Apart from the little town of Ponta Do Ouro, which is situated within spitting distance of the South African border and is a popular diving and family holiday spot for people from Johannesburg, the rest of southern Mozambique’s coastline is relatively remote.
From Ponta Malongane right up to Maputo is a world of exploration that is often left by the wayside for the more commercial offerings found higher north in Inhambane and Vilanculos. Here are 5 reasons why I think you should visit southern Mozambique:
1. A 4×4 junkie paradise
Down in the south of Mozambique you will be hard pressed to find a tarred road. You may find a path that mildly appears as if it once was covered in tar, however the majority of “roads” (for lack of a better word) are just sand tracks. Directions given to me by hotels consisted of “Take any of the sand tracks – just head East” and “Follow the powerlines on whatever track looks less sandy”. This means that southern Mozambique is the ideal destination for 4×4 junkies as every destination is reached by way of an off-road adventure and if you really must there is even a 4×4 play-park just outside of Ponta Mamoli.
2. More than meets the eye.
One thing I discovered while exploring southern Mozambique is that nothing is what it seems. While snorkelling in Mozambique, what looked to be nothing more than some bare rocks on a beach was home to colourful rainbow of marine life teeming beneath the surface.
What appeared as nothing more than a rock on the horizon was pointed out as an elephant in the distance while in the Maputo Special Reserve and what seemed like a dodgy hole in the wall proved to have a dodgy bar inside, with one of the friendliest barmen and some of the best pizzas in the world.
3. Have an entire beach to yourself.
In southern Mozambique it is possible to own your own beach – without having to be a millionaire to afford it! Choose to stay at a backpackers at Ponta Malongane or indulge yourself at White Pearl Resorts at Ponta Mamoli – either way you can have the beach all to yourself!
One day we walked from Ponta do Ouro round the coastline to Ponta Malongane – all the while seeing just one other person.
White Pearl Resorts is the only hotel situated on endless white sands, and the team will even set up your breakfast table in a secluded spot on the beach. Further up the coast Machangulo Beach Lodge set up a stunning private picnic for us on a footprint-free section of Inhaca Island‘s marine reserve.
4. Just relax and unwind.
Southern Mozambique is the perfect place to just do nothing! There is little infrastructure and “things to see” apart from the magnificent coastline in southern Mozambique which means it is the perfect place to unwind. Forget your phone in your room – you are unlikely to find cell signal anyway. Kick back in your hammock with your drink in hand and just relax.
This slow pace also gives you time to appreciate the little things such as the Samango monkeys playing outside your room or the brown-hooded kingfisher that comes to visit you at breakfast.
5. Indulge in a little R&R.
And that brings me to reason number 5 – food and drinks! Mozambique is famous for its R&R (rum and raspberry) while a host of other local cocktails and beers are also on offer. And unlike its South African counterparts – no one seems to mind if you drink on the beach – in fact you may even find someone willing to sell you a drink right on the beach to go along with the fresh Mozambican style prawns and fish that you caught yourself! Just remember to take your bottles with you and don’t go a’swimming after you have been a’sipping.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your swimsuit, your suntan lotion and your someone special and head on over to southern Mozambique for an endless summer!