Languages: Portuguese (official), Mahua-Lomwe, Tsonge, Swahili
The winds of change sweeping Namibia and South Africa passed here as well as Mozambique held its first multi party elections in 1994 after an extremely violent 20 year civil war between the Marxist Frelimo that had wrested independence from Portugal in 1974 and the right wing Renamo armed and supported by South Africa.
The Frelimo clearly won the UN supervised elections and the Renamo guerrilla transformed itself into an opposition party. Reconciliation will however be difficult considering that one million people died in the civil war. The government is privatizing inefficient state enterprises but the economy is in a shambles and unemployment is pushing many ex- combatants into banditry and urban crime. Yet there is hope for a better future.
View of the port and city center.
I arrived around 11 AM, found a room at the Pensão Central for 12 US$ and went sightseeing. The center of Maputo is small enough that it can be visited on foot.
Praça da Independencia with the City Hall and Hotel Moçambicano.
When I was there, it was safe enough to walk around in the daytime but I was advised to stay off the streets after dark.
Cathedral next to the Praça da Independencia.
I visited the Museum of the Revolution but could understand only part of the captions which were all in Portuguese. The Art Museum and the Botanical Gardens were also worth visiting.
I had been warned not to photograph the police or anything military but I took a chance with this old Portuguese fortress defending the port.
The Railway Station was designed and built at the turn of the century by the remarkable Gustave Eiffel who has left traces of his handiwork in the oddest places all over the world. He must have had a lot of junior architects working for him!
After two days I took a black taxi for the border town of Resano Garcia.
This is what a black taxi station looks like. A lot of people milling around few mini buses that leave only when they have been filled up. And I do mean filled up!