Welcome to Mozambique
Magical, mystical, magnificent. These are but a few of the adjectives used to describe this land of many contrasts. The rich diversity of cultures, coupled with a deep historical significance, has made this a must be visited country. With the rehabilitation of its national parks, like Gorongoza, along with the establishment of protected areas around the islands has made this the “in place” to visit. New lodges are popping up at an amazing rate providing new opportunities and unique experiences.
The city of Maputo is now a bustling colourful city which has a tapestry of cultures woven through it. The Portuguese and the Arabs have left their mark and what was previously known as Lourenco Marques is now a popular destination for travelers young and old. From the verandas of the Polana 5 star hotel to the impressive vistas from the Maputo Holiday Inn, this is one African city experience not to be missed. The LM prawns served at the Costa del Sol on the beachfront remain a number 1 on the must do list of a visit to Maputo.
A regular ferry service takes visitors from Maputo’s fishing harbour to Inhaca Island to see the fascinating maritime museum, historic lighthouse and to have lunch or overnight at the hotel.
The town of Xai-Xai (pronounced shy shy) is a sprawling settlement of houses, shops and markets. Tourists generally only stop off for supplies in Xai-Xai. The main attraction at Xai Xai is the stunning beach situated about 10 kilometres to the east. The bay has a coral reef running about one kilometre off shore which offers protected waters for swimming and snorkelling. This coastal town has some thriving restaurants, a campsite and a new hotel.
Inhambane and Bazaruto Archipelego
Being one of the oldest towns in Mozambique dating back to the 10th century this fascinating city has many a tale to tell. First used by Vasco Da Gama he gave it a name which meant the place of gentle people. These gentle people are still there today. After meeting these gentle people you may be blessed to see the dugong in its natural habitat as well as a “lifer” experience of swimming with dolphins.
Inhambane affords a kaleidoscope of opportunities for the photographer. It possesses a unique charm that can only originate from a crumbling old town with delapidated buildings and non existing maintenance. It is worth exploring the fascinating mix of African, old-world Portugese and muslim cultures.
The Bazaruto Archipelego is a group of 5 islands off Mozambique which offer idyllic unspoiled tropical island setting for your vacation. The area offers stunning coral pink beaches, World Class deep sea fishing, salt water fly fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling. It is a protected National park boasting the fact that they have no roads, no shops, no tourist attractions just wall to wall natural beauty.
Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique and owes its existence to the “Beira Corridor” which is a road and railway line constructed from the coast eastwards, providing Zimbabwe with its main outlet to the sea. This used to be the playground for many a Zimbabwean as it is their closest link to the sea.
In the city itself there is very little to see in the way of tourist attractions. Beira does not cater for the mass-tourist, but can be very interesting to the photographer with many places of great human, architectural and nature value. If you are interested in a bit of history you might want to swing by the Grande Hotel Beira, which was built by the Portuguese to be an exquisite hotel but was abandoned before opening when Mozambique gained its independence of the colonial rulers and is now occupied by several hundred squatters.
Being blessed with in excess of 12 million coconut trees this ancient port town provides endless vistas of tropical scenery. The smell of spices and the calls of the muezzins entice the senses and prepare one for a taste of tropical africa.
It was in 1856 that David Livingstone ended his trans-Africa exploration and six years later he was appointed as the Consul to Britain in Quelimane.
There are a number of hotels on the riverfront as well as streetside cafes and restaurants. The river reaches the sea at the Zalala Beach estuary, where dugout canous toil across the surf.
Nestled in the rolling hills and rising mountains of the interior, Nampula was established as a centre in 1967. It is the commercial heart of Mozambique, with banks, hotels, tennis clubs, supermarkets and large stores selling expensive motorcars, but it is not the place for a holiday.
Situated on the third largest bay in the world, it is renowned as being a prime destination for water sport and diving enthusiasts because of the coral reef lying close to the shore. The famous St Lazarus Banks with its abudant fishing waters is also within easy reach. For those less adventurous there are many pristine, white beaches along the coast.
The historic charm and colonial architecture of the old city makes it a fascinating destination. The souk or whats also known as the local market is a bargain hunter’s paradise. This is where arts and crafts and traditional silverware can be bought.