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Mozambique - Overview

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White sands, azure waters, and a warm all-year round climate makes this one of Southern Africa's favourite beach holiday destinations. Excellent diving, surfing and fishing beckons the water sport enthusiasts. Local African charm combines with colonial Portuguese culture - and the seafood is to die for.


Situated on the south-eastern coast of Africa, Mozambique has persevered through a violent civil war and terrible floods, and is emerging from a ruinous past to once again stake its claim as one of the jewels of Africa.

The 1,500 miles (2,500km) of palm-fringed coastline is washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and graced with long white beaches, excellent coral reefs and strings of pristine islands. The idyllic Bazaruto archipelago, off the coast of the Inhambane province, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, consisting of four main islands that make up one of the most beautiful places on the continent. The islands offer a classic tropical getaway, with superb fishing, water sports, shaded beaches, surf, and a marine park offering outstanding diving and snorkelling opportunities.

Attracted by rumours of pearls in the 1700s, the Portuguese established the capital city of Lourenzo Marques, or Maputo as it is known today, in the southern reaches of the country. It became one of the most stylish cities in Africa, with broad avenues lined with jacaranda and acacia trees, sidewalks paved with mosaics, tall buildings and a unique Mediterranean/African atmosphere that attracted a wealthy cosmopolitan crowd. The civil war left the city in a dismal state of disrepair, and although still tainted by shabbiness, Maputo is slowly recovering some of its former glory, and today the bustling capital reveals many Portuguese-style colonial buildings, and offers culture and old world charm, along with numerous places to enjoy Mozambique's famous peri-peri prawns.

Lying just off the coast of Maputo is the popular Inhaca Island, which has extensive coral reefs, a fascinating maritime museum and historical lighthouse. Most of the wildlife reserves are located in the central and southern parts of the country, with the exception of the important Niassa Reserve on the northern Tanzania border, and although largely decimated during the civil war, they are currently being restocked and improved with large populations of elephant, buffalo and antelope. North of Maputo there are beautiful beaches and a number of centres that offer some of the best fishing in the world, particularly the areas around Guinjata Bay and the Mozambique Channel.

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