17 Reasons Why Maputo Should be Your Next Layover Destination

Maputo

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Maputo the capital city Mozambique is city of contrasts. It breathes an old colonial atmosphere and yet fuses this with a vibrant, off-beat culture that thrives in the streets and in the busy market places. Baskets brim with cashew nuts, locals yell out prices from behind rickety stands, and fresh fish, bread and sub-tropical fruits overflow tourists’ arms. It is in this environment that one can make friends easily and blend in to the Mozambican culture .

 17 Reasons Why Maputo Should be Your Next Layover Destination

1)CoCo taxi

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Okey if you are in maputo this is the way you are gonna see the city .These beautiful red colored open taxis which goes at speed of 60 MPH gives you the real feel of the city .At the same time it makes you famous as you are the centre of attention .They are called coco taxis by the locals because of their spherical shape;the car looks like a huge coconut.

2.)CFM Railway Station (Caminho de Ferro de Mocambique).

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Whether neo-Baroque or contemporary, the world’s most beautiful train stations were designed to make a big impression. Many were constructed during the late 19th century, a golden era when train travel was new, intriguing, and glamorous. Today, stations from every era continue to impress, attracting travelers who aren’t even catching a train.
It’s not surprising that these stations have withstood everything from wars to urban development. Train stations weren’t just transportation hubs; they became symbols of entire empires, as rulers transported their architectural and engineering know-how as far as India and Mozambique.
One of such beautiful train stations in the world is CFM Railways station in Maputo.This portuguese style building was built in 1912 by the great Gustav.Its iron wrought dome, marble facade and its peppermint green color makes it look beautiful mansion.This is the most picturesque train station in the world.

3.)The iron house {Casa de ferro }

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Surrounded by Jacaranda and Palm trees , discover one of Maputo’s curious historical vestiges: the Iron House of Maputo. The iron house is made entirely of iron which includes its walls, ceiling,doors etc.It was again designed by Gustav Eiffel. The iron house was built as the governor’s house in the late 19th Century, but it proved far too hot, being made of iron, for residence. The grandeur of the house is difficult to fathom, and yet curiously impossible to ignore.

4.)Sagres Shelfish Restaurant

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I would give 10 out of 10 to this place. The Beach front restaurant serves you the best peri peri prawns in the city.I’m sure you always hear about staff being friendly and nice but this one is an exception .The owners Mr Eduardo and Mr Romeo who are brothers are super friendly and most of the time  you would see them chilling with all customers.As it was my 75th country i was given a complimentary bottle of vintage Portuguese wine with a cake .Their hospitality is at another level and the place has so nice vibes.Lunches too can be enjoyed with a sea view and some cold beer .This place is a favorite among the locals and is always crowded .The interiors is totally Portuguese and can give you a feel of Lisbon.

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A must visit .

5.)The Fortress – Fortaleza.

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Vasco da Gama first explored Mozambique in 1458, and shortly thereafter Mozambique was colonized by the Portuguese government.During their colonial rule lot of forts were built along the indian ocean and Fortaleza was one of them.After nearly four hundred years of forced slavery and exploitation, the organized resistance movement of guerilla forces swept the country with forceful waves of discontent in the 1960s.Finally Mozambique gained its independence in 1975 .It was this time the government decide to make the fort a military museum. It is stil recognized as one of the oldest buildings in Maputo and is of the same style as other Portuguese forts built along Mozambique’s coast.
Come here to be transported to a time which was fought with land-mines, AK-47s and bitter smiles.

6.)Santo António Da Polana Church

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Every city has 1 monument which is unique and maputo is no different . This church is hidden in of the quite lanes of maputo .I fell in love with it , the first time i saw it .Its just too unique .It has avery modern Brazilian architecture with majority of its interior and exterior made of concrete. It has the shape of an inverted flower, and is popularly known as the “lemon squeezer”.

7.)Drink 2M beer

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Laurentina is a great Mozambican beer, but my favourite is 2M (pronounced doish-em).Its perfect for the sunset at the beach.

8.) Nucleo de Arte

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My next stop was Nucleo de arte , its is an art gallery located in an old villa in Baixe de Maputo.Its famous for hosting its exhibitions and has a great collection of paintings.However my purpose to visit this place was not art but Food.Cafe camissa which is located inside the premises serves the best local food .It is also a great way to chat with the local artists and listen to their creative stories .
Unfortunately there were no events when i visited but the weekends are more likely to have live music.

9.) Eat Local Food

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The Same cafe serves the daily specials and the menu is written on chalk board .I ordered a grilled red fish with rice and local speciality which was Xisuinha .
Xisuinha is the staple food for many Mozambicans and looks like a thick porridge made from maize/corn flour.

10.)Handicraft Market

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My taxi driver later stopped in the handicraft market.it is located in inside a small garden.There lots of stalls all selling canvas paintings, wooden toys and lot of tribal art work.One thing which really caught my eye, it was these beautiful colored bags swinging and hanging on the trees.A creative way to display your products.I managed to buy one for my mother.The prices are really cheap and its also a great way to help the people in need.

11.)Polana serena Hotel

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Just a few minutes away from it is the Polana serena hotel .A legendary hotel with most interesting history. The hotel was built in 1922 and was considered to be one of the luxurious hotels that time .The who’s who of world politics would visit the hotel, but the real fame came in the war years.
As part of the Portuguese empire, the hotel made the ideal neutral meeting place for spies and secret agents from both the allied forces and the German and Italian forces .
Indeed the hotel was renowned as a place where spies from South Africa, England, America, Germany and Italy were so relaxed as to be able to ‘exchange courteous greetings’ when meeting in the corridors and bars of what came to be known as the ‘Grande Dame’ of Africa.It is still the most beautiful hotel i might have seen in southern africa.

12.)City Hall (Conselho Municipal).

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The city hall is a idiosyncratic building built in 1945 .It use to house the governor at that time .The Building had the words “Aqui e Portugal” inscribed on the front of the building. The words meant “here and Portugal ” but eventually they had been removed.It is located in the centre of Praca da Independencia (Independence Square).

13.) Cathedral of Our Lady of Conception

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Also known as Nossa Senhora da Conceicao, this gothic styled cathedral with tall spire is one of the important landmarks of the city .It located in the Praca da Independencia (Independence Square) which right next to the city hall.This cathedral is impressive in its austere simplicity”

14.)Jardim Tunduru Botanical Gardens.

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Just opposite the iron house lies the most famous garden of maputo.The entrance of the gardens is presided over by a statue of Samora Machel, the first president of mozambique.it is filled with the contrasting purples and greens of jacaranda palm trees .it also has restaurant where you can enjoy a light meal with a refreshing cocktail.It is a perfect break after all the sightseeing.

15.)Central Market

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The Central Market which is housed in a beautiful 100-year-old shabby building which  offers the travelers to Maputo almost anything their hearts could desire: fresh fruit, veggies, curios, seafood and anything else you could possibly think of.I always believe that if you want to experience the culture of the city , you should pay a visit to the local market.You can also bargain with the locals and some locals will also give you some tips on what to buy. It is also known as Muncipal market .

16.)Fish market

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Maputo is a city with an ocean which breeds oysters, clams, redfish, prawns and lots of Prawns .If you love seafood , this would be the ideal place for you .Imagine a market where you can buy fresh food and get it cooked immediately there itself. Okay then let me tell you how it works , you come here buy fresh catch of the day , go to one of the stalls who weigh it and then head to one of the restaurants.The waiter will come and take your food .It takes little time to get it cook as they cook it on open coal fires .In the meantime you can grab a beer or roam around the market .The food when served is fresh and hot. I had Prawns with lemon , butter and garlic.The market is really cheerful , food is cheap and it gives you a memory to take back home.

17.)Catembe Village

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“Catembe beach” (or “Praia Catembe” in Portuguese) is located on the other side of the bay from Maputo city.The catembe beach is only the attraction in the sleepy village. There are some cafes on the beach who serve beer and local food.The beach gives you the best views of Maputo city . The ferry from the maputo city takes 10 minutes and cost 1 USD. The other option is to drive around the bay, but it takes more than an hour.

 

My favorite part of Maputo layover was those beautiful early mornings.Every morning i would wake up to the sound of waves crashing on the shores and the cold wind breezing trough my window.My eyes would open up to see beautiful dolphins jumping in the sea a picture i would never forget .

 

Airport = Maputo international airport

Currency = Mozambican metical {1 USD =75 MZN }

Geography= Mozambique is situated on the southeast coast of africa. To the east is Indian ocean ,Tanzania and Malawi, and Zambia are to the north, to the eest, Zimbabwe and to the south, Swaziland and South Africa.

One Comment

  1. Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the
    same layout and design. Excellent choice of colors! http://www.oneprayer.net/node/879713

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