Referred to as the Land of Good People, a name bequeathed to it by the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in the late 15th century, Inhambane is a peaceful and sleepy historical town with old colonial-style architecture blended with Arabic, Indian and African influences.
When da Gama arrived in 1498, oral legend claims it began to rain and the native people took the explorer in and offered him shelter. Touched by the act of kindness, as opposed to the usual suspicion and resentment and often time hostility to foreigners, da Gama called the place Terra de Boa Gente (Land of the Good People).
Inhambane is the provincial capital of the province which shares the same name with the coastal city. It has a small, tidy and beautiful city center with wide tree-filled avenues and several shops, restaurants and various public services places. Its main beaches are in Tofo which is about 22km from the city center and Barra, about 15km away.
While Tofo and nearby Tofinho (Little Tofo) are quite popular for water activities like surfing, snorkeling and diving with Tofo often referred to as Whale Shark Mecca of the World; Barra which is a peninsula with the beach on one side and an estuary on the other has calmer waters and is a perfect honeymoon spot, and a great place for less experienced divers to enjoy and master the art.