The city of Maputo was built around a Portuguese fortress in the 19th century. and flourished for a long time. However, 20 years of war did not pass without a trace for him, and today, despite the status of the capital, it is still a rather poor African city. However, he is poor, only when compared with Europe, by African standards – it’s almost Las Vegas. It has its own business district with office buildings, and in the city center there are many cafes, restaurants and nightclubs, where life is in full swing around the clock.
There are few tourists – usually only rare lovers of the exotic come to Maputo, but there are no dissatisfied people: there are excellent beaches and coral reefs. Friendly locals and good weather all year round.
How to get there
Direct flights from Russia do not fly here. The most convenient way is to fly via Frankfurt or Doha to Johannesburg, from where you can get directly to Maputo.
According to wholevehicles, Maputo International Airport is located 6 km from the city center (taxi fare – from 8 USD to 10 USD).
Weather in Maputo
Maputo has a dry, tropical climate. During the year, the temperature here is around +30 ° C, but in December-February it is a little hotter. The rainy season lasts from January to March.
Chapas minibuses run around the city – this is the main form of public transport in Maputo. For 0.2 USD you can get to any place on the chapas. Sometimes it is written on them where they are going, if not, the conductor announces the stops. There are also buses in the city; they differ from chapas in that they are equipped with air conditioning and travel longer distances.
For example, to get to Junta, you need to catch a chapas, following to the Jardim stop from the National Historical Museum (Museu stop). And to return from Junta back to the city, on the contrary, look for a chapas that goes to the Museu stop. Bus number 17 or chapas goes to Costa do Sol beach from the corner of Aves Mao Tse Tung and Julius Nyerere streets.
Taxis can be ordered at the Polana Hotel and the City Market, as well as by phone (21-493255). The minimum cost of a trip around the city is 2 USD, from the Junta area to Costa do Sol – 12 USD. It is better to discuss the financial issue with the taxi driver in advance.
Bus companies that organize flights within the country and abroad:
- Fábrica de Cerveja Laurentina (September 25 Avenue). Chapas depart every morning for Swaziland, South Africa, Boane, Goba and Namaacha.
- Junta (Avenue de Mozambique). The bus bureau is located 7 km from the city centre. There is no clear organization here – you have to ask where to find buses that go in the direction you need. Almost all buses leave around 5 am.
- Panthera Azul (21-302077/83; Zedequias Manganhela Avenue). Every Tuesday, at 5 am, buses leave for Beira (cost – 44 USD, travel time – 18 hours).
- Transportes Oliveiras (21-405108, 21-400475; 24 July Avenue). 4 km from the city center, buses leave at 6 and 11 hours.
Here you can buy tickets for express buses to Johannesburg:
- Greyhound (21-355700; 1242 Karl Marx Avenue) at Cotur Travel & Tours.
- InterCape Mainliner (21-431006; 899 24 Jul Ave) at Tropical Air Travel.
- Panthera Azul (21-302077/83; 273 Zedequias Manganhela Avenue) – just behind the post office.
- Translux (21-303825; 21-303829; 1249 24 Jul Ave) at Simara Travel & Tours.
Ferry (cost – 0.2 USD per person and 6 USD per car) and boats in Catembe run from early morning until 23:00 from the pier next to the Ministry of Finance. The trip takes about 20 minutes.
On June 25 Square, in shops near hotels, in kiosks and in the Central Market, you can buy wickerwork, wooden and stone sculptures, paintings and other souvenirs. In addition, the market sells fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. There is also a fish market in Maputo.
Cuisine and restaurants
Maputo’s restaurants serve fresh fish and shellfish dishes.
Any small cafe serves simple dishes and juices. It is better to stay away from roadside stalls, especially if they cook meat there. In these stalls you can buy cashew nuts (usually fried without salt and served in small paper bags), fried beans, Bhajia cakes, fruit and soft ice cream. This pleasure will cost from 0.2 to 1 USD.
Fruits in roadside shops are usually good, especially bananas. In Maputo, fruits are counted in kilograms, so be prepared for sidelong glances if you only want to buy a couple of fruits. Two bananas will cost about 5 or 10 MTN.
In the smallest cafes you will find egg sandwiches, french fries, grilled chicken, small cakes and hamburgers. It will cost from 0.6 to 3 USD.
In Maputo, you can try different types of beer. The most expensive variety is Preta dark beer with coffee and chocolate aromas, while Rise is considered the cheapest beer. Also popular are 2M (pronounced “doish-em”), “Laurentina” and “Manica”. A good beer will cost 0.35-0.6 USD. And don’t drink tap water here – only bottled water.
It is better to pay in cash, there are frequent cases of fraud with plastic cards.
Maputo has several large sandy beaches. Catembe Beach offers stunning views of the city. Fans of big waves should visit Macaneta beach. There are several beaches on the island of Inhaca. It’s just a sin not to go scuba diving.
At the southernmost point of the country, 117 km from Maputo, is the Ponta do Ouro beach.
Attractions and attractions in Maputo
It is worth visiting the Tundura Botanical Garden, the “Yellow House”, which was the seat of the colonial government (today it is the Museum of Money), the Military Museum (Fort Señora da Conceicao), the Catholic Cathedral, the Museum of Natural History – a building of the Gothic style, which presents many types of animals and a unique exposition depicting an elephant in different months of pregnancy.
The National Museum of Art is also interesting, it presents paintings and sculptures by artists of Mozambique, the National Museum of Geology and the Museum of the Revolution.
The Museum of Marine Biology is located on Inhaca Island, and you can also see magnificent coral reefs there. You should definitely take a look at the magnificent waterfall in Namaacha. And in the Maputo Special Reserve, you can see flamingos and entire herds of elephants.