Sunday, December 10, 2006

East Molokai, Hawaii Offers Something Different

by Caitlin Moore

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to taking a satisfying vacation. Some people like to live it up shoulder to shoulder with the masses, while others seek out the sweet sound of silence. If you're of the latter mindset and hope to escape the sights and sounds of civilization when you travel in order to achieve a higher form of relaxation, then traveling to East Molokai could feel like coming home. This quiet isle has the best of Hawaii's beauty without all the crowds, and every square inch is lovely and worthy of exploration.

Hawaii has its major players; the Big Island, Maui, Kauai and Oahu are popular vacation destinations that nearly everyone has heard of. Molokai, on the other hand, has the delightful privilege of being a little less known. This hidden treasure shouldn't be overlooked, especially if you enjoy straying from the beaten path in all aspects of life. Unless you enjoy packed beaches and the constant hum of other people's conversations, consider East Molokai's many charms.

For one thing, all the outdoor adventures you could hope to engage in are available here, and in a rougher, more authentic form. Just like on the other Hawaiian isles, it's possible to go kayaking, whale watching, snorkeling, diving and deep-sea fishing. The difference is, you'll be traversing land that's seen fewer feet and viewing a landscape that seems as if it's from another time. As you sail around the shore on a sloop or paddle near the reef in your kayak, take pleasure in knowing that this land looks almost the same as it always has. No strip hotels distort the view and no pollution clogs the air; it's all natural.

Specific points of interest will keep you busy while you're here, and constantly immersed in a richness of culture that is generally unparalleled. A handful of churches, some built by the famous Belgian priest Father Damien, as well as Ili Iliopae Heiau, a human sacrifice temple, bring a fascinating element to a day of sightseeing. Also notable is Pukoo, a small village reminiscent of Hawaii's early days with a fisherman's harbor. It might be tough to find air conditioning here, but you'll surely discover details of much greater interest than that.

Fish ponds and beach parks will further whet an appetite for castaway-type scenes, and the chance to pause and enjoy the sweet sounds of silence will often present itself. There are hard-working people here who live perfectly complex lives, of course, but the pace seems a bit slower and the trappings of modern technology don't play such an important role. Here's a challenge, during your stay on Molokai, try to do without the internet and cell phones. It'll add another dimension of tranquility to the trip, and will make you realize what really is, and isn't important.

Stay active by hiking, biking, swimming and horseback riding. After working up an appetite, sample the local fare and relish the new flavors. Visit the biggest city, Kaunakakai, for a good chance to find typical souvenirs like leis and macadamia nuts, but for an even more exotic spin to this already unconventional trip consider staying in a vacation rental on the east side of the island. Here, you'll find hilltop cottages with breathtaking views and glimpse private beach houses through the thick vegetation. You'll also be able to satisfy the question that immediately arises: what's it like to live there? These East Molokai Vacation Rentals encourage travelers to embrace the experience of visiting a faraway place by allowing for lots of privacy and comfort to be had amidst the exotic surroundings. Yes this is an undeveloped swath of land with little sign of advanced civilization, but within the walls of each vacation rental are kitchen supplies and appliances, comfortable beds, lots of towels and linens, and much more. What else does a person need to pass a relaxing vacation?

East Molokai wouldn't be the ideal destination for everyone, but if you've made it this far you're probably one of those who would enjoy this unique experience. If so, go online today to check out the situation a bit further, and happy trails to you.

About the Author
Visit to select the vacation rental that will make your next trip truly memorable.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Diving in Tanzania and the Zanzibar Archipelago

by Ian Williamson

The warm clear waters along the Tanzanian coast offer superb and varied diving; with, some of the most spectacular sites in the gulf between Zanzibar and Pemba. Here the rough waters and strong currents are home to manta rays, white sharks, hammerheads and an abundance of pelagic life.

The best diving on Zanzibar Island is at Mnemba Atoll. The reef around this tiny East Africa Island offers a range of good inner and outer wall dives, as well as some beautiful coral gardens. Being located on the deepwater side of Zanzibar, this site is also a good place to catch sight of both whale-sharks and humpbacks during the migration. If you are going to restrict diving to Zanzibar Island only, then the most part of your trip should be centered around Matemwe and Mnemba Island.

The cluster of islands around Mafia island, which is south of Zanzibar, offers excellent locations for diving, holidays. The main island of Mafia has a hotel that offers diving trips within the marine park. Not many divers visit these sites yet, even though they are sheltered, relatively shallow and teaming with life. You can also dive in the unsheltered Indian Ocean side of Mafia which promises classic reef formation, walls, pinnacles, an abundance of tiger sharks and coral gardens, However, diving here is more difficult due to the swells, even when the waters are calm, The warm Indian Ocean waters surrounding Pemba Island are home to thousands of species of tropical fish and exotic marine life. The shallows around the numerous islands of Pemba offer stunning, snorkeling in aquamarine waters, lush coral gardens which stretch far ahead and then suddenly plunge into the dark blue depths of Pemba's incredible drop offs.

The small villages in this out of the way Island of Pemba have had little impact on the surrounding reefs; Pemba is relatively unknown and tourism is limited. These factors have helped to preserve the reefs and they remain in pristine condition. These exciting reefs stretch out as far as the eye can see. Large pelagic fish swim and hunt amongst the thousands of small, brightly colored reef fish that play around the plunging drop-offs and in the turquoise waters of the shallows - an underwater naturalist's dream. Pemba is renowned for its pristine and un-spoilt coral reefs but also for its vertical coral cliffs which plummet to depths of more than eight hundred meters. Underwater visibility often reaches forty meters or more. Looking over the precipice of some of the outer walls can be a mind blowing experience! Watch out for the Vertigo!

Pemba also has a stunning wreck dive in the South of Pemba Island at Panza populated by large groupers and Napoleon wrasse.

Mesali Island is famous as Pemba's only marine sanctuary. A visit to this beautiful reef is a must for all - beach lovers, snorkellers and divers alike. A perfect spot for a picnic and with delightful walks through the interior bush, you can spend the day relaxing on the white beach or snorkeling and diving on the numerous reefs around the island. The Mesali beaches are especially important as sea turtle nesting beaches.

Diving in Tanzania and in the islands off the coast offers some of the best diving the world has to offer. A driving vacation after a safari makes for a holiday of a life time. When you book please try to ensure you use operators, lodges that pay fair wages and help the communities on which they rely.

About the author
For further information Bethel Adventure on Tanzania, Kilimanjaro and the islands of Zanzibar. uses tourism to fund community initiatives focused on the education of the young and the medical care for the whole family.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Best Beaches for Beach Bums

by RoadTravel

South Africa is renowned to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And now it's not only just the locals testifying to this. Recently 23 South African beaches were awarded Blue Flag status.

Blue Flag status is awarded to beaches that meet excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards.

The beaches may not be the traditional palm-lined, coconut strewn beaches of some of the more famous tropical islands. What make South African beaches so popular, besides the beautiful white sand are the people.

Year Round Beach Bums

Not only are the beaches beautiful, but the people on the beaches considered to be gorgeous too! Visitors flock from far and wide to the beautiful beaches of Cape Town during the hottest part of the summer every year from December to March. The sea around Cape Town is cold and refreshing during the often sweltering temperatures.

Clifton and Camps bay are Cape Town's most popular beaches and the hangout of models and the who's who of Cape Town.

If swimming with birds of a different feather is your cup of tea, try Boulders Beach where for a small entry fee, you would be allowed to frolic with the Penguins. Should you be interested in spotting larger sea life, we recommend that you head to the coastal town of Hermanus.

From Cape Town you will pass the wine-route on the way to Hermanus and can stock up on some of the great wines from this region and explore the scenic wine estates. Hermanus has been made famous by the whales that frequent in large numbers every year. Visitors flock to the area to see how many different whale species they can spot. The town even has a festival that coincides with the coming of the whales each year, which is usually around August.

If you're not one for cold water, head further up towards the KwaZulu Natal coast towards Durban. The waters are comfortable for swimming and dolphins can often be seen playing in the surf.

Sea Adventure

Durban is also home to one of South Africa's first Aquarium theme park where visitors (that are brave enough) may swim with the sharks (in separate tanks divided by a sheet of glass) and also learn more about the fascinating life within the South African seas.

If you'd rather be having adventure above the ocean than below, grab a surfboard and head for Jeffrey's Bay, or J-Bay as the local surfers call it which is considered to be the surfing Mecca of South Africa.

Heading back down the coast towards the southern most seas of Africa, Cape Aghulas, the experience mentioned above is pretty tame compared to shark cage diving with the colossal Great White's.

Road Trips

Experiencing South Africa by road, especially if you have a well planned route is probably one of the best ways to experience the beauty of this country.

Blue Flag beaches to include for your road trip from Cape Town to Durban:

* Clifton 4 th beach, Cape Town
* Bikini beach, Gordon's Bay
* Grotto beach, Hermanus
* Dolphin bach, Jeffery's Bay
* King's beach, Port Elizabeth
* Gonubie beach, East London
* Lucien beach, KZN South Coast
* South Beach, Durban
* Umhlanga Rocks Main beach

South Africa truly is a holiday destination that has so much to offer visitors. For a beach vacation, the experiences are so vast; it's hard to believe that it's all in one country!

About the Author
RoadTravel is an accredited and well established tour operator specialising in tailor-made road trips in South Africa. Their vision is to share the magic that is Africa; to encourage clients to return again and again and above all to create authentic and memorable experiences for their clients.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

St. Maarten Escape

by Richard Rspad

When you really need a break from life and are looking for sun and fun, St. Maarten is perfect choice. Following is an overview of a St. Maarten escape that will recharge your batteries.

The island of St. Martin is located in the Caribbean Ocean, and has the distinction of owned by two countries: France and the Netherlands. Divided roughly in half, the French side is known as Saint-Martin while the Dutch half is known as Sint Maarten. Collectively, the island is known as St. Maarten/St. Martin, or St. Martins.

The island was divided all the way back in 1648, and has stayed that way ever since. When choosing to visit this island, you have to make a decision whether to stay on the French or Dutch side. Choosing the Dutch side means a fun nightlife with beaches and casinos, so planning a St. Maarten escape is natural for many visitors.

One of the classic spots to plan your St. Maarten escape at is the Caravanseri Beach Resort, located on Burgeaux Bay. This resort definitely shows all that St. Maarten has to offer with three separate freshwater pools, tennis courts, and many different water sports such as snorkeling, diving and fishing. Duty-free shopping and other excursions make this St. Maarten escape a great choice for people looking to experience more of the island, and the newly built Dolphin Casino offers gamblers a place to bet to their heart's content. Three restaurants and bars are also located on the Caravanseri Beach Resort premises making this a full service resort that caters to all of your needs. 75 air conditioned private rooms, all with balcony or patio, make this resort complete.

Another place worth looking at for your St. Maarten escape is the Summit Resort Hotel located on the Simpson Bay Lagoon. This resort is the place if you want seclusion along with an easygoing atmosphere. All of the rooms at the Summit Resort are studio suites, and they are contained within cottages that are placed on footpaths bordered by tropical flowers and scenery. All rooms are air conditioned and include balconies or porches, perfect for those relaxing evenings. This resort is also just a short walk from two of the best beaches on St. Maarten, Cupecoy Beach and Mullet Bay Beach.

Choosing a St. Maarten escape means you will have the unusual combination of European charm and Caribbean hospitality, all in a lush tropical setting. While on the Dutch half of the island, be sure to enjoy some time at the many white sand beaches and bustling casinos, as well as do some affordable duty free shopping.

About the Author
Richard Rspad is with Resort Spa Destinations - reviews and articles on spa resorts.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Playa del Carmen - A True Gem in the Riviera Maya

by Sara Moen

Originally named Xaman-Ha (waters of the north) Playa del Carmen is part of the Mayan World. Located on the crystal blue waters of the Mexican Caribbean, Playa del Carmen is just 40 miles (60 kms.) south of Cancun. Playa, as it is known as to locals, is the perfect spot from which to explore the fascinating sites of The Mayan Riviera. Playa del Carmen is known for its miles of white sandy beaches, phosphorescent Caribbean waters, and its laid back attitude. Playa del Carmen is a place for those in search of a unique visit, vibrant people, amazing Mayan culture, and an overall travel experience that you will never forget. So come and enjoy everything Playa del Carmen and The Riviera Maya has to offer; you will not be disappointed The once quiet seaside village of Playa del Carmen has doubled in population over the past few years, mainly due to foreigners such as Europeans, South Americans, Americans and Canadians who have discovered this little slice of paradise. Playa del Carmen is a place to enjoy amazing beaches, and the famous cenotes by day and trendy eateries, bars, and restaurants by night. The eclectic mix of backpackers, archeological experts, dive junkies, and young hipsters makes Playa del Carmen an incredibly unique and interesting place.

Due to its location, Playa del Carmen, is a veritable hub to outer lying ruins, dive spots, and the concept of "La Ruta Maya". You will not find La Ruta Maya on your travel map or even in your travel guide because it is not a set route but a concept. Originally the Ruta Maya was to be a new idea in traveling: a specific mapped out area connecting major Mayan archaeological sites and nature preserves throughout southern Mexico and some Central American countries. In reality La Ruta Maya has become to include the Mexican states of Chiapas, Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo, all of Belize and Guatemala and parts of Honduras. Now travelers who are hoping to experience these amazing parts of Mexico and Central America flock to Playa del Carmen as their window into the Mayan World. Because of where Playa is located there are bus routes through out Mexico and Central America that originate in the area. So, many people come to the area and use Playa del Carmen as their "home base" while they travel onto Palenque, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, or some other far reaching destination.

The amazing archeological sites sprinkled through out the region such as Tulum, Coba, Ek Balam, and Chichen Nitza are major attractions to people coming to visit the area. Bringing archeologist's, graduate students, and self proclaimed archeological buffs from all over the world. Visiting one, or several, of the ruin sites is a MUST DO when visiting the area. The area is so rich in history and culture it would be a real shame to miss out on learning a bit about where you are. In addition to amazing archeological sites, there are multiple natural wonders scattered through out the Riviera Maya. For example the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve near Tulum. Sian Kaan is an ecotourism and educational center, and it serves as a model for sustainable development in sensitive tropical ecosystems. They offer tours and accommodations which in turn fund their research. So if you want to check it out, it is worth looking into and it is an incredible project to support.

There is also Xel-Ha and Xcaret, ecotourism theme parks both of which are located between Playa del Carmen, and Tulum. They offer both fun in the sun, and wildlife conservation which in turn is a great combination. Crococun is a Park and Regional Zoo located north of Playa del Carmen. Originally designed to farm crocodiles to create a sustainable resource it is now a conservationist park. The kids are sure to love it with its crazy monkeys, beautiful parrots, rare Mayan dogs, local deer, and of course tons of crocodiles! Another must see while in the area is Aktun Chen where you will have a chance to learn about local flora and fauna, and our famous cenote system, with a specialized guide.

There are countless attractions both large and small through out the area that will appeal to all levels of travelers and visitors. Long before Playa del Carmen became a hotspot vacation destination the area was known around the world to dive aficionados as a truly top notch location for under water exploration. They discovered years ago that under the watchful eyes of the ancient Maya in the warm Caribbean waters off the Yucatan Peninsula exists a truly amazing underwater world: where divers can explore the reefs of the Riviera Maya swimming with turtles and schools of Tarpon. They drift along the coral covered walls of famous Cozumel Island named by Jacques Cousteau as one of the best dive spots in the world. And they discover the incredible serenity of daylight cavern diving in the famous Mexican Cenotes - the worlds largest fresh water system formed over tens of thousands of years ago. So if you are certified dive "junkie" or if you want to join the onslaught of underwater explorers we suggest you contact some of the best divers in the area. If diving isn't your thing, and you would prefer to float on top of the water looking down, there are countless snorkel spots that are truly exceptional.

Akumal is a great snorkel spot with the amazing Yal Kul Lagoon , and Half Moon Bay , both of which have had countless sea turtle sightings. Yal Kul Lagoon is a mixed water lagoon, with sweet water from the underground river system, and an inlet from the Caribbean allowing the sea water to mix with the sweet water. This creates a kind of shimmery oil effect that is rare to see, and in turn creates an eclectic variety of underwater creatures, and coral to check out. Half Moon Bay is located off of La Buena Vida, a perfect place to grab a bite, enjoy a happy hour libation, or lounge on the beach as you intermittently snorkel the reef in search of the famous Akumal turtles. In addition to these two amazing snorkel locations any dive shop, hotel, or tour company offers snorkeling excursions to more remote areas. One worth checking out is the Ocean Adventure Tour , which offers high speed F1 ocean transport, cenote exploration, snorkeling, local fare, and cocktails. It is a great way to enjoy an afternoon enabling you to experience a multitude of activities in a cool laid back way.

Fat Cat Catamaran Tour is another great way to check out the area, based out of Puerto Aventuras, Fat Cat offers a fun version of a "booze cruise". With the tunes blasting, the beer flowing, and a brand new 50 foot luxury catamaran how can you go wrong? You can lounge on deck, kick back under the shaded area, take a turn on the boom net, and snorkel in hard to reach destinations. Not to mention the unbelievable beaches you will get to visit! For those of you who like to go motorized, one of the longest running tours in the area, ATV Explorer , is a total blast. Located in the jungle just West of the beach a few minutes south of Playa del Carmen, ATV Explorer offers a great introduction to the area. Blasting through the jungle on your own ATV you will see a Mayan ruin, experience local fauna and flora (keep you eyes peeled for the crazy monkeys on Monkey Loop), and dive into one of the freshest, deepest cenotes in the area. As you can see there are countless things to do and see while visiting Playa del Carmen and The Rivera Maya. From remote cave dives, to amazing archeological sights, not to mention the bright blue Caribbean and white sandy beaches, you are sure to take home memories that will last you a life time!

About the Author
Sara Moen is a travel journalist and the editor of Playa Maya News located in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, updated daily with local news, tours, real estate and hotels in Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bermuda Vacations Defy Convention

by Caitlin Moore

Bermuda has the sound of a place nestled in the Caribbean with all the other fun-loving tropical islands, but in fact it exists in a realm of its own. You might be surprised to realize that it's actually located east of the States in the Atlantic Ocean, closer to North Carolina than to Florida. This doesn't mean it's cold and blustery, though; quite the opposite. Bermuda is a lush, lovely collection of islands that will satisfy your vacation cravings by transporting you to an unexpected and dreamlike atmosphere, far different than what you're used to.

The Gulf Stream lovingly warms Bermuda with gentle caresses, but the islands never become too hot to handle. Average summer temperatures float between 75 and 85 degrees, while winter is filled with pleasant 70 degree days. And, for hurricane-phobes, take note that while tropical storms do happen every few years, they are far less prevalent than in the Caribbean. That's just one more reason for heading off in a whole new direction.

Seventy five miles of coastline that surround rolling hills, interesting rock formations, and lots of space for replenishing one's energy supply characterize this sprawling archipelago. For some reason nature decided that this would be a good place to allow lava to cool and limestone to push up towards the sun, and what was born was a splendid sight to see. Not that it makes a big difference, but rather than being simply an island, Bermuda is a string of 181 distinct bodies of land. Some are larger islets and some are merely jutting rocks, but they combine to make a geologically unique and visually interesting vacation spot.

Explore the terrain while you're here, keeping your eyes open for the famous tree frogs that sing their songs and add a little extra color to the landscape. Endangered sea turtles and over 350 types of birds also make Bermuda their home, sometimes blending in, sometimes standing out, but always there if you take the time to look. Over the years, colonists and settlers have crafted a virtual paradise of plants and flowers, so in terms of natural wonders and beauty, there's plenty here to please your senses.

Of course, what's an island vacation without a thorough investigation of the beach scene? Bermuda is blessed with another extraordinary quality in the form of its coastal environment. You won't find regular-old sand here, instead it's something utterly pleasing, precious, and pink. Thanks to the coral reefs that surround the islands, the minute particles that go on to make up the sand have a decidedly rosy hue. Thus, the beaches are distinctively desirable and different, shifting your perceptions yet again. Just when you think you have this place figured out, it drops another surprise.

Most of the blushing beaches are public, welcome, and easily accessible. From South Shore Park to Horseshoe Bay, a coastal trail will lead you on your way as you traverse and enjoy the surroundings. If you stick around for a sunset, you'll be even more dazzled by the colorful splashes of brilliance everywhere you look, from land to sparkling sea.

Once you've gotten your bearings and realized the beauty of Bermuda, it'll be time to have a little fun. From fishing to parasailing, kayaking to sailing, the ocean will become your playground for as many hours a day as you please. On dry land, you'll be tempted to golf on a world-class course, zip around on a moped, go for a morning hike, schedule a spa session, learn to play cricket, and much more. After a few days of staying active yet relaxed, busy yet pampered, you'll realize that you've never felt better. A permanent move to Bermuda probably isn't in the cards, but don't despair. Take full advantage of this experience while you're here, and take notes so that your next trip can be even better.

Your first trip to Bermuda deserves all the trimmings, so instead of staying in a traditional hotel, think about the possibility of a vacation rental. A stone's throw away from the beach and all the activities of the town will provide convenience on a grand scale, and the plentiful amenities within the walls of your charming cottage, condo, or villa will complete the picture of perfection. From kitchen supplies to internet access, extra towels to a friendly lanai, all that you could ever imagine will be within reach should you decide to treat yourself to a lodging experience that matches the delights of Bermuda itself.

Go online to start researching Bermuda Vacation Rentals as well as the activities, sights and sounds that will fill your upcoming getaway, and prepare to discover a whole new range of relaxing and engaging opportunities.

About the Author is a comprehensive marketplace for vacation rentals of all shape and size.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mozambique; where the sunny skies are aqua blue

by Darren Ravens

Located on the south-eastern coast of the continent, Mozambique is considered one of Africa's coastal jewels. It is renowned for its crystal blue waters, fantastic coral reef and its amazing diversity of marine life.

This former Portuguese colony, a unique melting pot of diverse cultures, is a major attraction for travellers seeking an African adventure experience. Devastated by a bloody civil war that raged for about 17 years, since the end of the war in 1992, Mozambique has been actively rebuilding itself. This has begun to open up a host of travel opportunities for visitors eager to get a taste of this tropical African paradise.

Great Neighbourhood

Mozambique, bordered by Tanzania, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi is the ideal base for the traveller hoping to explore these countries aswell. Equally, a visit to Mozambique can easily be incorporated into a tour to any of these countries.

Getting Around

Mozambique's road network is reasonably well-established and most major routes are regularly maintained. Most of the major centres and popular areas are accessible by two-wheel drive vehicles. Of course, a 4x4 offers a special advantage and opens up a range of further travel possibilities. There are several car-hire companies in Maputo, catering for the needs of the traveller interested in a self-drive holiday.

If you prefer the convenience and added security of being driven by a professional, there are a number of private mini-bus operators and reliable public transport companies operating in the major centres.

If you wish to experience Mozambique travel as part of a more comprehensive African experience, the packages offered by overland adventure travel companies are a good option. Usually, these companies put together overland tours, which pass through a number of countries and provide travellers with a unique opportunity to enjoy a diverse African travel experience.

Climate and weather

Mozambique enjoys a warm, tropical climate with an average temperature of around the high 20s (degrees Celsius) range. The weather is warm and sunny all year round, ideal for maximum enjoyment of the countries coastal charms.

The summer months, from October to April, are often very hot, humid and rainy. From April to September, the winter months are cooler, drier and more comfortable for visitors not accustomed to heat and humidity normally associated with the warm season in tropical areas.

That's not to say that you shouldn't embark on Mozambique travel during summer though, since actual temperatures and rainfall varies by region within the country. The higher-lying Nampula and Niassa provinces are the coolest, while the north-eastern coastal regions are the hottest. The northern region receives far more rainfall than the south.

If you're hoping for a Mozambican safari experience, the best time of year to visit is towards the end of the winter months. This drier season normally sees animals congregating in larger groups than they do in summer. The summer months offer excellent fishing opportunities with the larger fish populating the coastal waters during this time of the year.

Diving in Mozambique

Mozambique is a world-famous dive location with numerous fantastic reefs supporting an amazing variety of marine life. The relatively warm water temperature and a multitude of interesting creatures including the dugong, sharks, dolphins, whales and shoals colourful fish, makes for an awesome diving experience. The area most popular amongst diving enthusiasts is the Bazaruto Archipelago, consisting of four islands; Bazaruto, Benguerra, Margaruque and Santa Carolina. The archipelago's coral reefs and clear, crystal blue waters provide what is regarded as the best snorkelling and scuba diving in Africa. If your trip to Mozambique is to be limited to just one destination in the country, then this group of islands must be it.


The unit of currency is the Metical. Introduced mid-2006, this relatively new currency is used alongside the older Meticais, which is being phased out. In the southern parts of the country, the South African Rand, US Dollars and Pounds Sterling are also accepted. In the north, US Dollars and Pounds Sterling are widely accepted. Credit cards are accepted to some extent, but only by the larger hotels or businesses geared specifically towards tourists. Generally, it should be assumed that your credit card will not be readily accepted.

Health Precautions

Mozambique is a malaria-risk area, so it's vital that visitors take proper precautions. To minimise the mosquito risk, travellers are advised to wear long sleeves and trousers when possible and to use an effective mosquito repellent on exposed skin. Treated mosquito netting should be used and the doors and windows of your accommodation should be screened to keep mosquitoes out. A fan or air-conditioner can also help limit night-time mosquito activity to some extent.

Also important is the use of and effective anti-malaria medication. Be warned though, certain medications cause side-effects, so consult you doctor or travel clinic well before you intend to be exposed to the risk to ensure that you are adequately protected.

With a painful history of war and destruction, Mozambique has rebuilt itself and looks to the future by capitalising on its natural beauty. Whether you are after an adventure, leisure or the perfect eco-tourism experience, Mozambique is an idyllic tropical destination that will not disappoint. It is truly a slice of paradise.

About the Author
The crew from the overland adventure travel company, Oasis Overland have an extensive knowledge of Africa, the Middle East and South America. Their philosophy is to provide excellent value for money for budget conscious travellers without compromising their experiences, and providing quality vehicles, equipment, and crew. Travel in Mozambique is encompassed by various Oasis African Tours.