MOZAMBIQUE ISLAND

Mozambique

An inspiring destination

Isle of Mozambique

The island city - "Ilha de Moçambique", which lent the country its name, is its own municipality in the province of Nampula. It was built on a coral reef, but has no beach.

The island is connected to the mainland by a 3.80 km bridge. Built in the 1960s by the engineer Edgar Cardoso, the bridge has recently undergone major restoration works.

Vasco da Gama landed on the island in 1498, controlled by the Sultan of Zanzibar, the island was used by the Arabs in their trade with the Red Sea, Persia, India and the Indian Ocean islands. Its strategic geographical location has made the city an obligatory stopover for round trips between India and Portugal, Lisbon and Goa and is a profitable commercial warehouse

The vast and valuable architectural heritage on the island stems from 1507, when the Portuguese built the Tower of St. Gabriel. Today the site is occupied by the Palace of the General Captains. In 1991 UNESCO classified the city as a World Heritage Site. Other architectural gems include the Chapel of Our Lady of Baluarte, dating from 1522, in the north side of the island (the only example of Manueline architecture in Mozambique) and the Fortress of St. Sebastian, built between 1588 and 1620.  Ship ballast stones can still be seen on the beach nearby.

The Island of Mozambique acquired city status in 1818 and was the first capital of Mozambique until 1822.

The island is divided in two parts. To the north is the "Stone City" built in stone and chalk and which has the main monuments. To the south, the "Macuti City", with buildings made using traditional building materials including coconut leaves. Most residents live off fishing, some agricultural activity and handicrafts. The present population mainly descends from the Bantus immigrants who arrived there in 200 BC.

The exact coordinates for Coral Lodge are 15.41, i.e. 15 degrees south latitude and 41 degrees east longitude. The lodge is located on the beach and surrounded by its own sea lagoon in the north of Mozambique in the Mossuril district, in an area called Varanda. Varanda lies on the tip of a peninsula. The local village community is Cabaceira Pequena. Coral Lodge is a short sail or motorboat ride from Ilha de Moçambique (Mozambique Island), the former capital of Mozambique. Many of our guests transfer from Nampula or Nacala airports by car and mini-van to the island and then enjoy arriving at the lodge by sailing dhow or motorboat.

About Mozambique

Mozambique is a country of great cultural diversity with aspects connecting it to neighbouring countries and continents. Approximately 40 dialects are spoken, of which the Macua, Tsonga (Shangaan), Sena, and Nianja stand out. Whilst only around 40% of Mozambicans master Portuguese well, the country's rich literature is predominantly in that language.

In terms of painting the artist Malangatana Ngwenya is prominent as one of the leading exponents of modern African art.  He painted typical and traditional themes using vivid colours while accentuating and exaggerating the curvatious forms of  human figures.

In addition to the Portuguese influence, Mozambique is closely linked to India and the Middle East. It is believed, for example, that the name "Moçambique" is the Portuguese form for Musa al Bik, the name of a former Arab Sheik that lived in the north, on the Island of Mozambique. Mozambique is currently home to an important Indian community.

Like most African countries, Mozambican society is very musical. The timbila chope is the traditional Mozambican instrument whilst the music was designated a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.

Traditional music has Bantu characteristics and Arab influences, mainly in the northern zone.

Mozambican literature is generally written in Portuguese - commonly mixed with Mozambican expressions - by prominent Mozambican authors such as Mia Couto.

Mozambican cuisine is influenced by the sea, with a wide variety of fish and seafood dishes on offer. However, there are also delicacies made with cassava, chicken, pork and lamb. Discover our culinary specialties at the Lodge.

How to get to Coral Lodge

By road directly

The direct by road mini-van transfer to Coral Lodge is a 180 km drive through the countryside. The last 40-50 km are along a bumpy sand road, with the last 10 km or so on very sandy tracks and through mangrove swamp water at high tide. This transfer takes 2.50 to 3 hours but may be longer during the rainy season depending on road conditions.

By road and dhow from the Isle de Mozambique

The transfer by mini-van winds through pretty countryside along a good tarmac road over the bridge to Ilha de Mozambique where guests board the Coral Lodge traditional sailing dhow. The transfer time depends on the tide and takes approx. 20-30 minutes at high tide and up to 45 minutes at low tide. At high tide the dhow drops guests off at the lagoon entrance, next to the lodge. At low tide the dhow anchors in shallow, warm water 50-100m from the lodge, which means guests wade to the beach. Our team will take the luggage! Total transfer time is approx. 3.5 hours depending on the tide.

Guests arriving on the SA Airlink flight from O.R. Tambo airport (Johannesburg), land at approximately 13h30. If there are no issues with visas or customs, guests should be on Ilha de Moçambique before 16h30. For return transfers, the reverse happens and guests generally leave the lodge by 08h00/08h30 depending on the tide, to arrive at the airport in Nampula by 11h30 that is 2.5 hours before the 14h00 SA Airlink departure.

Nampula to Coral Lodge round trip transfer fee:

$400.00 per mini-van with a/c with a capacity of up to 6 persons (adults or children) including motorboat or dhow sailing boat transfer from Isle de Mozambique.

By road directly

Fly to the city of Nacala (150km from Coral Lodge) from where guests can be transferred by mini-van for a 2.5 hour drive to the lodge.

By road and dhow from the Isle de Mozambique

The transfer by mini-van winds through pretty countryside along a good tarmac road to Ilha de Mozambique where guests board the Coral Lodge traditional sailing dhow. The transfer time depends on the tide and takes approx. 20-30 minutes at high tide and up to 45 minutes at low tide. At high tide the dhow drops the guests off at the lagoon entrance, next to the lodge. At low tide the dhow anchors in shallow, warm water 50-100m from the lodge, which means guests wade to the beach. Our team will take the luggage! Total transfer time is approx. 3.5hours depending on the tide.

Nacala to Coral Lodge round-trip transfer fee:

$300.00 per mini-van with a/c with a capacity of up to 6 persons (adults or children) including motorboat or dhow sailing boat transfer from Isle de Mozambique.

The flight time from Nampula to Lumbo is approx. 30 minutes by light aircraft. There is a 15-20 minute road transfer from Lumbo airstrip to the dhow departure point on Ilha de Mozambique. From Ilha de Mozambique transfer is by motor boat or dhow, which takes approx. 20-30 minutes during high tide and up to 45 minutes at low tide. Alternatively, guests can take a 1.5h hour drive by mini-van to the Lodge.

Lumbo to Coral Lodge round-trip transfer fee:

$200.00 per mini-van with a/c with a capacity of up to 6 persons (adults or children), including motorboat or dhow sailing boat transfer from Isle de Mozambique.

Guests board on Ilha de Mozambique departure point to the Coral Lodge traditional sailing dhow. The transfer time depends on the tide and takes approx. 20-30 minutes at high tide and up to 45 minutes at low tide. At high tide the dhow drops the guests off at the lagoon entrance, next to the lodge. At low tide the dhow anchors in shallow, warm water 50-100m from the lodge, which means guests wade to the beach. Our team will take the luggage!

Ilha de Mozambique to Coral Lodge or Coral Lodge to Ilha de Mozambique transfer fee:

$80.00 (one way) or $150.00 (round-trip), with the capacity of up to 6 persons (adults or children).

PDF Directions

Mozambique's climate

28-33°C (82-91°F)

Most of Mozambique falls within the tropics, so is rarely cold. Throughout the year daytime temperatures range between 28-33°C (82-91°F). From June to August (winter months) daytime temperatures can be cooler. The rainy season is from October to April and temperatures can be hot and humid, particularly December, January and February. All the seasons have their own particular climatic attraction and beauty. Climate and culture mean that dress codes are relaxed, with sarongs, shorts and T-shirts acceptable in most places.

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