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From the overgrown remnants of Portuguese outposts along the mighty Zambezi to the ancient, mysterious Mwenu Mutapa kingdom and the enchanting and unique Mozambique Island, Mozambique offers an enticing and fascinating blend of cultures.

Arab dhows and modern speedboats crisscross the translucent tropical waters of a coral-fringed coastline, where scuba-diving opportunities rival the world's best. One of the lasting legacies of Portuguese and Arab traders and colonists are the colourful settlements found along the coast. Maputo, Inhambane, Beira, Quelimane and Pemba display a variety of architectural styles – from Manueline to gaudy 1930s-inspired Art Deco.

So far fortune-seekers have failed in their quest to find the legendary mines of King Solomon, said to contain hoards of gold, yet the stunning diversity of coastal, riverine, mountain, and forest environments are Mozambique's real treasure trove – home to a splendid array of fauna and flora – interspersed with traditional villages.

Although sadly neglected during the years of civil upheaval, the Gorongosa National Park, Maputo Elephant Reserve, Bazaruto National Park and the Niassa Reserve are being rehabilitated, while Tropical Island gems like Magaruque, Benguerra and Bazaruto offer seclusion, luxurious accommodation and excellent diving, fishing and bird-watching.

Whether your visit finds you on one of the endless deserted beaches or diving off the coral isles, you will discover a country filled with the enchanting sights and soothing sounds of Africa.

Northern Mozambique

Northern Mozambique is naturally divided by Malawi into two distinct regions: the north-east and the north-west. The north-eastern region consists of the provinces of Zambezia, Nampula, Cabo Delgado and Niassa. Extending from Chinde on the Zambezi delta in the south to Namoto village at the mouth of the Rovuma, and from Cóbuè near Lake Malawi's Likoma Islands in the west to Mozambique Island in the east, this is a vast area of mysterious mountains (Namúli and Unango), historic settlements (Angoche, Mozambique and Ibo islands), idyllic islands (lihas das Quirimbas) and wildlife (Niassa Reserve).

The coastline is over 1 000 kilometres long. Tiny coral creatures that thrive in the warm tropical water have produced about one hundred coral isles and islets. The main island grouping off Zambezia is the Moebase Archipelago. The Angoche Archipelago lies adjacent to Nampula Province, while the remote llhas das Quirimbas lie between Pemba and the Rovuma. Deep, vast inland bays are also a notable feature of this seaboard, with Nacala harbour among the world's deepest and Pemba Bay one of the world's largest natural ports.

 

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Southern Mozambique

The Mozambican Plain (Planícíe Moçambicana) with its endless sweeping savannas, meandering rivers, a string of coastal lakes and high sand dunes, dominates the landscape of the southern region. Although most of the land lies below 100 metres, the eastern border with Swaziland and South Africa is marked by the Lebombo Mountains which do reach over 500 metres occasionally. At its mouth the Limpopo River drains more than 60% of this sector, while the Incomati, Inharrime and Nhavarre rivers have drainage basins covering the rest of the area.

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Introduction to Mozambique

1From the overgrown remnants of Portuguese outposts along the mighty Zambezi to the ancient, mysterious Mwenu Mutapa kingdom and the enchanting and unique Mozambique Island, Mozambique offers an enticing and fascinating blend of cultures.

Arab dhows and modern speedboats crisscross the translucent tropical waters of a coral-fringed coastline, where scuba-diving opportunities rival the world’s best. One of the lasting legacies of Portuguese and Arab traders and colonists are the colourful settlements found along the coast. Maputo, Inhambane, Beira, Quelimane and Pemba display a variety of architectural styles – from Manueline to gaudy 1930s-inspired Art Deco.

So far fortune-seekers have failed in their quest to find the legendary mines of King Solomon, said to contain hoards of gold, yet the stunning diversity of coastal, riverine, mountain, and forest environments are Mozambique’s real treasure trove – home to a splendid array of fauna and flora – interspersed with traditional villages.

Although sadly neglected during the years of civil upheaval, the Gorongosa National Park, Maputo Elephant Reserve, Bazaruto National Park and the Niassa Reserve are being rehabilitated, while Tropical Island gems like Magaruque, Benguerra and Bazaruto offer seclusion, luxurious accommodation and excellent diving, fishing and bird-watching.

Whether your visit finds you on one of the endless deserted beaches or diving off the coral isles, you will discover a country filled with the enchanting sights and soothing sounds of Africa.

Read more: Introduction to Mozambique

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