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NCJ36 Day 34: Maputo

Maputo

Today we make our way back southward in the direction of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. Mozambique became fully independent from the Portuguese in 1975 but only gained political stability in recent years and is presently undergoing a massive upgrade as the economy of the country expands.

Previously Lourenzo Marques until independence in 1974, Maputo is Mozambique’s capital and biggest city. A hub to the Indian Ocean, its economy is focused around the harbour. There is much to do and see here. The city is encircled by the province of Maputo, but is administrated as its own province. The city is located on the west side of the Maputo Bay, at the Tembe River mouth.

There are two beautiful islands, Inhance and Portuguese Island, that are situated just off Maputo’s coast. Under the influence of the Portuguese, Maputo transformed into one of the most gorgeous and trendy cities with a remarkable skyline of high buildings and a multicultural Portuguese/African atmosphere. Areas such as the Polana Hotel bustled with the chatting of socialites and nightclubs pumped music until the early hours of the morning. However, the Civil War during the 1970s and 1980s altered all of this. When peace eventually arrived, the once proud city was in ruins. Countless immigrants filled the buildings, litter was strewn all over the streets and primary services such as electricity, water and garbage collection were out of commission. Presently, the city is slowly being restored to its previous state. The elite can once more be found in the five-star Polana Hotel with its fantastic view overlooking the harbour, its tea gardens and its antique Victorian elevator.

There are various historical sites and buildings to visit here. Maputo’s most significant landmark is the Fort of Nossa Senhora da Conceiao (Our Lady of Conception) which was the centre of the original settlement. Another magnificent structure is the Central Railway Station, a massive building that appears as more of a palace for kings and queens rather than a transport hub for commuters. There are also some fantastic restaurants where you can indulge in tasty local beers and sumptuous fresh prawns.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Catembe Gallery Hotel 
Facilities: En-suites Per Room, Hot Showers, Bar, Wireless Internet and Restaurant
Route: Praia do Tofo to Maputo +/- 590 km
Travel Time: +/- 7-8 hours
Activity Package: Maputo City Tour – Half day

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