Favorite thing: There are streets sellers and shoe shine workers everywhere in Maputo. They find their own space on the pavements and streets since most of them cannot afford to rent a shop space. I think the Mozambicanos were honest and polite.
The mobile phone works good in Maputo (October 2008). The connection is also good in the main roads around the city.
The roaming price for a foreign SIM card is expensive, but it's cheap to use a local SIM card inside the country. I bought a Mozambique SIM card with prepaid credit from a street seller. You can buy it from one of the many shops and stalls (see photo). A "SIM card startpack" with 3 minutes call cost 60 metacais (USD 2,5). And it is cheaper to buy credit when you first have a SIM card. And you can receive calls without credit. The national company MCEL has a dominant position in Mozambique. The country code is +258.
Maputo has a warm and pleasant climate, and the heat is not so intense as other African countries closer to the equator. It was only one night with one hour rain when I was there in October 2008.
The average temperature in 2008 for Maputo:
Jan --> High: 31°C | Low: 23°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 13
Feb --> High: 32°C | Low: 23°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 6
Mar --> High: 31°C | Low: 22°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 9
Apr --> High: 27°C | Low: 18°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 8
May --> High: 29°C | Low: 17°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 2
Jun --> High: 26°C | Low: 15°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 3
Jul --> High: 27°C | Low: 14°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 4
Aug --> High: 28°C | Low: 15°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 2
Sep --> High: 29°C | Low: 16°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 6
Oct --> High: 29°C | Low: 19°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 8
Nov --> High: 30°C | Low: 22°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 10
Dec --> High: 31°C | Low: 23°C | Days with rain/drizzle: 16
Favorite thing: On this map one can clearly see the proximity to the South African border at Komatipoort, as well as Swaziland - as Maputo is in the Southern part of Mozambique. Road connections are across to Swaziland, to the Mpumalanga province in South Africa and parallel along the coast North towards Beira. Another road leads parallel South towards the KwaZulu Natal province however one requires a 4x4 on this "road".
Fondest memory: The beach in Maputo is also a place for trading and work. Busy beach sellers are walking around with a basket on the head, while some others are sitting on the pavement selling soft drinks, beers and icecream. The Mocambiqanos are hardworking people.
The ATM service in Maputo is good. The terminals are located inside small rooms close to the banks (see photo).
I had no problem using my Visa card for withdrawal. And the exchange rate was even a bit better than the money exchange "cambio".
The red barrel-like mail boxes in Maputo are original and gives the city a more cultural image. Even though they are from Portuguese ruling time before 1975, some of them are in perfect condition.
I believe the boxes are out of use since the post-office services doesn't collect mail from it. Drop your letters at the postoffice (Correio) instead.
Fondest memory: Maputo Bay is a large deepwater harbor between the city and Catembe. You can walk along Avenida 10 de Novembro on the waterside of Baixa and see the other side. It's quite nice at sunset. Small boats and ferries goes to Catembe, and the big vessels pass by.
Fondest memory: Jacaranda is a big tree with blue flowers. Jacarandas prefer a warm coastal climate that is frost-free. And is naturally found in the southern part of Africa, Australia and Brazil. The streets of Maputo has a lot of them.
Wedding in Maputo.
The two first photos is taken at Mira Mar beach. The newly married couple had a photo séance at the beach.
The last three photos is taken at Baixa, with the wedding procession on a truck body. They were screaming and laughing when they drove around in the streets in Maputo.
Fondest memory: Maputo is not the worst place in Africa when it comes to garbage in the streets. But there are of course places with garbage and other scrap in the streets. The first photo was taken right outside a school in the upper part of Maputo, the second photo is taken in Baixa, the lower part of Maputo.
The immigration has a "visa on arrival" counter. If you don't have a visa, you have to fill out a visa application form (pedido de entrada em Mocambique). Just walk to the counter to get it or ask one of the officers where you can find it. Fill it out, and line up in queue. Make sure to have your passport, 1 photo and 25 USD ready. Then wait untill your name is announced by an officer. I had to wait 1 hour to get my visa. The visa is valid for a 30 days visit.
Once in Maputo a visitor will notice hand-painted Mural advertisements exposed all over the city's building walls.
Those Ads are made by local people, definitely genuine artists !!!
Featured on this Tip's picture is Mr Bata (mCel: +258 825-748-863 ), 39, who lives in Maputo and is available for any tailored painting job.
Besides Mural Advertisement & Marketing, Mr Bata also does human & animal sculptures (such as Elephants, zebras and giraffes) out of concrete.
It's 100% possible to get the visa done at the borders. But not that easy.....Especially if you're travelling through Komatipoort / Ressono Garcia posts (from SA) as there're hundreds of people queing in front of you!! Be prepare for a massive delay -- up to 2 hours I'd say. (depending on what period you travel, the approx. waiting time is around 30-40 minutes)
The visa costs 25 USD/person/30 days stay.
Or maybe it's a better idea driving through Swaziland (and spend a couple of nights there) as you pass through Lomahashaa / Namaasha posts to Maputo, a less-travelled route.
These cool photos of Maputo by Night were shot by Afonso Duarte - a good friend that loves Mozambique and last year managed to find a way to live & work in the city Maputo (formerly known as Lourenço Marques), actually the city where he was born almost 40 years ago.