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When is the best time to visit Mozambique?

The best times of year for your favourite activities

Martijn

Martijn

Director of Mozambique Voyages
Published on

08 Jul 2018

Read time

7 minutes

Ocean Safari Snorkelling In The Tofo Area Of Mozambique

There’s never a simple answer to ‘when is the best time to holiday in Mozambique’, as it really depends on where you want to go and what you want to do.

Mozambique is one of the largest countries in Southern Africa, with a coastline stretching for 2750 kms (and technically across two time zones). As you might have guessed, it enjoys a subtropical climate, perfect for African beach holidays, with some of the world’s best marine life for those who want to go diving or snorkelling.

Nkwichi Lodge Lake Niassa Mozambique
Nkwichi Lodge on Lake Nissa in Mozambique

The Dry Season

The dry season runs from April to December and this is when the coastal and island destinations really come into their own. Temperatures are cooler than during the rainy season, although they’re still in the mid 20’s and perfect for a Mozambique beach holiday. During this period it is warmer on the coast than inland, and you’ll be pleased to hear there is very little rainfall, although humidity does increase the further north you head. It becomes a little windy up in the Quirimbas Archipelago during June – August, although sometimes a refreshing sea breeze is welcome. Throughout Mozambique from June – October you’ll experience perfect tropical weather (blue skies, lots of sun and long daylight hours), although it does of course get busier as a result.

Not that Mozambique is ever really ‘busy’!

Villa Santorini Pool At Sunset
Villa Santorini in Vilanculos
Monkey At Coral Lodge Near Ilha De Mozambique
Monkey spotting near Ilha de Mozambique

The Rainy Season

The rainy season runs from January – March during which time it will be hot, humid and wet with thunderstorms in the late afternoon/evenings. Cyclones sometimes occur in January and February around the island archipelagos so this isn’t a great time to lie on the beach or swim in the sea. Rainfall does vary between north and south. In fact the rains linger about 4 weeks longer in the north, which means towards the end of this period you could be having a sunny beach holiday in the south even though it’s still wet elsewhere. There is more rainfall inland than on the coast during these months.

Mozambique Horse Safaris Fun In The Sea
Mozambique horse safaris include fun in the sea

Generally speaking, the good weather returns first in the south, and slowly heads north. The southern coastline experiences lower humidity than the rest of the country so is a good destination at any time of year.

But what does all that really mean in terms of your holiday?

Best time to see whales in Mozambique?

The annual humpback and southern right whale migration occurs between June and November, with the peak season in August. Seeing these magnificent creatures returning from Antarctica to the warmer waters of East Africa where they’ll have their calves is definitely one of life’s ‘moments’.

Best places to see whales: we recommend Azura Benguerra in the Bazaruto Archipelago, Massinga Beach Lodge in Inhambane, and Bahia Mar Beach Club in Vilanculos.

Saling past Azura Benguerra
Azura Benguerra
Massinga Beach Lodge
Massinga Beach Lodge

Best time to go diving and snorkelling in Mozambique?

Diving and snorkelling in Mozambique is nothing short of spectacular between April – June and September – November. The waters are warm, calm and clear, and the marine life is some of the best in the world.

Where to go diving and snorkelling in Mozambique: we recommend the Quirimbas Archipelago, the Bazaruto Archipelago and Vilanculos.

Machangulo Diving Fun
Diving is a delight in Mozambique

Best time to do a bit of sightseeing?

If you want a fix of culture and history then Ilha de Mozambique, Ibo Island and Maputo are great places for day trips or even an overnight stay. These locations are at their best during the dry season, particularly between May and September when the air is clear.

Where to go sightseeing in Mozambique: we recommend Ilha de Mozambique and Ibo Island.

Ibo Island Lodge Fort
Ibo Island Fort
Ilha De Mozambique Museum
Ilha de Mozambique Museum

Best time to go on safari in Mozambique?

Wildlife viewing is at its best between April and October, which coincides with the fantastic weather. During September and October animals give birth to their young and gather around waterholes, making sightings easier and more spectacular.

Where to go on safari in Mozambique: we recommend Gorongosa National Park

Gorongosa National Park Safari
Safari in Gorongosa National Park

Best time to visit Lake Niassa?

Lake Niassa (otherwise known as Lake Malawi) is at a higher altitude than the coastal destinations and has some of the coolest weather in the country, especially at night, which can be a relief from the heat and humidity of the coast. Yet temperatures are still delightful and the ‘Lake of the Stars’ is the perfect place for water sports, beach picnics and relaxation all year round, because even during the 'green' season between January and March the rains don't last long and the thunderstorms are only occasional.

A visit to Lake Malawi is often a highlight of a Malawi holiday, but is great to include in a Mozambique trip too!

Where to stay on Lake Niassa: we recommend Nkwichi Lodge.

Nkwichi Lodge Canoeing On Lake Niassa
Canoeing on Lake Niassa
Nkwichi Lodge Dining
Nkwichi Lodge dining

Best time to see turtles

Turtles have been protected in Mozambique for nearly half a century, and it’s an amazing sight to see them come ashore to nest and lay their eggs in the sand between November and March.

Where to see the sea turtles nesting: we recommend Azura Quilalea in the Quirimbas Archipelago, and White Pearl Resort down on the southern coast.

Turtle Adult Principe
Turtle nesting on the beach

And for those of you who enjoy a good graph...these give a general overview of temperature and rainfall in Mozambique:

Average monthly TEMPERATURE in Inhambane, Mozambique:

average-temperature-mozambique-vilanculos.png

Average monthly RAINFALL in Inhambane, Mozambique:

average-rainfall-mozambique-vilanculos.png

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