No safari itinerary to Africa is complete without a few nights relaxing on one of its beautiful beaches. The adrenalin rush of seeing the majestic wildlife up close, the early morning wake up calls and the long game drives do eventually take their toll. It may sound funny but most travellers are in need of a holiday to relax after their holiday!
As to choice of location for that beach holiday – Mozambique definitely has to be one of the top three destinations! It has only recently re-joined the tourism offering in Africa and therefore the destination is very much still undeveloped compared to other African beach destinations. Large holiday resorts and 500+ bedroom hotels are not found here. Instead, the majority of the properties are small and intimate and visitors can therefore look forward to a more exclusive experience. Of course, some of the popular coastal towns – like Tofo, Barra Beach and Ponta do Ouro – are a hive of buzzing activity during peak holiday periods but it’s nowhere near the packed, overcrowded beaches in Durban or the island destination of Mauritius for instance.
The islands are pristine destinations. Feel the stress drain from your body as you soak up the beautiful surroundings, discover the underwater world with its rich diversity of coral and fish and indulge in mouth-watering dishes prepared and presented by the friendly Mozambican staff. There is nothing quite like sailing at sunset in a dhow, still built in the age old tradition handed from father to son. Forget all your worries as you sip a cocktail of choice and watch the turquoise waters below, whilst the wind plays in the sail.
Access has opened up in recent years and it has become easier to combine safari and beach with regular flights from Johannesburg to Maputo, Vilanculos and Nampula or from Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam to Pemba (Mozambique). There are also twice weekly flights from Nelspruit to Vilanculos – a great way to combine South Africa’s premier wildlife destinations with Mozambique’s spectacular Bazaruto Archipelago. White Pearl Resorts recently launched their daily flights from Nelspruit to Kosi Bay which opens up the south of Mozambique even more for luxury travellers. For the more adventurous the drive from South Africa to Mozambique is not too far and extending to the beaches from there can easily be arranged.
Once you have visited Mozambique you fall in love with it, I know I have.
(written by Barbara Kuhn)