In the northern section of Mozambique, the Inhambane province has most notably the beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago, many famous beaches, coconut and cashew trees. Beach going visitors can find Praia de Zavala close to Quissico, Praia de Zavora about and hour and a half south from the town of Inhambane and Pomene beach 174km (108 miles) in the north.
The Bazaruto Archipelago is made up of 4 islands: Bazaruto, Benguera, Margaruque and Santa Carolina, they are all off-shore between Vilanculos and Inhassoro. This is a major holiday destination in Mozambique with high quality hotels and resorts. The Bazaruto National Park and Zinave National Park are conservation areas.
Here's Where to Stay in Inhambane
The costal area surrounding Vilanculos has superb white sand and magical scenery. An experience that is hard to beat here is setting off on a traditional sailing dhow gliding through the Bazaruto Archipelago. Visitors can see azure waters, sandy beaches, palm trees and pristine coral reefs around the islands. Snorkelling and diving are top attractions in this area of Mozambique.
Here's Where to Stay in Vilancoulos
Located in the far north of Mozambique, Cabo Delgado Province is the home of wonderful artists amongst the Makonde people who are noted for their wood and ivory carvings. Pemba is the capital city and it has almost no industrial development which would account for the areas pristine beauty and stunning beaches.
The 32 coral islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago can be reached from Pemba. They are stretching up to the Tanzanian border. It is a wonderland of unexplored delights which have never been developed. The southern group of islands form part of the Quirimbas National Park. Ibo Island and its old fortresses are examples of the historical significance of this area.
This most southern province of Mozambique with the capital Maputo borders South Africa and Swaziland. It is easily accessible and has an important port which was once known as Lourenzo Marques. The city became firmly established when the central authority was transferred here in 1898, it was also a major outlet for the gold fields of South Africa especially once a railway line was constructed.
Other attractions of this Mozambican province are Inhaca Island - popular for diving and snorkelling, further south is the Maputo Elephant Reserve, and about a 2 hour drive in 4x4 only from Maputo is Ponta do Ouro a very popular diving and snorkelling spot with beautiful beaches - marine life is rich with tropical fish, dolphins, Manta ray and even shark
The Incomati is the most important river in Maputo province. Others are the Umbeluzi, Tembe, Matola, Maputo and Futi. In the rainy season, between November and March, temperatures in Maputo can rise to 40C degrees. They drop to below 20C in July and August.
Situated in the lower-middle section of the country, Sofala Province is one of the wealthiest in Mozambique and produces mainly sugar and shrimps. The capital city here is Beira; the city provides Zimbabwe with direct coastal connections by road and rail via the Beira Corridor.
The Sofala Province offers game viewing and fabulous scenery at the famous Gorongosa National Park, which is 150km (93 miles) from Beira - Elephant, Lion, Buffalo and other animals, can be seen here, birdlife is spectacular. There is also the Marromeu Buffalo Reserve in the north of the province. An active programme for the re-stocking of animals is underway in both of these areas.
Located in the north of the country bordering Tanzania at the Rovuma River and Malawi in the west at Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi), it is the largest and the most sparsely populated of all the provinces of Mozambique. This area is one of the wildest and least developed. The capital is Lichinga, located on the plateau also called Lichinga.
A visit to the stunning Lake Niassa is a must, the road down to the lake is only possible with 4x4 vehicles and so this area has remained unspoilt. The lakes waters are host to an abundance of tropical fish species, the likes of which is not found any where else on earth. In the north of the province is the massive Niassa Reserve, the biggest in southern Africa, it is game rich and famous for the large number of Elephant found there.
Located in the upper-middle section of Mozambique, this province has wonderful tea plantations and is famous for the abundance of coconut trees numbering in the millions. The port capital is Quelimane. In under an hour north-east from the town on tarred roads visitors can find the lovely beach of Praia de Zalala.
Edged with shady casuarina trees and endless white sand this beach is a popular African holiday area. The tea plantations are in the mountainous northern part of the province. A variety of animals can be seen at the Gile Game Reserve which is a wildlife conservation area.
This province is located in the upper regions of Mozambique with rugged mountains and miombo forest. The capital city, also named Nampula, is located inland on the plains near Mozambique Islands' popular beaches and was the Capital of Portuguese East Africa but only until 1898. After that the capital was moved to Lourenzo Marques, now Maputo.
Mozambique Island has a long and fascinating history and traded in slaves, spices and gold for hundreds of years, the older section was declared a World Heritage Site in 1992. Here there are buildings constructed out of coral though now not as pristine as they once were - places of interest include: St. Pauls Palace, The Museum of Sacred Art and also The Fortress of St Sebastian.
The capital city in this Mozambican province is also called Tete. The province lies along the western border of Malawi and is well known due to the location of the massive Cabora Bassa dam, and has a wealth of mineral reserves including gold, iron, coal and fluorite.
The dam is Africa's second largest freshwater lake and has the biggest hydroelectric scheme in the Southern part of this continent. Only Egypt's Aswan Dam is larger in surface area. Written permission is required to visit the dam and can be obtained in the town of Tete before the 150km (93 miles) trip. There are guided tours of the dam and its workings. The dam is excellent for tiger fishing and fly fishing.
On the far western border of Mozambique, Arab traders, later followed by Portuguese explorers, ventured into these lands by river searching for the Mwenemutapa Empire, gold, merchandise and slaves. Gradually the Portuguese settled in as colonists and soon noticed the abundance of harvests. The province is now an important producer of many types of fruits and vegetables. Chimoio is the capital city and centre of this agricultural region. There is a hydroelectric dam between Manica and Chimoio literally carved out of the rock.