Zanzibar or Mozambique for ocean swimming in May?

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Oct 17th, 2013, 08:01 PM
  #1
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Zanzibar or Mozambique for ocean swimming in May?

We've been getting conflicting reports about the quality of ocean swimming in Mozambique versus Zanzibar (mixed in with issues of cost for nice-but-not-luxurious beachfront accommodations).

We would appreciate any input on the two locations in regard to ocean swimming, pleasant beachfront places...and good food. Anticipating a May visit.
Thanks!
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Oct 18th, 2013, 08:50 AM
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Is this for a strictly 'beach' holiday or an extension for R&R from safari on the mainland - southern or eastern Africa.

Though I haven't been to Mozambique, know that the eastern coast of Africa is tidal, so if the coasts of Tanzania and Mozambique are similar, expect depending on the moon, some hours there is little beach.
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Oct 19th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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Hi Sandi,
It would be after a Namibia/Botswana safari trip.

The dilemma expands a bit regarding cost; Mozambique is looking very expensive but has always been a place I'd like to visit. The person who mentioned Zanzibar focused on how much more affordable it was in addition to the beaches.
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Oct 19th, 2013, 10:12 AM
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.... but you're already in the southern part of Africa if heading to MOZ. For Tanzania/Zanzibar, you'd probably have to fly back to JNB and then a 4/hr flight to ZNZ (and remember 2/hrs for checkin/security all intra-Continent flights).

I'd first check all the international flights - from where landing to head to BOTS/NAM (assume JNB), back to JNB and onto ZNZ, from where once concluded, best place to head home would probably be out of Dar-es-Salaam/DAR which is a 15/min flight from the island. Doubt you'd want to fly back to JNB for homebound.

Africa is a very big Continent, with great distances; flight schedules often are at strange hours and internal air fares rather expensive, besides the actual fly-time needed to get from Point A-B.

Accommodations on ZNZ can be cheap or real expensive, so all depends on budget for time spent either on MOZ vs coastal TNZ.

In other words, do ALL the #s first, then figure out where it's best for R&R.
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Oct 19th, 2013, 06:32 PM
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Thanks...all things being equal, I'm leaning toward Moz but have received some negative travel agent vibes regarding ability to find a nice mid-range accommodation on the beach...they fret about security, obnoxiously intrusive "beach boys" trying to sell stuff/activities, etc.

I'm trying to keep an open mind as I research.

Thanks for the practical flight info to consider.
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Oct 20th, 2013, 09:35 AM
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'beach boys' - rare to find a resort that doesn't have them, unless you're so remote no one but you can get there and then one might concern themselves with safety. Or a beach with armed security, you wonder 'what the heck?' Everyone's gotta make a living!

Wherever I've encountered them, have simply learned to ignore.
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Oct 27th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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I agree with Sandi; if you're in southern Africa, stick to Moz. Not only do you lose at least a day flying to Zanzibar and have added flight costs, but you'll need a Tanzanian visa, $100 each. I don't know what the visa requirements are for Moz, but that should be a consideration. If you do choose Zanzibar, however, I'd recommend Pongwe Beach Lodge... beautiful beach and great food. It's quite affordable, compared to some of the other lodges. They took us out in their boat for some snorkeling out on the reef, too.
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Oct 28th, 2013, 08:02 PM
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Thanks all...at the moment we're still leaning toward Moz because...as ShayTay and Sandi both emphasized...it is closer and therefore a timesaver.

Now if I could just find clarification as to whether there is good ocean swimming ...most of the places advertise beautiful beaches, good snorkeling/scuba, fishing etc., but I just read a recent review about not being able to swim in the ocean at expensive Azura between 8a.m. and 4p.m. because the tide is out.

My husband wants first hand info that if he agrees to go to "my" beach destination, he can play in the waves as long as he wants

I'll keep asking...
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Oct 29th, 2013, 12:14 AM
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The political situation in Mozambique has further deteriorated in the last week. There are serious security issues for the north of the country. The peace agreement between Renamo and Frelimo has been torn up and there was a fatal attack on a civilian road convoy a few days ago. Flying in to a high end resort may be ok but you need to monitor the situation. Things could further derail rapidly.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 04:31 PM
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Thanks, I just saw that update on TripAdvisor as well. Scary stuff...I will definitely stay tuned.
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Nov 1st, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Believe I mentioned that the east coast of Africa, regardless which beaches are 'tidal' thus depending on the moon, not unusual for a few hours each day the tides are high or low and therefore the beaches will be different.

Recall one visit to Zanzibar, on arrival friend was straight into suimsuit and out to the beach and shocked to see the water so far out. Thankfully, this resort had a wooden walkway out to the water line from where you can swim. Next few days, plenty of water closer in and lovely beach.

Don't know of anywhere in the world when the tides aren't different twice daily... depends on the moon. Believe there is a web site where you can verify hours of the moon on the days you'll be visiting wherever, and what the tide levels will be.
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