Mozambique was my introduction to an aspect of Africa that I hadn’t discovered on my previous trips—the beautiful barefoot luxury of the beach! I have always felt at peace in the presence of bodies of water, from strolls along some of the world’s great rivers, to walks with my dog around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, to swimming in the ocean around the world from Bali to Brazil! As soon as I found out that I’d be returning to the region for an educational trip I knew that I wanted to explore the beach, and I was considering three options: Madagascar, Mauritius and Mozambique. I’ve been studying Portuguese for the past two years and decided that a trip to Mozambique would be the perfect opportunity enjoy a relaxing getaway with a healthy dose of language practice, and the convenient logistics of getting to and from Mozambique sealed the deal! I booked my “oneymoon” for a solo two-week vacation on the beaches of the Indian Ocean.
You can’t capture the serenity of Mozambique in a photograph. The coasts are paradisiacal, with an ocean that looks like a stunning medley of turquoise and cerulean from on board a boat or helicopter, but whose water is crystal-clear once you dive in and explore. The marine life is dynamic; there are different species of dolphins and sea turtles and seemingly as many types of fish underwater as there are stars overhead at night! To say the sunsets are tantalizing would be an understatement; they’re the picturesque finish to each exquisite day. The colors of the water, the fish, the plants and the textiles are radiant! I was overwhelmed by the beauty that surrounded me and the tranquility I felt traveling alone. I quickly embraced my solitude in the heart of paradise! Mozambique is an incredible destination with all the creature comforts you’d hope to enjoy on vacation but without the consequences of large-scale commercialization.
Mozambique is truly the icing on the cake of a trip to Africa and totally complements the hustle and bustle of a safari; they go together like yin and yang! A typical safari is fast-paced, filled with adrenaline, and packed with activities from sunup to sundown. In contrast, Mozambique is laid back and serene. Here you will have the opportunity to create your own schedule and set your own pace! Mozambique is a great place to kick back and rest up after safari before returning home! I loved the spontaneity that the lack of schedule enabled me to enjoy, from interrupting my novel to take a quick dip in the ocean to cool down, to taking a break from reading in my private plunge pool to eat lunch on the beach. Over the course of my trip, I delighted in six snorkeling excursions, read five books cover-to-cover, savored countless seafood dinners and fresh fruit delicacies, and caught up on the sleep I’d been so eager for on safari. The experience that you’ll have in Mozambique is completely different than what you might do elsewhere in Africa and totally unlike what you’d see and do in neighboring countries. Like many of its neighbors, you will feel the untainted serenity of the wilderness, but from a different vantage point: the alluring beaches rather than the captivating bush. I was wholeheartedly in my element in Mozambique and I felt like it was the perfect place to unwind after the whirlwind of a few weeks on safari.
One of my most cherished memories of Mozambique is of a sunset dhow cruise where I had the chance to sail the seas as the locals do! My captain grew up on Benguerra Island and when we chatted as the sun set over the water, I got so much insight into local life and some much-needed Portuguese language practice! My captain, whose fluent English was much better than my choppy Portuguese, patiently and kindly told me about his life as I stumbled my way through our conversation. These activities are a great chance to take photos of the sunset with the reflection of the glittering sea, but they’re also a great chance to experience the authenticity of island life for the local villagers and immerse yourself in a mode of transportation that most Mozambicans live by first-hand.
Mozambique is an amazingly hospitable country and vibrant destination which is sure to capture your heart and invigorate your imagination!