A Glimpse of Maputo
Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: MPM-004
Maputo's rich history comes to light on this tour that includes the essential highlights of Mozambique's bustling capital.
Depart from the pier and begin driving through the streets of Maputo, formerly known as Lourenco Marques for the Portuguese explorer who landed here in 1544. While much of Maputo was destroyed during Mozambique's civil war that finally ended when peace was restored in 1992, the city is intent on regaining its glory.
One of the first sights you'll see is the amazing Central Train Station, designed by the renowned French architect Gustave Eiffel in 1910. For a glimpse into the daily life of the locals, you will stop at a market, where goods often exchange hands through bartering. Stop briefly in Independence Square, a popular gathering spot featuring a statue of Mozambique's first president, the neo-classical City Hall, and a Roman Catholic cathedral. You will also view the French-Mozambican cultural center, a splendid old colonial building which has been tastefully restored and today is home to various art exhibitions. One of the more unique sights is an unusual - if not impractical given Africa's warm climate, all-iron house, another creation by Eiffel.
You will be able to gain an insight into Mozambique's natural wonders during a stop at Maputo's revered Museum of Natural History. You will have time here to peruse many of the exhibits before re-joining your coach for a drive through the upscale Polana district, following the scenic Costa do Sol coastal route. After a brief photo stop, you will head back to the pier where your tour concludes.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking over mostly even surfaces, although there are some steps to negotiate at the central market and crowded conditions there as well. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the transportation and have a companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Lightweight clothing; a hat; sunglasses; sunscreen and flat comfortable walking shoes are suggested.
Of special note - The coaches are maintained, although basic, and the quality can vary considerably. There is no formal guiding qualification required for Mozambique, and in order to support the local community we use local escorts/guides. Many of these escorts/guides do have previous experience in guiding for visiting cruise ships. Furthermore, although the majority of the roads are paved, you may encounter some with potholes or a few bumpy dirt roads.
Warning: Some of the international embassies and government buildings may be deemed military or state defense sites and you are not allowed to take pictures. There can be serious consequences for ignoring these rules so guests are advised to ask your tour guide first before taking any pictures.