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Nampula – Travel Discover Mozambique
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Nampula

Nampula is a commercial Centre and is bordered on the North by the Provinces of Cabo Delgado and Niassa, by Zambézia in the South and West and by the Indian Ocean on the East.

The Province of Nampula, or more correctly the “Ilha de Moçambique” was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in recognition of its unique cultural and architectural heritage and can be considered the birthplace of the Mozambique Nation.

There are a number of ideas as to the original name of this small coral island. Some say it is Muipiti, others say that the name Mozambique which came into use in the XVI century, originated from Mussa-Bin-Biki, the name of the son of the Sultan Bin-Biki, once lord of the island.

Many different races from distant lands passed through, but in particular the Arabs used it as a commercial settlement to trade with the interior and the entire Mozambique coastline.

In 1498, Portuguese navigators landed there, took over the island and expelled all those who had interests on the island.

They made it into a strategic point from where they could venture into the rest of the country. For this purpose the fort of São Sebastião was built and also a “feitoria” (trading post).

Nampula is a Province rich in landscapes, history and is very well positioned strategically, as can be seen in the cities of Nampula, Ilha de Mozambique, Angoche and Nacala, one of the best natural ports in Africa.

The main ethnic group is the Macua.

How to Get There

Regular flights are available from Maputo and other Provinces by road travelling from Beira, crossing the Zambezi in Caia, or from Malawi, via the border of Chipo de Mandimba.

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Where to Stay

Hotels, boarding houses, tourist complexes, and guest houses, guarantee a pleasant stay.

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What to Visit

The main attractions on Mozambique are the old part of the city with its buildings of stone and coral, the arte-sacra museum, the Chopal built in Manuelino style, the Fort of S.Sebastião, the Palace of São Paulo, the monument to Luis de Camões who wrote part of “The Lusiadas” during his two years stay there, the Hindu Temple, and other remains testifying to the peoples and cultures that assed there.
Nampula is a modern city built along modern architectural lines. On the outskirts of the town the landscape is suddenly and curiously interrupted by a number of granite domes and peaks. The Dam that supplies the city with water is also a point of interest.
A visit to the Cathedral is recommended and also the Ethnography Museum on Av.Eduardo Mondlane where works of art representative of Mozambique culture are on show. The city of Angoche on the coast, once inhabited by Arabs and Swahilis is well known for shrimp fishing.

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Where to Eat

Local cuisine is rich and varied, influenced by the different cultures that once settled here. The hotels and restaurants, serve the tasty specialties that are only to be found in Nampula.

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Tourist Hotspots

Choose from Chocas beach in Mossuril or in Nacala, Fernão Veloso beach, or Farol Beach on Ilha de Goa, in front of Ilha de Moçambique, where the white sands and transparent waters where dolphins play, are irresistibly inviting. The giant marine turtles lay their eggs here and on clear nights it is possible to witness this fascinating sight.

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Entertainment

Choose from Chocas beach in Mossuril or in Nacala, Fernão Veloso beach, or Farol Beach on Ilha de Goa, in front of Ilha de Moçambique, where the white sands and transparent waters where dolphins play, are irresistibly inviting. The giant marine turtles lay their eggs here and on clear nights it is possible to witness this fascinating sight.

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Fairs and Events

Bars and discotheques provide lively entertainment. Singing and dancing is an integral part of daily life here. Music and rhythm comes naturally to the Nampula people. The dance of the Tufo, peculiar to Ilha de Mozambique is for example very energetic and requires a great deal of agility and dexterity on the part of the performer. Also peculiar to the region is the white root extract the women apply to their faces and body to make their skin soft and smooth.

Where to Shop

The Macuan people, the main group in Nampula, are well known for the originality and beauty of their handicraft, carvings and sculptures in ebony wood, ceramics, basketry, and women mats. On Sundays a handicraft hair is held in the city of Nampula where richly carved pieces of furniture are also available for purchase.

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