Bright, colourful and a cultural mixing pot, Maputo is a vibrant city well worth a stopover for an afternoon visit.
Formerly named Lourenço Marques after the navigator who explored the area in 1544, Maputo was first settled as a fishing village. Its modern origins began with the construction of a Portuguese Fort in 1781, giving rise to a town which eventually became the capital of Portuguese Mozambique in 1898.
Among the sites worth visiting are the Maputo Railway Station, the National Art Museum, the Fort, City Hall and the Iron House, a pre-fabricated building imported from Belgium to house the then-governor general.
If time permits, an afternoon walking tour can be taken of the friendly Mafalala community with community group Iverca. This is an excellent way to learn about Maputo’s history, local life currently, to mingle with the locals and perhaps to enjoy a local beer and a spot of craft shopping.