Beira, Mozambique - Stein Travel
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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

Climate

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).

Language

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.

Money

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.

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