See Maputo, Mozambique's capital and most populated city, from every possible angle, even venturing into the beautiful countryside along the coast.
Your excursion begins at the pier and you will soon pass by the ornate Central Train Station, an architectural standout designed in 1910 by Gustave Eiffel, famous for his namesake tower in Paris. In many ways, the train station is a symbol of Maputo rebirth, following the heavy damage it received during Mozambique's long civil war. When a peace treaty was signed in 1992, the true recovery began. The city continues to recreate its past glory in landmarks like the train station and the five-star Polana Hotel that overlooks the harbor.
This tour presents a true, multi-faceted look at Maputo. A stop at a local market reveals how the locals barter for goods. Independence Square is a poplar gathering spot and highlights the city's newfound reverence for historic architecture. Some of the sights you can see here are a statue of Mozambique's first president, the neo-classical City Hall, a Roman Catholic cathedral and the French-Mozambican cultural center. One of the more unique sights is an unusual - if not impractical given Africa's warm climate, all-iron house, another creation by Eiffel.
We then take a scenic drive to the up-market and recently refurbished Polana Hotel where a delicious buffet lunch, designed to truly delight the taste buds, await you!
Following lunch, you will further explore Maputo. Your guide will point out to you important landmarks and you will be able to see first-hand more signs of recovery, such as the return of many foreign embassies and the new buildings being constructed downtown.
Your final stop before returning to the pier is the Museum of Natural History, a treasure-trove of unusual exhibits, including the world's only collection of elephant fetuses.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking over mostly even surfaces, although there are some steps to negotiate at the central market and crowded conditions there as well. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the transportation and have a companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Lightweight clothing; a hat; sunglasses; sunscreen and flat comfortable walking shoes are suggested.
Of special note - The coaches are maintained, although basic, and the quality can vary considerably. There is no formal guiding qualification required for Mozambique, and in order to support the local community we use local escorts/guides. Many of these escorts/guides do have previous experience in guiding for visiting cruise ships. Furthermore, although the majority of the roads are paved, you may encounter some with potholes or a few bumpy dirt roads.
Warning: Some of the international embassies and government buildings may be deemed military or state defense sites and you are not allowed to take pictures. There can be serious consequences for ignoring these rules so guests are advised to ask your tour guide first before taking any pictures.