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Mozambique

Main attractions

Gurungue mountain chain, Mozambique
Gurungue mountain chain - one of many little explored mountains in Mozambique / Ton Rulkens, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Mozambique is gorgeous, large country with high diversity of landscape and comparatively well preserved nature.

This country has magnificent landscape. It is too little researched and may bring many interesting discoveries in the future, especially regarding the Stone Age people. Highlights of Mozambique are:

  • Biological diversity. In several locations of Mozambique are found inselbergs - sometimes large enough to sustain unique ecosystems with many species found only in single place. Such example is the Mount Mabu with its unique forest which was discovered by scientists in 2005 with the help of... Google Earth!
  • Medieval trading towns. Up to this day in Mozambique have been preserved several smaller towns and cities, which were founded by Arab, Somali, Persian traders and also local people in medieval times.

Natural landmarks

Mount Panda, Mozambique
Mount Panda / Ton Rulkens, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Cliff formations

  • Cabeça do Velho (Mount Bêngo) - Manica. Spectacular rock which resembles a giant head. When it rains, waterfalls on the slopes look like tears rolling down the cheeks. Cult place.
  • Mount Namuli - Zambezia. Granite dome rising more than 500 m above the surroundings.
  • Mount Panda (Monte Panda) - Manica. Very impressive and steep granite dome which rises 800 m above the surroundings.

Waterfalls

  • Martins Falls (Muvumodzi Falls) - Manica. 152 m tall waterfall with two major cascades. The tallest cascade is 120 m tall.
  • Murombodzi Falls - Sofala. More than 100 m tall waterfall with many cascades, located in the spectacular forests of Mount Gorongosa.

Gemstones, rare minerals

  • Tulua pegmatites - Zambezia. Pegmatites with numerous rare minerals and large crystals of precious stones. Here are found high quality crystals of verdelite, beryl, topas, spodumene, citrine and other minerals.
  • Muiane pegmatites - Zambezia. Important mine of tantalum with high diversity of minerals in a giant body of pegmatite which is more than 1 km long and 400 m wide. Here are found beautiful cristals of tourmaline, kunzite, ametrine, a variety of tantalite named moçambiquite and many other minerals.

Ecosystems

Aloe decurva on Mount Zembe, Mozambique
Aloe decurva grows only on Mount Zembe / Ton Rulkens, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.
  • Mount Mabu - Zambezia. Some 7,000 hectares large, pristine rainforest, surrounded by savannah. This isolated forest contains numerous species of plants and animals which are found only here, including unique chameleon, three species of snakes, four butterflies. Further reseach may bring new discoveries.
  • Mount Namuli forests - Zambezia. Biodiversity hotspot with many endemic species found only in these forests. Unique species include a bird - Namuli apalis (Apalis lynesi) and the Vincent's Bush Squirrel (Paraxerus vincenti).
  • Mount Zembe - Manica. Isolated, tall granite dome surroounded by a small patch of natural forest. Here have been found endemic species of plants and animals, such as the beautiful cycad Encephalartos munchii and Aloe decurva. Ancient cult site, used for rituals up to this day, site of legends.

Other natural landmarks

  • Khodzu caves (Khodzue, Codzo caves) - Sofala. A cave system in Cheringoma limestone plateau. In front of caves has formed a system of limestone terraces - gours.
  • Songo Baobab - Tete. Giant baobab with a circumference which exceeds 25 m.

Man made landmarks

Prehistoric landmarks

  • Chinhamapere Hill and petroglyphs - Manica. Sacred mountain in Vumba Mountains. Mountain is important cult site with prehistoric paintings (human figures with bows, arrows, depiction of rituals), sacred forest. Rituals are taking place here up to this day.
  • Ngalue Cave - Niassa. This cave was inhabited by humans in several time periods, including the time period between 105 and 40 thousand years ago (Middle Stone Age) - the time when humans left Africa and first stone tools were made. Cave contains diverse stone tools - an important find which shows the experiments in design by early people. Important find is great amount of wild sorghum which was brought to the cave and grinded.

Medieval settlements

Stone Town of Ibo Island, Mozambique
Stone Town of Ibo Island / Rosino, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.
  • Chibuene - Inhambane. Ruins of abandoned coastal city. Settlement was occupied twice - in the second half of the first millenium AD and after 1450 AD, when massive dry stone walls were built. City most likely had close trade links with Manyikeni.
  • Island of Mozambique - Nampula. Urbanized island with numerous historical buildings. Arab trade port was established here in medieval times. The island (and later whole country) was named after Musa Mbiki - Arab trader. In 1507 here was established Portuguese naval base, later - capital of Portuguese East Africa. Contains the oldest European fort in Sub-Saharan Africa - Fort São Sebastião, built in the 2nd half of the 16th century, rare example of Late Gothic (Manueline) architecture in Africa. Contains also Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte - oldest European building in Sub-Saharan Africa, built in 1522, also in Manueline style.
  • Manyikeni - Inhambane. Ruins of abandoned city which was inhabited in the 12th - 17th century. Remnants include massive stone walls and most likely was built by the same culture which built Great Zimbabwe.
  • Sofala - Sofala. Remnants of medieval trade city, founded by Somalian traders around 700 AD, since the 1180s subjugated to Swahili. Here is located Fort São Caetano which was constructed in 1505 from stone which was imported from Europe.
  • Stone Town of Ibo Island - Cabo Delgado. Historical town, first founded by Swahili people in prehistoric times, later inhabited by Portuguese. Ruins of numerous historical buildings whose architecture is influenced by Swahili, Portuguese, Indian and Arab traditions.
Maputo railway station, Mozambique
Maputo railway station / Dumplestilskin, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Other man made landmarks

  • Boroma Mission - Tete. Catholic mission, built at the end of the 19th century. One of rare examples of monumental historical architecture in the country.
  • Maputo railway station - Maputo City. Ornate station building in ecclectic style with Art Noveau elements, built in 1913 - 1916.
  • Vila Algarve - Maputo City. Beautiful city building with rich ornamentation, built in the 1930s. Obtained bad fame as it was used by secret police, now in ruins.

List of described attractions by provinces

Mozambique is divided into 10 provinces and capital city.

Cabo Delgado
Gaza
Inhambane
Manica
Maputo
Maputo City
Nampula
ArrowIsland of MozambiqueCities and towns
Niassa
Sofala
Tete
Zambezia

Map of Mozambique

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