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Filed Under (Fishing, Scuba Diving) by Marian on July-30-2008

A second and possibly third species of manta ray discovered

Genetic and morphological analysis has now confirmed the existence of a second species of manta ray, and possibly a third one as well. Up until know, the scientific community only knew about one single species of manta ray and all encountered manta rays were viewed as variants within the same species. PhD marine biologist Andrea Marshall did however suspect that there might be more than one species of manta ray luring in the ocean and in 2003 she to a small coastal village located in southern Mozambique to be able to study the manta rays found off the African coast. During the last five years, she has been carrying out a manta ray study sponsored by the Save Our Seas Foundation and discovered a new species as well as collected invaluable information about the reproductive habits of the manta rays.

The two manta rays species have overlapping geographical ranges, but they have significantly different life styles. One species is migratory while the other one – the smaller and more commonly known species – is resident to particular costal regions where it stays year round. There are also noticeable differences in reproductive biology, skin texture and colouration.

The small, stationary species is commonly encountered by divers and researchers at coral reefs, while the larger, migratory species is much more elusive.

The pectoral fins of a manta ray can span almost 8 meters in width and the weight of this baffling shark relative can exceed 2000 kg. Unlike the stingray, the manta ray is not equipped with a functioning stinging barb, but one of the manta ray species actually has a non-functioning type of sting on its tail.

According to the Save Our Seas Foundation, Andrea Marshall’s new finding is the marine equivalent of discovering an unknown species of elephant.

You can find out more by visiting the Save Our Seas Foundation ( and the Mozambique Manta Ray project page (

Filed Under (Accommodation, Mozambique islands, Quirimbas, Scuba Diving) by BC Travel on April-14-2008

Medjumbe Island ResortFor dedicated diving enthusiasts as well as those seeking a private island sanctuary, Medjumbe Island Resort will provide a private island nirvana unique to Africa and perfect for those romantic holidays.

The luxurious accommodation consists of 13 chalets, pool, restaurant and bar offer a unique private, quaint island destination. Leisure fishing is offered as an activity with the opportunity of hooking a Marlin, sailfish, dogtooth tuna, mackerel, various species of kingfish and the infamous bonefish.

Filed Under (Pemba) by Marian on April-7-2008

Pemba, is a coastal town at the mouth of the Pemba bay, the third biggest bay in the world. It boasts some interesting buildings (especially in Baixa – the old town) and a lively atmosphere. Most visitors come for the beaches – particularly Wimbi Beach and the coral reefs. Wimbi is about 5km (3mi) east of the town of Pemba. The reef is close enough to swim to. A fledgling tourist industry is already transforming the place with bars, restaurants, diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing, etc. The Makonde workshop on the road between town and the beach has good wooden carvings for sale at good prices.

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Filed Under (Maputo) by Marian on April-6-2008

Maputo is the capital of Mozambique. It is a bustling port city, with a population of about two million people and beautiful avenues of trees of various colorful types. Maputo lies only 100kms from its neighbors South Africa and Swaziland

There is a wide variety of tourist accommodation and destinations available to choose from and within the Maputo surrounds, can be found tourist or holiday destinations to meet anyone’s need. Luxury hotels cater for the wealthier tourists and visitors, but there are a host of holiday accommodation and backpacker venues to choose from.

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There is a ferry to serve those tourists or people who wish to cross to Catembe and there are various means to get to Inhaca Island and the tourist, holiday accommodation establishments and fishing destinations that are on offer there. Maputo, formally known as Delagoa Bay and then as Lourenco Marques, or LM, was a very popular tourist destination until the early 1970s. 

Things to see in Maputo

 The Railway Station on Praca dos Trabalhadores was designed by Gustave Eiffel (after his fall from grace in the Panama Canal scandal), and bears the mark of his genius.

– The National Art Museum has a small but good collection of Mozambican art, including several large canvases by the world-renowned Malangatana.

 The Jardim Tunduru is a very pretty (albeit small) botanical garden.

 The Museum of the Revolution chronicles Mozambique’s fight for independence from Portuguese colonialism.

 The Mercado Central in the Baixa district has fresh fish, crabs, calamari, fruits and vegetables, and many household staples. Safe, lively and recommended, especially if cooking for yourself.

 Walk up Avenida Julius Nyerere. Start from the Hotel Cardoso or Natural History Museum along R Mutemba to Nyerere then left (north) to the Polana Hotel. Boutiques, restaurants, curio vendors, video stores, etc. to be seen in the relatively upscale Polana neighborhood.

 Praça dos Trabalhadores is a building built by Gustave Eiffel.

Places to eat in Maputo

Depending on the budget one can go to the many cafes that serve simple dishes that are affordable. One can try out the roadside stalls, which is usually cashews, fried bean cakes called Bhajia, fruits and ice-creams. If you want to eat in a nice restaurant, you can try out Chicken Piripiri which serves mouth-watering grilled chicken and only the best prawns. This place is also a middle-ranged place. But for those who want to splurge there are a couple of good restaurants to try. They include:

 Restaurante Escorpiao, in the Feira Popular (in the Baixa district). Has a huge menu, good wine list and caters to moderate and high-end budgets. Not fancy, frequented by locals. Slightly better than the Costa do Sol. 

 Costa do Sol restaurant, in Costa do Sol (5km north of Maputo — take a taxi, they will wait and bring you back). Icon over 50 years old. Great seafood in low-key atmosphere. Great variety too. Excellent service.

Night Life in Maputo

  Xima’s bar, on Av. Eduardo Mondlane, is popular with the locals and has live music on the weekends.

  Africa Bar nightclub is on Av. 24 de Julho near Av. Karl Marx.

  Gil Vicente is a bar attached to the Gil Vicente theatre, across from the ‘Jardim Tunduru.

  The Centro Cultural Franco-Mozambican has live music and cultural events.

  The Central Train Station houses a jazz lounge on weekends.

– The Feira Popular is located in the Baixa, and houses many bars and restaurants