African Travel in September: Where to Go

Spring has sprung in the southern hemisphere, and the bush is bursting into life. There’s plenty to see and do in Africa this season, but game viewing takes centre stage. So, if you’re looking to stretch out the last of your northern hemisphere summer, here’s where we recommend you go for African travel in September.

Great Migration with hot air balloons African travel in September

African travel in September features Great Migration sightings

1. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is, without a doubt, Kenya’s most notable reserve. Numerous wildlife documentaries made this wildlife haven internationally famous as the home of one of the oldest pilgrimages in history. Every year the Great Migration sees thousands of zebra, wildebeest, and gazelle set off in search of greener pastures in the Serengeti. This incredible natural spectacle flocks to the reserve between July and October. Therefore, this makes Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya an excellent choice for African travel in September.

However, there’s more to the Maasai Mara than the Great Migration. The reserve’s abundant wildlife makes for incredible game viewing, with thriving populations of predators providing memorable sightings. Additionally, guests can expect to be immersed in Maasai culture when hosted in one of the reserve’s luxury safari lodges or camps.

Bush breakfast in the Maasai Mara at Governors' Camp

Bush breakfast in the Maasai Mara National Park, Image Credit: Governors Camp

Our Favourite Property: Angama Mara

As soon as you step onto the deck of Angama Mara, you will instantly understand why its name means “suspended in mid-air” in the local Swahili language. It overlooks vast views of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley and Maasai Mara Reserve, where the famous Out of Africa was filmed.

This reserve is a popular destination for African travel in September, with plenty of game species in staggering numbers. And if you’re looking for an excellent luxury base for your East African safari, Angama Mara is a perfect fit. It has generous tented suites situated along the two kopjes overlooking arresting views of the rolling valleys. Furthermore, each of these suites features a glass frontage for the ultimate angle of these views. The well-known Mara Triangle is only half an hour away, and you can enjoy plenty of activities, from game drives to local village visits, hot air ballooning and walking safaris. You’re also in control of your schedule, as safaris are entirely flexible.

Angama Mara Tented Camp in Kenya

Sweeping views over the Masaai Mara, Image Credit: Angama Mara Tented Camp

2. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

As the largest and oldest national park in Zimbabwe, it’s only fitting that Hwange is home to one of the largest elephant herds in Africa too. You can explore the variety of wildlife with plenty of activities, from walking and horseback to traditional vehicle-based safaris. Guests can expect to see lion, leopard, rhino, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, gemsbok, hyena, wild dog, and more.

Being just an hour’s drive away, Hwange can easily be combined with a visit to Victoria Falls. Hwange should always be near the top of your list when planning African travel in September. The drier months combine the best game viewing opportunities and cooler weather, resulting in the perfect time to visit this wildlife paradise.

Elephant herd drinking water in Hwange

Hwange is famous for its elephants

Our Favourite Property: Verney’s Camp

Located in a 10,000ha private concession in Hwange National Park, Verney’s Camp offers an exclusive safari experience in Zimbabwe. With massive teak trees towering over the camp, it’s as leisurely as it’s adventurous.

The area is home to plenty of wildlife, and Verney’s Camp is the best base from which to admire them all. The expert guides will take you out on morning and afternoon game drives, or you can embark on a walking safari. The camp is built with raised decks to give you the best vantage point of the bush. You can choose between the ten twin/double room tents or the two family units, all equipped with en-suite bathrooms.

couple in pool at Verney's Camp

Soak up the sun and the views at Verney’s Camp, Image Credit: Machaba Safaris

3. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Crater is a must on any East African expedition. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the only intact caldera in the world, is among the best safari destinations on the planet. Varied vegetation ranges from forest to grassland plains, which means the diversity of wildlife species is as vast as it’s abundant. A thriving lion population, endangered black rhinos and cheetah sightings are among the highlights for guests.

While wildlife is undoubtedly the main attraction, cultural visits to Maasai villages are an excellent way to experience one of the world’s most famous cultures first-hand. A variety of lodges set on the crater’s rim provide the ideal base for any visit to the area.

The Ngorongoro Crater is a great place to visit for African travel in September

The Ngorongoro Crater is a great place to visit for African travel in September

Our Favourite Property: The Highlands

The Highlands safari camp is located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. It’s a wonderfully secluded camp encircled by mountain forests and is a hub of ecological sustainability. 

Other than seeing the Great Migration when it’s passing through, this camp is located in a wildlife-rich area. You can expect to see buffalo, leopard, elephant, lion, and black rhino species. When you’re not out on safari game drives or guided walks, you can also go on village visits or embark on birding or photography missions. This camp consists of eight unique canvas dome tents with en-suite bathrooms as well as wood-burning fireplaces.

Asilia Africa The Highlands is perfect for African travel in September

The Highlands is a unique accommodation with incredible views, Image Credit: Asilia Africa

4. Mozambique, East Africa

When it comes to tropical islands, Mozambique is Africa’s hidden gem. And with five island archipelagos, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. White sands and azure waters await along shorelines dotted with palm trees making this a great way to extend your summer with a dose of African travel in September.

Mozambique is attractive to travellers because of its off-the-beaten-track appeal, which takes them far from the crowds. Furthermore, marine life enthusiasts are in for a treat with a wide variety of species seen from above and below the Indian Ocean’s surface. Couple this with easy accessibility to other African safari destinations, and it’s a must to consider when planning your next trip. 

Benguerra island is perfect for African travel in September

Mozambique is a dreamy destination for African travel in September

Our Favourite Property: &Beyond Benguerra Island Lodge

&Beyong Benguerra Island Lodge is a lush forested island with pearly beaches and crystal clear warm water. It’s located on Mozambique’s Bazaruto archipelago and is a perfect Indian Ocean island destination for African travel in September. As the second-largest in the archipelago, there’s plenty to explore on land and underwater. Diving and snorkelling are exciting as you can expect incredible underwater sightings. But if you prefer to stay dry, you can go on scenic boat rides. 

The lodge consists of casinhas and cabanas, expertly blending Portuguese and Mozambican design. Fresh seafood is a daily delight on the menu. And you can get massaged silly at the onsite massage sala after a day of busy exploring or lazy lounging.

view of rooms at andBeyond Benguerra Island in Mozambique

Your home in Mozambique for African travel in September, Image Credit: &Beyong Benguerra Island

Start Planning for Your African Travel in September

Slip away on an African holiday with the World’s Leading Safari Company today. Our African Travel Experts have travelled all over our continent. Therefore, they know each of these destinations, properties and activities like an elephant knows its trunk! Contact them today, and let’s start planning your African travel in September!

If you liked this blog, you might also like:

Featured Image Credit: &Beyond
Benguerra Island

Incredible spring views for your African travel in September

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


If you’re planning a family cruise, you might be able to remove that trip to the vaccine clinic from your pre-cruise checklist. That’s because seven of the eight major cruise lines have removed their vaccine requirements for passengers on most sailings.

When the major cruise lines began to return ships to service in spring 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had already approved emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for adults and kids ages 12 and older. Most cruise lines announced rules requiring vaccinations for all travelers who were eligible, with several allowing exemptions for children too young to get the shot.

In late October of 2021, the FDA extended the emergency authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to kids as young as 5 years. Following that announcement, several of the industry’s most popular cruise lines amended their rules to say that even young children had to show proof that they’ve had their shots before they can sail.

Now that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed its opt-in COVID-19 guidelines for cruise ships, most major cruise lines have changed course and waived vaccine requirements in certain scenarios. On specific sailings that still require inoculation as a condition of boarding, many lines offer limited exemptions for children younger than 5 and, in fewer cases, for children 11 and younger, even though vaccines are now available for kids as young as 6 months.

Here, I’ll recap the eight biggest cruise lines’ vaccination policies for children and teens.

In all cases below, “fully vaccinated” means that passengers have received their final dose of a World Health Organization- or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine (not including boosters, which mean you’re “up to date” versus “fully vaccinated”) at least 15 days prior to sailing. Because the U.S. does not currently issue official certificates of recovery, lines do not allow a previous COVID-19 diagnosis to take the place of vaccination unless otherwise noted. Whenever possible, U.S. passengers should show their original, physical vaccine cards. Currently, none of the major cruise lines require boosters for eligible kids.

Also note that unvaccinated passengers are required to provide negative test results before sailing on most lines that will allow them to sail without exemptions.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter.

In This Post

DAVID SACKS/GETTY IMAGES

Carnival Cruise Line

Effective September 6, 2022, children will no longer be required to be vaccinated on voyages of 15 nights or fewer (except sailings departing from Australia). On sailings of 16 nights or more, or those that depart from Down Under, all children who haven’t been immunized can apply for exemptions. Vaccinations could also be required in certain destinations, based on local regulations.

See Carnival’s Have Fun. Be Safe. policies for more details.

Celebrity Cruises

Starting September 5, 2022, Celebrity will allow everyone — including children — to sail from most ports, regardless of vaccination status, as long as they meet local testing requirements. On sailings from the U.S., children 5 and younger do not need to test whether they are vaccinated or not; on voyages from Europe, passengers 12 and younger do not need to test. If departing from the U.S., children 6 and older will need to test only if they are not fully vaccinated, but negative results from unproctored tests are now accepted.

See Celebrity’s Healthy at Sea page for additional information.

Disney Cruise Line

Beginning September 2, 2022, Disney Cruise Line requires all kids 12 and older to provide proof of full inoculation as a condition of sailing. Through September 22, 2022, children who have their shots will have to provide negative results from a PCR or proctored antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before embarkation; unvaccinated guests must provide negative results from a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to boarding and take a second test at the pier before boarding. Beginning September 23, 2022 (November 7, 2022, for Disney Magic), fully vaccinated kiddos will no longer have to provide negative test results in order to sail, and those who don’t have their shots will no longer be required to undergo a second test at the pier.

Check out Disney Cruise Line’s Know Before You Go section to learn more.

Holland America Line

From September 6, 2022, Holland America will allow unvaccinated passengers to sail on cruises of 15 nights or fewer without filing exemption requests. Exceptions include long cruises and sailings that call on or sail to/from Australia, Bermuda, Canada and Greece, where vaccines are still necessary.

View Holland America’s Travel Well FAQ for details.

BEN HASTY/MEDIANEWS GROUP/READING EAGLE/GETTY IMAGES

MSC Cruises

Effective September 1, 2022, U.S. passengers (including children) sailing with MSC Cruises are no longer required to be vaccinated before sailing to the Caribbean or Bahamas. Fully vaccinated kids will still be required to show proof of inoculation at embarkation, and those who are unvaccinated will need to provide a negative PCR test result that’s no more than three days old. Fully vaccinated cruisers will not have to test prior to sailing. Children 12 and older from countries outside the U.S. will still need to be fully immunized, and all passengers 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status, will still need to provide negative test results before embarking.

See MSC’s What to Know Before You Go literature to better plan your voyage.

Norwegian Cruise Line

From September 3, 2022, Norwegian Cruise Line passengers will not have to provide proof of vaccination. Those 12 and older who do provide it will be exempt from pre-cruise testing. Cruisers 11 and younger are exempt from both providing proof of vaccination and from testing.

To read more, visit Norwegian’s Sail Safe page.

Princess Cruises

Beginning September 6, 2022, Princess passengers, including children, on voyages of 15 nights or fewer will no longer be required to be vaccinated in order to sail. Travelers who show their vaccine cards will be exempt from testing. Exceptions include Panama Canal transits, ocean crossings and other specialty voyages. On sailings of 16 nights or more, passengers, including children, will need to show proof of vaccination.

To learn more, read up on Princess’ Cruise Health requirements.

SARAH L. VOISIN/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES

Royal Caribbean

Starting September 5, 2022, all guests can sail with Royal Caribbean, regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated passengers can cruise with negative results from any commercially available test, including self-tests. No testing is required for vaccinated passengers on voyages of nine nights or fewer. On sailings of 10 nights or more, all travelers must provide negative results from any test taken within three days of embarkation. For all sailings, passengers 5 years and younger have no vaccine or testing requirements. (Due to local regulations, sailings that visit Australia, Bermuda, Canada and Singapore still require passengers to be vaccinated.)

Further information can be found on Royal Caribbean’s FAQ page.

For a more comprehensive list of cruise line vaccination policies for cruisers of all ages, visit our line-by-line guide to cruise vaccination requirements. For information on testing for a cruise, check out our piece on pre- and post-cruise testing.

Planning a family cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured photo by Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images.

Are you interested in a rainforest adventure in East Africa? Uganda is a year-round destination with two rainy and dry seasons. So, while you can visit the country at any time of year and return blown away by your experience, the best time to visit Uganda depends largely on what you want to see and do. With world-renowned birding, record-breaking biodiversity, big game safaris, spectacular scenery and, of course, its sensational gorilla and chimpanzee trekking experiences, Uganda is one of the most rewarding travel destinations in the world. So, let’s look at the country’s different seasonal highlights to help you decide when the best time to visit Uganda is.

Best time to visit Uganda: Close-up of a chimp in the rainforest

Uganda has so much to offer, for example chimp and gorilla trekking

June to September: The Long Dry Season

Dry, in this equatorial country, is a relative term. It can and does rain any time of year. However, from June to September, the sun gets a chance to dry up the land before the next shower. Coinciding with an ever-so-slight drop in the daily temperature, this season therefore resembles winter in Cape Town.

The drier conditions also favour Uganda’s headline attraction, namely gorilla trekking. It’s a steep and long walk through dense rainforests at altitude to search for your assigned gorilla family. Therefore, you’ll be grateful for the drier pathways and hiking conditions during this time of year.

Best time to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a bucket list experience

The dry winter is also ideal for general game viewing. The savannah plains in the north dry up nicely, thereby improving visibility and forcing the wildlife to congregate around remaining water sources.

Uganda’s famous attractions include Lake Victoria, Murchison Falls, numerous national parks of varying habitats, vast mountain ranges, scenic lakes and gigantic rivers. All of these, and the many lesser-known attractions, benefit from the drier, cooler conditions. Therefore, this makes June to September the stand-out peak season and thus the best time to visit Uganda for a whole-country experience.

October to December: The Shorter Rainy Season

September often sees an uptick in the total rainfall. As a result, by October, the ground is pretty much sodden. Peaking in November, the short rainy season is characterised by sensational downpours that clear the air and produce a spectacular palette of greens.

Crowned Crane in Uganda

Watch amazing birds like the grey crowned crane in Uganda

Migrant birds arrive in November, thereby adding to the already staggering species count. In fact, Uganda is one of the world’s best birdwatching countries, with over 1,000 species on record! Primate trekking and wildlife safaris can be slow-going in the mud, yet all the more rewarding as a result.

December gets a reduction in the frequency of showers and consequently an increase in visitors. Spending Christmas with a family of gorillas or pride of tree-climbing lions is understandably high on many visitors’ bucket lists. Furthermore, in Uganda, you won’t experience the expected tourist traffic that higher-profile neighbours like Tanzania and Kenya get. As a result, that means your experience is just as enjoyable  even in peak holiday seasons.

January to March: The Shorter Dry Season

January is one of the driest times of the year in Uganda. After a few months of heavy rain, the landscape is transformed into a lush, emerald-hued wonderland. With near-perfect trekking conditions, the landscape in its finest dress and relatively fewer visitors, the shorter rainy season is arguably the best time to visit Uganda if you prefer to steer clear of the crowds.

The beautiful Murchison Falls in Uganda

Make way for the Murchison Falls, Image Credit: Rod Waddington

Birding is excellent throughout the year. However, it’s all the more special during the short dry season as the migrants are still present and breeding until the arrival of heavier rain from mid-March. Furthermore, it’s a slightly hotter time of year, so you’ll appreciate Uganda’s lakes and rivers and all their activities, ranging from sublime relaxation to heady adventure.

March to May: The Longer Rainy Season

From around mid-March, peaking in April and tapering off in May, Uganda’s longer rainy season is an impressive display of equatorial precipitation. Some of the more remote safari lodges and destinations become inaccessible. However, the country’s top attractions are no less exceptional for it.

You can still go on safari, trek gorillas and chimpanzees, enjoy birding river cruises and relax by an ocean-sized lake. And what’s more, you’ll feel like you have the entire country to yourself.

Lion in a tree - best time to travel to Uganda

See Uganda’s famous tree-climbing lions

Highlights in the rainy season include chimpanzee trekking, which is actually better during this time, as the troops move lower down the slopes in search of warmth and ripening fruit.

Similarly, while conditions for gorilla trekking are more difficult during the rainy season, the families move lower down the slopes. Therefore, this makes for a shorter walk to find them. And these great primates, three times our size, look absolutely adorable in the rain with their frizzy fur. There are also plenty of newborn plains game species around as it’s their birthing season.

The Best Time to Visit Uganda for…

Gorilla Trekking

This year-round activity is best enjoyed in the drier season from June to September, with an honourable mention for December to March. You will have an incredible gorilla experience whenever you visit. However, the only difference is that trekking up a mountain through a rainforest is even harder in the rain.

Chimpanzee and Primate Trekking

As with gorilla trekking, your chimpanzee hikes are more enjoyable in the dry season with equal chances of success.

Safaris

The long dry season from June to September is the best time for a classic safari in Uganda. The land is drier, which forces animals to congregate around permanent grazing and water sources. Furthermore, you also have better visibility with the thinned-out vegetation, roads are more accessible, and rain showers don’t interrupt your activities as much. Don’t forget your camera to take plenty of pictures!

Birding

With over 600 resident species, Albertine Rift endemics and another few hundred migrants, Uganda is a world-renowned birding hotspot. Migrant species arrive in November and swell the local numbers until mid-March when they head north. If it’s resident species you want to see, any time of year will be excellent so you can dovetail your birding with the best time to visit Uganda for its other attractions.

Best time to visit Uganda: Boots on the shore of Lake Victoria

Don’t forget to add Lake Victoria to your itinerary

Lake Victoria and Murchison Falls

Go chasing waterfalls! The source of the Nile is both an adventure destination and a scenic haven to unwind after your rainforest expeditions. Warm all year, there’s no bad time to visit Uganda to experience these attractions. Furthermore, they tack on beautifully to any itinerary.

Mountain and Volcano Hikes

Even though the rainforests are never fully dry in the so-called dry seasons, these months are the best for the snow-capped summits and freestanding volcanoes. While you’ll need serious gear regardless of the time of year, the best time to visit Uganda for its incredible hikes is June to August and January to early March.

When is The Best Time to Visit Uganda for You?

The drier months from June to September and December to March are generally considered the best time to visit Uganda. While this is peak season, the tourist traffic is still relatively low compared to its neighbouring East African countries. And while you should expect rain whenever you visit, the drier seasons make the whole trip easier and more predictable. However, regardless of when you decide to visit Uganda, you can also expect a fantastic experience.

Contact our Rhino Africa Travel Experts, and let’s start planning your luxury safari to Uganda.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


It’s one of our favorite times of the year at The Points Guy — Pride Month! Diversity and inclusion are a core part of the TPG brand, and we always go out of our way during June to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. There are some incredible prizes this year, too.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

For years, TPG has partnered with Rainbow Railroad to rescue LGBTQIA+ individuals, and we are doubling down on those efforts this year. Rainbow Railroad is a nonprofit organization that helps LGBTQIA+ people escape persecution and violence in their home countries and get to safety.

“Rainbow Railroad is there to cut through all the red tape that prevents LGBTQIA+ people from getting life-saving support. That’s why the work supported by TPG is so crucial,” said Kimahli Powell, executive director of Rainbow Railroad. He said the organization was creating pathways to safety.

Rainbow Railroad has given direct assistance or provided travel for some 3,900 individuals.

We’ll have more details soon, but Chase Sapphire is donating a grand prize of 1 million Chase Ultimate Reward points to one lucky winner!

That’s not the only amazing thing on offer.

The excursion booking site Elsewhere (owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures) will donate a safari trip to South Africa as one of several flash sweepstakes prizes. Stay tuned for more details.

Related: Help Rainbow Railroad rescue refugees worldwide

In 2021, we raised over $200,000 for Rainbow Railroad. Over the years, TPG has provided enough funds to support at least 100 LGBTQIA+ people, which means that together we’ve saved over 100 lives.

Fundraising totals for 2021 Rainbow Railroad campaign.
Just one of TPG’s campaigns for Rainbow Railroad. (Screenshot from Rainbow Railroad)

TPG will hold several live events as well, including:

  • A Twitter Space discussing LGBTQIA+ travel tips and under-the-radar destinations.
  • A Twitter Space with Brian Kelly and a celebrity co-host to discuss LGBTQIA+ travel.
  • A live event in Toronto from the Rainbow Railroad Freedom Series with a party you can attend in Toronto.

Related: Donate directly to Rainbow Railroad’s rescue efforts

We’ll also have lots of great Pride-related coverage, including stories on the best gay beach destinations, tips for attending your first Pride and 2022’s hottest new LGBTQIA+ destinations. We’ll also hear from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant DeJa Skye on her must-have travel items.

Related: 13 amazing Pride events around the world

Featured photo by The Points Guy.

There is something terribly exciting about losing yourself in the crumbling carcass of a shipwreck. Each wreck is tale of storms and scuttled hulls. The treasure found in these skeletons are not gems and gold, but equally special with colourful coral, nudibranchs and vibrant marine life. We’ve adventured along Africa’s coast to find the most beautiful, most interesting shipwrecks and wreck dives in Africa.

The 3 different types of wreck diving

Wreck diving is often subdivided into three types:

  1. non-penetration: swimming over and around the wreck,
  2. limited penetration: going into an overhead environment, subject to a limit of about 40 metres cumulative linear distance to surface (which really just means the depth plus length of penetration),
  3. full penetration: going deeper into the overhead environment in the wreck.

Our Top 10 Wreck Dives in Africa

 

1. The Maori

The Maori wreck dive.
The Maori wreck dive.

The Maori is located between Hout Bay and Llandudno, in the Cape Peninsula, about 75 metres offshore. The Maori’s history is a fascinating one – the ship was carrying a cargo of explosives, water piping and crockery from London to New Zealand when it crashed into the rocks in thick fog on 5 August 1909. Though the marine life is not as colourful as on other dives, The Maori is renowned for its historical value and divers can expect to see bits of porcelain and bottles still located in this sunken treasure.

2. The Paquita

Knsyna Heads is a magnificent setting for a scuba diving adventure. The Paquita, a German vessel, sank on the eastern side of the Knysna Heads way back in 1903. Divers exploring the Paquita wreck can go as far as 16 metres below the surface. The wreck remains in excellent condition. Its iron plates still glimmer brightly and its anchors are clearly visible, despite sitting at the bottom of the ocean for over a century. Divers can expect to see the famous Knysna seahorses, nudibranchs, blacktails and an assortment of other fish.

What’s scuttling?

No, we’re not talking about crabs this time. Scuttling is the act of deliberately sinking a ship by allowing water to flow into the hull. This can be achieved in several ways—valves or hatches can be opened to the sea, or holes may be ripped into the hull with force or explosives. Scuttling is often done to provide an artificial reef for divers and marine life.

 

3. Smitswinkel Bay Wrecks

Smitswinkel Bay wreck dives.

The wrecks in Smitswinkel Bay off the Cape Peninsula were scuttled by the navy to form artificial reefs, a sort of haven for divers. And what a haven it is!  You will find the SAS Transvaal and SAS Good Hope – former navy frigates, the Rockeater – a diamond dredger, which lies deep (at 36m) and boasts an abundance of life and colour; and two fishing trawlers – The Princess Elizabeth and The Oratava.  Teeming with fish, nudibranch and coral life, the wrecks are fairly deep, which means that artificial light is needed to see the wonderful colours of the marine life.

4. The Produce

The Produce impressive wreck dive, surrounded by thousands of fishs.

The Produce was travelling from Durban, South Africa, headed south when it struck the Aliwal Shoal in 1974. The old cargo vessel was allegedly thought to be carrying molasses. The Produce is 119m long and lies facing North. The vessel is home to a host of Giant Brindle Bass, which are massive fish about 3m long, and 1.5m wide – spotting one of these giants is a treat in itself. This dive is considered to be the crowning jewel of the Aliwal Shoal dive sites on a good day.

5. The Klipfontein

The Klipfontein dive wreck.

The Klipfontein shipwrecked off the coast of Mozambique in 1953 after hitting a reef off Zavora beach. With a depth of between 34m and 52m, Klipfontein lies about 6km offshore, roughly halfway between the deep offshore reef system and the red and white sands system. In her prime she was 160m long but split in two on her descent into the depths. Both parts of the wreck offer stunning deep water artificial reef dives. It’s definitely worth a dive.

6. SS Paraportiani

The SS Parapotiani is a fascinating dive. The 300 ft-long cargo vessel lies in less than 60 feet of water, off the Panza Reef at the southern tip of Pemba Island, Zanzibar. What makes this dive unique is that fact that the ship’s stern is still largely intact and her broken superstructure is now embedded in the sand. This is a shallow dive and perfect for novice divers. The skeleton of this vessel is alive with elegant lionfish, colourful anemone and starfish who have made the reef their home.

7. Ennerdale wreck

Ennerdale Wreck lies off the coast of Mahé – the largest island in the Seychelles.  She went down in 1970 when she struck a pair of uncharted granite pinnacles off Mahé island. This is a tricky dive, but worth the challenge and recommended for more advanced divers. With a maximum depth of around 30m, the site is known for its abundance and variety of tropical fish and marine life, just waiting to be explored.

8. Djabeda Wreck

The Djabeda wreck is a Japanese fishing boat, sunk just off the Coin de Mire (Gunner’s coin) Island on the north coast of Mauritius in 1998.  The wreck has been only slightly damaged over the years and debris can be seen strewn across the sandy ocean bed. The vessel is approximately 44m long, 10m high and 5m wide and stands upright in a maximum of 34m depth. As part of the dive you will pass some wreck parts, some of which are kept safe by giant morays. Look out for the huge anchor. On the dive you are likely to see an amazing coral garden rich with soft corals, schooling fish, king fish, moray eels, trigger fish, stone fish, lion fish, parrot fish, leaf fish and sea slugs – and if you’re lucky barracuda, sting rays and dolphins.

9. Stella Maru

The Stella Maru is a Japanese trawler that was sunk in 1987 by the Mauritius Conservation society to create an artificial reef.  The Stella Maru wreck lies upright on a sand bottom, next to a rocky reef at an average depth of 23 metres. Unlike many other wrecks, the ship lies virtually intact on the ocean floor, offering divers a remarkable, unrivalled sight as they descend toward it. Other attractions are the giant moray eels and the number of bottom-dwelling creatures lying unseen around the wreck or in cervices and recesses in the coral patches surrounding it.

10. Mitsio

For those looking for nighttime wreck dives in Africa, The Mitsio off Madagascar’s Nosy Be coastline is the ideal African wreck dive. Down at 25m, the wreck is home to throngs of lion and devil fire fish, arrow crabs and a dazzling honeycomb moray, hiding on the starboard side. It is a colourful, vibrant dive, as the coral growth on the wreck, which sank in 2008, provides a home to a plethora of species and an exceptional diving event.

Let’s go discover the best wreck dives in Africa!

La Costa de los Esqueletos es conocida por los innumerables restos de naufragios que aún se encuentran a lo largo de su costa
Let’s go discover the hidden wrecks of Africa!

Start your underwater safari today! Let Rhino Africa tailor-make your African holiday of a lifetime to suit your budget, needs and style. One of our experienced consultants will give you all the inside information to ensure you get the best possible wreck dives in Africa. Get your flippers on and contact us today!

Situated off the coast of Mozambique in Africa, in the Indian Ocean lies the Bazaruto Archipelago which is made up of unspoilt beaches and rich island and marine life. Classified as a national park due to its spectacular natural treasures, the secluded and romantic landscapes are ideal for a Mozambique Honeymoon.

Mozambique honeymoon
Photo Credit: Rhino Africa

5 Picturesque Islands

There are five islands to explore, namely Bazaruto, Benguerra (hailed for its birdlife), Santa Carolina (which Rhino Africa is helping to restore), Magaruque and Banque. Like a constellation, all of these five islands can be seen on a day trip where locals take you island hopping by boat or dhow (a traditional sailing vessel). You can read our complete guide to Mozambique to get a better understanding of how the mainland compares.

Mozambique honeymoon
Photo Credit: Rhino Africa

Awe-inspiring Activities

The coral reef has many diving sites, some as deep as 30m that immerse you into a world of colourful aquatic life. Snorkelling is extremely popular for the same reason as the coral is so well conserved. Take your Mozambique honeymoon between October and January and you’ll find the waters ideal for fishing, with populations of bonefish, marlin and sailfish soaring during the summer season.

On land, there are many ways to navigate the magnificent landscapes such as on horseback and on hiking and trekking trails. To hop between islands, besides the traditional dhow, guests can also take a special helicopter ride, making for a marvellous bird’s eye view of the five islands.

Mozambique honeymoon
Photo Credit: Rhino Africa

Wondrous Wildlife

As mentioned above, the waters around these islands are a paradise for marine animal lovers with bigger wildlife including dolphins, whales, sharks and the endangered dugong (similar looking to a sea cow). Smaller wildlife, on the other hand, consists of manta rays and turtles. Venturing out to the freshwater lakes, you’ll be intrigued by sightings of suni antelope, crocodiles and every tropical island lover’s dream, flamingos!

Mozambique honeymoon
Photo Credit: Rhino Africa

Tranquil Accommodation

Antanar Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa

It says it all in the name, Antanar Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa has couples covered in terms of providing the exquisite atmosphere that guests expect on an island getaway. Dine at a selection of international restaurants, be pampered at the Antanara Spa, learn about local cuisine through relaxing cooking classes and take an adventurous new step together by doing a short course at the diving school. With over 40 Beach Villas, this resort is for couples who are looking for a glamourous yet tranquil start to the rest of their lives together.

Dugong Lodge

With access to the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary, Dugong Lodge provides a more intimate atmosphere offering only 14 Luxury Chalets. Head out to scuba dive, kayak and embark on ocean safaris that get you closer to the marine life that lives around the coral reef. Something special here is the gazebo, situated right on the boardwalk jetty, giving guests the impression of floating on the waves while enjoying a drink.

&Beyond Benguerra Island

&Beyond is always a provider of utter sophistication and their hotel on Benguerra Island is no different. The hotel invites guests to experience the best of the forest and the ocean biomes while the beaches found in closes proximity are unaffected by the tide. Unwind in the comfort of fully-kitted casinhas and cabanas in between couple’s massages at the sala.

Mozambique honeymoon
Photo Credit: Rhino Africa

Are you interested in travelling to the Bazaruto Archipelago for your ultimate romantic Mozambique honeymoon? Book your adventure with one of Rhino Africa’s travel experts today. 

Eine Herde Elefanten an einem Wasserloch im Addo Elephant Nationalpark, Ostkap

The most visited attractions in East Africa are a collection of everything glorious about the continent; majestic people, ancient landscapes, unforgettable experiences and sublime wildlife.

Mt Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

The picturesque Savannah in Kenya with Kilimanjaro in the background
Majestic Mount Kilimanjaro from the Savannah
Photo credit: Sergey Pesterev

With its distinction as the highest mountain in Africa, it’s no mystery why Mount Kilimanjaro draws an approximated 35 000 climbers each year. A part of the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania, it was recognised by the World Travel Awards for three consecutive years (2015/6/7) as Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction – it’s also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.
At 5,895 metres, it is one of the Seven Summits; the highest mountains in each of the seven continents. Every year thousands journey to this epic peak to brave its height and the elements. A reported two-thirds make it and many return, unable to resist the challenge it presents.

• Mount Kilimanjaro, nicknamed Kili, is actually a Stratovolcano – a conical volcano built on layers of lava and volcanic ash.
• Kili is a dormant volcano made up of 3 volcanic cones, Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi.
• It’s positioned 320 km south of the equator
• There are six official routes up the mountain

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Games drives at Maasai Mara National Park are one of the reasons it is a top attraction in East Africa
The breathtaking Maasai Mara plains

An expansive wilderness with a plethora of wildlife and sights, Maasai Mara National Reserve is the adventure playground of choice for an estimated 290 000 tourists each year. Drawing them to this landscape is its Savannah plains, animals that include lions, cheetahs, elephants and hippos and, without a doubt, the epic annual migration of Wildebeest – an event so grand that photographs scarcely capture its fullness.

To learn more about this extraordinary event read our blog on 36 Things You Should Know About the Great Wildebeest Migration.

The Maasai are not only native to this land but also its caretakers
Maasai warriors near Lake Manyara
Picture credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Maasai Mara is a preserved area in southwestern Kenya identifiable through its rolling hills, grassy plains and the Mara and Talek rivers running through it. Also a wonder to behold are the villages (enkangs) of the mighty Maasai people that dot the area, one of the most wondrous attractions in East Africa. A Maasai safari opens visitors up to a large concentration of game and endless photographic opportunities. Named after its native inhabitants’ own description – the word “Mara” is Maa (the Maasai language) for “spotted” – of the area’s speckled appearance and diverse landscape, the preservation still honours the Maasai’s ancient ways and reverence for nature. For many visitors, it’s not just the wildlife and landscapes but the experience of authentic Africa that brings them to this land.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

The Serengeti's wildlife population and diversity unparalleled which is why it's one of the leading East African attractions
Elephants in the Serengeti
Photo credit: Beverley Joubert

This vast wilderness, 14 750 square kilometres of grassland plains, woodlands, riverine forest and Savanna, is where nearly 100 000 international visitors flock each year. The Serengeti National Park has the oldest ecosystem in the world and an unparalleled diversity of flora and fauna – there’s a reason why the word “Serengeti” invokes images of an untamed wilderness and why it’s one of the most well-known attractions in East Africa.

The animals, vegetation and waterways of the Serengeti are the same as they were more than a million years ago. It is also here that the oldest human remains were found (2 million years old) by renowned archaeologist Dr Leaky. These plains are also the ancestral land of the Maasai whose ancient ways endure in the communities in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Young maasai warrior
The glorious Maasai people
Photo credit: Softkenya

This park has 500 bird species that include lovebirds, crowned crane, secretary bird and ostrich. Meanwhile lions and cheetahs roam the land and leopards can be found on the trees near the Seronera River. Each year, the annual migration – millions of wildebeest, zebra and more – marks this terrain and serves a feast for the crocodiles of the Mara River. From herds of elephant, gazelle, zebra, impala and eland, this wilderness puts on a spectacle for enthralled revelers year in and out.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the most unforgettable attractions in East Africa
The misty hills that are home to majestic gorillas
Photo credit: Uganda Tourism Centre

On the hills of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies one of the oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests on the continent. Dating back 250 000 years and home to over 400 mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is an unforgettable destination, which last year alone drew 40 000 trekkers. The national park itself is home to 120 mammals, including baboons, chimpanzees and elephants, and 350 bird species. Named one of the Best Parks in Africa by CNN last year, it’s also one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and a popular honeymoon destination.

Already one of the most favoured attractions in East Africa, Bwindi forest looks set to be even more popular after its feature in the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther. Scenes from the area were used in the making of the movie, which means a visit there offers a real-life glimpse of Wakanda while you enjoy one of the 35 African Experiences You Need To Have Before You Die.

Gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest
A family of gorillas in the forest
  • Some 70% of visitors opt to access this forest from Kigali, Rwanda by driving into southern areas such as Rushanga, which is a shorter trip that the one from Entebbe or Kampala. Some choose to get the most of this region by visiting all the top attractions in East Africa via a Kenyan safari then a short flight to Kigali for a Rwandan adventure before driving into Uganda.
  • Charter flights to Bwindi are available from Entebbe International Airport.

We have a variety of tours for you to experience these attractions for yourself, one being a trip from seeing the great Wildebeest to the Archipelago islands. Contact our consultants here.

Like all the splendid regions of the continent, East Africa is unique, with its own heartbeat, pace and magic. There you will find wild and open fields, an accelerating diversity of landscapes and nature so untouched it follows the most ancient rhythms. Massive hoards migrate as one, leaving their mark on the land, big cats roam and hunt in territories they proudly claim, big apes dominate in the rainforests and birds of all colours and embellishments cover the sky – it is a beautiful and savage Kingdom where only the admiring may enter.

Here’s a look at the best destinations in East Africa; the places that offer the most thorough exploration of its beauty and wildlife.

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Maasai Mara National Park
A safari vehicle approaches on the horizon at Masai Mara

A pocket of the vast Savannah wilderness, a preserved region of an ancient landscape, untamed and glorious, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is an unmissable stop on a trip to East Africa. Its sheer expanse – extending to and joining Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park – and untouched terrain, its remarkable wildlife population, all provide unmatched exploration.

Werner Schmäing - The four Banditos 4 sons of Notch, Masai Mara, Kenya - Copy
Werner Schmäing – The four Banditos 4 sons of Notch, Masai Mara, Kenya

Situated in southwestern Kenya, along the Tanzanian border, it is home to the lion, cheetah, elephant, zebra and hippo and experiences the epic annual Great Migration of Wildebeest along its plains. The surrounding area has a scattering of Masaai villages (enkangs), which are a wonder to behold.

Masaai Mara warrior overlooking the plains near East Africa's Masaai Mara National Park
A Masaai warrior looks over the plains

Visitors will love:

  • Unspoiled nature and diverse landscapes, including sweeping Savannah plains, rolling hills and epic waterways
  • An abundance and diversity of wildlife, from big cats to great giants and meandering hoards
  • A front seat to the extraordinary Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra
  • A selection of luxury safari accommodations, all suited to individual tastes and style and offering game-viewing opportunities by foot, vehicle or air balloon

Wondering when’s the best time to visit Kenya? Click here.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Panorama of the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, East Africa
Volcanoes National Park in Rwana
Photo credit: Getty Images

Some of the greatest cinema in the world has tried to capture the wonder of an encounter with a great ape. A lucky few have enjoyed this unforgettable experience in real life and never forgot the moment they came face-to-face with this majestic animal. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda– the setting for the book and film Gorillas in the Mist – is home to approximately 400 of endangered Mountain gorillas. Here, these glorious creatures live peacefully and protected and can be tracked in their natural habitat.

Passar um tempo com gorilas selvagens em Ruanda é um sonho para qualquer viajante que se aventura nesse pedaço do continente africano
A Mountain gorilla in the Rwandan rainforest

This national park in Rwanda is the oldest in Africa and has an abundance of wildlife hidden deep in dense Afromontane forest. Golden monkeys swing overhead, three-horned chameleons make their wide-eyed appearance and 178 bird species fill the skies as you journey in search of these great giants.

Misty landscape at sunrise in Rwanda, East Africa
The Rwandan landscape at sunrise
Photo credit: Maxime Niyomwungeri

Visitors will love:

  • Being immersed in the land of Mountain gorillas, where over 400 of these endangered primates live
  • The thrill of a guided nature walk through the oldest national park in Africa
  • Sighting creatures such as the three-horned chameleon, Rwenzori turacos and over 180 species of bird
  • Contributing to the preservation of critically-endangered Mountain gorilla

Want to know about more other destinations in Rwanda ?

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Bucket List Ideen 2020: Zwei Giraffen in malerischer Kulisse in der Serengeti
Group of giraffes in the Serengeti National Park on a sunset background with rays of sunlight. African safari.

One of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries in the world; favoured for its splendid sights, expanse and abundance of diverse wildlife, the Serengeti National Park never fails to astound those lucky enough to explore its realms. The lion, cheetah, elephant and giraffe all call this East African sanctuary home, across a diversity of landscapes such as the Seronera Valley (the southern/central part) with its classic Savannah plains and scatterings of Acacia. The western corridor, where the Grumeti River flows, is marked by lush forests and dense bush while the north, Lobo area, meets with Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Here the Big 5 can be seen in all their glory and the annual migration of wildebeest, gazelle and zebra viewed at exhilarating proximity.

The Great Migration in the Serengeti
A herd of Wildebeest crosses the river during the Great Migration

Visitors will love:

  • Game-viewing all-year round
  • A glimpse of wildlife near rivers and waterholes
  • Seeing the Big 5 in action
  • Observing a trumpet of elephant, pride of lions or float of crocodile in their natural habitats
  • One of the most thrilling vantages of the Great Migration

Already planning your trip to Tanzania? Click here for our 9 travel tips in Tanzania:

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

panoramic view of Uganda's green hills
Uganda’s beautiful lush hills

33,100ha of steep mountain rainforest, home to half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is the remote wilderness of an adventurer’s dreams. This forest is one of only three places in the world when visitors can track these magnificent primates and is also sanctuary to the bushbuck, chimpanzee, African golden cat and gentle forest elephant.

Gorilla in Bwindi National Park, Uganda
Mountain gorilla at Bwindi National Park

Parts of this park extend to over 2,600m above sea level, providing an astonishing angles of the vast montage of Afromontane forest. This diverse ecosystem has nurtured an abundance of animal and plant life, including 350 birds and 120 mammal species. As with many East Africa destinations, Bwindi offers opportunities for bird-watching, mountain-biking and hiking and visits to nearby villages.

Visitors will love:

  • Opportunities to glimpse the world of Uganda’s endangered mountain gorillas
  • The abundance of other wildlife such us monkeys, chimpanzees, elephants and a range of bird species
  • Immersion in an authentic rainforest deep in the mountains
  • Soaring views of the open forest and landscapes

If you’re interested in visiting more than one destination in this region, view these 11 East Africa Tour Ideas.

Sossusvlei Dunes await

I’m a self-confessed movie enthusiast and African aficionado and it gave me much pleasure to put together a list of movies filmed in Africa. Do you know any? Hold on to your popcorn, travellers, some are easy to spot but others may just surprise you!

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road

    The movie is set in a dry, post-apocalyptic world, so it only makes sense to film the story in a desert. But here’s the funny bit: Australia’s outback turned lush with flowers after unexpected rains, moving the set to Namibia’s legendary Namib Desert. The only changes made to Namibia’s natural beauty was the colouring of sand to a yellowish shade.

    Bonus point: Charlize Theron accidentally broke Tom Hardy’s nose on set with her elbow.sunset over Namibia's desert

  2. Blood Diamond

    This story is set in Sierra Leone and exposes the brutality of illegal diamond mines. It was difficult to film in Sierra Leone because of civil unrest and insufficient infrastructure. Mozambique and its capital, Maputo, provided the backdrop for the country instead. The illegal diamond mines and American places were filmed in South African cities of Cape Town and Port Edward in KwaZulu-Natal.

    Table Mountain table cloth city view
    Image credit: Alexander Hill

    Bonus point: In KwaZulu-Natal, the crew were careful not to disturb the ecosystem while filming.

  3. The Last King of Scotland

    This movie is centered around Uganda during the 1970’s while it was under the brutal regime of dictator, Idi Amin. Staying true to the story, most scenes were filmed in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. To prepare for the role, Forest Whitaker learned to speak Swahili and even met Amin’s siblings for a first-hand account of their famous brother.

    Bonus point: Forest Whitaker stayed in character full time for three months, even offset.

    Panoramic view of Uganda's green hills
    Image credit: Achim Prill

  4. District 9

    This movie made South Africans beaming proud with seven BAFTA awards and four Academy Awards. Filmed in Johannesburg and Soweto, the story is inspired by South Africa’s history of Apartheid but with a sci-fi twist.  Scenes of the informal settlements in the movie are actual homes that were previously evacuated. District 9 certainly gives a close-up view of Gauteng’s cities – except for the huge spaceship.

    Bonus point: Out of the entire cast, William Allen Young is the only actor who is not South African.

    Skyline of Johannesburg from aerial view
    Image credit: Felix Lipov

  5. Invictus

    This movie is set in 1995 when South Africa won the Rugby World Cup. Nelson Mandela was the first black president of a newly democratic country and  South Africans banded together at this iconic match after decades of racial separation. The movie is filmed at Ellis Park Stadium (now known as Emirates Airline Park Stadium) where the match was won. Cape Town’s Robben Island also features when the rugby team visits Mandela’s prison cell where he spent 27 years.

    Bonus point: Morgan Freeman watched this movie with Nelson Mandela.

    Robben Island with Table Mountain in the background
    Robben Island with Table Mountain in the background- Image credit: South African Tourism

  6. Hotel Rwanda

    Based on the true story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed hundreds of Rwandans of Tutsi ethnic minority to keep them safe during the country’s genocide. Hotel Rwanda was mostly filmed in the capital, Kigali, while a few scenes were also filmed in Alexandra informal settlement in Johannesburg. Hotel Rwanda won 13 different awards between 2004 and 2005.

    Bonus point: The producers created the International Fund for Rwanda in 2005 to support genocide survivors.

    A view of Alexandra informal settlement in Johannesburg

    Did any of these surprise you? Let us know in the comment section below!

Dhow, ein taditionelles Segelboot aus Mosambik, im türkisblauen Meer vor der Küste

Mozambique: a country bursting with history, rich in culture and home to the most pristine and dreamlike beaches in Africa- and it’s affordable to boot! Swaying palms on unblemished beaches, a rich marine life, and a destination well off most beaten tracks makes this country one of seclusion and adventure for those that venture into Mozambique’s borders. Local residents radiating friendliness welcome you to a treasure chest of exquisite colonial architecture, coral reefs, diverse culture, dune-fringed beaches and offshore islands such as Bazaruto and Quirimbas, beckoning to be visited. Dubbed the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, take an unforgettable journey with unfailing reward with this guide:

Bazaruto archipelago in Mozambique

Geography:

Three times the size of Great Britain and with 2,500km of coastline, Mozambique has plenty of terrain just waiting to be explored. A long and narrow country, it shares borders with South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe to the south and Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania to the north. Two topographical regions are caused by the Zambezi River which flows west to east of the country, resulting in different landscapes in the north and south. The Indian Ocean hugs the east of Mozambique, creating its popular beach destinations and warm and inviting waters.

Map of Mozambique

History:

Mozambique tells an interesting story and is ripe with history.  Vasco da Gama dropped anchor just off Mozambican shores in 1498, finding it an ideal spot for trade. Eventually forced out by locals, Vasco da Gama left. The Portuguese made their second debut, in the 16th and 17th century they were back. Colonial rule ran from 1891-1975, with trade in ivory, gold, slaves, rubber and oil seed. Arrival of the Arab trade in northern Mozambique dates back to the 18th century, leaving washed out mosques and locals practicing Islam today.

A beautiful mosque in Mozambique
Photo credit: Erik Cleves Kristensen

A long struggle for independence erupted in 1964, leading to the departure of the majority of Mozambique’s Portuguese inhabitants. Nevertheless, they left behind a strong cultural imprint on the country which can still be seen today. The struggle for independence left Mozambique poor, but recent decades have seen it bouncing back better then ever before with 80% of its people working in agriculture with its main exports in shrimp, cashews, cotton, sugar and timber.

Portuguese architecture in Mozambique
Photo credit: Stig Nygaard

Culture:

Language and Religion:

The cultural side of Mozambique is an interesting one, with many aspects showing a beautiful merge between Portuguese and native culture.  Although there are many languages and around 60 ethnic groups, Portuguese was the only language widely known across the country thereby becoming the official language. This has resulted in most people being multi-lingual. Indigenous languages are spoken in different areas in Mozambique and English is also sometimes understood, and with its six geographical neighbours all previous British colonies, this is hardly surprising. The native religion is commonly animism, placing great importance on connections with ancestors, however due to Arab and Portuguese influences, Islam and Christianity are also practiced.

Mozambique boat with locals in floating on turquoise waters
Photo credit: Paulo Miranda
Mozambican people on the beach
Photo credit: Rosino

Cuisine:

On the food front you will also be in for cuisine that caters for Portuguese-inspired palates. This is especially true on the coast, with seafood rice dishes, prego rolls and piri-piri chicken. Some of these dishes include Macaza (grilled shellfish kabobs), bacalhão (dried salted cod) and chocos (squid cooked in its own ink). Inland, the cassava root is the staple food which can be mashed, baked, made into bread and manipulated in many other ways. Other foods locally grown and produced are coconuts, cashews, peanuts, pao bread, pineapples and, no Mozambique trip would be complete without trying, the local beer – 2M.

Mozambican cuisine: prawns, clams and calamari.
Photo credit: Rick McCharles
Local Mozambique beer, 2M.
Photo credit: Tracey Jane Shaw

Music:

Mozambique bands have abandoned their previous European-style music and have adopted new forms of local folk styles, using handmade instruments, and new African popular music. Instruments such as drums made from wood and animals skins (lupembe), woodwind instruments made from animal horns and the marimba are now commonly used.

Mozambican women walking on beach carrying fruit

Clothing:

An individual’s economic standing is reflecting in the way that they dress. In cities, men and women can be seen wearing Western-style suits and African-patterned dresses. Traditionally men would wear a loincloth, however t-shirts and dashikis are replacing this. Women have kept their traditional dress in rural areas, wearing  long strips of fabric wrapped around the body, under the arms and over one shoulder, with a traditional head scarf. Clothing can also indicate ethnic identity, for example, men in the north wear white robes and head coverings indicating they are Muslim.

Plane flying into Mozambique safari destinations
Photo credit: Lugenda Wilderness Camp

Wildlife & Safari:

Despite the coastline owning the spotlight, Mozambique has a rich wildlife and offers exclusivity and remoteness. National Parks are home to elephant (Mozambique’s national animal), lion, hippo, antelope and buffalo to name a few. Bird enthusiasts will also marvel at the country’s flamingo and fish eagle populations. When exploring the coastline, be sure to look out for humpback whales, whale sharks, dolphins, manta rays and loggerhead and leatherback turtles. Many of Mozambique’s parks are composed of patches of floodplains, woodlands and open plains creating diverse ecosystems. Enjoy the wild bush at Gorongosa National Park and Lake Niassa, the perfect addition to a beach getaway.

Mozambique wildlife
Photo credit: Lugenda Wilderness Camp

Mozambique under water ocean life - turtles

Climate & When to go:

Mozambique has two season, wet and dry. March to November mark the drier and cooler season and December through to April the rainy and humid season. The best time to visit the coast is in the dry months of May through to October, when day time temperatures are generally around 20-25 degrees Celsius. However, the climate in the south of the country is temperate and can be frequented throughout the year.

Top Attractions:

  • The Bazaruto Archipelago National Parkjust off the coast of Vilanculos, is a snorkeler’s and diver’s paradise. With the marine reserve protected, expect a diverse sea life in and around the three-kilometre long coral reef. Keep eyes peeled for manta rays, turtles and the rare dugong. Inland, discover fresh water lakes populated with suni antelope, crocodile and flamingos.  Well known for its game-fishing, throw a line for bonefish, marlin and sailfish. Boasting unspoiled beaches, over 180 species of birds, the clearest of waters teeming with dolphins and five pristine islands, Bazaruto is one of our favourites.

    Bazaruto Archipelago

  • The Inhambane Coastline draws us with its pristine coastline dotted with faded colonial-style architecture. A charming town bursting with history, Inhambane is one of the oldest settlements along the coast. A superb selection of beaches are in close proximity to the town. Tofo and Barra, in particular, are our favourites. This spot is another fantastic place to snorkel and dive, and experience the opportunity to swim alongside whale sharks.

    Flamingo Bay in Mozambique
    Inhambane Coastline

  • The Quirimbas Archipelago, off the coast of Pemba in Northern Mozambique, reveal a multitude of secrets from coral reefs to ancient boabab trees. The archipelago consists of 31 islands, each with their own blend of culture, and offer exclusivity as they are harder to reach. Remote white sand beaches, palm trees and tropical waters are precisely why we love it.

    Quirimbas Archipelago

  • Maputo, the pleasant capital city of Mozambique. Enjoy its charming markets, striking architecture and its buzz while staying in villas over looking the ocean. Walk along its Portuguese style streets with cafes and works by contemporary Mozambican artists. Indulge in exquisite cuisines and a nightlife of Latin and African rhythms.

    Flowers in Maputo
    Maputo – photo credit: Rosino

  • Lake Niassa, also known as Lake Malawi or the Lake of Stars, lies on the border between Malawi and Mozambique. Crystal clear waters surrounded by thickets of indigenous forest and tranquil shores make Lake Niassa a wild and wonderful paradise that few others know about. Between baobabs and sandy coves hide cabins with spectacular views of the lake. Over 500 species of fish are beneath these waters, with many being vibrant cichlid species, making the lake a perfect snorkeling and diving spot.

    Lake Niassa in Mozambique
    Lake Niassa

Getting there:

Mozambique is home to three international airports: Maputo, Vilanculos and Pemba. The main airport, however, is Maputo, with regular flights from South Africa, Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. Direct flights from South Africa are available to the Bazaruto Archipelago and the Quirimbas Archipelago. One can also self-drive through Mozambique, which is often opted for with a trip Kruger National Park in South Africa just outside the Mozambican border.

Accommodation:

Check out some of our top accommodation pages here.

Accommodation in Mozambique
Anantara Resort & Spa

Tourits in a dhow boat in Mozambique

Travel Tips & Important Travel Information:

Currency:

Local currency is Metical or Meticais (plural). With notes in denominations of MT 1,000, 500, 200, 100 and coins in denominations of MT10, 5, 5 and 1. Credit card payments are generally only made in the capital, Maputo, and so it is better to have USD or ZAR (South African Rand) for informal purchases such as markets and tipping. USD is generally accepted throughout the country, however ZAR only in the south of Mozambique, and one should expect change to be in Metacais. It is advisable to exchange money at banks and airports.

Boy in a dhow boat in Mozambique
Photo credit: Evgheni Mancui

Visa:

All visitors, expect a select few African countries, require a visa to travel to Mozambique. We recommend that you obtain the tourist visa before you travel in order to guarantee a hassle-free entry. Three working days are usually required for visa processing. Visas can be purchased at the borders for an amount between $30 and $80, however, do not suggest this.

Machangulo beach in Mozambique

Vaccinations & Medical:

Malaria is a risk and therefore precautions are essential. Cover up with long sleeves in the evenings, use insect repellents on exposed skin, avoid the rainy season and sleep under a mosquito net. Taking antimalarial tablets is also an option, however we ask that you verify what specific medical precautions you will need to take with a certified doctor or travel clinic.

Mozambique beach filled with dhows and locals at Vilanculos
Photo credit: Erichon

Other useful tips:

  • Drink only purified or bottled water.
  • Avoid camouflage clothing since it is illegal for civilians in the majority of African countries.
  • Keep in mind that the following is illegal: driving on the beach, driving without a seat belt and driving without two red hazard triangles.
  • Tipping is generally 10% for serviced restaurants.

Sunset in Inhambane, Mozambique

Our consultants at Rhino Africa have been to Mozambique many times and are happy to answer questions or help tailor your trip.