24 Hours in Maputo

Take the time to explore Mozambique’s colourful capital – you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the cultural influences and the upbeat nightlife

Get the lay of the land with a city tour. Dana Tours has been operating in Mozambique for more than 17 years. You can choose between walking and driving, art or sightseeing, and full or half days. You can specify your interests for the city tour, but it generally includes the Maputo Fort, or Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora da Conceição, which was built in 1765, the National History Museum, the historical Railway Station (designed by Thomas Eiffel of Paris’s Eiffel Tower fame), the central market – where you can buy fresh produce, delicious nuts (try the ubiquitous roasted cashews tossed in peri), fresh fish and a surprisingly wide assortment of hair products – and a stop to shop at the curio market, stockist of quality hand-crafted gifts.

The Curio Market

Outdoor market: Beautiful craft bags on display.

The art tour offers an overview of sculpture, painting and photography, with visits to galleries and exhibitions, or if architecture is your interest, visit Pancho Guedes’ playful buildings spanning the 1940s to mid-1970s.

Out & About

A night on the town should kick of in Avenida Julius Nyerere, the main street through Maputo, which has a wide selection of bars, restaurants and party spots within walking distance from each other. Or wander further and you will discover the local hangouts.

Eat:

Over a century old, Restaurant Costa de Sol is the spot for LM prawns and a sea view. Marginal Coast Road, Tel: 258 21 450 115

Portuguese wines, seafood and grilled chicken are recommended at Zambi. The sea view is complemented by good service. Tel: 258 84 3392 624

Sagres and Mira Mar sit side by side on Da Marginal. Both offer seafood, with the former known for its lula frito (fried calamari). Tel: 258 82 319 3950.

If Indian cuisine is your thing, try Moksha on Avenida Julius Nyerere. Tel: 258 21 498 333.

Tree House is a current hotspot serving barbecues and grills, and delicious caipirinhas. Avenida Francisco Orlando Magumbwe. Tel: 258 82 109 9368

For simple pasta and light wines, plus entertainment for the kids, Campo di Fiore is a must. After your meal, pop into Gianni’s ice-cream parlour next door. Jardim Dos Cronistas, Rua Rui de Pina, Sommerschield. Tel: 258 21497937.

The famous LM prawns.

The famous LM prawns.

Chill:

Originally built as a hospital, 1908 is now over a hundred years old and home to a vibey bar where you can enjoy tapas. Avenida Salvador Allende, Tel: 258 21 321 908

Locals enjoy the basic food, chilled vibe and Sunday jazz sessions at Dolce Vita on Avenida Julius Nyerere.

Flick a hoof at Sheik. It generally only picks up after midnight. Avenida Mao Tse Tung. Tel: 258 21 490 197.

Cocktail hour is best enjoyed at News Café in the Polana Casino. Avenida Marginal no. 5289.

Sleep:

The grande dame of Maputo, the Polana Serena Hotel, was built in 1922. A recent refurb refreshed the hotel but maintained its old-world charm. Do try the seafood and sushi at the Aquarius Sushi Bar, or indulge in the famous high tea at Polana.

The Southern Sun Maputo is a gem right on the beachfront. GM Bruce Chapman’s touch resonates throughout the hotel, which is characterised by good service, great food and authentic Mozambican hospitality.

The first of the Radissons to open in Mozambique, the Radisson Blu is a good destination for business meetings.

Party animals will enjoy the location of Hotel Avenida, firmly planted on the buzzing Avenida Julius Nyerere. The Piano and Miramar bars up top offer great city views. Tel: +258 21 484 400

Fast facts

  • Mozambique’s cashew nut production target for the 2015/2016 season is about 100 000 tons.
  • The Mozambican War of Independence lasted over 10 years, ending in 1974
  • The People’s Republic of Mozambique was proclaimed on 25 June 1975 in accordance with the Lusaka Accord signed in September 1974.
  • The country is home to 25-million people in 11 provinces.
  • The first lift in Mozambique was installed at the Polana Hotel in 1927.
Southern Sun Maputo

Southern Sun Maputo. All images by Ingrid Wood.

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