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Archive for July, 2008

Filed Under (Bazaruto Islands, Mozambique News, Mozambique Travel) by BC Travel on July-9-2008

Santa Carolina Island, part of the Bazaruto archipelago, off the coast of the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane, will soon have a luxury hotel, thanks to a 50 million US dollar investment by the Rani Resorts Group.

The Mozambican Tourism Ministry approved in March a proposal for the building of the new hotel.

Rani Resorts, founded by Saudi businessman Adel Aujan, owns a chain of hotels in Mozambique, including the Indigo Bay Island Resort on Bazaruto, the largest island in the archipelago, the Pemba Beach Hotel, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, and luxury resorts on Medjumbe and Matemo Islands in the Quirimbas archipelago, off the northern coast.

The group is currently designing the architecture of the hotel on Santa Carolina, which should be presented to the government before the end of this year. In the meantime, work is underway to demolish the ruins of the existing hotel.
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Filed Under (Mozambique News) by Marian on July-4-2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 1 July – Portuguese construction company Teixeira Duarte is this week due to start refurbishment work on the jetties of Maputo and Catembe, two projects funded by the World Bank, according to a report in Mozambican newspaper Notícias.

The paper said that the work, estimated to cost 71 million meticais (US$3 million), is due to be concluded in the first half of 2009.

The refurbishment project also includes remodelling the terminal buildings and the water and electricity supply.

Work was last done on the jetties in 1997.

The project was granted to Teixeira Duarte, in a public tender that was launched in June and July of last year.

The jetties are used by ferries transporting passengers between Maputo and Catembe.

In 2007 the governments of Mozambique and China agreed to study the possibility of Chinese funding for building a bridge to link Maputo and Catembe.

Travelling by road between Maputo and Catembe takes around two hours.

Filed Under (Mozambique Travel) by Marian on July-4-2008

Bazaruto, Mozambique – Mozambique is mobilising investments in the tourism industry, for the country to benefit considerably from the large number of tourists who will visit South Africa for the 2010 World Cup football competition.

The PANA quoted Tourism Minister Fernando Sumbana as telling the Mozambican news agency, AIM, that new tourist establishments, including hotels and holiday homes , have been approved, mostly in Maputo.

He admitted “the challenge is to continue mobilising investments to develop other potential areas already identified.”

The areas included the northern province of Cabo Delgado, Mossuril, in the neighbouring province of Nampula and the Vilankulo area, in the southern province of Inhambane.

Sumbana claimed that medium to long term projects in these areas were valued at US$ 1.1 billion for Vilankulo, US$ 1.2 billion for Cabo Delgado, and US$ 800 million for Mossuril.

The investments, to be implemented between five to seven years, would create 20, 000 new jobs.

As for the spin-offs from the World Cup, Sumbana said the government had mobilised investment of about US$ 500 million for new accommodation, including hotels o f three to five-star qualities.

Among the new ventures is a five-star, 150-room hotel to be built at the Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre on the Maputo seafront, at a cost of US$ 80 million.

Work should already have started, but, despite all the government’s speeches against red tape, “bureaucratic questions, such as licences, are holding it up,” Sumbana said, adding “however, the investment has already been mobilised.”

A much larger investment, put at US$ 320 million, is the building of two hotels and several holiday homes on Xefina Island in the Bay of Maputo.

Here the work has been held up by geography – the investors have found it diffic ult to transport equipment to the island, because there is no bridge from the mainland to Xefina.

Desite these constraints, Sumbana believed that one of the Xefina five-star hote ls would be ready by early 2010.

In the Mozambican section of the Greater Limpopo Cross-border Park, in Gaza province, investment of US$ 83 million is under way to build a hotel of 100 rooms and holiday homes with 200 rooms.

Given the proximity of the new hotel and homes to South Africa, Sumbana was conf ident they would attract tourists during the World Cup.

He disclosed that a project was also in hand to build a three-star hotel, with 80 rooms, valued at US$ 12 million in the southern city of Matola, which he believes would also be ready before 2010.

Sumbana was speaking ahead of a meeting Saturday, on Bazaruto island, in Inhambane, with his South African and Swazi counterparts, intended to discuss how to attract more tourists to the region.

Earlier in the week, Sumbana and American millionaire Gregory Carr signed an agreement for the co-management of the Gorongosa National Park, in the central province of Sofala, for the next 20 years.

During the 20-year period, the Carr Foundation promised to invest a minimum of U S$ 1.2 million annually in the park.

The counterpart from the Mozambican government will be US$ 150,000 annually, for the first three years.

In the first five years, the stress will be on restocking the park, which lost most of its large mammals during the war.
Another 4,000 animals will be brought into the park, including endangered specie s such as rhinoceros.

As for tourist infrastructures, a further three camps, two of them luxury standard, will be built in the park.

According to Sumbana, the adoption of the joint management model allows access to a greater diversity of sources of funding, and reduces the burden of the park on the state budget.

Community involvement in the park management will also be maximised, ensuring th at local communities enjoy benefits from natural resources.

The government hopes that, as from the fifth year, the park will be receiving 500,000 tourists a year, with an income of US$ 75 million (on the assumption that each tourist will stay for an average of three days, and spend at least US$ 50 a day).

The Gorongosa Park contains 54 separate ecosystems, ranging from the Cheringoma plateau, to the flood plains of the Pungue river, to miombo woodlands, to Lake Urema, to the Gorongosa mountain range that gives the park its name.
Bazaruto – 27/06/2008


Filed Under (Mozambique News) by Marian on July-4-2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 03 July – Rebuilding of the 117 kilometres of the road linking Catemba to Ponta do Ouro in the Mozambican province of Maputo, began last week Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported this week.

Work, which is expected to take two months, will be the responsibility of Empresa Nacional de Obras PĂşblicas (ENOP), which was granted the tender for management and maintenance of the road for a three-year period.

Despite not giving a figure for the value of the project, LuĂ­s Matsinhe, councillor for the Municipal District of Catembe, said funding came from the government via the National Roads Administration (ANE).

The rebuilding of the road will make Access to the tourist areas of Maputo province easier, namely Ponta do Ouro, Bela Vista, MatutuĂ­ne, Ponta Malongane, amongst others.

Filed Under (Mozambique Travel) by Marian on July-4-2008

Maputo – Mozambique’s President, Armando Guebuza, witnessed the signing of a joint management accord to run Gorongosa National Park, in Sofala province, in central Mozambique Tuesday. The agreement was between the Mozambican government and the Carr Foundation, a non governmental organization which aims to bring back the park to its previous splendour, as a major tourist destination. President Guebuza was quoted by state-owned Radio Mozambique as saying that the agreement opened up the opportunity to involve the park dwellers in the management, abandoning the trend of removing people living in the areas surrounding such parks. “By involving residents the park seeks to valorize the thousands of Mozambicans living in the park and thus having them taking care of the natural resources and the biodiversity in the park,” the president said. “This allows for a healthy interaction between populace, government and the foundation, for the benefit of nature and all involved.”

Guebuza was optimistic that international interest in tourism in Mozambique is on the rise. The country was seeing increased investment in hotels, the number of tourists visiting the country was growing, and there is considerable hope that Mozambique will benefit from tourist spin-offs from the 2010 Football World Cup to be held in South Africa.

A few weeks ago, the President recalled, the Bay of Pemba, in the north of the country, was admitted to the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World. That event and Tuesday’s ceremony “shows how diversified are our tourism offers”.

The Gorongosa ceremony, he added, “also represents our commitment to conserve and value the biodiversity we inherited from our ancestors, and our unbending determination to use it in a sustainable manner”.

Conservation of ecosystems was not an end in itself, Guebuza stressed. Instead the conservation areas, and their fauna and flora, should serve the country’s socio-economic development. The government had no intention, he said, of abandoning the interests of the 120,000 or so Mozambicans who live within the boundaries of the conservation areas, and their buffer zones.

Instead the “new paradigm” adopted was one of “participatory management” of natural resources, so that Mozambican communities would be “strategic partners” in tourist undertakings, with the opportunity of benefitting from tourism. The interests of local communities, private business and the state would be integrated in tourist projects “in a balanced manner”, Guebuza pledged.

The country’s wild life, he insisted, must in the first place “benefit Mozambicans and the development of Mozambique and of all humanity”.

Guebuza recognised that current logging activities and slash-and-burn agriculture on the Gorongosa mountain range posed a serious threat of erosion. “We shall continue to seek solutions to ensure that the Gorongosa range, an integral part of this ecosystem, is protected from erosion”, he said. “This necessarily involves replacing, in cooperation with the communities, the current economic activities with others that do not degrade the soil and damage biodiversity”.

He called for the replanting of ironwood and other precious hardwood trees on the mountain range, and suggested involving local schools in the reforestation activities. The mountain range, he said, “should continue to be the renewable source of clean water that feeds the park, the crops of the communities, their livestock and other activities in the surrounding areas.”

The President of the Foundation, Greg Carr, told the ceremony “people from across the world will come here, and they will see the best that Planet Earth has to offer, for the Park is extremely beautiful, and they will also see the best that humanity has to offer – creative, generous and kind human beings”.

He thought that Gorongosa was an example “of the highest beauty that God has created in any part of the world”. It contained, on the mountain slopes, “the only true humid tropical forest in Mozambique – it is a world treasure of biodiversity”.

Tourism in the national park, Carr said, “creates jobs for the local communities, and the division of tourist revenues with the communities helps build schools and health centres in the traditional communities around the park”. In addition the park management team was helping peasant farmers increase the productivity of their fields.

He stressed that his foundation was assisting in what was a genuinely Mozambican project. 98 per cent of the park’s management and work force are Mozambican nationals, and “the restoration of the Gorongosa Park is a Mozambican project guided by a Mozambican vision”.

The Tuesday ceremony follows a contract signed in January between the government and the Carr Foundation to co-manage the Park for 20 years. That contract came after three and a half years of restoration activities under a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the foundation. Up to 2007, the Carr Foundation had invested 10 million US dollars in the park.

Gorongosa’s wildlife was devastated during the war of destabilisation, when the park was occupied by the apartheid-backed Renamo rebels. The once thriving elephant population was virtually wiped out, as were most other large mammals. The current management has been painstakingly restocking the park, particularly with grazing species such as buffalo, zebra and wildebeest that are key to the stability of the ecosystem.

The park management is currently engaged on a large herbivore count, a survey of the carnivores (Gorongosa once had the largest lion population in Africa), a fish survey and a map of the highly varied vegetation. There are plans to set up a permanent biological research centre in the park.

The park covers 4,000 square kilometres, located at the southern end of the East African Rift Valley. Towering over the park is the Gorongosa range, which is 1,862 metres above sea level at its highest point.

Filed Under (Destinations, Honeymoon, Mozambique Travel, Quirimbas) by BC Travel on July-3-2008

Quilalea is a tranquil island in Northern Mozambique positioned in an idyllic corner of Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago. Entirely uninhabited, this Indian Ocean island offers complete exclusivity and unmatched natural beauty. There are nine private villas each with stunning sea views, providing a malaria-free nirvana of luxury accommodation. Quilalea Island Resort is surrounded by the sparkling, blue waters of the warm Indian Ocean; Quilalea is the ideal honeymoon destination for those in search of the perfect romantic island getaway, or the ultimate holiday for those in need of relaxation, adventure and rediscovery.

Filed Under (Mozambique News, Mozambique Travel) by BC Travel on July-2-2008

Portugal on Tuesday cancelled more than 390 million dollars in debt owed by Mozambique and agreed to a separate loan to help key sectors of the African country’s economy, officials said.
Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang said the cancellation of the 393.4 million dollars (249 million euros) Mozambique owed former colonial power Portugal, dating back to 1975, would help fight poverty in the country.
Portugal’s finance minister, Fernando Teixiera dos Santos, also signed a line of credit of 100 million euros to help develop economic sectors such as agriculture and mining.
Mozambique’s economy is still struggling to recover after a long period of civil war between 1975 and 1992.
Mozambique Holiday

Filed Under (Mozambique News, Mozambique Travel) by BC Travel on July-1-2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 1 July – The Ponta do Ouro Marine Reserve, in the south of Mozambique, is to be given World Heritage status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in December of this year, the Mozambican Tourism Minister said.

Fernando Sumbana told Mozambican news agency AIM, at the end of a meeting with his South African and Swazi counterparts that the decision aimed to protect and conserve marine species such as turtles, whales and dolphins.
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