Surrounded by open plains and rocky outcrops, the city of Nampula, in the centre of Nampula Province, lies tucked in the rolling hills and rising mountains of the interior of Mozambique. This is the country’s third largest city and one of cultural and historical interest.
Businessmen make use of the small international airport that connects Nampula to Nairobi and Johannesburg and use Nampula as a base from which to visit the north of Mozambique.
Visitors to Nampula can book various Mozambique Accommodation establishments that suit their taste and pockets. There are some western style hotels, lodges, B&Bs and self-catering venues. Most visitors come for the spectacular scenery of wide open spaces and rocky outcrops as well as the rugged and mostly pristine coast where some small villages and earthy beach lodges have been established. Coming to Nampula is travelling off the beaten track – it can be time consuming but once visitors arrive, they are glad they are not in a true tourist and commercial mecca!
A popular day trip from Nampula is the cruise out to Ilha do Mozambique, or Mozambique Island, found three kilometres off shore and only 2,5 kilometres long. There are fascinating ruins of ‘stone town’, grand old buildings that were built from coral rock on the island. The island was once an important trading link between Asia and Europe for slaves, spices, pottery and gold.
The most impressive building on Ilha do Mozambique is the imposing Fort São Sebastião, which stands on the northern tip of the island. This commanding, defensive structure was built with limestone shipped from Lisbon, and many regard it as the most formidable fortress in Africa.
Visitors to this Mozambique Island should also pop into the run down hospital built in 1877 and the
Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, from 1522, believed to be the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere!