in Moçambique · Map of Moçambique
the capital of maputo
inaccessible to tourists, Mozambique's tourism industry is making
a remarkable recovery. Once more Mozambique is the place where
dreams take you.
Located near the very southern tip of the country, Maputo was once
renowned as a beautiful city and rated by world travellers alongside
Cape Town and Rio. But after almost 20 years of war and deprivation
the capital is very rundown today, with crumbling buildings and
dirty streets. Nevertheless, it's still an interesting place, with
a very lively atmosphere. And the place slowly but surely improves.
Old-timers say Maputo is already regaining some of its old charm.
Bordered by Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and
Swaziland, Mozambique covers an area of almost 800 000 km²
and is divided into 10 provinces. The 2 470 km Indian Ocean coastline
is scattered with numerous islands and coves. Here visitors can
enjoy excellent holiday resorts, an abundance of seafood, flat
beaches and calm seas. The coastal resorts offer excellent opportunities
for beach combing, fishing, yachting, board sailing and skiing.
The clear waters are perfect for snorkelling and skin diving.
A deep sea fishing expedition always produces some good-sized
fish. Kingfish abound and the record to date is a specimen of
40kg. Mako, wahoo, serra, yellowfin tunny and queenfish are caught
regularly on Bazaruto Islands. Hiking trails have been established
along the fresh water lakes, national park and marine reserve
at Bazaruto north point, providing ideal conditions for underwater
In the interior of the country one can sail on the lakes, or go
fishing and hiking. Many of the game reserves are being rehabilitated.
Large handcraft markets and roadside stalls offer quality and
Maputo has excellent hotels and restaurants and the many museums,
markets, churches and the Victorian railway station provide opportunities
for interesting excursions.
The oldest historic site is the fort, where you can patrol the ramparts,
look at the old cannons or just sit and rest in the grassy courtyard.
A must-see is the train station, designed and built in the early
1900s by the same Eiffel who gave us the famous tower. Recently
renovated, it looks more like a palace, with polished wood and marble
decorations, topped by a gigantic copper dome.
Other highlights include the Botanic Gardens; the National Art Museum,
which has a fine collection of Mozambique's best contemporary artists;
and the lively Municipal Market, where fruit, vegetables, spices
and basketwork are sold.
Archipelago (Marine National Park): Located about
10km (6mi) off the coast, the Archipelago is one of the most beautiful
places on the continent, complete with azure waters, sandy beaches,
palm trees, pristine coral reefs, plus tropical fish to goggle
at and big game fish to catch. The whole area between the mainland
and the 150 fathom mark is now protected as a world-class conservation
area. If you stay at one of the posh lodges, transfer by speedboat
is available for around US$100 return. Rather cheaper are dhows,
which can be got at Vilankulo on the mainland.
lumbering sea grass eaters, are found living in shallow waters
along the world's tropical coasts. Here in Bazaruto, however,
they seem to have found the resources and protection they need
to survive. The pristine sea grass beds of this extensive tropical
archipelago are home to the largest remaining population in Eastern
Africa, helping make this newly extended protected area a global
marine conservation priority.
ridge of large and picturesque sand dunes dominates the narrow
chain of islands that make up the Bazaruto Archipelago. Extensive
tidal flats and inland saline lakes support a wide variety of
seabird species, including Palearctic waterbird migrants and 26
species of waders. The dunes and woodlands harbor such mammals
as the samango monkey, lesser bushbaby, red duiker, and four-toed
real wealth of Bazaruto, however, lies in the full range of tropical
marine ecosystems found within this varied seascape. Spectacular
coral reefs and rich pelagic waters hold over 2,000 species of
fish, 100 hard and 27 soft coral species, four whale and five
dolphin species, and 20 species of crustaceans. The extensive
sea grass beds support all five of the marine turtle species plying
the waters of the Western Indian Ocean as well as the largest
and only viable dugong population along the eastern African coast.
for most of this century, the five islands that make up the Bazaruto
Archipelago are considered ecological gems. The islands, located
within the Mozambique Channel 500 kilometers north of Maputo,
received some measure of formal protection in 1971 when three
were declared a national park. After years of active lobbying
and technical assistance, on November 27 of last year, hope for
permanent protection of this outstanding conservation area soared
when the government gazetted an extension to the national park.
This decision effectively doubled the area under protection to
1,400 square Kilometers and incorporated the remaining islands
and surrounding waters. The park is now one of the largest in
the Indian Ocean and represents a critical milestone in global