Beira Mozambique

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Beira Mozambique

Learn more about the coastal resort of Beira in Mozambique

Welcome to Mozambique's 2nd largest and most important city, Beira. The city is situated at the mouth of a magnificent estuary midway between the North and South borders and where the Pungoe and Buzi Rivers meet and flow into the Indian Ocean.

Beira is known as the "Ship graveyard" or where “Ships go to die”.

Established in 1890 Beira boasts some spectacular ruins and is home to some of Africa's oldest architectural landmarks.

This city lies in a very significant region where it serves as a trading port and provides for both the Northern and Southern regions of Mozambique and remains an important hub, facilitating the import and export of cargo to neighbouring landlocked countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.

The Southern coastline is a must for the avid explorer and history boffin, where the old and rusted hulls of ships from a bye gone era litter the shoreline – this is the infamous “Ship Graveyard”. A visit to Mauti Beach where its famous lighthouse stands watch over two of shipwrecks is also well worth a visit.

The North East coast of Beira offers many stunning beaches and estuaries where sandbanks and dunes create little islands in the shallow and crystal clear waters. Savane Beach (approximately 30km North East of Beira) is perfect for a day’s outing and well worth the 1 hour journey, but a 4x4 vehicle is a must! Once there a boat will ferry you across the estuary to the beach where you can soak in the breath taking views and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere. Have lunch at the quaint little restaurant and then take a walk along the pristine white beach. Savane has excellent and safe swimming and is perfect for paddle and surf boards.

For bird enthusiasts this is a great opportunity where Wattled Crane and Rufous-bellied Heron can be found in the marshlands, the grasslands support blue quail, the Great Snipe, Locust Finch and Black Rumped Buttonquail with the forest offering sightings of the East Coast Akalat and White Chested Alethe. The mangrove forest which surrounds the beach is home to the Mangrove Kingfisher and Palm Nut Vulture.

This is a wonderful habitat and you would need a couple of days to fully explore the area.

In true Mozambique fashion the local folk can be found selling fresh produce and in this area, if you use your bargaining skills well, you can be sure to bag a bucket of prawns! They will need proper preparation but will be well worth the effort and time.

Beira offers some excellent seafood restaurants and those that serve traditional cuisine. There are also many cafe’s and local markets.

The infrastructure in Beira is pretty decent and services and facilities quite good. However, as in most large cities crime is a problem. It is not advisable to carry a lot of cash, or to wear expensive jewellery. Keep you phones and cameras safe and stay aware and alert.

Beira is a paradise for intrepid photographers and historians, where old buildings and the bustling city life provide endless opportunities for the avid photographer. There are a number of interesting landmarks such as the beautiful Cathedral of Beira (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary) which was completed in 1907 using stone from the ruins of the old Sofala Fort (Fort San Gaetano) which was imported from Portugal and completed in the year 1501. At the mouth of the Pungoe River you will find the Grand Hotel which opened in 1954 and once was revered as the most opulent hotel in Africa and dubbed the "Pride of Africa". The hotel with its impressive Art Deco facade sadly never managed to attract enough guests and closed in 1963. At the outbreak of the civil war the hotel was used as a military base and prison for political prisoners and in the early 1980’s as a refugee camp. During the 1980’s it was abandoned, stripped and looted - it now stands gutted and is home to thousands of squatters.

Leave the hustle and bustle of this eclectic city and travel North of Beira where you will find the Gorongosa National Park which lies at the Southern end of the Great African Rift Valley and spoil yourself to an “Out of Africa” adventure! Its diverse ecosystems once supported some of the densest wildlife populations in Africa but the Civil War took its toll on the wildlife populations and 90% of the population was decimated. The massive 4000km square park is now undergoing rehabilitation and the Carr Foundation’s (Gorongosa Restoration Project) are trans-locating animals back into the park. This is an African Eden and one of the most beautiful geographical areas in the world, boasting massive rain forests, limestone gorges, savannah grasslands, plateaus and of course Lake Urema. Gorongosa National Park will provide you with photographic tourism at its best and is a destination not to be missed.

Tip:

Mozambicans love clothes and if you have spare clothes (especially board shorts), then remember to take some with you, to trade with!

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