Mozambique has plenty of natural wonders and rich history, which make it perfect for investment and tourism. Mozambique is a country in Southeast Africa with a vast coast on the Indian Ocean. Out of all the African countries, it’s the closest to the island of Madagascar. Meanwhile, on land, it borders six countries. Those are Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Eswatini.
Mozambique beckons with its coastline and swaying palms, its traditions, its cultures, its vibe and its opportunities for adventure. This enigmatic southeast African country is on most travellers' maps, and it has much to offer those who venture here: long, dune-fringed beaches, turquoise waters abounding in shoals of colourful fish, well-preserved corals, remote archipelagos in the north, pounding surf in the south and graceful dhows with billowing sails. Add to this colonial-style architecture, pulsating nightlife, a fascinating cultural mix and vast tracts of bush. Discovering these attractions is not always easy, but it is unfailingly rewarding.
History of Mozambique
There are plenty of tribes in Mozambique, and most of them fall under the Swahili people. However, they all have Bantu origins. The original Bantu tribes moved to Mozambique between the 1st and the 5th century AD.
At first, they practiced agriculture and fishing. However, they would later begin to trade with other tribes and traveling merchants. Arabs would frequently visit coastal Africa, so the Bantu were their closest trading partners there. Thus, it didn't take long before the locals converted to Islam.
The 9th century saw the region grow and expand. Coastal towns quickly became more powerful. By the 15th century, three towns, in particular, held dominion over others. They were Mozambique Island, Angoche, and Sofala.
These cities usually bought and sold goods via the ocean. However, they also traded inland. For example, there was a lot of gold and ivory in nearby kingdoms such as Zimbabwe and Mutapa. For that reason, the coastal cities established numerous trade routes to these kingdoms. In exchange for ivory and gold, the cities would offer slaves and material goods. Thanks to their efficient trading, even those two kingdoms grew more powerful.
The 16th century was the Golden Age of Portugal. They had a powerful fleet and were trading spices with merchants across the Indian ocean. During this time, they were already trading on the southeast African coast as well. In fact, they were so successful that they overtook the trade from the Arabs. But it didn’t end there.
The Portuguese would soon conquer some major trade centers of the Mozambicans. Sofala and Mozambique Island were the first to fall. A century and a half later, though, they were paying less attention to the African coast. Instead, they were focusing on other colonies. It was the time when colonizing Brazil was their biggest concern.
Of course, they didn’t exactly ignore the Africans. Tribal chieftains would often sell their slaves to them. This practice wasn’t exactly new in the region. Even Mozambicans used to sell slaves centuries before the Portuguese arrived. The only real change was the customer. The locals were no longer selling them to Arabs or other local kings only. This new client was wealthy and powerful, after all.
Still, Portuguese power waned over time. The Mazrui and Omani Arabs began to swarm Southeast Africa. Soon enough, they managed to take control of the majority of trade there. However, the Portuguese still held certain areas of Mozambique. As small as it was, their influence didn’t die out.
British and French colonizers soon moved in. As a result, large chunks of the territory went to them. But Portugal still retained control of its assets there. The only way the locals could get rid of the Portuguese was with war. And a bloody war was on its way; it was only a matter of time.
Mozambican War of Independence
The Portuguese controlled Mozambicans until the mid-twentieth century. In 1951, they declared Mozambique an overseas territory of Portugal. On paper, that meant that the natives had some level of autonomy. However, that was far from true.
Most of Mozambicans were illiterate at the time. The European nobles would get them to do low-end physical jobs for low wages. On top of that, there were very few Mozambican intellectuals. Most of the literate, intelligent natives were in prisons or in exile. That way, the Portuguese had a tight grasp of the region.
Still, people couldn’t stand it anymore, and there was a growing need for an independent Mozambique. All of these events led to the formation of the Mozambique Liberation Front or FRELIMO. It continued until 1974 when the two sides agreed on a ceasefire. One year later, Mozambique became an independent country, and FRELIMO was the political party in charge.
Civil War 1975-1992
Samora Machel became the first president of Mozambique. However, he had strong Marxist communist views, which he soon put into practice. Naturally, he established a one-party rule, and FRELIMO had total control.
There were people in Mozambique who didn’t like FRELIMO’s policies. When Machel took power, the anti-communist movements started to spring up everywhere. The most powerful was the National Resistance or RENAMO. It didn’t take long before they began to openly oppose the president.
The year 1986 saw the end of Machel’s regime. He was succeeded by Joaquim Chissano soon after and six more years later the civil war finally ended. And when the early nineties came, Mozambique entered a new, peaceful era.
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Chissano’s presidency brought peace to the country. It was during his time that Mozambique had its first democratic elections. Of course, every time, a candidate from the FRELIMO party would win. In 2005, Armando Guebuza won the elections and was president for ten years. His successor is the current president of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi.
Thanks to Chissano, the country shifted from socialism to capitalism. But that’s not all the president changed. After the civil war, Chissano promised that he would not persecute or execute the rebels. In fact, he allowed them to become proper political opposition. Thanks to that, RENAMO formed their own political party, which still exists. However, they perform insurgencies from time to time.
Chissano also vowed to end poverty in Mozambique. During his regime, 3 million people came out of ‘extreme poverty.’ That’s about 15% of the country’s population.
Still, Chissano had plenty of difficulties achieving this. One of the biggest was the 2000 Mozambique Flood that happened in the south. It was a devastating event that claimed almost 800 lives.
Why Invest in Mozambique?
A country like Mozambique definitely has a lot to offer. For example, there’s the rich Bantu/Swahili and European heritage. That alone can draw in tourists from the region and the world. Then, there’s the geography. After all, any country that has an ocean-side view is worth checking out. It’s also close to Madagascar, which is great for trade and local tourism.
Geography of Mozambique
Mozambique has a vast coast on the Indian Ocean. In addition, it has a short strip along Lake Malawi in the northwest. Both of these areas are perfect for water sports. If you love swimming, snorkeling or diving, you will love visiting them. Lake Malawi, in particular, has a lot of interesting marine wildlife. Recreational fishing is also allowed in the lake, so bring your gear with you.
But let’s not forget inland Mozambique. Hikers will love its many mountains, woodlands, highlands, and plateaus. It’s also home to several small lakes and rivers, the biggest being the Zambezi. Camping is common in Mozambique, so all you need is a backpack and a tent.
Finally, there are lots of natural wonders in Mozambique. To preserve them, the country has established several national parks. One of them is Gorongosa. It’s located in the very heart of Mozambique, and right now, it has over 500 species of unique birds.
However, If you want to see rare African mammals, you’ll want to visit the Limpopo National Park. It houses hundreds of elephants, hippos, leopards, and rhinos.
Cities and Towns of Mozambique
Maputo is the capital of Mozambique, but it’s not the largest city in the country. The largest city is its suburb, Matola.
There are plenty of sites to see in Maputo. For example, you can visit the Museum of Natural History and learn about the animals endemic to the country. In addition, you also have the beautiful Tunduru Gardens. This park is full of beautiful, vibrant plant life. If you want, you can walk or sit anywhere in Tunduru and enjoy the view.
Some tourists would probably like to learn about the history of Mozambique’s capital, so the best place to start learning about it is the Maputo Fortress built in the 18th century. Additionally, sites such as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception can tell you more about the city’s past.
Inhambane and Tofo
Inhambane is a coastal city that lies on a beautiful bay surrounded by crystal-clear ocean water. However, what really matters is that it’s not a huge city. As of 2017, it has a population of almost 80,000 people. That means you can avoid crowds and the noise if you decide to visit it.
The city is a peaceful, serene place where visitors can take leisurely walks and see the local villages. But the best way to experience Inhambane is to visit its coast. You can go swimming, snorkeling, or diving, and there’s also an abundance of local wildlife that you can admire.
And speaking of coastal wildlife, we have to talk about Tofo. Tofo is a small beach-village close to Inhambane and to several tourist centers where you can rest and enjoy the local beaches. Yet, that’s not its best feature.
What really makes Tofo special is the wildlife. The coastal waters of Tofo are home to a huge number of manta rays and whale sharks. And no, whale sharks don’t just migrate to these waters for breeding — they actually live there. That’s why tourists call Tofo the Mecca of whale sharks. If you want to see them, you can book a snorkeling tour at a low price.
Presidential, legislative, and provincial elections are scheduled for October 2019. It’s expected that for the first time, provincial governors will emerge from provincial elections. This would be a radical departure from the current situation where provincial governors are appointed at the central level as members of the executive branch.
Mozambique continues in a slow growth trajectory that followed the 2016 hidden debt crisis. Macroeconomic conditions are improving, but the economic performance is yet to revert to the pre-crisis levels. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is estimated at approximately the same level as the last three years around 3.5%. A slight recovery in growth is expected, projections sit around 4% of GDP for 2019 and may be higher in the medium term if gas production investments are materialized.
Inflation has eased to 3.5% roughly the pre-crisis levels, supported by a cautious monetary policy stance, stable currency, and stable food prices.
Source: Worldbank Mar 28, 2019
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Mozambique is a country in Southeast Africa with a vast coast on the Indian Ocean. Out of all the African countries, it’s the closest to the island of Madagascar. Meanwhile, on land, it borders six countries. Those are Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Eswatini.