who has numerous years of experience diving with sharks. When you’re looking for a once in a lifetime experience, this is definitely it!
5. SWIMMING WITH WHALE SHARKS
Thinking back about this moment gives us goosebumps again. We went on an ocean safari in Tofo. Our main aim was to see the great and majestic whale shark. The guide from Peri Peri Divers explained to us how to look for whale sharks. Keep a close eye on the water and when you see a massive dark shadow, you probably found one. Meaning you have to be ready to get in the water any time as you don’t want them to disappear in the deep without being able to swim next to them. We were so excited when one of the boat men saw the big dark shadow! It’s hard to expect anything when you’ve never so close to an animal of that size. When we went down in the water, and we’re able to swim next to this beautiful and giant whale shark, we could only just think how small we are.
Things we didn’t mention but are definitely worth it:
- Learn kite surfing in Tofo!
As described above, Tofo is a great little beach town with a very laid back atmosphere. Good restaurants and stunning blue waters. We had a great afternoon with Chris from Kite Surf Tofo. Chris is a certified IKO instructor, so we felt very safe and secure to have our first lessons in the lovely warm waters of the bay in Tofo. Kite surfing is a sport everybody can learn, all you need is some wind.
- Nkwichi beach lodge
Bordering Lake Malawi but as it is Mozambique, it does deserve a spot on this list. Nkwichi is a halcyon paradise hidden on the pristine Mozambican shores of Lake Malawi. More than a lodge, Nkwichi is a complete experience, offering a unique taste of Africa with exquisite lakeside scenery and unparalleled tranquility. With 8 secluded beaches set on four km of Rift Valley coastline, Nkwichi is the perfect setting to discover a lost world; a fresh-water oasis and an Africa untouched.