Info Maputo


Maputo known as Lourenço Marques before independence, is the capital and largest city of Mozambique.

It is known as the City of Acacias, in reference to acacia trees commonly found along its avenues, and the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. 

It is the largest city in Mozambique and the country's most important harbour. It is situated at the mouth of the Santo River in the extreme south, 90 km from the border with South Africa.

POPULATION : City: 1,766,184
FOUNDED :  1782
LANGUAGE : Portuguese 8.8% (official), Emakhuwa 26.1%, Xichangana 11.3%, Elomwe 7.6%, Cisena 6.8%, Echuwabo 5.8%, Other 33.6 %
RELIGION : Catholic 23.8%, Muslim 17.8%, Zionist Christian 17.5%, other 17.8%, none 23.1%
AREA : 346.77 km2 (133.89 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 47 m (154 ft)
COORDINATES : 25°58′S 32°35′E
SEX RATIO : Male: 49.35% 
 Female: 50.65%
ETHNIC : African 99.66% (Makhuwa, Tsonga, Lomwe, Sena), Europeans 0.06%, Euro-Africans 0.2%, Indians 0.08%
DIALING CODE : +258 21


In comparison with other sub-Saharan African cities, the urban area feels small and concentrated, with wide avenues and old trees. People are generally out and about in the streets, walking, driving and getting on with life. The vibe is healthy and active, with little begging and lots of street vendors and markets. There is no heavy presence of police during the day.

There are few tourists to be seen and at times the atmosphere is as much South American as African. Buildings range from old colonial palaces to new high-rise constructions, but the dominant architecture consists of Stalinist-looking concrete-walled boxes, generally with badly eroded paint and rusty security bars. Fortunately, these tend to fade into the background, and there are enough buildings with old charm and lush enough gardens (cycads, coleus, flamboyant, jacaranda, bouganvillea, etc.) to give a pleasing if shabby feel. Especially outstanding buildings which shouldn't be missed are the Pancho Guedes creations: Guadiesque, surreal and difficult to find.

Visit some beautiful beaches, such as Catembe and Ponta d'Ouro. It is very jovial in these atmospheres and are generally safe, but beware of pickpocketing and avoid bringing valuables with you on a beach stroll .Ponta D'Ouro and Ponta Malongane have some beautiful scuba-diving spots, with either campsites or chalets right on the beach.


The existing town dates from about 1850, the previous settlement having been entirely destroyed by the natives. The town developed around a Portuguese fortress completed in 1787.

In 1871, the town was described as a poor place, with narrow streets, fairly good flat-roofed houses, grass huts, decayed forts, and a rusty cannon, enclosed by a recently erected wall 1.8 metres (6 ft) high and protected by bastions at intervals. The growing importance of the Transvaal led, however, to greater interest being taken back in Portugal in the development of a port.

In the early 20th century, with a well equipped seaport, with piers, quays, landing sheds and electric cranes, enabling large vessels to discharge cargoes direct into the railway trucks, Lourenço Marques developed under Portuguese rule and achieved great importance as a lively cosmopolitan city. It was served by British, Portuguese, and German liners, and the majority of its imported goods were shipped at Southampton, Lisbon, and Hamburg.

With the continuous growth of the city's population and its expanding economy centered on the seaport, from the 1940s, Portugal's administration built a network of primary and secondary schools, industrial and commercial schools as well as the first university in the region. Urban areas of Mozambique grew quickly in this period due to the lack of restriction on the internal migration of indigenous Mozambicans, a situation that differed to the apartheid policies of neighboring South Africa. Before Mozambique's independence in 1975, thousands of tourists from South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) frequented the city and its scenic beaches, high-quality hotels, restaurants, casinos, and brothels.

The Mozambique Liberation Front, or FRELIMO, formed in Tanzania in 1962 and led by Eduardo Mondlane, fought for independence from Portuguese rule. The Mozambican War of Independence lasted over 10 years, ending only in 1974 when the Estado Novo regime was overthrown in Lisbon by a leftist military coup — the Carnation Revolution. The new government of Portugal granted independence to all Portuguese overseas territories.

By the early 1980s the country was bankrupt. Money was worthless and shops were empty. Starting shortly after independence, the country was plagued, from 1977 to 1992, by a long and violent civil war opposing FRELIMO to RENAMO. Since the peace agreement was signed in 1992, the country has returned to its pre-independence levels of political stability. This stability is an encouraging sign that makes Mozambique a promising country for foreign investment.


Maputo features a tropical savanna climate.

Maputo is a relatively dry city, averaging 814 millimetres (32.0 inches) of precipitation per year.The city has relatively short rainy season lasting from November through March.


Maputo is located on the west side of Maputo Bay, near the Estuário do Espírito Santo where the rivers Tembe, Umbeluzi, Matola and Infulene drain.

The bay is 95 kilometres (59 miles) long and 30 kilometres (19 miles) wide.

At the extreme east of the city and bay is the island of Inhaca.The total area covered by the municipality of Maputo is 346 square kilometres (134 sq mi) and borders the city of Matola northeast and east, the districts of Marracuene to the north; Boane in the east and Matutuíne at the south all of which are part of Maputo Province.

The city is 120 km (75 miles) from the South African border at Ressano Garcia and 80 km (50 miles) from the border with Swaziland near the town of Namaacha.


The city is divided into seven main administrative divisions. Each of these consists of several smaller city quarters or bairros.

Administrative Division


City Quarters or Bairros


Central A/B/C – Alto Maé A/B – Malhangalene A/B – Polana Cimento A/B – Coop – Sommerschield




Aeroporto A/B – Xipamanine – Minkadjuíne – Unidade 7 – Chamanculo A/B/C/D – Malanga – Munhuana




Mafalala – Maxaquene A/B/C/D – Polana Caniço A/B – Urbanização




Mavalane A/B – FPLM – Hulene A/B – Ferroviário – Laulane – 3 de Fevereiro – Mahotas – Albazine – Costa do Sol




Bagamoyo – George Dimitrov (Benfica) – Inhagoia A/B – Jardim – Luís Cabral – Magoanine – Malhazine – Nsalene – 25 de Junho A/B(Choupal) – Zimpeto




Gwachene – Chale – Inguice – Ncassene – Xamissava



Ingwane – Ribjene – Nhaquene

Internet, Communication

English (and some Portuguese) language radio transmissions are available from BBC World Service on 95.5 MHz. Also, local radio station LM Radio, broadcasts fully in English, on 87.8Mhz. Mainly play golden oldies.


Since in Africa internet connectivity costs are rather high, and hotels might provide it charged extra, or limited complimentary data packages, it might be nice to know that there are a few places in Maputo that offer you wi-fi access. Among them, you can find them in: @ Cantinho do Brasil on Av. Vladimir Lenine, opposite the large church on corner with Av. Eduardo Mondlane.
Nossa Casa, on Av. Marginal, opposite the Radisson Hotel.
Marisqueira Sagres, next to Nossa Casa.
Southern Sun Hotel, on Avenida Marginal - good wifi coverage in the bar and lobby.
Clube Marítimo, on Av. Marginal, opposite the Fish Market.
Dolce Vita, on Avenida Julius Nyerere.
Nautilus, both on the corner of Avenida 24 de Julho and Avenida Julius Nyerere, and in Maputo Shopping Center
Surf, on Jardim dos Namorados (Avenida Friedrich Engels)
Café Sol, on Sommerschield II neighborhood (past the University Main Campus, on Avenida Julius Nyerere)
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.


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Mozambique - Travel guide