HISTORY OF MOZAMBIQUE:
The Bantu people were the first to arrive in Mozambique. They farmed and made iron tools. By the 9th century Arabs arrived in the country and that is where the trade between Africans and Arabs started.
In 1498 Vasco Da Gama, who was a Portuguese sailor, landed in Mozambique on his way to India. The Portuguese started exploring parts of Mozambique and started establishing trading post along the coast. They also took over some of the land.
When the Europeans started carving up Africa between them in the late 19th century, the situation changed. The British recognized the border of Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). They started building railways, but did very little for the native people.
In the 1950’s and early 1960’s, the situation in Africa changed a lot and many African countries became independent. The Mozambique Liberation Front was founded, but the Portuguese were determined to hang on to their colonies in Africa. This organization began an armed struggle in 1964 and the war went on for 10 years. The Portuguese were losing ground, slowly, but surely. In 1975 Mozambique became an independent nation.
The Government did not do a good job and adopted Socialist policies that forced them again into civil war. An organization called Renamo fought against the government for 15 years and was an anti-communist organization. Frelimo, the president, finally gave up on their Socialist policies in 1990 and published a new constitution. A peace agreement was signed and Mozambique started to develop.
In 2000 Mozambique had severe floods that set them back again and just after that a severe drought. They recovered soon and although it is still a poor country the economy is growing.
MOZAMBIQUE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
1. ISLAND OF MOZAMBIQUE
This island is located in the Nampula Province in Northern Mozambique. The island has a historical heritage that is unknown in the rest of Africa. It was the capital of Mozambique for almost 4 centuries before they made Maputo the capital of the country. This island was a major base for Arab trades. Today it is a World Heritage Site.
The island is only 3km long and very narrow. It connected to the mainland with a concrete bridge.
2. BAZARUTU ARCHIPELAGO
The Bazarutu Archipelago consists of five islands named the Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and Bangue. This is a breathtaking destination. The area is a now a conservation area and national park. The coral reefs make it the only official marine reserve in the country. This area is, for sure, the pearl of the Indian Ocean.
3. QUIRIMBAS ISLANDS
These islands are close to Pemba on the mainland. Because of the trading routes many years ago these 34 islands remain uninhabited.
The Quirimbas islands are the perfect holiday destination with lots of beautiful beaches and hotels and lots of exclusivity.
Honeymoons on these islands are the ultimate in romance with its seclusion and perfect beach and ocean setting.
4. GORONGOSA NATIONAL PARK
Gorongosa National Park is south of the Great African Rift Valley in the heart of central Mozambique. The park is over 4,000 square km. It contains a variety of distinct ecosystems, because of the different soil types. The Restoration project together with the government is trying to restore the ecosystem and develop ecotourism to benefit local communities after it suffered severely during the long civil conflict in the country.
5. BENGUERRA ISLAND
The Benguerra Island is the second largest island of the Bazaruto Archipelago. This island is famous for the marine life and island adventures. The island was declared a National Park in 1971.
6. LAKE MALAWI
Lake Malawi was discovered by Livingstone about 150 years ago. It is a great watersport area. It also plays an important part in the economy because of all the fish that are harvested from this lake.
7. MAPUTO SPECIAL RESERVE
This elephant reserve is 50 000 hectares consisting of lakes, floodplains, swamps, woodlands and forested dunes sweeping down the unspoiled beaches.
Poaching during the civil war reduced the large herds of elephants, white rhino and other game species drastically. The entire white rhino population was wiped out.
This area is now reserve, halting poaching and training game guards so they can repair a tourism facility. The elephant population increased a lot as well as the game animals over the last few years.
8. CAHORA BASSA DAM
The CahoraBassa Dam is Africa’s largest dam and is located on the Zambezi River. The biggest part is still owned by the Portuguese while the government only owns about 20%. After the country became independent, the majority of the dam was retained by the Portuguese.
Almost all the power that is generated by the CahoraBassa is sold to the South Africans. Only a small amount is distributed within Mozambique.
9. TOFO BEACH
Eight kilometers of sandy beach, this beach is located on the southern coast of the country on the Indian Ocean. It is a beautiful beach with grassy dunes and year around sunshine. Famous for scuba diving and surfing.
10. VILANCULOS BEACH
This beach is located 500km south of Beira and is the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago. The beach is named after a local tribal chief. The little town is about 5km long and has a lively atmosphere and very friendly people.