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Issue 1
Africa Travel> Issue 1
UPDATED: August 27, 2014
All Shades of Blue
The exotic splendor of Mozambique
Story and photographs by Jo Kromberg

The beautiful, calm seas around Indigo Bay

Mozambique. The very name conjures up images of exotic cocktails, flaming sunsets over glassy calm seas and diving into waters the colours of your most tranquil mood.

Peace ascended on the land in 1992 after two decades of a brutal civil war and, like in South Africa, the country's first democratic elections were held in 1994. Since then, Mozambique is increasingly considered one of the up-and-coming "in" hotspots for tourists all around the world.

It offers some of the best diving in the world. Its stunning pristine beaches stretch over a 2,500 km coastline. The islands off Pemba in the north are situated in the Quirimbas Archipelago and are as magnificent as they are pristine. You will be hard pressed to find such natural beauty anywhere else in the world if you are in search of tropical islands with calm, warm seas. If, however, a more vibrant vacation is your scene, Maputo, the capital city has a mezmerizing pulse and offers side-walk cafes, markets, jazz bars, great shopping and wonderful culture in the form of the trademark marrabenta music and the colorful people with their long and interesting traditions.

For a unique safari experience, the Niassa Reserve is a must. It is the largest conservation area in Mozambique and nearly twice the size of the world-famous Kruger national Park in South Africa. The reserve is virtually unexplored and offers an experience of pure wilderness and the wildlife roam free and unhindered. It is a wildlife paradise boasting elephant, African wild dogs, lions, leopards, hyenas and a whole host of antelope.

But just because the country is a relative newcomer to international tourism, doesn't mean one has to slum it – everything but! Five star establishments are found across the country and the standards of accommodation, food and service compare to the best in the world. One such group is Rani Resorts. They have bush, beach and city options to choose from and their wonderful island resort just off Vilancoulos is called Indigo Bay.

One of South Africa Airways feeder airlines, Airlink, flies to Vilanculos from OR Tambo in Johannesburg and you land just before 1:00 in the afternoon. Then you board a "caravan' – a 12-seater aircraft on route to Bazarruto Island and your heavenly destination for the next two days, Indigo Bay Island Resort and Spa. Bazaruto, from the Portuguese Ilha do Bazaruto means "island of the mist" and is located approximately 80 km southeast of the mouth of the Save River.

The warm, southward-flowing Mozambique Current means the coastline is becoming increasingly sandy. The clear water makes much of the sub-surface patterns around the island discernible and from the plane the sea and coral reefs resemble a surrealist painting of beige, indigo, azure and pastel blues and greens. Rainfall in this humid tropical climate amounts to around 850 mm annually, mostly falling from December to March.

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