Mozambique’s main attractions are its islands and its endless, largely undeveloped coastline. The Quirimbas and Bazaruto archipelagos are great places to relax on the beach, and also to see some amazing marine life. Maputo Special Reserve is an excellent spot for ocean safaris, as well as for seeing some elephants and other wildlife in a coastal setting. Niassa and Gorongosa both have potential to become top wildlife destinations with four of the Big Five present, though tourist facilities are limited at present.
Pros & Cons
- Great ocean safaris
- Beautiful island resorts
- Off-the-beaten-track safari destinations
- Big conservation efforts, many parks recovering from poaching
- Direct flights to Bazaruto and the Quirimbas make them perfect add-on destinations
- Wildlife densities and variety not as good as in other countries
- Tourist facilities are very limited in most parks
- Logistics to travel around the country are difficult
- There has been political instability in part of the country
Mozambique isn’t a Big Five wildlife destination, but elephants are quite common in several parks. Rhino and cheetah are extinct in the country but lions can sometimes be seen. Although civil war and neglect has taken its toll on the land ecosystems, the Mozambican coast has an incredibly rich coral ecosystem. Whales, dolphins, turtles and even dugong can be spotted in the Mozambican waters.
More about Mozambique wildlife
Mozambique isn’t a prime wildlife destination. Many of the parks have suffered hard times during the civil war but are recovering slowly. Infrastructure and facilities are limited in some parks. Maputo Special Reserve offers great ocean safaris as well as classic safaris on land. Niassa and Limpopo are both vast ecosystems with a good variety of animals and Gorongosa is home to four of the Big Five, and offers the best all-round classic safari at present. Elephants are around in a lot of the parks. Big cats are usually hard to see, but you’ll have a good chance of seeing lions in Gorongosa. Rhino and cheetah are extinct in the country, but with the fences partially down between Limpopo and Kruger, nothing stops those animals making their way back into Mozambique.
Weather & Climate
Mozambique has a hot, tropical climate. Although temperatures don’t vary greatly throughout the year, the Dry season, from May to October is cooler than the Wet season, from November to April. This is less pronounced in northern Mozambique as it is closer to the equator. Daytime temperatures range from about 25°C/77°F in the Wet season months to 30°C/86°F in the dry season months.
- More about the weather and climate
Best Time to Visit
Mozambique is primarily a beach destination and can be visited at any time. However, January and February tend to be very wet and this can be a spoiler on any kind of holiday. Wildlife viewing is best at the middle and end of the Dry season, which is from July to October. The sea water conditions are best for snorkeling and diving from April to June and from September to November.
More about the best time to visit
The best time to visit Mozambique is from July to October, the middle to the end of the Dry season – these are the best months for classic wildlife viewing. Water sources in the bush have dried out and animals congregate around the few remaining water sources.
Mozambique is mostly visited as a beach destination. The coastal resorts can be visited throughout the year, but January and February tend to be very wet which might spoil a beach holiday. The turtle nesting season runs from November to March and the humpback whale migrating season runs from June to November. Diving and snorkeling is at its best from April to June and from September to November. At this time the water is clear and calm, and visibility is very good.
Best Time July to October (The bush is dry and animals are easy to find)
High Season Never (Most parks never get busy)
Low Season Never (Most parks never get busy)
Best Weather May to October (It is cooler, less humid and it rarely rains)
Worst Weather December to March (Hot and wet weather)
May to October –Dry Season – Winter
- Wildlife watching is at its best
- Little rain, and the skies are nice and sunny
- Less chance of malaria, with fewer mosquitos around
- Diving and snorkeling conditions are best for parts of this season
- Mornings game drives will be cool, particularly in June, July and August
- July and August can be windy on the coast
November to April –Wet Season – Summer
- Scenery is green and lush
- Sea breezes on the coast make the heat bearable
- Newborn animals can be seen
- Turtle nesting season
- Best time for bird watching
- Rains are mostly afternoon showers
- Wildlife is more difficult to see
- Some dirt roads become impassable
- Malaria is a bigger concern than in the Dry season
- Very hot, humid and rainy
Best Time to go to Mozambique by Major Park
Gorongosa, Limpopo and Niassa are classic safari destinations, but with limited wildlife and bad roads. The best months to visit these parks are from the middle to the end of the Dry season (July to October). This is when water is scarce and animals gather around predictable water sources. The bush is also thinner and animals are easier to spot as well. May, June and November are also fine.
Coastal area such as Maputo SR, and the Bazaruto and Quirimbas archipelagos are more about the beach and the sea as well as activities such as snorkeling, diving and ocean safaris. These parks can be visited throughout the year, although the wettest months of January and February are best avoided. The best time for water activities is from April to June and from September to November as the sea tends to be very clear, giving great visibility
Premier Parks & Reserves
- Gorongosa NP – classic safari
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