Mozambique, a tropical country on the southeastern coast of Africa, is north of South Africa and south of Tanzania. It possesses a long eastern coastline along the Indian Ocean, giving visitors plenty of opportunities for scuba diving, sailing, fishing and sitting on the beach. Mozambique is home to historical cities with museums and traditional African and Portuguese architecture.
Mozambique has a network of national parks. The Maputo Elephant Reserve in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, is home to more than 200 elephants, zebras, crocodiles, hippos and many species of birds. Maputo Elephant Reserve is lined with white sandy beaches along the shores of the Indian Ocean. Quirimba National Park consists of 11 islands on Mozambique's northern coast. Tourists can find more than 200 species of fish, dolphins, sea turtles and hammerhead sharks in this park. It's also home to Mozambique's coral reefs, mangroves and sea grass beds. The Limpopo National Park is a conservation area that sits along the borders of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The purpose of this park is to protect various species of wildlife, which diminished in the years after Mozambique's war for independence in 1975.
The Museum of the Revolution in Maputo tells the story of Mozambique's fight for independence in 1975. The people of Mozambique struggled violently against the Portuguese colonialists, and the museum offers maps, photographs and weapons displays. All captions and texts within the museum are in Portuguese. This museum is open everyday except Wednesday. The National Art Museum in the Bairro Central region in Maputo houses a collection of Mozambique art. Visitors view sculptures, paintings and drawings in the styles of Shetani and Ujamma. The museum also contains several canvases by the famous African artist, Malangatana.
Mozambique is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the East-African coast. Two of the most popular beaches are Catembe and Ponta d'Ouro. Ponta d'Ouro is a major destination for scuba divers and surfers. Tofu Beach, near the town of Inhambane north of Maputo offers opportunities for snorkeling and diving, giving tourists the chance to see whale sharks, humpback sharks and reef sharks. Divers can also find wild dolphins and manta rays in the waters.
Tourists can find historical towns throughout Mozambique. Ilha de Mozambique is a historic city in Nampula province that served as the capital city of Mozambique for nearly four centuries before being replaced by Maputo. The city's buildings represent examples of old Portuguese and Muslim architecture. Ilha de Mozambique also contains the Church of Nossa Senhora Baluarte, believed to be the oldest surviving European building in the Southern Hemisphere, dating back to the year 1522. Ilha de Mozambique is a small island accessible from the mainland by a bridge -- only a 20-minute walk from end to end. Gabriel's shop offers bike rentals to tour the island city. Pemba, in northern Mozambique on the southern side of the third-largest natural bay in the world, is notable for its Portuguese architecture. The city is built over rolling hills, with most of its people living in traditional wooden huts.
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