Mozambique Country Guide

Mozambique Overland Travel Destinations Activities

At A Glance

  • Mozambique is a vast 800 000sqkm, most of it uninhabited
  • It borders South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania
  • The 2500km coastline is fringed with sandy beaches, lagoons, coral reefs & islands
  • The Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos are made up of tiny coral islands - worth a visit!
  • Portuguese is the official language, but only 2% call it their primary tongue

Mozambique Overland Travel

The African equivalent of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Mozambique and the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos stretch up Africa’s southern-east coast like an undiscovered playground for divers.

Once just a destination for travel-restricted South Africans, Mozambique is now a staple on an African overland tour, with easy drives to the coast from Johannesburg and a number of airports. The 2500km coastline is a tropical paradise of sandy beaches and colourful markets, with a diverse array of marine life and coral reefs just offshore.

From bustling Maputo down south to remote Vilanculos up north, Mozambique is perfect for a beach and island holiday or overland adventure: the diving is incredible, the islands remote and the chill factor top notch. Browse our Mozambique overland tours for more inspiration!

Overlanders are sure to get caught up in the Portuguese flavour down south and the more exotic Arab influences up north, but wherever you are, Mozambique is an African beach paradise.


Mozambique is both a tropical beach destination and a culturally rich, yet third-world nation. If you’re overlanding through Mozambique, make sure you explore the islands of Bazaruto and the remote beaches of Inhambane, discover bustling Maputo and relax on the white beaches of Vilanculos.

Bazaruto Archipelago

Like a necklace adorning the Mozambican coastline, the Bazaruto Archipelago is a string of islands situated in a bank of exquisite coral reefs, and are simply a ‘must-visit’ on a Mozambique adventure or overland tour.

The main islands are Santa Carolina, Bazaruto, Benguerra and Magatuque – all offering a typical tropical holiday: coral reefs, clear warm waters, excellent surf and long white beaches.

Overlanders on a Mozambican trip can enjoy a host of exciting adventure activities: fly fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling are all popular; hey, you might even spot a moray eel or loggerhead turtle!

It’s really hard to believe you’re in Africa, but when you’re presented with a plate full of fresh seafood and you’re sitting on a deserted beach, you just might. That’s Bazaruto.


Inhambane is a small town on the Mozambique coastline, and its ancient Portuguese heritage means there are many old buildings to explore, including a 200 year old cathedral!

If you’re overlanding through Mozambique and have a chance to visit Inhambane, then head straight to the beaches of Praia do Tofo or Ponta da Barra, some of the best beaches in the country.

Praia do Tofo is also known for its surf: boards are for hire, as is gear for snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing. This really is a great off-the-beaten-track overland destination.


Vilanculos is 700km north of Maputo, and is the springboard town for the Bazaruto Archipelago, which means it is firmly established as a tourism hotspot in Mozambique.

A lively and interesting town for overlanders, Vilanculos has beautiful beaches, a vibrant night life and a combination of lodges, backpackers and even a campsite.

Easily accessed from Johannesburg and Harare by air, Vilanculos is also a probable stop for a Mozambique overland tour group on their way to the Bazaruto islands.


Maputo is the sprawling, bustling capital of Mozambique, and is just 50km from the South African border. Easily the largest and most widely populated city, Maputo is also a port and a popular tourist destination.

Mozambique overlanding tours usually stop in Maputo for a night or two, stocking up on supplies for further explorations up the coast to Bazaruto or Vilanculos.

Once called Lourenzo Marques, Maputo had a cosmopolitan Portuguese/African atmosphere drawing many international visitors. But the civil war of the 1970s and 80s desecrated many of the old buildings and heritage.

This has however changed, as Maputo is now a popular, rejuvenated African city, where going out for coffee is a national pastime, spicy peri peri prawns are the national food and cold beers can be had just about anywhere!

An overland adventure or tropical beach holiday in Mozambique is simply about embracing the relaxed atmosphere and going with the flow – African style.


Diving & Snorkelling

Mozambique is without a doubt one of Africa’s best diving and snorkelling destinations. With clear warm waters, the temperature of the Indian Ocean never drops below 25°C.

The reefs of the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelago are worth exploring if you’re on a Mozambique overland trip, since they’re in pristine condition, lie close to shore and are home to colourful corals and marine life.

Species that are often spotted include whale sharks, dolphins, humpback whales, manta rays, turtles and even the rare dugong.

Night and wreck dives come highly recommended: what could be better than discovering an underwater paradise by moonlight?

Horse Riding

Imagine riding a horse through the shallow tidal waters off the coast of Mozambique… well, it’s not a dream, it’s a real-life adventure activity! Mozambique offers fantastic beach-based horse-riding, from beginners all the way through to advanced riders.

If you’re on a Mozambique overland adventure, a horse-back safari on the beach could be one of the highlights of your trip!

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