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Maputo is the capital city of Mozambique.
Maputo has been the capital of Mozambique since 1898. The city was previously called Lourenço Marques until the country's independence in 1975. It is the largest city in Mozambique and the country's most important harbour. It is situated at the mouth of the Santo River in the extreme south, 90 km from the border with South Africa.
Most international flights to/from Mozambique use Maputo's airport (MPM). See the Mozambique page for more information.
LAM operates a high number of domestic flights within Mozambique.
TAP flies non-stop from Lisbon.
SAA operates two flights a day from Johannesburg to Maputo and SA Airlink has five flights a week from both Durban and Cape Town.
Rail services to Maputo are slowly improving, altough the lines currently operating are of limited use to tourists. An exception is the daily service from Ressano Garcia at the border with South Africa, it is a convenient way of traveling here from Johannesburg and Pretoria as daily trains connects with the city of Komatipoort across the border.
The highway from Johannesburg to Maputo is very good. From Johannesburg, take the N4 towards Nelspruit (about 400 km). From Nelspruit, continue following the N4 to Komatipoort, the last town on the South African side (about 100 km). Just past Komatipoort is the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border post.
You can walk the center of the city by day but steer clear of the central business district at night.
"Tuk-Tuks" are also a great way to see the city. The driver's are typically more fluent in English as they offer their services as tour guides to the passengers of visiting cruise liners.
A very inexpensive way to get around is by mini-bus or "Chapa". They work like small busses and have routes that criss-cross the city.
What to see
The Railway Station on Praca dos Trabalhadores is sometimes mistaken to be the work by Gustave Eiffel. However, the building is an imposing structure and well-worth a visit, especially at Friday or Saturday nights where live music often is played.
The National Art Museum has a small but good collection of Mozambican art, including several large canvases by the world-renowned Malangatana.
The Jardim Tunduru is a very pretty (albeit small) botanical garden.
The Museum of the Revolution chronicles Mozambique's fight for indepedence from Portuguese colonialism(Closed in 2008 and by the looks of it will not re-open soon)
The Mercado Central in the Baixa district has fresh fish, crabs, calamari, fruits and vegetables, and many household staples. Safe, lively and recommended, especially if cooking for yourself.
Walk up Avenida Julius Nyerere. Start from the Hotel Cardoso or Natural History Museum along R Mutemba to Nyerere then left (north) to the Polana Hotel. Boutiques, restaurants, curio vendors, video stores, etc. to be seen in the relatively upscale Polana neighborhood.
Casa do Ferro Avenida Samora Marcel, is a building designed by Gustave Eiffel, architect of Paris' Eiffel Tower. It is also known as the "Iron House" or "Steel House" because of its all-metal structure. Originally intended as the Governor's home, it turned out to be too hot to live in under Maputo's tropical conditions, and is now a museum.
Museu de História Natural, Praca Travessia de Zambezi (close to Cardoso Hotel). Enjoyable little museum. Lots of stuffed animals, birds and reptiles with full-size models of elephants. Interesting collection of wooden carvings, including a selection of traditional and very uncomfortable looking wooden pillows.
What to do
Visit some beautiful beaches, such as Catembe and Ponta d'Ouro. It is very jovial in these atmospheres and are generally safe, but beware of pickpocketing and avoid bringing valuables with you on a beach stroll. Ponta D'Ouro and Ponta Malongane have some beautiful scuba-diving spots, with either campsites or chalets right on the beach.
Take in a wedding. Beautiful tribal singing and women ululating. Civil ceremonies next door to Avenida Hotel. Several weddings on Saturday morning.