Ilha de Mozambique

The Stone Town
The Cidade de Makuti
Pure white sand beaches  

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Ilha de Mozambique/Nampula

A Jewel in the Midst of the Sea

A holiday in Mozambique with an MSC South Africa cruise means disembarking at Ilha de Mozambique, a small patch of land surrounded by crystal-clear waters linked to the country of the same name by a narrow bridge slightly over 3 kilometres long. It is to this town, the first capital of the African country, that Mozambique owes its name.

It is unthinkable to miss out on the chance to visit this very old European settlement: a cruise to Ilha de Mozambique with MSC Cruises will grant you the opportunity to get to know a pearl amidst the sea, declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1991. The island is a mixture of cultures and traditions suspended between Black Africa, the West and the East. It was colonized by the Portugueses, who came here with the explorer Vasco Da Gama. On an MSC South Africa cruise excursion, their passage can still be clearly sensed: the Stone Town with its coloured historical buildings; the Jesuit-built Palace and Chapel of São Paulo, today a museum; the churches of Misericórdia and Santo António; and Cappella di Nossa Senhora de Baluarte.

These sites, as well as Islamic and Hindu worshiping sites represented by the seven mosques and a Hindu temple, stand in sharp contrast with Cidade de Makuti, where one can breathe in Africa in its open-air markets and straw-roof huts. Due to its small size – about 3 kilometres long and 500 metres wide – exploring every corner of this island will not take long. It will be a pleasure investigating the maze of small streets and alleys of the city centre; enjoying the breath-taking panorama, in which the sea and the sky merge into one; stretching out on the beaches of pure white sand, the destinations of seaside holidays; and getting intoxicated on the aromas of the local cuisine.

A cuisine in which fish and tropical fruit serve as the basis for local recipes with traditions and flavours reminiscent of the Portuguese cuisine.  

Must see places in Ilha de Mozambique

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Indulging in the shade of a baobab
Indulging in the shade of a baobab

A holiday to Mozambique means getting to know an authentic part of Africa which also has a strong Portuguese influence.

It is a land which can mutate in just a few kilometres, from its white sands with the coral reef of the Indian Ocean, to its plateaus and mountains which almost reach 3000 metres, or to the legendary Rift Valley, the cradle of the human race, which lies in the centre of the country.

Here, the population is cheerful and hospitable. The territory is shared by colonial cities and villages made up of huts, baobab and mangrove forests, unspoilt archipelagos and great natural reserves. Historically belonging to the Portuguese, on a cruise to Mozambique you will be struck by the charm of its inhabited colonial towns with palaces, fortresses and churches which are a medley of African, Arab and Indian influences.

What strikes those who arrive by sea, however, are its 3000 km of coastline, which include some of the Africa's most beautiful beaches. It is a picture of a typical tropical holiday: white sands, crystal clear waters and palm trees gently swaying in the breeze. There are also islands to explore, real gems like Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina, or Inhaca. Places where divers and snorkelers alike will find plenty to do and see. The island’s marine life will make for some interesting excursions too with dolphins, humpback whales, dugongs (sea cows) and green and loggerhead sea turtles.