Mozambique Happenings for accommodation, things to do and places to see in Mozambique

BEIRA ACCOMMODATION, INFORMATION AND HISTORY

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HOTEL ACCOMMODATION IN BEIRA

Jardim Das Velas Hotel

Across the road from the beautiful Indian Ocean
HOLIDAY RESORT IN BEIRA - BUDGET ACCOMMODATION

Rio Savane Lodge

Self catering chalets, huts and camping.

 
THE HISTORY OF BEIRA

Beira is the capital of Sofala province and the biggest town in central Mozambique, Beira is Mozambique's second biggest city and harbour situated at the mouth of the Pungoe River.


Sofala lies 45 kms to the south of Beira and was an Arab trading post from the 10th centuary.


In 1498 Vasco da Gama, as well as other Portuguese explorers and sailors, entered the estuary of the Pungoe River to try and find out the truth of whether gold was present in the Sofala hinterland.


Only in 1887 was a military fort built at Beira. This was when colonial expansion began in earnest by European powers and led to Portugal taking steps to defend her trading outposts.

 

Beira was named after the Portuguese crown prince Dom Luis Filipe, who was born about this time and whose title was Prince of Beira.

Beira Cathedral

Beira, capital of Sofala province, is Mozambique’s second-largest city.and Mozambique's busiest port,

Beira is renowned for its seafood and seedy nightlife.

 

Beira is a reasonably pleasant place with a compact central area, exciting harbour-town vibe, attractive colonial-era architecture and stretch of coastline

Health warning : Beira is reputed to be alive with the Malaria mosquito, so bring bug sparay and mosquito netting

 

THE RAVAGES OF WAR

Beira Pool 1975

 

Beira Pool 2007

Beira lies in the central region of the country in Sofala Province, where the Pungwe River meets the Indian Ocean.

Beira had a population of 412,588 in 1997, which grew to an estimated 546,000 in 2006. It holds the regionally significant Port of Beira which acts as a gateway for both the central interior portion of the country as well as the land-locked nations of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.

 

Beira was originally developed by the Portuguese Mozambique Company in the 19th century, and directly developed by the Portuguese colonial government from 1947 until Mozambique gained its independence from Portugal in 1975.

 

 

Before Mozambique's independence from Portugal, as a city of Portuguese Mozambique, Beira was noted for its well-equipped seaport, one of the major facilities of its kind in all East Africa, tourism, fishing and trade.

 

The city prospered as a cosmopolitan port with different ethnic communities (Portuguese, Indian, Chinese, Bantus such as the Sena and Ndau) employed in administration, commerce, and industry.

 

A large English-speaking population was the result of being a favourite holiday destination for white Rhodesians.

 

One reminder of this is the Grande Hotel, built by the Portuguese, near the shore of the Indian Ocean.

Grande Hotel 1975

Grande Hotel 2007

By 1970, the city of Beira had 113,770 inhabitants.

After independence from Portugal in 1975, many white ethnic Portuguese left the city.

Mozambique was ravaged by a civil war from 1977 to 1992, opposing Marxist FRELIMO, which controlled the government, to the rebels of RENAMO, descending to near total chaos in a couple of years.

 

The famine, disease and poverty-stricken country collapsed.

 

In Beira, the famous Grande Hotel was occupied by around 1,000 homeless Beirans, and by the end of the civil war it was in near-ruins.

 

The 2000 Mozambique flood devastated Beira and the surrounding region, leaving millions homeless and severely damaging the local economy.

 

Tourism is a potential industry for Beira, but returns are limited. Potential tourist attractions include the cathedral, lighthouse, Macuti Beach and the Grande Hotel Beira.

 

North of the city is the former Gorongosa National Park.

 

There are few restaurants or hotels of a tourist standard and security is poor in some areas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beira,_Mozambique

 

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