Mozambique is located in Southeastern Africa, and has a population of more than 21,000,000; bordering countries are Malawi 1,569 km, South Africa 491 km, Swaziland 105 km, Tanzania 756 km, Zambia 419 km and Zimbabwe with 1,231 km of border land. The capital city of Mozambique, Maputo, was formerly called Lourenco Marques.
The climate is tropical to subtropical, as the Tropic of Capricorn cuts through the country, if you are north of this line you are officially in the Tropics!
The total area of Mozambique is 801,590 square kilometers; 784,090 sq km is land and 17,500 sq km is water, between the Portuguese islands. Mozambique’s coastline is 2,470 km long and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa.
The lowest elevation point in Mozambique is by the Indian Ocean; rising up to the highest point of Monte Binga at some 2,436 meters above sea level.
Mozambique’s unemployment rate is estimated at 21%, with over 65% of the population living below the poverty line.
The average life expectancy of the population of Mozambique is 41 years. Mozambique is a country has many infectious diseases, which tourists should be aware. Diseases which can be contracted through eating food or drinking tap water are bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever. Malaria is hugely prevalent in Mozambique and plague is a risk in some locations. HIV / AIDS is also rife, with an estimated 13% of the population living with the disease, approximately 110,000 people die from HIV / AIDS and related illnesses in Mozambique every year.
Lake Niassa is one of Africa's largest lakes, and is found at the south eastern border of Mozambique, the lake forms the borders between Malawi and Tanzania
Mozambique is affected by severe flooding from time to time; hundreds of people were killed in 2000 after a cyclone in southern Africa caused three weeks of floods across Mozambique. 2001 also brought flooding as the country was lashed with heavy rain; the flooding has uncovered many landmines which were buried during Mozambique's civil war.
February 2007 brought the worst flooding Mozambique had seen in six years, particularly along the Zambezi River where it burst its banks. Tens of thousands of people were displaced and lost their homes.
As well as flooding, Mozambique also occasionally suffers from drought, causing food shortages.
In the years from 1977 and 1992, the civil war and famine killed over 1 million people in Mozambique.
Traveling in Mozambique is quite easy, there are over 30,400 km of roadways, of which just over 6000 km are paved, much of the remaining 24000km is passable by 4x4, however should be avoided during the rainy season.
There are 147 airports in Mozambique, although only 22 have tar runways.
Vasco da Gama first came across the country that would later be called Mozambique in 1498, but by that time there was already a strong Arab presence with commerce and slave trade practices well established along the coast. The Arabs had been on the coast for several hundred years before the Portuguese arrived, and before the Arabs arrived there were the Bantu peoples who had moved down from the north and the west, more than a thousand years before.
Mozambique history tells of ports and forts established by the Portuguese became important points along the new route to the east and soon there were traders and prospectors exploring the interior in search of gold and slaves. Portuguese power increased through individual settlers and officials who had been granted extensive autonomy by the Portuguese government.
By the early 1900’s Portugal had put the administration of Mozambique’s affairs largely in the control of large private companies, who naturally instituted policies which would be profitable to their interests, which usually meant the building of wealth amongst Portuguese immigrants and those operating from Portugal itself. Subsequently there was a void created where national governments usually craft policies intended to foster national integration, infrastructural development, skill development and local economic growth.
Colonial rule ended in 1975, but drought and a drawn out civil war would see the country being brought to its knees before peace could be found. Marxist policies were abandoned by the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) party in 1989 and with a new constitution multiparty elections were held. Peace was only established in 1992, however, with a peace agreement being negotiated by the UN. The rebel Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) forces and FRELIMO were finally able to come to peaceful agreement after many years of destructive civil war.
Luckily for tourists, the Mozambique people and their government have put their war torn past behind them and are focused on rebuilding their country.
Mozambique tourism offers beautiful beaches, islands, a World Heritage site, colonial architecture and warm welcoming people and culture, making for a great place to visit.