A country with unique nature and one of the oldest countries in the world, Mozambique only starts drawing the attention of tourists. The prolonged postwar crisis had a negative impact on the development of different spheres of economy, and tourism is no exception. Despite many sad events in its history, one of the oldest countries in the world managed to retain its unique culture and traditions. Modern travelers visit it to see amazing natural landmarks.
Bushmen tribes were the first settlers in the territory of modern Mozambique. Already in the 5th century, Bantu people started appearing here. In the 8th century, Arabs had big impact on the culture of indigenous people – the area not far from the coast was an important trading area for Arabs. They founded dozens of factories (trading posts) here. For centuries, the coast of the Indian Ocean was a popular place to trade ivory, gold, and animal skins. During the Middle Ages, the Kingdom of Mutapa was located in the territory of modern Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Later, the kingdom stopped existing due to actions of Portuguese colonizers.
Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama is considered the first European who discovered Mozambique. He reached the shore of the country in 1498. Colonizers started building a system of forts at the coast already at the beginning of the 16th century. Gold and silver mines attracted European colonizers. Mozambique got its current name in the middle of the 18th century when it yet was an official colony of Portugal. The republic obtained its independence only in 1975 after a long civil war and political unrest.
Nowadays, the capital of the country, Maputo, is the most visited tourist destination in Mozambique. At the end of the 18th century, a Portuguese fort was located on the site of the modern city. Tourists can still see a part of that construction. If you visit the capital, don’t forget to take a stroll along old walls of the fort, explore the surviving buildings and old cannons. Once you finish, check the exhibition of the local Museum of Natural History and the railway station, the project of which was developed by Gustave Eiffel himself.
The port city of Beira is a wonderful destination for all tourists who like excursions and picturesque areas. The city square, Praca, is considered the liveliest place in the city. It is surrounded by interesting markets, shops, restaurants, and cafes. There is also an old cathedral in the port city, and the shrine almost hasn’t changed over the last century. The cathedral keeps many interesting religious artifacts.
In order to find luxurious hotels and excellent beaches, consider visiting the city of Pemba that is located in the northern part of Mozambique. This is a true paradise for all fans of beachside recreation and scuba diving. The resort is famous not only for its new and well-maintained beaches but also for coral reefs not far from the coast. Some of them are located so close to the coastline that it is very easy to swim to them. Pemba is a young and actively developing resort where tourists can always find attractive hotels, water sports centers, various sports grounds, and entertainment venues.
Mozambique is home to one of the most interesting natural landmarks in Africa – the Bazaruto Archipelago. This nature reserve consists of the coastline and six small islands covered with lush tropical flora. The national park is suitable not only for admiring nature and bird watching but also for recreation. To the service of visitors, there are beautiful beaches with white sand. Divers can look at old coral reefs. There are even fishing areas in the park.
An excursion to the Island of Mozambique will certainly leave many pleasant memories. When the country was a Portuguese colony, its capital was located on this island. There are still some landmarks on the island, such as gorgeous palaces and an 18th-century chapel. This is also the location of the legendary Fort Sao Sebastiao. Finally, tourists can see an important architectural landmark here – the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte that is considered the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere.
Maputo has direct airplane connection with Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Swaziland. Many travelers prefer to reach the country from Johannesburg’s airport that, in its turn, has regular air connection with many countries of the world. Several years ago, a modern international airport appeared in Pemba, so such companies as Linhas Aereas de Moçambique and South African Airways now have flights to it.
Read further: Cities and sights of Mozambique