Maputo a colourful cultural experience - Image credit Kwanele Mpanza
As ranked by Kwanele Mpanza
Destination: Maputo, Mozambique
Interesting website for the city: VisitMozambique.net and Pmaputo.gov.mz
Is it easy to navigate around? Yes, the city centre is not that big so you can navigate it by foot, cab, or local taxi. 2
Hostels and Hotels (few, many, tons): There are few quality hotels in Maputo. The ones I would recommend are the Polana Serena Hotel, Southern Sun Maputo, and Radisson Blu Hotel Maputo. In general hotel accommodation prices in Maputo can at times be expensive. 0.5
Best part of the city? The CBD/city centre (city hall, Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, The Iron House, botanic gardens, red-light district, Grand Train Station) with its Art Deco, Bauhaus, and Neoclassical architecture stands out. It’s also close to some great beaches just south in Ponta D’ Ouro & Ponto Malongane.
Interesting Fact: The Iron House (Casa do Ferro) was designed by Gustave Eiffel in the late 1800’s as a home for the Portuguese Governor of Mozambique. He designed the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Maputo’s grand Train Station.
Local University? Universidade Eduardo Mondlane – uem.mz
Any interesting business or Enterprise happenings? Maputo is experiencing fast economic growth due to the recent discovery of natural gas and coal deposits in the region. The discovery of these natural resources has increased GDP growth, exports to foreign markets, investment in infrastructure development, and is creating more foreign direct investment.
Is it a good travel destination for young adventures? Yes, it is a city with a rich history and culture which is experiencing a rebirth and trying to redefine itself through the process. It's renewed economic growth is creating new opportunities. The people are friendly and laid back. 2
Climate: The climate is warm and sunny most of the year. It can get very humid during the summer months.
Would you live there forever? I could live there for 2 years but then would be ready to move on.
Any funny experiences whilst you were there? Whilst enjoying a hearty seafood feast at the local Fish Market (just off Avenida Marginal) the new Mozambique president, Filipe Nyusi decided to do an impromptu visit to the market and walked past our table whilst escorted by his armed security guards and a crowd of locals who were trying to mob the president. At the same market I also managed to trade a local craftsman/trader my baseball cap for a traditional djembe drum marked with African mask carving and covered with Nguni cow hide. I thought it was a good trade.
About – Kwanele Mpanza is a South African business executive who has worked closely with the FirstStep.me team since 2005. During his working career he has handled projects throughout the African continent and has also done extensive travels through Europe and the USA.
Points: 4.5 out of 6
Rating out of ten: 7.5
FirstStep.me travel and gap year/year out ranking criteria –
2 points for yes
0 points for no
Max points 6
1. Is the destination easy to navigate around? Yes or No
2. Hostels and Hotels (few, many, tons): 0.5, 1 and 2 points respectively
3. Is it a good travel destination for young adventures? Yes or No