Ilha de Mozambique (Nampula) | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Ilha de Mozambique

Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique Island) is an island in the Nampula Province in Northern Mozambique with a historical heritage that's unmatched in the rest of Mozambique, and indeed the rest of Africa. It was the capital of Mozambique for nearly four centuries under Portuguese colonization before the move to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) and had been used as a major base for the Arab traders long before the arrival of the Portuguese. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The tiny, roughly 1 sq km island is connected by a concrete bridge with the mainland and is said to be crowded by 16000 inhabitants, most of them living in shacks with dismal sanitary conditions.

 

Ilha de Mozambique

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Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique Island) is an island in the Nampula Province in Northern Mozambique with a historical heritage that's unmatched in the rest of Mozambique, and indeed the rest of Africa. It was the capital of Mozambique for nearly four centuries under Portuguese colonization before the move to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) and had been used as a major base for the Arab traders long before the arrival of the Portuguese. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The tiny, roughly 1 sq km island is connected by a concrete bridge with the mainland and is said to be crowded by 16000 inhabitants, most of them living in shacks with dismal sanitary conditions.

 


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Ilha de Mozambique: Port Information


Small cruise liners anchor near Ilha de Mozambique and cruise travelers are transported ashore by tender boats. Larger vessels dock at Lumbo (on mainland Mozambique).

Get around Ilha de Mozambique


Ilha's is fairly tiny and you won't have any trouble walking around it - it's about a 20-minute walk from end to end, and only about 3 blocks wide. Gabriel's has bikes you can hire for the day.

What to see in Ilha de Mozambique


Ilha's a mix of colonial Portuguese and old Swahili architecture. It basically divides into two halves - the old Stone Town in the north and the "Reed Town" in the south which is set down from the main streets.

  • Fort São Sebastião

    . Also worth a visit is a fort at the northern tip of the island, which contains the church of Nossa Senhora do Baluarte, almost certainly the oldest surviving European building in the Southern Hemisphere, dating back to 1522. Be sure you pay the right attendant, or you will have to pay the entrance fee twice: Ask for an entrance ticket, if you don't get one, don't pay.
  • Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte

    (Capela de Nossa Senhora do Baluarte). Our Lady of Baluarte from 1522 is one of the oldest European structures in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The museum. The museum is in the old Palácio dos Capitães-Generais, a big red building up in Stone Town. In the same building is a tourist information office that sells really good street maps and has all sorts of other information about the various restaurants and pensões on the island.
  • Capela de Santo António. In the Santo António fort, from the 16th century.
  • Rua da Contra Costa. Street following the northern coast of the island and featuring a statue of Luís de Camões
  • Museu da Marinha.
  • Igreja da Misericórdia. And the Arte Sacra museum.
  • Igreja de N.S.ª da Saúde. And the small chapel of S. Francisco Xavier
  • Rua dos Arcos.
  • Mercado Municipal.
  • Capitania-Geral.
  • Escola de Artes e Ofícios. Arts school.
  • Antigo Hospital. Old hospital.
  • Tribunal.
  • Câmara Municipal.
  • Mesquita Grande. And the fishing harbor.
  • Templo Hindu. Hindu temple.
  • Crematório baneane.

What to do in Ilha de Mozambique


  • Dive centre, ☎ +258-82-454781, fax: +258-6-610027, e-mail: caku@teledata.mz. There's a dive center at the northern end of the island just down from the fort, but ask a lot of questions, and think twice if you aren't an experienced diver yourself. It's operated by the owner of the Case Caku guesthouse. They can also organize boat trips to other islands.

You can take boat trips or just laze on the beach. Swimming is however not advisable as the water is very dirty. If you're feeling adventurous take a dhow over to the mainland at Chaga or Mossuril and explore along the coast there.

What to eat and drink in Ilha de Mozambique


Eat

There aren't that many restaurants on the island, with Reliquias and Escondidinho heading the list up in Stone Town. But you can find a number of local places serving fish and rice or chima. Establishments in Drink also serve food.

  • Reliquias (opposite to Palácio-Museu de S. Paulo), ☎ +258 26 610 092. Interesting decor and exotic menu — try the matapa with coconut rice. The terrace is a beautiful place to enjoy the sunset.
  • Escondidinho (Restaurante Íris).
  • The restaurant at Hotel Omuhipiti. Here you can eat well.

Drink

  • Café-Restaurante Âncora d'Ouro (near the Museu de Arte Sacra).
  • Bar Paladar. Local specialties.
  • Esplanada do náuticos (next to the fortress). A great place to have a beer and look at the sea in the evening.

Shopping in Ilha de Mozambique


Some great souvenirs to purchase here literally come from the sea. On one hand, there are shells and corals and objects made of them, on the other hand, there are remains from the many shipwrecks from the waters around the island that have been flushed onto the shore. In addition, there are also old Portuguese silver and bronze coins, from the colonial age.

Safety in Ilha de Mozambique


The island is safe and peaceful. However, you should always use your common sense like in any other place. 

Language spoken in Ilha de Mozambique


Portuguese is the official language. English is spoken in tourist places. 
 

LOCAL TIME

6:14 am
January 19, 2019
Africa/Maputo

CURRENT WEATHER

30.62 °C / 87.116 °F
few clouds
Sun

25.39 °C/78 °F
heavy intensity rain
Mon

27.65 °C/82 °F
light rain
Tue

29 °C/84 °F
light rain
Wed

30.12 °C/86 °F
light rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

MZN

1 USD = 61.8 MZN
1 EUR = 70.28 MZN
1 GBP = 79.62 MZN
1 AUD = 44.3 MZN
1 CAD = 46.62 MZN

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