is is the name given to a 700km stretch of the coastline running north from Quelimane to Pemba Town in the Northeast
region of Mozambique
. We divide it into four sections ...
Ilha de Mocambique, from around 400 years from first landing in 1499, was the site of the most important Portuguese settlement on the Indian Ocean seaboard. Around 1900 the town fell into serious decline after the main port facilities were relocated to Nacala over on the mainland. These days the island, which comprises just one square kilometre, is still home to over thousands of people. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is filled with historic buildings, many fallen into disrepair, whilst the narrow alleyways are filled with local colour and commerce, with the same strong Muslim influence reminiscent of the other old Swahili ports such as Zanzibar and Mombasa. The island is connected to the mainland by an impressive 2km single track causeway. We are big fans of Ilha de Mocambique, we love to explore the old town and find it amazing quite what a backwater it remains. Access is usually via the international airport at Nampula, from where it is about two hours by road down to the coast.Coral Lodge
... is the best accommodation option in the area on the mainland peninsular immediately to the north of the island.Terraco Das Quitandas
... is a really authentic and stylish in the heart of the old town on Ilha de Mocambique itself.
Nacala is a stretch of coastline further north, centred on the city of the same name, site of the deepest natural port on the east coast of Africa and terminus for the Nacala Railway, which connects the landlocked country of Malawi with the outside world. The Nacala Development Corridor reaches westward from Nacala towards Malawi and is home to about ten million people, about a third of the country's population. However the coastline remains remote and contains some of the best dive locations in the country.Nuarro Lodge
... is the best accommodation option in the area by a distance and has a very strong dive operation.
Pembane is the section of coast that runs for around 400km south from Ilha de Mocambique, but contains little of interest and no recommended accommodation for international travellers.
Nampula Town lies some 150km inland and is the capital city of Nampula Province. With a population of around half a million people, it is the third largest city in the country Maputo and Beira. It is the main hub of commercial activity in the region, is home to the Mozambique National Ethnographic Museum, contains several markets, cathedrals and mosques, as well as a number of western style hotels, as well as restaurants and shopping centres. But it remains of relatively little interest to most international visitors.