Our Mozambique expedition, from Zanzibar to South Africa, is a revelation of the natural and cultural wonders along the eastern coast of Africa. Our cruise through the Mozambique Strait makes for spectacular wildlife travel: we enjoy exceptional marine and bird life viewing and superb snorkeling and diving, with some of the finest reefs and highest concentrations of marine life in East Africa. The cultural highlights of our Mozambique tour include visits to small coastal towns steeped in Arab, French, Dutch, and Portuguese history, and tours of colonial forts, cathedrals, and markets.
Mozambique adventure travel highlights include:
- Explore Zanzibar’s Stone Town, a World Heritage Site and architectural jewel.
- Comprehensive Mozambique tour, including Quirimbas National Park and the oldest European building in the Southern Hemisphere on Ilha de Mozambique.
- Explore Inhaca; its four distinct ecosystems make it a natural habitat for more than 300 bird species and, beneath its warm waters, 160 species of staghorn and plate corals.
- Witness prolific wildlife on our South Africa tour in one of the largest Big Five game reserves, Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, in the heart of Zululand.
- Begin or end your Mozambique expedition with an optional extensions to Serengeti or Phinda Private Game Reserve.
With Zegrahm Expeditions, virtually everything is included in the cost of your trip. Here is what you can look forward to on this Mozambique expedition:
- All gratuities, from porters and ship’s crew to tour guides
- All accommodations, including pre-voyage hotel nights
- Welcome dinner and orientation briefing to get to know one another and get a good sense of what’s to come
- Daily activity options, from nature hikes to exploring coastal villages
- World-class lecture and expedition team
- All meals onboard and with the group ashore
- All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
- All transfers on the group arrival and departure days
- Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear and reading materials
- Comprehensive pre-departure packet to prepare you for your Mozambique Odyssey with Tanzania & South Africa expedition, with everything from currency information and weather to shipboard amenities and a packing list
- Medical and emergency evacuation insurance
- Dedicated Zegrahm program manager and air coordinator to answer all your questions
- Photographic journal upon returning home to relive your Mozambique Odyssey with Tanzania & South Africa adventure travels
Depart USA / En route
Depart on your independent flights to Zanzibar via Dar es Salaam.
Zanzibar / Tanzania
Arrive in Zanzibar in the late morning where you will be met and transferred to our hotel for brunch and the afternoon at leisure. Welcome reception, dinner, and overnight at our hotel.
Zanzibar / Embark Clipper Odyssey
With its palm-fringed beaches and historically fascinating Stone Town, Zanzibar lives up to its Arabian Nights reputation for exotic charm. Zanzibar’s long cultural history began with Arab traders who arrived in the 8th century with cargoes of ivory and spices—the island was once the world’s largest producer of cloves. Our island exploration includes enchanting Stone Town, a World Heritage Site whose distinctive hallmarks include 19th-century coralline architecture, more than 500 ornately carved and studded doors, a labyrinth of winding alleys, numerous mosques, and a large bustling bazaar.
Later we visit one of the many spice plantations known for their production of nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and, of course, cloves. Or, travel to Jozani Natural Forest Reserve whose old growth forest is the habitat of the endemic red colobus monkey, Skye’s monkey, duikers, and more than 40 species of birds, including the Fischer’s turaco, African paradise flycatcher, and mangrove kingfisher. Later this afternoon we embark the Clipper Odyssey and begin our voyage.
Early this morning we arrive at Pemba Island, the northernmost island of the Zanzibar Archipelago. Here we learn about the Seacology project that works to conserve and protect Pemba’s indigenous forests, a vital habitat for the endemic Pemba flying fox. We then enjoy a nature walk through the lush Ngezi Forest, which is also home to approximately 27 avian species including the palm-nut vulture, African scops owl, and the endemic Pemba white-eye. Alternatively, discover a lesser-visited, authentic Tanzanian village for a cultural performance. Both groups return via Chake Chake. After lunch we have the opportunity to snorkel or dive in the surrounding eco-system.
As we cruise toward Mozambique our lecturers recap our time in Tanzania and prepare us for the adventures ahead.
Ibo Island, Mozambique
We begin our Mozambique exploration on gorgeous Ibo Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago. Ruled first by Arab traders who arrived in A.D.600, then by the Portuguese who attacked in 1522, today its 3,500 permanent residents practice both Muslim and tribal customs. Our morning walk through the village includes a close-up look at the beautiful local architecture and we visit the Catholic church and the fort of St. Jao Baptista.
After lunch on board enjoy an afternoon of snorkeling, diving, or viewing the underwater riches on the Clipper Odyssey’s glass-bottom boat—highlights include a 100-year-old shipwreck in shallow waters, amazing corals, and reef fish species from gobies to mammoth Napoleon wrasses, as well as sharks, kingfish, and sea turtles.
Quirimba / Mogundula
Home to thousands of lanky palms and lush thickets of mangrove, Quirimba was the first capital of the archipelago. The remains of colonial architecture speak of ancient Arab mariners and the idyllic setting makes for perfect exploration on foot. Time permitting, we board Zodiacs to explore the mangroves tosearch for wildlife.
During lunch on board we cruise to uninhabited Mogundula, which lies just two-and-a-half miles off the northern Mozambique mainland, for an afternoon of exploration, snorkeling, or diving.
Ilha de Mozambique
Beautiful, intriguing Ilha de Mozambique, a World Heritage Site, was once a major Portuguese trading post on the India route. Since its 16th-century heyday the main town has been continuously inhabited and the preservation of its architecture is simply stunning. We are greeted this morning with a welcome dance before we begin our exploration of the local community, including its colorful market. We visit the Chapel of Our Lady; built in 1522 it is considered to be the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere. Nearby was the first artillery bastion, built by Vasco da Gama during his first journey to India to defend the island against the Arabs. We also visit the 1624 Governor’s Palace and Maritime Museum, as well as the exquisite green-coloredmosque. We return to the ship for lunch and sail southward.
Enjoy the day at leisure as we cruise toward the sublime islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Our lecture series introduces us to this national park, which lies just north of the Tropic of Capricorn.
Enjoy the day exploring this natural wonderland and its underwater world. This pristine setting makes it an ideal spot for nature walks and we have the opportunity to snorkel, dive, or swim in the translucent waters, or simply relax on the pink coral sands.
Inhambane / Punta da Barra
This morning we board a local boat in Inhambane for a snorkeling excursion. The rich waters support a stunning array of large marine life including whale sharks, manta and devil rays, turtles, dolphins, and humpback whales.
During lunch on board, we cruise to the beautiful beaches of Punta da Barra. Birders set out on a foray to search for flamingos and other residents. Snorkeling and diving, fromthe sandy beach or Zodiacs, may include more sightings of whale sharks, manta and devil rays, and turtles. Or, choose to visit Inhambane, one of the oldest towns on Mozambique’s eastern coast. Explore the Old Quarter, including the Cathedral and Mercado Central with its fragrant spices, cashew nuts, and an assortment of fish. The busy waterfront sports a huge fleet of working dhows.
Inhaca is an island paradise of unspoiled forests, breathtaking beaches, and colorful coral reefs. Its four distinct shores claim unique ecosystems—from grassy plains to forested sand dunes to exposed mudflats—and since 1976 the island has had protected status. We spend the afternoon at Santa Maria and Turtle Beach; offshore proliferate nearly 160 species of staghorn and plate corals. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins are often spotted, and snorkelers and divers can be rewarded with exciting views of moray eels, scorpionfish, butterflyfish, and seahorses. Birders revel in copious sightings of some of the 300 bird species that reside here, from pink-backed pelicans to southern-banded snake eagles, and from lesser sand-ploversto gray-rumped swallows.
We arrive in Maputo this morning and set out on foot to explore this port city after breakfast. Modeled after the Portuguese harbor cities of Lisbon and Porto, its wide avenues are similarly inlaid with black and white stone mosaics. We visit Maputo’s most important landmark, the 1787 Portuguese Fort of Nossa Senhora da Conceiao, which was the nucleus of the original settlement. We also stop at the Iron House, built in 1892 and made entirely out of steel, and the beautiful Central Railway Station, both designed by Gustave Eiffel; visit the Natural History Museum; and stroll through the exotic Botanical Gardens. We return to our ship for lunch and continue our voyage southward.
Richard’s Bay, South Africa
Situated on KwaZulu Natal’s fertile South Coast and established as a port settlement in 1879 during the Anglo-Boer War, Richard’s Bay now flourishes along one of the country’s largest harbors. After breakfast we board small boats to explore the St. Lucia/iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site. This is Africa’s largest estuarine system, which also includes underwater canyons, forested dunes, wetlands, grasslands, forests, lakes, and savannas. The amazing biodiversity here includes more than 500 species of birds, including Goliath and rufous-bellied herons, African broadbills, and gorgeous bush-shrikes. As we navigate these wildlife-rich waterways we watch for hippos—large populations live within the protected region—and crocodiles, whose numbers reach around 1,000. After lunch we set out in 4x4 vehicles for an afternoon at Cape Vidal and its beautiful beaches.
Richard’s Bay / Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park
After an early breakfast we depart for Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park for a game-viewing drive in one of South Africa’s largest Big Five reserves. Established in 1895 and located in the heart of Zululand, the park provides habitat for an astounding diversity of mammals which include black and white rhinos, Nile crocodiles, lions, cheetahs, elephants, blue wildebeest, jackals, giraffes, zebras, and baboons. More than 300 recorded species of birds make the park one of South Africa’s prime birding areas.
Durban / Disembark Clipper Odyssey
Disembark in Durban this morning for a city tour. After lunch transfer to the airport for your independent flight to the USA.
Connect with homeward flights.
One of the finest adventure ships afloat, the Clipper Odyssey is a 110-passenger luxury expedition vessel, ideally suited for cruising in off-the-beaten-path locales. On all Clipper Odyssey expeditions, guests have access to a fleet of Zodiacs, which allows remote landings anywhere nature or curiosity dictates. All cabins on a Clipper Odyssey cruise have an ocean view, safe, minibar, individually controlled heat/air conditioner, in-room music system, and sitting area with sofa. Beds can be configured for twin or queen-size sleeping arrangements, and all cabins have an en suite bathroom complete with shower and small bathtub. In the comfort of their cabin, passengers can track the progress of their expedition on the Global Positioning System broadcast—a highlight of a Clipper Odyssey voyage for adventure-minded guests. Additional facilities include a gourmet kitchen featuring American and international cuisine, dining room, lounge, small library and gym, outdoor pool, and gift shop. An elevator services all passenger cabin decks. Ship registry: Bahamas.
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.
Options and Extras
Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. Since many of our expeditions embark and disembark from remote destinations, the airports that serve these areas often have limited carriers and/or daily flights. As such, our air team is well-versed in planning complex routings for our travelers.