The island that time forgot is home to the beautiful fortified city of Mozambique, which was a trading post on the route to India as well as the capital of colonial Portuguese East Africa.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a fascinating destination that offers visitors a generous dollop of culture and history. The stone and lime town, on the north of the island, reflects its Swahili, Arab and European heritage, and the same building techniques, materials and decorative principles have been used consistently since the 16th century. In the south, traditional African architecture is reflected in the reed and palm-leaf structures of Makuti Town.

The island is small – measuring about 3km long and varying in width from 200 to 500m and connected to the mainland these days by a concrete bridge – yet it was a significant trading post for slaves, gold and spices and a major Arab port and boat-building centre in the 15th century before being colonised by the Portuguese in 1507. It was the Portuguese who made it an important missionary centre and built the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte in 1522 – said to be the oldest European building in the Southern Hemisphere.

Ilha de Mozambique

Things to do in Ilha de Mozambique

Guided tour of the old town

Swim with dolphins

Scuba diving and snorkeling

Traditional dhow cruises

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