Major Ethnic Groups: Shangana, Swazi, Xironga
Maputo used to be known as Lourenço Marques or LM for short. The city was renamed Maputo after independence in 1975. When it was still under colonial rule it was a very modern, European city with street cars and high rises. One Mozambican-Indian I met claimed it was "more beautiful than Lisbon." Which is probably true.
The first time I saw Maputo, I focused on the negative; the water-stained buildings, the trash and grime. But I came to see Maputo as one of the COOLEST cities I've ever spent time in. After coming back, after being in Nampula for a while, I grew to appreciate everything about the city. It is a mix of countless cultures; Arab, Indian, Portuguese, Bantu, South African, Brazilian...
I really loved the food. You can get great Indian, Thai, Mozambican cuisine. One of my favorite places was O Escorpião, a classic Portuguese restaurant near the Feira Popular, an old fair with a working Ferris Wheel, an arcade with Atari video games and bumper cars that can shock you.
Places to see in Maputo:
- Xipamenini - a second-hand market on an enormous scale
- O Mercado Municipal - a food and craft market in the Baixa, next to an old train station built by Gustave Eiffel.
-For great nightlife (at least when I was there) Mambo's, Coconut's, Africa Bar (for marrabenta) A Casa Velha... although any club is subject to becoming a prostitute bar at any moment. But even if there are a lot of prostitutes, Mozambican clubs are the best because they play great music from all over the continent and lots of Brazilian and Latin music too and in Moz, unlike in SA, blacks and whites can dance together without any problems.
OMercado do Peixe, or the Costa do Sol Fish Market where you can buy your shrimp still jumping and tell them exactly how you want it cooked. Gostoso!
Psikheledana is a special type of wood-carving found in Southern Mozambique. At the art market or in front of Polana Shopping you can see displays.
Cover of Índico Magazine
costa do sol
mural in maputo
So, now you know the capital of Mozambique, test yourself some more: African Capitals Quiz