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Archive for the ‘Mozambique Travel’ Category

Filed Under (Mozambique Travel) by Marian on September-16-2008

Maputo, Mozambique – The Mozambican Tourism Ministry is drawing up a new approach to the sector, in order to make it more profitable and reduce the disorder that henders marked growth in the sector over the last few years, Minister Fernando Sumbana said in Maputo.

According to Mozambican newspaper Notícias, the new approach is based on two initiatives, namely the “Arco Norte” project, covering three northern provinces, which could generate US$1.1 billion per year for the state and the “Tourism Investment Anchor Programme,” which could employ 1,300 people.

In Nampula, Pemba and Niassa areas with great tourism potential have been identified, combining the best beaches, animal and plant life and culture, particularly on Mozambique Island, the country’s first capital and a Unesco World Heritage Site.

“This is a circuit that has all the natural conditions to be successful on an international level. There are few countries that can combine these three aspects (beach, animal and plant life and culture),” the minsiter said.

The “Arco Norte” project is expected to attract investment of some US$5 billion and, based on tourism, will develop other areas, taking an additional 700,000 tourists per year to the area, expected to spend around US$700 million per year.

In Cabo Delgado, the plan covers the city of Pemba, with three luxury tourist resorts, Ibo Island, preservation of its historical centre and encouraging rebuilding of ruins, and in Nampula the plan covers the 5 kilometres of coast between Lumbo and Sancol on Mozambique Island.

In Niassa the idea is to use the shores of Lake Niassa to build a luxury resort, establishing a link between the beach and the countryside to the Niassa Reserve and the Selous National Park (Tanzania).

The initiative, which is due to be carried out in two stages (2008-2010 and 2016-2020), also aims to reduce the disorder characterising tourism, particularly at Ponta D’Ouro and Tofo, in Maputo and Inhambane provinces, in which places that could become tourist resorts have been transformed into areas of summer homes.

Filed Under (Maputo, Mozambique Travel) by Marian on August-19-2008

Maputo is fast coming into its own and is now considered an ideal destination for an exotic weekend adventure. Old buildings have been restored, new buildings are going up at an alarming rate and business is booming, and still retains a distinctly Mozambican charm. In a single weekend you can explore the cultural heritage of the city, relax on beautiful Inhaca Island, gorge yourself on the famous Mozambican prawns and – if you’re brave enough – venture into the legendary Mercado Xipamanine. Here’s our guide to getting the most out of 48 hours holiday in Maputo

For the culturally inclined….

Cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao
Maputo’s famous cathedral, built in 1944 in dedication to ‘Our Lady of Conception’, is situated in Independence Square at the top of Av Samora Machel. Keep an eye out for the strong Portuguese Catholic influence in the awe-inspiring stained-glass windows and elaborate interior.

Train Station on Praca Trabalhadores
While train stations are usually a means to an end rather than a sightseeing destination, this particular train station is definitely worth a visit. The beautifully domed station was built in 1910 by Gustav Eiffel (he of the tower fame) and is considered to be one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

Keep an eye out at the entrance to the station for the curious monument to the soldiers killed in the Great War (1914-1918). The stone statue, which depicts a woman killing a cobra in a pot of boiling porridge, is the work of the Portuguese sculptor Rui Gameiro and simultaneously honours the fallen soldiers and a local woman who rid her village of a deadly cobra. Better than another cenotaph I guess!

Casa de Ferro
Ever heard the saying ‘people who live in the tropics shouldn’t build iron houses’?

Nope? Neither had old Gustav when he came up with the highly impractical Casa de Ferro (Iron House), which he designed as a residence for the governor of the Portugese colony. Unfortunately the prefabricated iron building became (unsurprisingly!) unbearably hot under the African sun and the governor couldn’t live there.

Jardim Tunduru
Behind the Casa de Ferro lie the Jardim Tunduru (botanical gardens). At times a little overgrown, these beautiful gardens, which were designed in 1885 by the English gardener Thomas Honney, provide welcome shade on a hot steamy afternoon. Honney also designed similar gardens for the Sultan of Turkey and the King of Greece. At the entrance to the gardens you will find a statue of Mozambique’s first president — Samora Machel.

Potter around a museum…

Museum of the Revolution
Situated on Av 24 Julho, this museum recounts the violent struggle against Portuguese colonialism in Mozambique. The history is fascinating, but be warned that all of the captions and texts are in Portuguese.

The National Museum of Art
Tucked away at 1233 Av Ho Chi Minh, the National Museum of Art houses an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures by famous Mozambican artists. The exhibitions include works by Chissano, Malangatana, and Naguib, along with a variety of temporary exhibitions.

The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum, which is housed in a beautifully restored colonial building, is situated near the Hotel Cardosa. While the building is definitely worth going to see, the museum displays will appeal to a rather specific audience — its main attractions are a large shark collection and a collection of elephant foetuses, showing the stages of development during gestation. Interesting…

Do some shopping

Mercado Xipamanine (Rua dos Imaos Roby)
Don’t visit the Mercado Xipamanine — the largest market in Mozambique — expecting to find the usual selection of counterfeit trainers and plastic junk. Xipamanine is known far and wide as the place to stock up on capulanas (traditional multi-purpose cloth worn by women) and for its traditional medicine (curandeiros) section, where you can take your pick from animal parts, herbs and lucky potions.

Saturday Craft Market (Praca 25 do Junho)
Taking dried herbs and animals back through customs could be interesting, so for a few souvenirs make sure you drop by the Saturday Craft Market. Here you’ll find a wide-selection of handcrafts from carvings and jewellery to paintings and batiks. As the name suggests, it’s only open on Saturdays, so make sure to work this into your itinerary.

Central Market (Av 25 de Setembro)
Almost anything can be found at the Central Market: fresh fruit, veggies, curios, a steady supply of pickpockets… make sure your belongings are safely stashed on your person and don’t flash too much money around.

Take a trip…

Inhaca Island
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and relax on one of Mozambique’s many unspoilt islands. The coral reefs around the island are easily accessed from the shore and abound with a variety of tropical fish. The island is also home over two hundred bird species as well as a biological museum and research centre.

If you can’t tear yourself away from the beach, just check yourself into the comfortable Inhaca Lodge. A luxury ferry runs daily from Maputo to Inhaca Island, which is about 35 kilometres offshore. You can catch the ferry at the bottom of Av Samora Machel (from the Porto de Pesca).

If you wish to take a shorter trip or are on a bit of a budget, Catembe is just across Maputo Bay. Ferries leave fairly often (about every two hours), the trip is short (no longer than fifteen minutes) and very cheap. Once you reach the island, you can pop into one of the many little restaurants, munch on some prawns and drink a couple of icy Dos M beers.

Enjoy the local flavour…

Av Julius Nyerere
This street (just south of the well-known Polana Hotel) is the best in town for restaurants and cafes. You’ll find anything from peri-peri chicken, seafood and spicy Indian food to coffee shops and delicatessens selling pastries.

Fiera Popular
This quaint and festive fairground can be found on Av 25 de Setembro. The restaurants here tend to offer very good value for money and if you really aren’t stomaching the tastes that are Maputo, you could always cross the road and go to one of the many South African fast food joints that have sprung up in the capital.

For a more local flavour, try out either Restuarante Escoriao or O Coqueiro, which both have great Mozambican and Portuguese dishes. Escoria has a huge menu, a good wine list and although upmarket is not too pricey.

So, there you have it — 48 hours jam-packed full of culture, history, nature, fun and surprises holiday in Maputo Mozambique

by Rebekah Kendal

Filed Under (Mozambique News, Mozambique Travel) by Marian on August-11-2008

Maputo, Mozambique – Authorities in Mozambique and Swaziland want to extend the opening times of border posts at Namaacha and Goba but are still discussing finer details of the plan, the Noticias newspaper has reported.

After a meeting Friday of the Mozambique – Swaziland Joint Commission, Clifford Mamba, permanent secretary of the Swaziland Foreign Ministry, said both sides want to extend opening hours of their common border crossings, “probably to 24 hours a day.”

The two neighboring states have also studied logistical, security and budget questions relating to the permanent opening of the frontier posts, he added.

Filed Under (Bazaruto Islands, Destinations, Mozambique News, Mozambique Travel) by BC Travel on July-30-2008

The first half of the year has slipped by quickly. It is now winter in Mozambique, but still an excellent time to visit. The weather on Benguerra Island is very pleasant and guests can look forward to warm sunny days with temperatures ranging between 25 & 30ºC, and hardly any rain.

The lodge was busy in May, with many pre- & post Indaba visitors, who were treated to our unique blend of Benguerra hospitality. The personal atmosphere of the lodge, combined with the warm friendly staff and great location was what impressed most. The spacious Casitas and being spoilt by your own personal butler was also considered a special treat.
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Filed Under (Destinations, Mozambique News, Mozambique Travel) by BC Travel on July-18-2008

LAM-Mozambique Airlines, as part of the ongoing modernization process, has been issuing, as from 1st of June 2008, electronic tickets only.

With this measure, the national airline company complies with the guidelines of IATA-International Air Transport Association, which set 31st of May as the deadline for its members to cease issuing printed tickets, a measure IATA says will enable operators to reduce the cost of processing the historic paper tickets from approximately US$10 to US$1.

About 400 million air tickets are issued through the compensation mechanism, known in the civil Aviation Industry as BSP, every year, and the measure will allow a saving in the region of US$3 billion/annum to the industry, according to IATA.
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Filed Under (Accommodation, Honeymoon, Inhambane, Mozambique Travel) by BC Travel on July-18-2008

The tranquil, romantic Flamingo Bay Water Lodge, in Inhambane, is the only resort in Mozambique built on stilts situated in the water. The main building, connected by a wooden walkway, is set apart from the chalets. The resort offers a golf cart service which will take you to your room, or to the main building which houses the reception, lounge, curio shop, swimming pool, as well as the bar and restaurant.

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 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