Mozambique is one of the most exciting countries in Africa due to its coastal location, easy access, and interesting history. It is bordered by Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the north, Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest, Zimbabwe to the west with its coastline running with Indian Ocean to the east.
The country is young as it only gained independence from Portugal in 1975. Mozambique is a beautiful, wildlife-rich country with beautiful pristine beaches, uninhabited island, culture and heritage, and some incredible scuba diving sites. Let’s unveil some interesting facts about Mozambique.
Interesting facts about Mozambique
1. The country got its name from an Arab sheikh who ruled over the northern part of the island when the Portuguese arrived in the area. The sheik’s name was supposedly Mussa bin biki, Ali Musa Mbiki, or Musa Al Big.
2. This one’s interesting if you love quiz and board games. Mozambique is the only one-word country name to feature all 5 vowels. Yup, we checked it.
Also, when playing Scrabble, Mozambique would score more than any other one-word country. It scores 34 points.
3. The flag of Mozambique stands out. It shows an AK-47 rifle. The rifle symbolizes defence and vigilance.
4. The country’s population is incredibly young. An estimated 45 percent of the population is under 15 years of age. Child marriage is one of the main factors here. More than half the women have their first child before they are 19.
5. Maputo, the capital city was the backdrop for many dramatic scenes in the movie Blood Diamond. The Leonardo Di Caprio starrer movie talks about the realities of the illegal diamond trade in Africa. Since filming could not be done in Sierra Leone’s real capital of Freetown, Maputo served as a substitute.
6. Maputo is also known as the City of Acacias in reference to acacia trees commonly found along its avenues.
7. Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa is spread in three countries- Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The lake is known as Lake Niassa here and is famous for containing more species of fish than any other lake on the planet.
8. The country’s economy is based largely on agriculture. Mozambique grows cashew nuts, cotton, tea, sugarcane, corn, coconuts, fruits and potatoes. Its industry consists of aluminium, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, glass, cement, tobacco, food and beverages.
9. And even though Mozambique is still a very poor country with half its people living on less than $1 a day, it is also one of the fastest growing economies. The industry, mainly food and beverages, chemical manufacturing, aluminium and petroleum production, is growing. Happy days are coming!
10. The country is home to some of the world’s best coral reefs. There are over 1,200 species of fish that have been identified in the coastal waters of Mozambique.
11. Mozambique is also known for being the largest marine reserve in Africa. And other than the large variety of fish, it also cares for five out of seven endangered species of turtle.
12. There are more than 40 languages spoken in the country and the majority of Mozambicans speak more than one language.
13. Mozambique boasts of one of the most beautiful railway station in the world. Located in Maputo, the CFM railway station has been making its way into many magazines because of its beauty.
Trip leader Sakshi’s Recommendations if you are visiting Mozambique:
Explore the capital city – Maputo. Maputo is a pulse of life, beating with jazz and reggae and flavoured with just a taste of Portuguese charm. Visit the beautiful VFM railway station and other historical monuments around the city.
Bazaruto Archipelago comprises of six idyllic islands and is home to the best corals in the country. Go island hopping and try your hand at snorkeling and scuba diving.
Ponta do Ouro is another beautiful place to check out. Located in the far south of the country near the South African border, it’s home to a resident population of bottlenose dolphins. You can swim with these beautiful creatures here.
Take a trip to the Gorongosa National Park. It is one of the most natural parks in Africa natural parks and the location for many conservation projects which are committed to keeping it in pristine condition. You will find a huge presence of bird species and exotic animals such as elephant, lion, crocodile, antelope and hippo. Time to take out the camera!
And of course, you have to visit Lake Niassa (popularly known as Lake Malawi). This huge freshwater lake is also the second deepest lake in Africa.