lha de Mocambique (Island of Mozambique) is a small coral island off the northern Mozambican coast.
It has a natural harbour with a rich history dating back to Arab merchants using it as a trading post before it was colonialised by the Portuguese. The architecture in the small harbour towns has Arabian, Indian and Portuguese influences. The Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte (1522) could be the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere. The entire island is a United Nations World Heritage declared in 1991.
The Archipelago das Quirimbas, also on the northern coast of Mozambique is a chain of 32 coral islands. The island group has been incorporated into the Quirimbas National Park along with a large stretch of the Mozambican coastline. Its beauty has earned itself the name “African Caribbean”.
The Archipelago das Bazaruto consists of Bazaruto Island as well as the Magaruque, Santa Carolina, Benguera and Bangue islands.
Situated off mainland Mozambique between Vilanculos and Inhassoro about 800 km from Maputo, it can be reached by boat or plane.
The islands are covered by large sand dunes and freshwater lakes, creating nesting areas for black-winged flamingos. There are also herds of red duiker antelope, freshwater crocodiles and samango monkeys. The coral reefs create great diving spots for both snorkelling and scuba diving.
There are many beautiful beaches along the entire Mozambican coastline and it will be impossible to name all of them. Ponta dOuro on the southern border is well-known for surfing, offering a great right hand point-break compared to the world-famous waves in Jeffreys Bay off the South African south-eastern coast. It also offers clear diving spots.
Other scenic beaches are Tofo Beach off the Inhambane Province coast, which also offers good nightlife, and the palm-stretched Morrungulo Beach a few kilometres further north.