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Island of Mozambique

Island of Mozambique

Believe it or not, this tiny speck of land that languishes out in the shimmering waters of the Indian Ocean was once the very epic center of Portuguese East Africa.

Raised to greatness by the European traders and merchants that came their way around the cape, it became an important hub for commerce and admin during the 16th century.

Consequently, there’s now a clutch of interesting colonial builds, like the old town fortifications, a charming whitewashed hospital, and the Church of Santo António.

Mozambique’s own character pops up too, with the thatched town of Makuti and the gorgeous tropical beaches.

The whole place is now also a UNESCO World Heritage Site – not to be missed!

The Island of Mozambique is a calcareous coral reef situated 4 km from the mainland coast in the entrance to the Mossuril Bay of the Indian Ocean in Nampula Province of the Republic of Mozambique. A bridge built in the 1960s joins the island to the mainland. The island forms an archipelago with two small uninhabited islands, the Islands of Goa and Sena to the east.

The island communities are intimately associated with the history of navigation in the Indian Ocean as the island played a unique role in intercontinental trading links from the 10th century. Its international historic importance relates to the development and establishment of Portuguese maritime routes between Western Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

Things to do at the island of Mozambique

  • Snorkel in mangroves – ideal for beginners
  • Go whale watching in season on a traditional dhow
  • Swim off a deserted island before devouring a picnic right on the beach
  • Go shopping for local jewelry made from old silver, fragments of antique pottery, and chunks of old colored glass from traditional windows
  • Revel in being among the very few outsiders lucky enough to discover this amazing place
  • Visit forts, cathedrals, and mansions dating back to the 17-century era of Portuguese colonization
  • Take a tour through Makuti Town, where people live below sea level
  • Enjoy Mozambique’s surprisingly delicious and varied local cuisine, including outstanding seafood, peri-peri chicken, and give-me-more bread
  • Marvel at massive inselbergs rising from the flat surrounding landscape

How to get to the island of Mozambique

The island can easily be reached by road from Nampula. If you’re driving follow the road towards Nacala, and turn off at the signpost for Ilha de Mozambique (which is in Monapo). It’ll take around 2 hours and the road is good. When you get there you’ll need to cross the causeway which costs money to cross.

Where to stay on the island of Mozambique

Some of the places to stay include the Feitoria; terraco das Quitandas design guest house, Coral lodge, and Villa sands.

Overview
Size & Location
How to get there
Activities
Areas of interest
When to visit
Where to stay
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