Beira - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Beira


Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique. It is situated in the central region of the country, in Sofala Province, where the Pungue River and the Indian Ocean meet. It is home to the Port of Beira, which acts as a gateway for the central interior portion of the country and the land-locked nations of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The Portuguese Mozambique Company originally developed Beira in the 19th century. It was developed further by the Portuguese colonial government from 1947 until 1975, at which point Mozambique became independent from Portugal. Beira still has aspects of colonial charm but has deteriorated in some areas.

Beira has a few interesting sights, including the Cathedral of Beira and the Fort of San Gaetano. Many of the shops, restaurants, and facilities in Beira are clustered around the Praça do Município and Praça do Metical squares in the centre of town. There are some charming houses along the Ponta Gêa and the port, including the Casa Infante de Sagres.

Macuti Beach, with its iconic lighthouse, is easily the most fashionable part of town, though many parts are in need of repair. Savanna Beach is 16 miles (25km) out of town and you have to take a little boat across to the beach. The water is cleaner than in Beira and it's a great spot for fishing. It has a simple restaurant with a pleasant atmosphere. About 8 miles (12km) out of Beira, between Macuti and the airport, Rio Maria is set between the sea and a lovely river. There are no facilities there but it is a very relaxing spot.

Information & Facts


Beira has a warm, tropical climate. Evenings are seldom cold, except for a few nights in June and July, it doesn't experience as much rainfall as other parts of Mozambique. In summer, temperatures can soar and the humidity levels rise - so it's probably best to holiday in Beira in the winter (April to August).

Portuguese is the official language, and there are 13 main national languages spoken. English is taught in secondary schools, but is only spoken in the southern tourist regions.

The official currency is the New Metical (MZN), which is divided into 100 centavos. In the southern parts of the country, South African Rand, US Dollars and Pounds Sterling are also accepted to pay for accommodation. Credit cards are accepted in some upmarket hotels in Maputo, but facilities throughout the rest of the country are limited; it is advisable to carry cash or travellers cheques. ATMs are limited and tend to be unreliable, but local banks have branches in most cities.

Situated in the Tete Province in Mozambique, the Cahora Bassa Lake is Africa's second-largest artificial lake. The Cahora Bassa Dam system is the largest hydroelectric scheme in southern Africa and it is one of the three major dams on the Zambezi river system, the others being Kariba and Itezhi-Tezhi. The nearest town is called Songo, established in 1969 to house the workers for the construction of the dam. Ugezi Tiger Lodge is quite close to Songo and has an à la carte restaurant, as well as a campsite with floodlights and security. Great fishing and water-skiing are the main attractions of this area.

Often referred to as 'the place where Noah parked his Ark', Gorongosa National Park was a playground for the rich and famous back in the 1960s, lured by the abundance of wildlife in the area. The subsequent years of war and poaching decimated the wildlife count but programmes have since been put in place to restore the park's previous status. There are traversable roads to the park from both Beira and Maputo, and comfortable lodgings are available at Chitengo Safari Camp.

Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique Island) is an island in the Nampula Province in Northern Mozambique, up the coast from Beira, with an unparalleled historical heritage. It was the capital of Mozambique for nearly four centuries under Portuguese rule before the move to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), and was used as a base for Arab traders long before that. It is not only a wonderful tourist sight in Mozambique, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ilha's an exquisite mix of old Portuguese and Muslim architecture, dividing the old Stone Town in the north and the 'Reed Town' in the south. There is a great museum in the form of the Palacio Govierno, a big red building in Stone Town. Also worth seeing is the fort at the northern tip of the island, home to the Church of Nossa Senhora Baluarte, quite possibly the oldest surviving European building in the southern hemisphere, dating back to 1522.

At the northern end of the island there is a dive centre, situated on a beach from where visitors can take boat trips or else just laze on the sand. For the more adventurous, a dhow can be taken to Chaga or Mossuril on the mainland to explore the coast. Requilias and Escondidino are two restaurants in Stone Town and there are a number of local places serving fish and rice, or chima. The best option for accommodation is the campsite on the mainland, next to the bridge.

Looking for something a bit different?  Check out our selection of cultural & adventure holidays or if you're looking to go it alone then see our selection of solo holidays.

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