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Monday Escape: Inhambane, Mozambique

imhambane

Inhambane is a pleasant, sleepy historic town right on Inhambane Bay along Mozambique’s spectacular Indian Ocean coastline. It boasts beautiful colonial architecture and is considered by many to be one of the prettiest towns in the country.

Although the town is quite low key, not far away are the coastal resorts around Tofo beach (some 30km due east, along a reasonably good road), one of the growing tourist centers in Mozambique.

According to the 2007 census, Inhamhane has a population of 63,837 and is one of the oldest settlements on the East Coast of the country. When explorer Vasco da Gama rounded Africa in the late 15th century, he first pulled in here to replenish stocks and to explore. Taking an immediate liking Imhambane, he named it Terra de Boa Gente or ‘Land of the Gentle People’. We think the label still holds true.

But of course, the primary draw of this area are the miles of pristine beaches which offer a treasure trove to scuba divers, fishermen, sailors and beach lovers. Notable beaches include the aforementioned Praia do Tofo, as well as Praia dos Cocos.

Giant Manta Rays, Whale sharks, Turtles and other marine life are regularly seen and there are many professional scuba diving operations throughout the province. In fact, Praia do Tofo is commonly considered to be the whale shark Mecca of the world. If you like to dive, this is one place you just can’t miss.

Although it’s a reasonably small town, Inhambane does have its own airport for easy access in and out. Inhambane Airport offers flights to and from Maputo, Mozambique’s largest city, and charters flying in from Johannesburg in South Africa.

All in all, though, you can’t go wrong in Mozambique. This country is steadfastly becoming a popular destination for travelers. And who can blame them? From the 2,436m Monte Binga peak to the stunning beaches along the coast, Mozambique is a country of contrasts, friendly people and rich colonial history

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