Our Mozambique travel guide gives an overview of a country that borders the Indian Ocean for more than 1,200 miles, and which is still largely unknown to tourists. We urge you to go before that all changes. We'll start in the north, on the Island of Mozambique, the historic capital of the country, and connected to the mainland by a bridge. Here, the Portuguese established their first base, and adorned it with remarkable buildings, mixing Portuguese, Swahili and Arab influences with a touch of India to create a wonderful fusion architecture. At the other extreme of the country, the current capital, Maputo, is resolutely turning its back on ancient history to embrace the future. Halfway up the country,
Beira will be your starting point when it’s finally safe to explore Gorongosa National Park, where lions, gazelles, hyenas and elephants roam an Eden-like landscape. Sadly, for now, Gorongosa and much of the north of the country are off-limits due to an ongoing Islamist uprising, but once this dies down we urge exploration of the region. When the time comes, to appreciate the north you should fly into Pemba, from where you can discover the islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago and the daily life of the Makuas, Makondés and Quimuanes ethnic groups. In Niassa, home to Mozambique's largest reserve, you can spot wildlife around its large lake, but for now, with parts of the country a no-go zone, the real highlight is the south coast from Tofo to Vilanculos, and on to the islands (such as Benguerra) of another archipelago, this time the Bazaruto Archipelago. In either you can dive with whale sharks, sunbathe, swim in the azure blue water, take sunset dhow cruises and generally unwind in one of the most beautiful beach destinations in all Africa.