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When it comes to offering peace, quiet and seclusion surrounded by natural beauty there is little doubt Mozambique ticks all the boxes.

With a spectacular 2,500 km (1,553 miles) Indian Ocean coastline, Mozambique is an unsophisticated, uniquely African destination that boasts endless beaches, warm azure waters, lush coastal vegetation, coconut plantations, picturesque islands and abundant marine life.

From Ilha de Mozambique in the north to Tofo in the south, Mozambique offers a heady mix of history, culture, and colourful tradition. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Ilha gives the appearance of being lost in time, it is quite literally a living museum making it a dream destination for historians and photographers.

One third of the way along Mozambique’s long unspoilt coastline lies the small coastal town of Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park which comprises five idyllic islands, the most well-known being Bazaruto Island and the slightly smaller Benguerra Island.

Mozambique boasts an accommodation type for everyone. From stylish beach lodges and boutique beach retreats that exude casual sophistication and cool contemporary beach chic to intimate villas and remote eco beach lodges that boast traditional Mozambican design and understated barefoot luxury.

Offering fantastic diving and snorkelling opportunities the warm waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago encompass terrestrial and marine habitats of unique ecological value.  One of the most well-known being Two Mile Reef.

Under the management of African Parks’ the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park harbours the last viable population of dugong on the eastern coast of Africa, it is thought there are only about 150 – 230 dugongs in the area. Dugong are skittish and sightings are not common. Viewings are generally boat based but it’s not impossible to encounter one when diving.

Depending on their location visitors can enjoy a host of land and ocean-based activities. From snorkelling, scuba diving, ocean safaris, sunset dhow cruises, kite surfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, deep sea fishing, island excursions, horse riding, scenic helicopter flips, a day trip to Maputo Special Reserve, historic, cultural, market and local arts and craft excursions, beach walks and beach picnics.

Whale watching must be one of Mozambique’s best kept secrets. Every year pods of Humpback Whales embark on their annual migration from the cold waters of the Antarctica to the warm, calm waters of southern Africa where they give birth and nurture their calves in what is one of the lengthiest migrations in the world. Between early July and end October/mid-November (peak months being July-August) the sight of whale’s breaching, slapping their fins and rolling should be high on any nature lovers bucket list.

The small resort of Tofo is said to have the highest concentration of megafauna in the world. Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Humpback Whales (seasonal), Dolphins, several shark and ray species and five of the world’s seven sea turtle species prowl the plankton-rich water year-round. The Manta Ray and Whale Shark Research Centre is based at Tofo Beach.

Back on the mainland in the heart of central Mozambique is Gorongosa National Park. In the 1960s it was popular with the rich and famous as it was said to have the greatest diversity of wildlife anywhere on the African continent. Most of which was almost wiped out by civil unrest between 1977 and 1992. The American philanthropist Gregg Carr visited the Park in 2004 for the first time and realized if there was any chance at saving this iconic national park, he needed to understand the biodiversity of the area and establish a park maintenance plan which he did and did it successfully. Animals have been re-introduced and once again Gorongosa boasts a healthy population of wildlife. It is, however, not just about the animals but the rural communities who are benefitting as profits from all tourism visits are used to create jobs, build schools and support local education, healthcare and training programmes.