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Mozambique Island, Mozambique
Fast Facts
Historic Interest
Religious Site
Points of Interest Nearby

Mozambique Island, Mozambique


Photo by Mozaic Travel

There is more to a family vacation in Mozambique than sea, sun and sand. Mozambique Island, Ilha de Moçambique in Portuguese, is a World Heritage Site and architectural treasure. Occupied by Arab maritime merchants as early as the 10th century, Mozambique Island was already a well-established trade center when Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, landed here in 1498. Under Portuguese rule, Mozambique Island flourished for roughly 200 years. Stone Town, as the island's Portuguese settlement is known, was the colony's first capital as well as a primary port and missionary center in Portuguese east Africa. Yet by the early 18th century, Stone Town's fortunes were in decline. Slave trade revived the economy for a period but by the early 19th century Mozambique Island's importance had once again waned. As you stroll the narrow streets of Stone Town and tour the island's many historical sites weave tales of Arab merchants, Indian traders and Portuguese explorers and help the kids envision life on the island island in its heyday.
Getting There
Mozambique Island, just off the Nacala coast, is situated roughly 180 km (110 miles) east of Nampula and 400 km (250 miles) south of Pemba. A 3km (1.9 miles) causeway connects the island to the mainland. LAM services both Pemba and Nampula. Local car rental agencies are available in both. Chapas (buses) offer an alternative means of travel but be forewarned the trip is rough, dusty and long. Kaskazini Tourism Services organizes road transfers.
Getting Around
The best way to navigate the narrow streets of Stone Town, Moçambique's once bustling colonial center, is on foot or by bike. Bikes can be rented from the tourist information center located next to the Palace of the Governor.
When to Travel
The best time to visit Mozambique Island is from June to August when the average daytime temperature is between 22-30° C (71-86° F) and the chance of rain is minimal. The weather is hot and humid throughout the rainy season (November - April); the heaviest rains are in January and February.
Health & Safety
Malaria is prevalent throughout Mozambique and is a risk year-round. Yet traveler's diarrhea is the most common aliment afflicting tourists to this southeast African nation. Avoiding tap water is the cornerstones to prevention. Drink bottled water and eat cooked or peeled fruit and vegetables only.
Things to Keep in Mind
The beaches on Mozambique Island leave much to be desired.
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Travel Trivia
Puerto Madryn is located on the shore of which Ocean: