Manica is situated in the central interior area of the country. To the North is the Province of Tete, to the South, the Provinces of Inhambane and Gaza, to the East the Province of Sofala and to the West, Zimbabwe.
The Province of Manica is one of the highest in the country and the source of many of the rivers that flow east towards the Indian Ocean.
The mountain water is pure and light, in particular the waters of Mountain Vumba, bottled and distributed throughout most of the country.
The capital is Chimoio, an important economic center of the Province.
Manica village, benefitting greatly from frontier commerce, is the second-largest urban center.
The main ethnic groups are the Shonas and the Senas and the Ndau.
How to Get There
Travel by road from Zimbabwe via the Mutare / Machipanda border and from Beira on the EN6. Regular flights are available. Travel by road from Maputo on the EN1, taking the EN6 in Inchope for Beira or Manica.
Accompanied by a local guide, the views obtained when walking and scaling the hills of Serra de Vumba, 2,5Km from Chimoio, is a magnificent experience. The Hills of Penhalonga, along the border with Zimbabwe, offers excellent opportunities for mountaineering lovers.
In Chimanimani is the transfrontier reserve with Zimbabwe. On the Mozambique side, it extends over an area of 1756 Km2. Monte Binga, (2436 m) the highest point in Mozambique is here and also the “ montanhas dos espíritos”, (hills of the spirits), a sacred place for the local people.
The landscape and views are interesting and unusual and a large variety of animals and vegetation have made it their natural habitat.
What to Visit
In Chimoio, the mural in heroes square is a testimony to independence. The Mosque is worthy of a visit as is also the Provincial Library, housed in a typical colonial-era building.
In Manica village, after passing through the charming historic gates, is the Geology Museum installed in a beautiful colonial house and where on. The show is a varied and rare collection of minerals and rocks to be found in this region.
Near Vila Manica, is the fort of Macequece, built by the Portuguese to strengthen their hold on the land where they established themselves after the agreement made with the ancient Monomotapa Empire.
About 5 Km from Chimoio, is “Cabeça do Velho” (the Old Man’s Head), an incredible natural stone formation resembling the profile of an old man’s face.
A little further on, about 50 Km from Chimoio, in Revué is the Chicamba Real Dam, and about one Km higher up is a belvedere providing a magnificent view over the lake. Bird watchers can find numerous species of exotic and rare birds in this region.
Chinhamapere is a sacred place for the local inhabitants. Here the paintings engraved on rocks. Testify to the presence of the ancient people who once lived here. About 20 Km north of Manica, near the frontier with Zimbabwe, are the Penhalonga Mountains inhabited by the Shonas who paint their traditional houses in various colors made from mixing clays.
Where to Eat
Fair and Events
Walking and rock climbing, in particular on Monte Binga is an attractive option.
Where to Shop
Ceramics, carvings in ebony wood and stone, basketry and other article made from wood and straw, in particular, the famous “Cadeirões de Chimoio” (large basket chairs) are easily available in shops or from the craftsmen themselves.
The livelihood of the local people depends on agriculture. The fear of drought and famine, already experienced, is ever-present. Thus, in a region such as this where sacred rites are part of daily life, it is common in the local villages to witness sacred rituals invoking the spirits to beg that the rainfalls will come on time.