Must see attractions in Mozambique

  • Top ChoiceSights in Bazaruto Archipelago

    Bazaruto National Park

    This1400-sq-km park protects the five islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago, plus surrounding waters. Thanks to this protected status, and to the archipelago's relative isolation from the ravages of war on the mainland, nature bursts forth in full force, with dozens of bird species, including fish eagles and pink flamingos, plus red duikers, bushbucks and, especially on Benguera, Nile crocodiles.

  • Sights in Southern Mozambique

    Maputo Special Reserve

    The Maputo Special Reserve – about a two-hour drive south of Maputo – is the closest place to the capital to experience Mozambique's bush. The pristine and stunning wilderness scenery and birding are the main attractions. With luck, you may also see elephants and smaller wildlife.

  • Sights in Central Mozambique

    Gorongosa National Park

    Though Gorongosa’s infrastructure is still being rehabilitated after the ravages of the civil war, and animal populations can’t yet compare with those in other Southern African safari destinations, the wildlife here is making a definite comeback: you’re likely to see impalas, waterbucks, sable antelope, warthogs, hippos, crocodiles and perhaps even elephants and lions. Another major attraction is the birdlife, with over 300 species, including many endemics and near-endemics and abundant waterbirds in the wetlands to the east around the Urema River.

  • Sights in Quirimbas Archipelago

    Parque Nacional das Quirimbas

    The Quirimbas National Park contains most of the southern Quirimbas islands (including Ibo, Medjumbe and Matemo) along with a large tract of coastal mangrove and forest on the mainland. In all it covers 7500 sq km. While there are some hard-to-spot big fauna on the mainland, the park is better known for its myriad bird species, rich marine life, gorgeous beaches and scattered coral islands that have recently sprouted a small selection of – so far – sensitively planned, ecofriendly luxury resorts.

  • Sights in Mozambique Island

    Palace & Chapel of São Paulo

    This imposing terracotta edifice – the former governor’s residence and now a museum – dates from 1610. The interior hosts the recently refurbished Museu de Artes Decorativas, which gives a remarkable glimpse of what upper-class life must have been like during the island’s 18th-century heyday. In addition to household items from Portugal, Arabia, India and China, there are many pieces of original furniture, including an important collection of beautifully ornamented Indo-Portuguese pieces carved by Goan craftsmen.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Gurúè

    Cascata

    Don't worry if you haven't the time or energy to summit Mt Namúli. Equally memorable is the 8km (one way) hike to the cascata (waterfall) in the hills north of town. Take a picnic, carry plenty of water and allow an easy day for the excursion. A guide isn't required, as you'll encounter plenty of local villagers and tea pickers along the route.

  • Sights in Mozambique Island

    Fort of São Sebastião

    The island’s northern end is dominated by the massive Fort of São Sebastião – the oldest complete fort still standing in sub-Saharan Africa and, arguably, the finest military building on the continent. Construction began in 1558 and took 62 years. The fort has withstood numerous Dutch, British and Omani bids to diminish it. While the structure remains in a pretty unkempt state, with little explanatory information, it size and aura, along with the views from its battlements, are awe-inspiring.

  • Sights in Gurúè

    Mt Namúli

    Rising up from the hills about 15km northeast of Gurúè are the mist-shrouded slopes of Mt Namúli (2419m), from which flow the Licungo (Lugela) and Malema Rivers. If you find yourself in the area with time to spare, it makes a scenic but challenging climb for which you’ll need a good level of fitness and lack of a fear of heights (as there are several near-vertical spots where you’ll need to clamber on all fours).

  • Sights in Pomene

    Pomene Reserve

    The subject of renewed attention in recent years, this 200-sq-km reserve was gazetted in 1972 to protect the mangrove ecosystems, dune forests and marine life of the Pomene area, including dugongs and turtles. Entry fees are collected at a gate about 35km to 40km off the EN1 en route to the main beach area. Fees are per visit (not per day); save your receipt until after you leave.

  • Sights in Pemba

    Wimbi Beach

    Pemba is all about Wimbi Beach, located 4km east of the downtown area. The attractive arc of sand is backed by a varied but never oppressive collection of beach bars, eating joints and places to stay. Swimming is safe and the sea breezes are refreshing. There's first-class diving 1km offshore.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Maputo

    Chissano Gallery

    Works of renowned sculptor Alberto Chissano, as well as his remains, are on display in his family’s residence at the Chissano Gallery. Taxis from central Maputo charge from Mtc500 return, including waiting time.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Maputo

    National Art Museum

    Half a block west of Avenida Karl Marx, the National Art Museum has an excellent collection of paintings and sculptures by Mozambique’s finest contemporary artists, including Malangatana and Alberto Chissano.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Maputo

    Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano

    An excellent place, with art exhibitions, music and dance performances, films, theatre, a craft shop, a cafe and more.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Maputo

    Train Station

    Maputo’s landmark train station is one of the city’s most imposing buildings. The dome was designed by an associate of Alexandre Gustav Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), although Eiffel himself never set foot in Mozambique. Also impressive are the wrought-iron latticework, pillars and verandas gracing the dark-green exterior. Inside is the Kulungwana Espaço Artístico, with a small exhibition of works by local and visiting artists, and sculptures and paintings for sale.

  • Sights in Maputo

    Praça da Independência

    This wide and imposing plaza is the gateway from the upper part of town to the baixa. It's rimmed by several notable buildings and well worth a stroll.

  • Sights in Mozambique Island

    Goa Island

    This tiny island (known locally as Watólofu) is about 5km east of Mozambique Island. It has a lighthouse that was built during the 1870s, and is today run by a lighthouse keeper and his family, who have lived on Goa for more than 20 years. The lighthouse is now solar powered and according to the keeper the batteries give out about 1am. You can climb to the top for views. Below is a lovely beach.

  • Sights in Ibo Island

    Fort of São João Baptista

    At the island’s northern end is the star-shaped Fort of São João Baptista, built in 1791 and designed to accommodate up to 300 people. When Ibo was linked to the slave trade, the fort’s dark, cramped lower chambers were used as slave holding points. Today the fort is known for the silver artisans who have set up shop near the entrance. Much of the silver they use comes from melted-down coins and is often of inferior quality, but the distinctive, refined Swahili artisanship is among the best in the region.

  • Sights in Northern Mozambique

    Niassa Reserve

    About 160km northeast of Lichinga on the Tanzanian border is the Niassa Reserve, a vast tract of wilderness with the largest wildlife populations in Mozambique, although independent access to the area is notoriously hard and the animals are often difficult (or impossible) to spot.

  • Sights in Mozambique Island

    Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte

    In the shadow of the São Sebastião fort on the island’s northern tip is the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, built in 1522 and considered to be the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere. Built by Portuguese sailors en route to India, the chapel was partly restored in 1996. Architecturally it ranks as late Gothic, a style known in Portugal as Manueline and that is closely associated with the Portuguese era of discovery in the early 16th century.

  • Sights in Maputo

    Praça dos Heróis Moçambicanos

    The large Praça dos Heróis Moçambicanos, along Avenida Acordos de Lusaka near the airport, is notable for its 95m-long mural commemorating the revolution. The star-shaped white-marble structure in its centre holds the remains of Mozambique’s revolutionary and post-independence heroes, including Eduardo Mondlane and Samora Machel, as well as those of national poet José Craveirinha. Photography is prohibited. The public is only permitted to visit (including walking across the praça) on Mozambican Heroes’ Day (3 February).