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  • Safe beach front lagoons;

  • The corals of the Baixos de Inhampura reef and on the leeward side of the beach rock in the lagoons;

  • Oyster and mussel beds on the rocks along the 10km beach front;

  • An abundance of fish and a variety of species – tropical, reef (bottom) and game fish;

  • Rare and endangered marine turtle nesting grounds;

  • Unique and sensitive coastal dune habitat;

  • Unique and sensitive estuary habitat formed by the Limpopo River mouth; and

  • In the long term, Xai-Xai Beach might become one of the coastal resorts with the easiest access to the Trans Frontier Park adjoining the famous Kruger Park, which is currently in the planning stages.

Tourism activities that may be effectively supported by the above resources are the following:

  • Normal beach-front leisure activities (swimming, etc.);

  • Scuba diving;

  • Snorkelling;

  • Sport fishing (both off and on shore);

  • Jet skiing;

  • Walking/jogging;

  • River cruises on the Limpopo estuary;

  • Guided visits to the turtle nesting grounds;

  • Controlled hiking in the dune habitat;

  • Beach walks; and

  • Windsurfing and sailing.

Cultural and Heritage Resources

The most valuable and important cultural asset in terms of its contribution to the attraction of Xai-Xai Beach, is the warmth and friendliness of the local, mostly Changana community. Other cultural, and heritage assets worth mentioning are:

  • The Portuguese language which is the lingua franca of Mozambique – this may be

useful when targeting Portuguese, or even Spanish speaking countries;

  • The uniquely Mozambican vernacular architecture; and

  • The Afro-Mediterranean cuisine.

Cultural tourism assets form an extremely important aspect of the tourism context and serve to affirm the “sense of place”. Due to its mostly intangible nature, cultural assets are by far the most difficult resources to package for tourism utilisation and to protect from negative tourism impacts.

Tourism Infrastructure

Existing tourism infrastructure at Xai-Xai Beach mostly date from Mozambique’s tourism heydays between 1930 and 1950 and show signs of neglect and dilapidation caused by the years of civil conflict. Some of the structures have been renovated, notably mostly private residential facilities owned by well to do individuals and companies based in Maputo. Owners of commercial infrastructure have been slow to invest in restoration and upgrading projects due to a number of influencing factors, seemingly most important of which being the lack of visitor numbers.

Table 5 supplies an overview of the tourism infrastructure at Xai-Xai Beach currently in operation.


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