Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique, is a country in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. Its eastern coastline along the Indian Ocean is more than 1,000 kilometres long, which draws water sports enthusiasts, scuba divers, fishermen, sailors, and beach lovers. Its capital and largest city is Maputo. The official language in Mozambique is Portuguese, and common native languages include Swahili, Makhuwa, and Sena. It has a population of approximately 24 million, a majority of which are Bantu people. The largest religion in the country is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. Mozambique experiences a tropical climate with two seasons, a wet season from October to March and a dry season from April to September. However, climatic conditions vary depending on altitude. Rainfall is heavy along the coast and decreases in the north and south.
What to see & do
Mozambique is home to some of the best colonial-era architecture and relics found on the continent; also, visitors can experience the country’s well-preserved African cultural heritage, through art, music, and food. From historical attractions to natural wonders, there are plenty to see and discover in Mozambique. Visit Gorongosa National Park and see a variety of animal species and vegetation. Birdwatchers will marvel at this park, which is home to over 400 species of birds. One of the best parts about taking a trip here is that it gives back to the local community as it aids in conservation programs. There’s also Niassa Reserve, a 42,000-square kilometre nature reserve, which serves as home to the African wild dog, an endangered species. Its vegetation consists of Miombo forest, savannah, and wetlands. The 1,411-metre high Meculas Mountain can be found here. The popular port city of Pemba, founded in 1904, is where one can find handmade crafts and souvenirs, art pieces, and a wide variety of products from the local market. It is also a good site for water sports and diving.
How to get around within Mozambique
Air travel is the fastest way to get around far-flung destinations within the country. Air carrier Linhas Aereas de Moçambique flies between major cities. For ground transport, there are several ways to choose from. You can opt to drive around, although you must know that roads throughout Mozambique are generally in poor condition, especially when compared to South Africa. Buses and chapas (the latter taking the form of both mini and midi buses) leave early, usually 4:00 a.m., especially northbound trips. Chapas covering short routes are generally in poor condition. There are two types: government-registered and unregistered. Take the former. There are taxis in the country, particularly in the cities. Arrange the fare beforehand as taxis here are unmetered.
How to get there
Maputo International Airport, the largest airport in Mozambique, offers flights to and from Durban, Addis Ababa, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Beira, Chimoio, Inhambane, Lichinga, Nampula, Pemba, Quelimane, Tete, Vilanculos, Dar es Salaam, Harare, Luanda, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Doha, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, and Lisbon via airlines such as Airlink, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, LAM Mozambique Airlines, Malawi Airlines, Moçambique Expresso, Qatar Airways, South African Airways, and TAP Portugal. Most of the international flights that arrive in the country are from South Africa, but there are direct international routes that exist between Mozambique and Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Portugal. Besides air transit, other ways of getting in include by train, via the single train line that connects Nampula with Cuamba (near the Malawi border); by car, from South Africa and Swaziland – make sure you have the original registration documents or an authorised letter from the owner of the vehicle granting permission to take the vehicle in to Mozambique; by bus from Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa; and by boat, although this is not the best option since there’s no scheduled sea travel to and from Mozambique at present. However, you can chance upon some occasional ferries, or hire a dhow (this is extremely expensive), if you decide to opt for sea travel.
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