Mozambique is in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. Still can't place it? Click here.
With over 1500 miles of coastline and water temperatures of a perfect 28C year round, offshore islands surrounded by pristine reefs and glass clear water, Mozambique has so much to offer the diver.
An archipelago of offshore islands, known as the Bazaruto Archipelago, lies in a national marine park off the coast of Mozambique. The three main islands, Margaruque, Benguerra and Bazaruto, can be reached via the mainland town of Vilanculos.
Some 2000 fish species exist here, representing over 80 percent of the Indo-pacific region. The Dugong or sea cow, an extremely rare mammal, is found around the island of Bazaruto which now has the largest remaining population in east Africa. Nile crocodiles can also be seen in the shallow lakes and pools on the islands. The island group is home to all five marine turtle species of the western Indian Ocean which come onto the beaches to breed.
[Thanks to Oliver Payne for the photograph]
- Manta Reef - just five miles off Tofo beach, every morning dozens of giant mantas come for a cleaning by the local tropical fish who dive in and around their gills. Seeing a giant manta swim by must be one of the undersea wonders of this world.
- Whale sharks in Guinjata Bay in the Southern African summer months.
- June to October is the annual Humpback whale migration. Whale song is frequently heard on dives and Whale sightings from boats or from the shore are extremely common.
- Mozambique has had a troubled recent past but current advice is that it is now safe for travel. Always check the latest Foreign Office advice. As a result, there is the added risk of unexploded mines in some areas, particularly the Montepuez region which should be avoided. Throughout the country robberies and violent crimes are common, no road should be considered safe to travel alone.
- During the summer rainy season from October/November to March/April, short lived but violent rain and electrical storms are common. Flooding is frequent in some areas and roads often become impassable during these months.
- Vaccinations are recommended for polio and typhoid and Falciparum malaria is a risk throughout the country. Cholera and rabies are also a risk.
- Malaria is a risk - check for up-to-date information before travelling.
- BE AWARE: Lariam (mefloquine) is an anti-malarial drug used in regions of the world where chloroquine resistant falciparum malaria is prevalent. e.g. East Africa, South East Asia. Possible side effects of lariam such as dizziness, blurred vision and a disturbed sense of balance are common and could cause problems for divers. These effects can often imitate or even worsen the symptoms of DCI. There could also be confusion between the side effects of lariam and the symptoms of DCI or nitrogen narcosis resulting in a misleading diagnosis.
- There is also a risk of bilharzia which is caused by infestation by a type of flatworm, or fluke (parasite). The fluke larvae are released by freshwater snails which penetrate the human skin and mature into adults. Female flukes may lay eggs that cause inflammation. The symptoms (which can take months to surface) depend on the species of fluke. 'Swimmer's itch' develops where the parasite enters the skin, and is often the only symptom. If you think you've been exposed to it you can get a very cheap pill from the local pharmacists that will kill it before it even shows its face.
- Visas can be bought at the airport when you arrive or from the Mozambique Embassy.
|Language:||Portugese but English is widely spoken in tourist areas|
|Natural hazards:||Risk of typhoons in February|
|Diving season:||Year round|
|Air temperature:||24 - 28C|