November 12

Rhino Africa’s Top 10 Lodges in Mozambique 2012

November 12, 2012

Picture crystal blue waters, palm fringed beaches and rainbow-coloured coral reefs. If ever there was a paradise to be found, it’s on the powdery white shores of Mozambique. This dazzling 2500km coastline is gently embraced by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and plays host to a number of fishing communities and exclusive luxury lodges.

With its sublime shores and romantic sunsets, Mozambique provides the perfect island getaway. Whether you’re looking for an exotic honeymoon or a family escape from the daily grind, there is something to be found in the Bazaruto Islands, Quirimbas Islands, Vilanculos, Inhambane and Pemba.

To help you find your perfect African odyssey, we’ve selected our Top 10 Lodges in Mozambique. Take a look and tell us where you’d want to stay on this island paradise.

 The Quirimbas Archipelago

The Quirimbas Archipelago (or ‘Ilhas Quirimbas’ as they’re known in Portuguese) are a necklace of beautiful islands dotted off the coast of Pemba. These islands stretch for over 250km from Ilha Tecomaji in the north to Ilha Mefunvo in the south. The opalescent beaches framing these unexplored islands are exactly why you should be visiting The Quirimbas Archipelago.

Where? Azura at Quilalea is located in the very southern part of the Quirimbas Archipelago, which forms a fully protected marine sanctuary.
In our office copy of the Oxford Dictionary for the word ‘paradise’ we glued in a picture of Quililea. Walk straight out of your room and into the water for a snorkel on the reef or if you’re feeling adventurous then try a night snorkel. Conscious of this pristine natural environment and the need to preserve it, Azura at Quilalea is incredibly eco-conscious. If you need more convincing, read a review by our Island Connoisseur.

Find out more about Azura at Quilalea here.

Where? A private island in the Quirimbas Archipelago in Mozambique – a 40 minute flight from Pemba.
Why? Think intimacy, luxury and utter decadence – this is what Medjumbe Private Island Resort promises. Of course, you can also expect sandy white beaches, crisp blue seas and, when you’re not too distracted by the view, try the delectable seafood on offer.

Read more about Medjumbe Private Island Resort here.

Where? Situated on the Indian Ocean paradise of Ibo Island just 71 nautical miles from mainland Pemba in northern Mozambique.
Why? Ibo is an interesting mash-up of ancient and contemporary cultures. Aside from the breathtaking beaches, the island has been nominated as a World Heritage Site and by looking at its majestic and archaic architecture, it’s easy to understand why! Don’t miss out on a tour of the four forts on the island and be sure to check out the local silversmiths.

Read more about Ibo Island Lodge here.


Where? Situated off the coast of northern Mozambique in the Quirimbas Archipelago.
Why? Immerse yourself in the warm Indian waters and go snorkelling or just hang out with the kaleidoscope of tropical fish that make their home around the island. Vamizi is exclusive, secluded and right on the beach front.

Read more about Vamizi Island Lodge here.

Where? Matemo Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago is only a 20-minute flight away from mainland Pemba.
Why? Because this may be the closest you’ll ever come to heaven on earth. Pristine blue waters, which you’ll be able to explore to your heart’s content, encase this luxury resort. Between swimming and cocktails next to the poolside, you’ll never want to leave!

Read more about Matemo Island Resort here.

 The Bazaruto Archipelago

The Bazaruto Archipelago is situated much further south than the Quirimbas, just off the coast of Vilanculos. These utopian islands offer phenomenal aquatic activities. Since the archipelago was made a national park in 1971 tourism to the area has thrived. There are direct flights to Vilanculos from South Africa and there are a number of hotels and guesthouses in the town itself. This oceanic Eden is so far off the beaten track, you’ll feel like you’re starring in your very own deserted island adventure movie.

Where? Indigo Bay Island Resort is located on Bazaruto Island within the archipelago, off the coast of Vilanculos in Mozambique. It is a 15 minute air transfer from Vilanculos to the island.
This stylish, exclusive resort invites you to give in to your hedonistic side and just indulge. From the wet pool bar, you have the best views of the gently lapping ocean. It’s so scenic, you’ll  find yourself waiting for a Bond girl to gracefully emerge from the cerulean depths!

Read more about Indigo Bay Island Resort here.

Where? Azura is located on Benguerra Island within the Bazaruto Marine National Park, off the coast of Vilanculos in Mozambique.
Why? Experience heavenly delights on this unspoilt island within a Marine National Park. Spend your days in the water and your nights walking on the private beach. This is the sister hotel to Azura Quilalea and a perfect honeymoon location.

Read more about Azura here.

Gorongosa National Park

Mozambique isn’t just about sun-kissed beaches and azure waters. If you’re looking to compliment your island romp with a good old fashioned safari, Gorongosa National Park should be on your itinerary. The park is a teeming with game and offers year-round safaris. Gorongosa is Mozambique’s first private eco-tourism initiative and definitely worth your while.

Where? Explore Gorongosa is an exclusive camp in the renascent Gorongosa National Park, near Beira in central Mozambique.
Why? You’re in Africa! Take time out to explore the wilds of Mozambique. At this private camp, you’ll come face-to-face with the best of Africa’s fauna and flora. Choose between either river or walking safaris.

Read more about Explore Gorongosa Camp here.

 The Niassa Reserve

The Niassa Reserve is the largest conservation area in Mozambique. It covers parts of Cabo Delgado Province and nearly one third of Niassa Province and is twice the size of the world-famous Kruger National Park! The area is a haven of untouched beauty, rich with wildlife and indigenous vegetation. The reserve hosts over 12 000 elephant, 9 000 Sable Antelope and several thousand Cape Buffalo.

Where? Lugenda Wilderness Camp is situated on the eastern bank of the Lugenda River, in the greater Niassa Reserve, close to the Tanzanian border in northern Mozambique.
Why? This is Mozambique’s premier safari location. And, since this is pretty much untouched terrain, it will be just you, the wildlife and those epic views of the Lugenda River and its surrounds.

Find out more about Lugenda Wilderness Camp here.

 The Inhambane Coastline

The Inhambane Coastline is an unspoilt, idyllic location just 400km north of Mozambique’s capital, Maputo. It’s a relaxed surfer and backpacker paradise. The capital of Inhambane province is Inhambane town, a charming settlement with one of the largest working dhow fleets in East Africa. It’s worth exploring the ancient buildings and wandering around the harbour for a day.

Where? Flamingo Bay is about half an hour’s drive from Inhambane, which is 450km north of Maputo, making Flamingo Bay a short flight or a long drive from Johannesburg.
Why? Rustic, idyllic and unique – Flamingo Bay is situated entirely on stilts in a pristine tidal bay. Sleep with the Indian ocean running beneath your floorboards! Not quite literally.

Read more about Flamingo Bay here.

Rhino Africa can tailor-make an African holiday of a lifetime to suit your budget, needs and style. One of our discerning and experienced consultants can give you all the inside information to ensure that you get the best experience and the best value for money possible. So contact us today and let’s start planning! Africa awaits.


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About the author 

Matthew Sterne

Matt discovered a passion for writing in the six years he spent travelling abroad. He worked for a turtle sanctuary in Nicaragua, in an ice cream factory in Norway and on a camel safari in India. He was a door-to-door lightbulb-exchanger in Australia, a pub crawl guide in Amsterdam and a journalist in Colombia. Now, he writes and travels with us.

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