“Maputo! Maputo! Home of the brave!” Miriam Makeba once sang of the capital city of Mozambique in her song ‘Aluta Continua.’ Referred to as the city of acacias, Maputo is one of the most attractive capitals in Africa.
A coastal city with wide avenues lined with jacaranda and acacias, impressive Mediterranean-style architecture in contrast with Marxist structures which tells the city’s colonial history.
Maputo, a city with beautiful beaches along the coast of the Indian Ocean where you can bask in the warm sunshine and splash in the cool waters of the sea. This is a city that blends old architecture with modernization; this mix of a city truly shows what diversity and change can bring about.
Formerly under Portuguese rule before the country gained its independence and was known as “Lourenco Marques”. Under this influence, Lourenco Marques became one of Africa’s most beautiful and fashionable cities with a cosmopolitan continental atmosphere, pavement cafes, and a thriving tourist industry.
The famous Polana Hotel was one of the tourist social highlights. The nightclubs in Maputo pulse with action until the early hours. Maputo is vibrant, loud, and exciting which lets you indulge into some great Mozambican culture.
There are many activities and attractions in this magical capital city.
Maputo is famous for its European influenced breath-taking architecture. Its serene environment is an instant pull for tourists, so if you get to Maputo, take time to explore some of these wonderful sites. For a historic Maputo experience however, your tour must include a stop at the Tunduru Botanical Garden where the statue of Samora Machel the first Mozambican President welcomes you. The Garden offers serenity and shade, and houses the tennis courts. The Fortaleza is Maputo’s most evocative landmark. Its striking architecture, battlements and cannons have a dominant position over the area. Inside lies the remains of Ngungunyana, ruler of the old Gaza Empire, who tried and failed to defeat the Portuguese in the late 19th century. You must also see the bustling Central Market, and the lovely railway station designed in 1910 by Gustave Eiffel; designer of both the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The railway station is widely considered as one of the most beautiful in the world. Don’t miss also the Maputo Museums including: The Museum of Natural History with interesting displays involving insects, elephants and other animals, The Museum of the revolution which tells the story of the Mozambique struggle for independence, the Art Museum featuring exhibitions of quality Mozambican paintings and sculptures, and a Money Museum where you can see coins and banknotes from other eras!
European influence dots Maputo’s cuisines. The popular foods in the city include Matapa, made with cassava leaves cooked in peanut sauce and normally served with prawns. Salads with avocado and tomatoes, and grilled chicken which is usually served in one of two ways—either plain with salt, or heavily seasoned with piri-piri. Others include pãozinho (Portuguese-style bread rolls) and seafood. Herbs and seasonings such as onions, bay leaves, garlic, fresh coriander, paprika, chili peppers, red sweet peppers, and wine, as well as products like sugarcane, maize, millet, rice, Cashew, sorghum, and potatoes are very popular in Maputo. Prego (steak roll), rissois (battered shrimp), espetada (kebab), pudim (pudding), and the popular inteiro com piripiri (whole chicken in piri-piri sauce) are all popular types of Maputo’s menu. Aside Cha, a popular local tea, and coffee, locally brewed beer made from maize is also enjoyed here. Nipa is a common local drink made from cashew fruits as well as cassava, mango and sugar cane. Depending on your alcohol capacity, a cupful of Nipa may get you drunk. Luckily, there are hotels, restaurants and bars offering local and foreign food, and it will do you well to savour a sunset drink at the famous Polana Hotel overlooking the bay