Maputo's Famous Mozambique
Maputo’s Famous: Maputo is one of the most beautiful cities in Africa. It is the closest capital city to my hometown Durban. This has afforded me countless cultural and creative visits to research the music of the country. The weather and beauty of the tropical coastline together with the safety and lifestyle of the city always make for a pleasurable encounter. Maputo in the South of Mozambique invigorates all the senses. The seafood is abundant and flavourful. The local marrabenta musical rhythms are charming, sensual and vibrant. The café culture, architecture, museums, galleries and streetartprovide something memorable to do every moment. And the people and places are welcoming.
“You can create your own journey. You can go with a dream and the dream can happen,” said Tina Sithoe, a criminologist living in Maputo.
The rhythm of Maputo
One gets into the rhythm and flow of the city with a little help from the outgoing and generous local Maputan people. Maputans are known for African time, (not wearing a watch)! I have many wonderful friends in Maputo who show me their city with joy and humour.I have learnt to relax, let go and have fun. Maputans speak Portuguese and Shangaan.A good word to know in Shangaan is ‘Kanimambo.’ It means thank you.
Maputo is open to the world andthe economy is growing. It is a multi-ethnic centre with people from Nigeria, Turkey, China, India and Brazil living and working there. The annual FACIM trade fare is an economic meeting point for many investors and businesses, particularly Mozambique’s traditional trade partners,Portugal and South Africa.
Catembe Island is a fisherman’s village with gorgeous view of Maputo. A bridge linkingthe island to the mainland is currently under construction. It will reduce the road travelling distance between Durban and Maputo significantly.
The Maputo beach precinct is fast developing and has activities for all age groups from skate boarding to kite surfing and fishing. It is the best place to eat because of the fish market situated on Costa do Sol beach. The fish market is a huge hall filled with fresh local seafood of all descriptions. Next door are dozens of restaurants. Patrons choose their ingredients at the fish market, the chefs prepare the meal, and this is served in any one of the restaurants. Saturday lunches are a favourite day to enjoy the local gastronomy whilst overlooking the long beaches and serene ocean. Traders on the beach sell arts, crafts, cashews and coconuts, whilst old women cook chicken and the “fish for the poor,” – the bony ‘Magumba,’ on a grill.
On Mirimar beach there is a casino, Coconuts longest running night club, and a variety of fine fast food restaurants. There is good fishing off the rocks or from the fishing boats. Xefina Island is visible from shore. It was once a prison.
To get around the city, locals use the ‘chapa’ (mini bus taxi) for main routes. ‘Chapela’ tuktuk and taxis are reliable and easily available. Markets deliver the best in expression of the countries arts, craft, clothes and food.The FEIMA artisan and cultural marketis filled with a curated selection of excellent products.Bargaining is a crucial technique for getting a fair price. Mercado Municipal Market, the central market is a busy trade centre and an opportunity to purchase local delicacies such as cashew nuts, mango peri-peri and the Mozambican biltong,adried fish from the North.
When the going gets hot, there are many street side café’s, social clubs and informal eateries to visit. A favourite restaurant for Sunday lunch isLola’s Place which serves ‘Shisanyama’ (cooked meat). PiriPiri restaurant is a landmark for a late night meal and good laughs. Zambi restaurant has the best reputation for fine dining and an irresistible Petit Gateau!
Live music attracts me to the city. Maputans love to dance. The Marrabenta festival in February, Azgo festival in May and Morejazz festival in October animate the city with music, and through cultural tourism create an impact on the creative economy.
Mozambican saxophone player and festival director Moreira Chonguiça said, “Maputo has a unique cultural energy unlike any other city on the continent.”
The Polana Serena Hotel offers sunset chill sessions on Fridays in the pristine gardens with a stunning view. Nucleo de Art, a working space for fine–artists offersrelaxed exhibitions and live music on Sundays. Gil Vicenteis popular on Tuesday nightsforjam and karaokesessions. Feira Popular isopen till lateon weekends with a lot of restaurants, loud music and a rollercoaster. Julius Nyerere Road is all bars, cafes and restaurants.
Listings Must doVisit the Train Station:
The Maputo Train Station is regarded as one of the seven most beautiful train stations in the world. A single piece bronze structure covers the entrance.It is more than a train station. There is a rail museum, Kulungwana art gallery and information centre on site.
Maputo by Foot:
Museums such as The Fort, the Natural History Museum and the Geology museum are fabulous attractions. Tunduru Botanic Gardens offers an exquisite tranquillity from the buzz of the city. The gardens have an information office and a guided tour.
Go to an island:
Inhaka island,37km from Maputo, has beautiful beaches and marine-life. Dhow sailing boats, charters and motor boats offer regular transfers there. Portuguese island is a stunning nature reserve and lagoon within swimming distance.