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Journeys with Insight


Inhambane is a city in southern Mozambique on Inhambane Bay, 300 miles north of Maputo. Called Terra de Boa Gente, or “Land of the Good People,” Inhambane is a popular tourist destination and owes its existence to a deep inlet into which the small Matamba River flows. Two sandy headlands protect the harbor. The climate is tropical and humid, with mangrove swamps covering on the coast.

Inhambane is one of the oldest settlements on the coast of Mozambique, and there is evidence that dhows traded here as early as the 11th century. Muslim and Persian traders were the first outsiders to arrive by sea and traded pearls and ambergris. The Portuguese eventually established a permanent trading post at settlement in 1534, and Inhambane was chosen as the first Jesuit mission to east Africa in 1560.

The province of Inhambane is the country’s second largest grower of cashews (after Nampula) and also produces coconut and citrus fruit, inspiring Mozambique's most famous poet, Craveirinha, to write of "The Tasty Tangerines of Inhambane." The province is home to such famous locations as Praia do Tofo, Praia dos Cocos, Ponto do Barra, Vilankulo, Ilha de Benquerra, and Guinjata Bay.

Although large ships seldom call here any longer, it still has the largest fleet of working dhows in the country. The city boasts a number of impressive sights including the 170-year-old Cathedral of our Lady of Conception in the old quarter, the old governor's house on the waterfront, the fascinating railway station, and the mercado (farmer’s market), which sells a colorful array of spices, prawns, fishes, vegetables, and cashew nuts.

Accommodation in Inhambane ranges from camping and backpacking to self-catering cabanas to private guest houses and luxury lodges.

Scuba diving at Inhambane is outstanding, with reefs close to every beach, including the world famous Manta Reef and Gallaria. Giant Manta Rays, Whale Sharks, Turtles, and other marine life are regularly seen, and there are many professional scuba diving operations throughout the province.

Inhambane’s glorious beaches, fantastic weather, splendid seafood, and friendly locals make it a delightful and memorable place to holiday.

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