Mozambique is a country of wonderful contrasts, from the towering Chimanimani Mountains on the Zimbabwean border, to the palm-fringed Indian Ocean coastline, and the game-filled national parks in between.
This contrast is also apparent in the south capital, Maputo. Here, peeling Portuguese architecture and faded art deco charm echo of a transplanted era, of which the elegant, Beaux-Arts-style Maputo Railway Station is the standout survivor. But this vibrant port city also boasts a contemporary culture. Pick up a souvenir from FEIMA, a large market packed with artisanal crafts and trinkets, or join the locals for a marrabenta-fuelled night out.
From here, a glorious, beach-strewn coastline stretches over 2,400 km all the way to Tanzania, which borders Mozambique to the north. Tofo Beach, still in the southern region, offers excellent diving and surfing, while Pemba and the Quirimbas Islands in the north are popular for their powdery-white sands.
And for those willing to veer from the beaten path, there’s the offshore Bazaruto Archipelago, reached via a short boat trip from the coastal town of Vilanculos. These five islands form an idyllic national park of unspoiled natural scenery and rare marine life. Go snorkelling in the reefs, enjoy a picnic on a private islet, or go diving for the chance to swim beside whale sharks, dolphins and dugongs.
Accommodation in Mozambique ranges from friendly guesthouses and hostels through to some of the most expensive resort accommodation in southern Africa. Nearly all of it is found along or near the coast.