Two of Africa’s most treasured holiday destinations, Zanzibar and Mozambique offer both regional and global travellers a taste of exotic cultures, incredible natural beauty and luxurious accommodations. Each with their own distinct flair, we have examined the best of these destinations to help you choose where to go on your next Southern Africa holiday.
Zanzibar Just a few miles off the shore of Tanzania, the historic archipelago of Zanzibar has been enchanting travellers for hundreds of years. From the fascinating cultural hub of Zanzibar City to the tropical jungles of the Jozani Forests to innumerable sundrenched beaches, it’s no wonder that Zanzibar has become a favourite beach holiday destination.
A former sultanate of Oman and British protectorate, today Zanzibar is a fascinating cultural melange steeped in history. In Zanzibar City, travellers can explore what remains of the island’s former rule. From the winding streets and vibrant Middle Eastern bazaars in Stone Town to the seaside stronghold of the British Old Fort, traces of bygone eras await around every corner. Outside of town, travellers can visit rural plantations of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and learn how the island became an integral hub of the Spice Trade.
Encircled by secluded lagoons and stretches of white sand shores, Zanzibar abounds with incredible natural treasures. Spend an afternoon amongst the habitat of the endangered Columbus Monkey in Jozani Forest, go snorkelling with schools of brightly coloured tropical fish or lounge on sun-kissed beaches and listen to the sound of palm trees gently rustling in the breeze. Those that love an adventure can go sailing or head North to the Zanzibar’s sister island, Pemba. The islands are also a well-known with Scuba divers as a popular spot to find Whale Sharks.
Tucked amongst the lush landscapes of the island, Zanzibar’s innumerable resorts offer travellers an array of 2-5 star accommodation. While most of the finer resorts boast beachfront locales, travellers looking to stretch the budget can choose something more inland and make use of the islands numerous dalladalla taxis. While the islands do not have many self-catering options, resorts are fairly affordable compared to other Indian Ocean destinations.
Mozambique A former Portuguese colony, Mozambique is home to a bounty of fascinating locations to discover. From the popular Southern beaches of Inhambane and Vilanculous to the former capital of Ilha de Mozambique, this vibrant country offers travellers a wealth of incredible experiences.
Although independent since 1975, the linguistic and cultural traditions of its former colonial days can be found no matter where you travel. From incredible local cuisine prepared with rich Portuguese flavours to the virtually untouched UNESCO heritage site of the country’s former capital Mozambique Island, travellers can explore an interesting blend of African and European unmatched anywhere else on the continent. Take a journey north to Ilha De Mozambique and see the oldest surviving European church in the southern hemisphere: Nossa Senhorado Baluarte and walk the streets of Stone and Reed Town. For travellers looking to explore modern Mozambique, the new capital of Maputo is a marvellously cosmopolitan African city and a melting pot of continental cultures.
With a warm tropical climate and an endless expanse of beautiful beaches edged by turquoise waters, Mozambique’s natural beauty is truly unparalleled. Along the Southern Coast, beach resorts stretch from Ponta d’Ouro to Vilanculous and offer travellers incredible locations from which to enjoy the country’s many water sport activities. Whether it is world-class diving excursions, sailing, windsurfing or simply snorkelling, Mozambique is sure to have it. In central Mozambique the dramatic landscapes and lush bushland of Gorongosa National Park make it the ideal locations to catch a glimpse of the Big 5 or simply enjoy the regions unique flora and fauna while the Northern town of Pemba offers a less crowded beachfront location.
With both resort and self-catering options, Mozambique has a variety of fantastic accommodation ideal for different holiday styles and budgets. Whether you are planning a romantic beach holiday just for two or a fun-filled family getaway, there’s plenty of options to choose from. In the South, both self-catering, backpacker and resort style accommodation can be found while the North is dominated primarily by hotels with the odd secured camp site.