Geography of Maputo


Mozambique sits among the fastest growing developing countries worldwide. After a 15-year civil war, this southern African nation has been working to rapidly restore its position as the cosmopolitan hub of the continent. The 2012 discovery of offshore gas has further expedited the nation's growth, though questions of appropriate resource management are increasing.

Mozambique's total population is approximately 25.8 million (2013), and two thirds of citizens are under the age of 24. The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese and it is the first language for people born in urban centers. Mozambicans born outside of urban areas speak a variety of local languages that range based on geographic location (Swahili, Makonde and Makhuwa in the north, Nyanja in the northwest, Shona in the Midwest, and Shangaan in the south, among many others). English is spoken to a limited degree, and is generally restricted to business and tourism communities. Just over half of Mozambicans (56.1%) identify as Christians, while 17.9% identify as Muslims. Generally, Muslims are located in the northern part of the country near the Tanzania border.

Maputo is the capital city of Mozambique. It is the most populated city, and acts as the administrative and commercial hub of the country. Historically, Beira has been the second most important city, given its connection to the east-west railway and the country's second port. However, the northern coastal town of Pemba - once a quiet beach town - is quickly rising in importance given its oil-fueled development.

Tourism-wise, Mozambique was coveted as a cosmopolitan destination for the rich and famous in the mid-1900s. The country's unparalleled coastline and supreme wilderness made it one of the most appealing southern African destinations. Though the nation suffered greatly during the civil war, Mozambique is rapidly working to re-build itself to its former glory. In the meantime, it remains a destination popular with intrepid travelers, South African vacationers and a growing cadre of gas-industry professionals.


Mozambique is a southern African country, located on the edge of the Indian Ocean, just south of Tanzania and north of South Africa. This long and narrow country has over 2400km of pristine coastline to the east, and shares a western border with Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia.

Generally, Mozambique's activity is concentrated in the more densely populated southern half. The cities of Maputo and Beira act as the central commercial hubs, while areas like Tofo, Ponto d'Ouro and Vilankulo are among the most popular tourist destinations. However, these dynamics are beginning to shift as a result of the 2012 discovery of gas reserves off the northernmost part of the country. The city of Pemba is quickly developing into a hub for the emerging natural gas industry.

A single highway - the EN1 - runs the full length of the country and connects ports, railways and smaller towns and villages.

Regions or Major Cities of Mozambique

Mozambique is divided into 10 provinces, each of which has a capital city. Beginning in the north, they are:

  • Niassa (capital city: Lichinga)
  • Cabo Delgado (Pemba)
  • Nampula (Nampula)
  • Tete (Tete)
  • Zambezia (Quelimane)
  • Sofala (Beira)
  • Manica (Chimoio)
  • Inhambane (Inhambane)
  • Gaza (Xai-Xai)
  • Maputo City
  • Maputo Province (Matola)

Climate in Mozambique

Mozambique is located south of the equator and has tropical climate with a wet and dry season. The wet season lasts from October to March, while the dry season lasts from April to September. Towards the end of the wet season, large floods in the central region of the country and cyclones throughout are common. The wet season tends to have the higher temperatures, with average daytime temperatures sitting around 25°C - 30°C. During the dry seasons, temperatures sit between 20°C and 25°C.

Generally speaking, the best months for travel are between June and October, when the country experiences sunny skies, limited rain and reasonable temperatures.

Time Zone in Mozambique

Mozambique is located in UTC/GMT +2. Mozambique, along with much of Africa, does not observe daylight savings.


Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, is located in the southernmost part of the country on the edge of the Indian Ocean. The city covers 346 km2 and is bound by the city of Matola to the north and east, Marracuene to the north, Boane to the east ,Matutuíne to the south and the Bay of Maputo to the west. The city is 120km from the primary South African border near Nelspruit (Ressano Garcia).

The capital has a population of over 1.15 million, and the largest expatriate communities are made up of Portuguese, Indian, Chinese and South African nationalities.

Maputo has long since been considered one of the more elegant and cosmopolitan African cities. Though many of the architectural highlights and cultural hubs struggled during 15 years of civil war, the peace agreements of 1992 ushered in an era of reconstruction and growth. Today, architectural highlights, jacaranda and acacia trees, seafood vendors and countless sidewalk cafes grow more vibrant with each passing day. And of course, the nightlife and fresh seafood never lost its appeal.

Climate in Maputo

Maputo has a tropical savanna climate, with a wet and dry season. Relative to the rest of the country, Maputo's wet season (November - March) is somewhat less rainy.

The warmest months (21°C - 26°C) in Maputo occur between September and March, while the coolest (14°C - 24°C) occur during June and July.

For up to date weather, consult the Weather Network.

Districts in Maputo

Maputo is divided into 7 administrative districts, each of which has a series of smaller barrios (neighbourhoods) within them. They include

  • KaMpfumo (barrios include: Central A/B/C, Alto Maé A/B, Malhangalene A/B, Polana Cimento A/B, Coop, Sommerschield)
  • Nlhamankulu (Aeroporto A/B, Xipamanine, Minkadjuíne, Unidade 7, Chamanculo A/B/C/D, Malanga, Munhuana)
  • KaMaxaquene (Mafalala, Maxaquene A/B/C/D, Polana Caniço A/B, Urbanização)
  • KaMavota (Mavalane A/B, FPLM, Hulene A/B, Ferroviário, Laulane, 3 de Fevereiro, Mahotas, Albazine, Costa do Sol)
  • KaMubukwana (Bagamoyo, George Dimitrov, Inhagoia A/B, Jardim, Luís Cabral, Magoanine, Malhazine, Nsalene, 25 de Juno A/B, Zimpeto
  • KaTembe (Gwachene, Chale, Inguice, Ncassene, Xamissava)
  • KaNyaka (Ingwane, Ribjene, Nhaquene)

Matola is a city that neighbours Maputo, but feels more like a suburb given its size and makeup of residents. Expats tend to live around Sommerschield, Costa do Sol and Matola.

Update 15/06/2015

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