Take a trip to Maputo and you’ll come face to face with Mozambique’s largest and most vibrant city. It was founded in the 17th century by the Portuguese, who were enticed by the promise of pearls. Under colonial rule, Maputo quickly became prosperous, only to be ravaged by a civil war. Today, however, it is a peaceful and thriving metropolis, with reminders of its chaotic past only adding to its charm.
If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, Maputo Elephant Reserve is an attraction worth exploring. The area encompasses 50,000 hectares of lakes, swamps, woodlands and beaches. Here, you can watch elephants, and other creatures such as hippos, crocodiles and even vervet monkeys.
To learn more about the city’s history, visit Maputo Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora da Conceição, where remnants of a Portuguese fortress still stand. In addition to the ramparts, artillery shells and statues, you’ll also get a fantastic view of the city from here.
Alternatively, you can easily spend a day touring Xefina, a cluster of small islands located around 4km from Maputo's Costa do Sol. Catch a traditional dhow from Maputo harbour and explore this stunning area, which once hosted a military base. Many tour operators will play traditional music as you sail and even supply a barbecue on the beach as part of the package.