Mozambique is a large country that lies on the eastern side of Africa, and its Nampula Province is popular for several historical attractions, especially those found on the Island of Mozambique. Its coastline is dotted with small settlements and some beautiful beaches, and as one can imagine, this rugged, yet magnificent and somewhat untouched coast is the main drawcard for the majority of visitors.
Inland, the province has large plains that stretch on for mile after mile, interrupted only by the odd and large kopjies. The capital of the province, a city also by the name of Nampula, is virtually in the centre of the province, directly to the west of Lumbo and the Island of Mozambique, and is surrounded by other towns such as Namina, Enxame, Catava, Corrane, Meconta and Naota.
The city of Nampula is the third largest city in the country, with well over 400,000 inhabitants, and it has a small international airport with flights to and from Johannesburg in South Africa, Nairobi in Kenya and various other destinations. The city is known for the Mozambique National Ethnographic Museum, its several markets and religious buildings. Although visitors of the Nampula Province may use the airport of Nampula to arrive in the country, it is seldom that they stay here for long, for as soon as touch down is made on the soil of Mozambique, it’s time to head for the beach!
Anyone who has used the services of East Cape Tours knows that we send our customers to only the best lodges in the most fascinating locations all over Southern and South Africa. We tend to visit all our recommended lodges ourselves, just to make sure they are all they claim to be and to get more information about the area so that we can pass on great advice to you. In the province of Nampula, we recommend Coral Lodge, a quiet establishment with room for just a handful of guests at a time, and beautifully situated on a peninsula just to the north of Mozambique Island.
The lodge consists of only ten villas, which ensures that each guest gets ample attention. Its smart, modern yet unpretentious atmosphere makes it a fantastic place to enjoy Mozambique. Each villa has an open-plan lounge, a bedroom area and a lovely high thatched roof. The bathrooms with their freestanding stone baths and twin sinks are beautiful, but it’s the views that are really the icing on the cake! The verandas outside the villas, complete with adjustable sunshades, look out over the ocean and a mangrove-filled lagoon.
In between enjoying the wonderful accommodation, you can go scuba diving, snorkelling or windsurfing on the lagoon. Boat trips are available to the nearby islands that are fantastic to explore. A picnic breakfast or lunch on the islands is highly recommended. In addition, village tours are great experiences. Guests are taken to the villages of Cabaceira Pequena and Grande Pequena to meet some of the local people and to gain insight into an authentic Mozambican community. Of course, the spa of Coral Lodge is simply ideal for wiping away all your stress and tension! Book your trip today.
Island of Mozambique
Mozambique Island, or the Ilha do Mocambique, is about three to four kilometres from the shore of the mainland, and is a small, but fascinating place with several interesting sights and a population of about 14,000 people. In the early 16th century, the island was used as a port and naval base by the Portuguese and a stone town was built around the port. Within the town there were several grand buildings, all constructed from coral rock, and many of these can still be viewed today.
The whole island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is quickly becoming one of Mozambique’s most popular attractions. The Fort São Sebastião is usually the favourite building to explore when on the island. It is hundreds of years old; in fact, the oldest still complete fort standing in sub-Saharan Africa and it boasts awe-inspiring views from its battlements. Its sheer size is rather amazing to experience as it is certainly the most impressive building on the island.
In recent years, the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte has been restored and is another great place to visit whilst on the island. The chapel is believed to have been built in 1522 and is considered as the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere. In 1877, the Portuguese built the hospital building that is still present on the island today. This is a majestic neo-classical construction with a garden of ponds and fountains. It was the largest hospital south of the Sahara for many years.
Additional places to explore on Mozambique Island include the Palace and Chapel of São Paulo, standing from the year 1610 and that is now a museum, the Museum of Sacred Art in the Church of the Misericórdia and the Church of Santo António.
Besides the historical buildings, there is lots more to see. The people of the island mostly live in the makuti town on the southern end of the island, and here there are always dhow builders at work, fishermen coming in and out of the waters and woman going about their daily chores. The island is the ideal place to gain knowledge about a Mozambican coastal town.
The Nampula Province of Mozambique, with its lovely Mozambique Island and Coral Lodge, is a getaway destination of note, in particular if you value quality time with your loved ones in a natural environment by the coast. There are literally endless possibilities for activities to fill your time, and countless historical wonders make this area unique. Read more information about Coral Lodge and let us know when you plan to visit and make your Mozambican dreams come true in the Nampula Province! Book your trip today.