Mozambique – The Perfect Escape

Close your eyes.
Clear your mind.
Allow it to come into view.
You’re on a romantic sunset stroll.
Postcard-perfect islands dot the horizon.
The strain of the past year eases.

BY CELESTE STRYDOM

Now, let’s plan your well-deserved tropical holiday. For nearly two years, we have shelved plans to travel. Now, as the world slowly starts to explore the new normal, we realize just how much we have missed packing our bags. We’re stepping out slowly. Many of
us still apprehensive about how to navigate these times. And so perhaps it makes sense that we should seek destinations closer to home.

Supporting our neighbours
Mozambique has long been a favourite destination for South African travellers. And that should come as no surprise. There is no visa requirement for visits not exceeding 30 days. And the island lifestyle: swim, snorkel, seafood, sunset dhow cruises, and scuba
diving bright coral reefs in clear azure waters are on the other end of a short 2-hour flight from Johannesburg to Vilanculos.

Love in Lockdown
Covid restrictions and the reality of living through a pandemic have placed relationships under strain.
Once travel safely opens, the romantic coast between Inhambane and Vilanculos might be just the place to rest and reconnect.

Pick Your Paradise
Inhambane: long beaches, whale sharks & manta rays
Inhambane and the holiday villages of Tofo and Barra are where you’ll get a lively atmosphere and palm-lined beaches. The Barra Peninsula, with its clear waters, is home to Manta Reef – A top destination for manta ray sightings. You can even go swimming with
whale sharks!

Where to stay:
Our top pick – Sentidos Beach Retreat – Vacationing among the mangroves.
A stay at Sentidos offers genuine experiences of tranquillity and enchantment, elegance and refinement, the discovery of local culture, and deep-sea diving in a warm and crystal-clear ocean.
www.sentidosbeachretreat.com

Vilanculos: gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago & great diving
Vilanculos is a great destination in its own right: luxury lodges set right on the beach, the marine life in the nearby Bazaruto Marine Park is incredible. Horse rides along the beach, snorkelling and diving trips to the nearby islands, and restaurants with spectacular views and the freshest food.

Where to stay:
Our top pick – Vilanculos Beach Lodge – Exquisite accommodation, fine dining, rolling gardens, beach views and all the personal touches one could ask for. This breath-taking location along with the amazing facilities the lodge has on offer is sure to make a
memorable stay.
www.vilanculosbeachlodge.com

Bazaruto Archipelago: tropical islands & luxurious lodges
Six beautiful islands set in Africa’s biggest marine reserve. Bazaruto, Benguerra, Mangarugue, Santa Carolina (Paradise Island), and Pansy Shell Island. The island beaches are mostly empty, and snorkelling, diving, and game fishing are world-renowned. The perfect choice for relaxing with your partner.

Both Benguerra and Bazaruto islands are hassle-free flights from Kruger National Park.


Where to stay:
Our top pick – Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort – A stay in the luxury beach villas with their large decking areas overlooking
tropical white sand and turquoise water is sure to fulfil your escapist dreams. The resort also offer world class diving, sailing,
snorkelling and deep-sea fishing, as well as a private airstrip and helipad, super convenient.
www.anantara.com

SCHEDULED FLIGHTS
Vilanculos International Airport. Fly from Maputo, Johannesburg, Cape Town, or Kruger International for the gateway to
the Bazaruto Archipelago and Inhambane Province. (Flights out of Vilanculos to Inhambane are just 40 minutes long, but are only scheduled twice weekly.) Inhambane International Airport. Fly from Johannesburg, with one-stop via Maputo.
Total travel time: 5h30

SHUTTLE/CHARTER FLIGHTS
Private and scheduled charters are easily arranged from either Johannesburg or Mbombela to various destinations within
Mozambique. Most island resorts are reached by helicopter, shuttle flights, and road transfers. A few of the lodges are
only accessible by boat.

WEATHER
Rainy Season: November-April
Average summer temperatures: 21 to 31 degrees
Average winter temperatures: 15 to 26 degrees

CURRENCY
The local currency is the Metical, but the South African Rand and US Dollar are widely accepted.

SAFETY
Despite the militant conflict in the north, tourism is still safe and open in areas including Maputo, Inhambane, Ponta d’Ouro, and Vilanculos.


COVID PROTOCOLS
Travelers need to produce a negative PCR based Covid-19 test result. The tests need to be taken 72 hours before your trip. Once
at the destination, the wearing of masks and social distancing are mandatory.
Travellers should consult airline and destination country regulations at their time of travel.
An Indian Ocean Paradise awaits you.
Wide, isolated beaches are your sanctuary. Truly, Mozambique is the perfect escape for lockdown lovers!