Indulge in typical seafood or enjoy historical and cultural highlights. Explore big cities like Maputo or Pemba, or relax while sailing on a typical dhow. Go snorkelling and diving around coral reefs in crystal clear water. Game and nature reserves and legendary nightlife are other factors that complete a visit to the fascinating towns of Mozambique.
Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, is located to the south of the country. Formerly known as Lourenco Marques, it evokes much of the atmosphere of its Portuguese colonial past with its wide streets lined with acacia and jacaranda trees.
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The second major port of Mozambique, Beira is located at the mouth of the Pungwe River in Sofala province. In the heart of the city is the square of Largo do MunincÌpio, surrounded by old colonial buildings, terraces, tea rooms and shops. The cathedral, erected in 1925, was built partly from stones from the 16th century Fort of Sofala, which has since been submerged under the sea.
Other typical colonial-style buildings of note are Casa Portugal and the magnificent Casa Infante de Sagres. The mouth of the Pungwe River is swampy, and the weather is very hot and humid. Stringent malaria precautions must be taken before visiting.
This busy port city possesses the interesting architecture of Portuguese colonialism which house some of the banks, hotels and shops. Cosmopolitan pavement cafes and restaurants invariably serve large juicy tiger prawns and cheap crayfish that Mozambique is famous for.
Further north from the capital, in the province of the same name, is the city of Inhambane. This Mozambique city established as a Portuguese trading post in 1534 it is one of the oldest European settlements in Southern Africa. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conception, with its fine clock tower, was built by the Portuguese about 200 years ago.
This is the capital of the province and located on a protected bay 469km (291 miles) from Maputo, which was popular in the 1400s and the 1500s with the Portuguese explorers, in particular, Vasco Da Gama sadly this settlement also later became a major slave port and ivory trading centre which went on unhindered late into the 1800s.
Inhambane is one of the most attractive Mozambican towns with grand colonial architecture. It serves as a springboard for access to the famous Tofo and Barra beach resorts nearby and also to Coconut Bay and Jangamo Beach. Tofu and the surrounding areas have excellent diving with good reefs and plentiful marine life including reef sharks, Humpback Whales and Whale Sharks in season.
In the town, visitors can go sightseeing at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conception, the Governors House, the mosque, the train station and the local market or sail on a dhow across the harbour.
One of the few cities of Mozambique not dominated by technology, thanks to little industrial activity, much of the natural beauty of this city, situated in a bay of the same name in Cabo Delgado Province, has been preserved. The Old Town contains several traditional markets where souvenirs include silverware.
From Pemba, tourists can hire a boat to visit the lovely Ibo Island. The Cabo Delgado Provinces capital city is busy with an enormous harbour, banks, patisseries, supermarkets and restaurants. This cosmopolitan centre lies in a bay where the bush meets the beach, forests of Baobab trees stretch down to the water where many dhows can be seen making their way across the bay.
Pemba has a massive market which stretches for 2km (1 mile) with stalls that sell absolutely everything. The old town has several interesting traditional markets, and visitors can watch the silversmiths at work or head off to lovely beaches, namely Wimbi and Farol. Snorkelling and diving along coral reefs with superb views of the marine life are guaranteed in this Mozambican city.
The capital of Zambezia is an essential port on a wide river called Rios dos Boas Sinais, so named by Vasco Da Gama late in the 1400s. There are several restaurants, trendy street cafes and hotels on the riverfront. Like most of northern Mozambique, the Quelimane is mostly Islamic, and mosques can be found dotted around the city. Interesting sights include the Old Cathedral, circa 1785 and the Governor's residence.
An important river port, located on the Rio dos Bons Sinais in Zambezia Province, Quelimane's landmarks include an austere Cathedral and an ornate, modern Mosque. Within reach are several hot-water springs and the tea plantations of the Gurue Mountains.
The beach near Xai-Xai, north of Maputo in Gaza province, is a popular destination. The Limpopo River flows south of the Mozambican town. The capital of the Gaza Province, Xai Xai is reached by tar roads and located about 200km (124 miles) north of Maputo.
The town is situated on the Limpopo River and is an excellent place to stock up on supplies. It has markets, restaurants, shops, a campsite, bars, petrol stations, banks and a post office. Mozambique visitors generally stop here on there a way to a beautiful beach in the east about 10km (6 miles) away.
Praia do Xai Xai has been popular with visitors for years due to the coral reef that runs along the coast, providing a sheltered bathing and snorkelling area at high tide and interesting small pools at low tide. Nearby is the Wenela Tidal Pool, Chongoene beach and half an hour away freshwater lakes for water sports like kayaking.
Displays of typical Mozambican art are on show in the city museum of this provincial capital, while the Cathedral is a remarkable building with twin towers and a massive dome. This is the third-largest town in Mozambique and is quite modern with banks, hotels, tennis clubs, supermarkets and shops.
Although not a designated tourist area there are a lot of places that are worth a visit like a museum, mosques and fascinating cathedrals such as the imposing Cathedral de Nosa Senhora da Conceicao.
The gateway to Lake Niassa and the Niassa Game Reserve, the city of Lichinga, in Niassa Province, is home to more than 75,000 inhabitants. Located at high altitude on the plateau of the same name, Lichinga experiences a temperate-cold climate. There is an airport here and the surrounding area is characterised by extensive pine forests.
Tete, the provincial capital of Mozambique, is one of the hottest parts of the country and where the impressive Tete Suspension Bridge crosses the Zambezi River. Baroma Church, about 30 km from the city, is a magnificent Jesuit Church built at the end of the 19th century.
Some 150 km from Tete is the Cabora Bassa Dam, the second-largest in Africa, which creates an enormous reservoir with a surface of 2,000 sq. km. The capital city of this Mozambican province is located on a plateau on the Zambezi River, about 500 metres above sea level; it is one of the hottest places in this country and the largest city on the river.
The 1km (just under a mile) long Tete Suspension Bridge crosses the Zambezi River and is a vital connection on the major highway linking northern and southern parts of Mozambique and also Zimbabwe and Malawi. Another interesting place to visit is the magnificent Boroma Jesuit Church about 30 minutes from Tete.
Manica Province is an important commercial centre. A well- known feature of the city is Cabeca do Velho, a spectacular, natural stone formation resembling the face of an old man. West of Chimoio is the historic town of Manica, with its impressive Museum of Geology while about 36 km from Chimoio is the Chicamba Reál dam, its sheered off rock face forming a natural V- shape to house the dam.
This city forms an important centre for the trade of agricultural products and lies on the railway line between Beira and Harare, in Zimbabwe. On the edge of Lake Chicamba, there is a tourist resort and a crocodile farm.