Lillian Gaitho starts her week by looking at what Mozambique has to offer … and plenty that is by the look of it …
and for us East Africans of course there is a Serena Hotel in Maputo, the Grand Ol’ Dame of Mozambique’s hospitality industry, The Polana Serena in Maputo where Kenya Airways flies to … voila, go travel
Discovery and Recovery: Five Destinations in to Explore in Mozambique
Mozambique, one of the countries constituting the Lusophone African lies to the South East of the continent, with a substantial fraction of its eastern skirting stretching into the Indian Ocean. Although recognized as one of the world’s highest growing GDP, the country is yet to fully exploit its potential in tourism and only recruited its first minister of tourism in 1999. Today, Mozambique’s luxuriant beaches, stunning lakes and budding wildlife remain as some of Africa’s remarkably uncontaminated, therefore offering privacy and exclusivity to the numbers who chose to explore the various attractions.
Here are five highly rewarding destinations as compiled by Jovago.com
Inhambane – A Simmering Point of Historical Finesse
Situated on a peninsula overlooking the bay, this Vasco Da Gama discovered town is one of the oldest settlement on the East African coast and served as a an important port during the Portuguese rule. Owing to this, Inhambane which loosely translates to land of the gentle people – is a remarkably beautiful architectural and historical site which has remained consistent since the 16th Century. Apart from this architectural finesse, Inhambane serves as a stopover point for tourist heading to Tofo and Barra beaches. The region is also very conducive for scuba diving and deep sea game fishing.
Cahora Bassa – Africa’s Second Largest Artificial Lake
Located in Tete Province, Cahora Bassa is Africa’s second largest man-made lake and a main tourist destination in Mozambique. The dam is built on Zambezi river system and is quite popular for fishing expeditions, hippo spotting, boat cruises and water skiing. Away from the waters, the surrounding landscape is quite scenic, characterized by verdant vegetation, hills and mountains which create a thriving birdlife in the region. The dam has a powerful hydroelectric power station which is a plus to any interested tourist.
Surfing and Marine Life in the Bazaruto Archipelago
Comprised of five islands off the South Coast of Mozambique, Bazaruto boasts of a national marine park, sensational beaches and a postcard-perfect backdrop. The larger Mozambican coastline and in particular Bazaruto offers incredible surfing adventure especially through the months of February to October. The seaboard is clear and explorers can find useful beach breaks along the shores. A protected reserve, the Marine Park has rare species such as dudongs, exceptional sea turtles, whales and dolphins as well as lizards. Birdwatchers will also not be disappointed as the island has a rich birdlife supported by this ecosystem. Honeymooners will enjoy dreamy, barefoot luxury on the vast stretches of clean sides, or try snorkeling. Bazaruto was voted No. 5 on Condé Nast Traveler Readers Top 30 Islands in the world.
Lago Niassa–The Lake of Lakes!
Historians have it that when Dr. David Livingstone ‘discovered’ Mozambique’s share of Lake Malawi, his aides, introduced the lake to him as “Niassa”. In reality, the aides had not understood well his question; Niassa is the general term for a large body of water. In Essence, the lake’s name translates to Lake Lakes! Lago Niassa (Lake Malawi) is the 9th largest lake in the world and Africa’s deepest. Shared between three countries, Lago Niassa is a great tourist attraction with the Mozambican fraction having been declared and recognized as a reserve. The lake’s waters are globally recognized as having the greatest variety of fish classes, swimming in its deep water over a thousand species of cichlids. Thus attracts sport fishing excursions from visiting tourists. Water Sports and related activities are very popular owing to the warm, shark-free waters. Tourists can enjoy snorkeling, skiing, kayaking, yatch cruising as well as scuba diving almost throughout the year. The beaches are surrounded by beautiful fishing villages and visitors can find accommodation in the different lodges and resorts.
Experience Re-birth at Ngorongosa
Gorongosa was one of the world’s most recognized parks; the dense forests sheltered large families of the African Jumbo, Cape buffalo and a myriad of other big game, while the vast savanna lands played host to loads of carnivorous hunters as well as herds of grazers. A rich birdlife of over 500 species was a plus for any explorer, while riverbanks supported the ferocious activities of both crocodiles and hippos. That was until the post-independence war ravaged the park to ruins. Today, the park is on its way to recovery thanks to Philanthropist Gregg Carr of Carr Foundation/Gorongosa Restoration Project, a U.S. not-for-profit organization and the Mozambican government who have re-introduced life in the park. Their efforts have gone a long way, and having already introduced the African buffalo and elephants, Gorongosa is on its way to recovery. Tourist accommodation around the park has also greatly improved, you can try Girassol Gorongosa Lodge And Safari
This may not be your usual “lifetime safari out of Africa” but will certainly spur something from deep within; a soothing sense of recovery, a calling for hope in recovery.