Maputo is a frequent stop on cruises to and from Cape Town and a call upon this fast-developing, formerly Portuguese-ruled, city delivers cruise ship visitors right into the bustling urban heart of Mozambique, where a fascinating, lesser-seen glimpse of southern Africa awaits. As the ship pulls into the Indian Ocean port, look out for the frenzy of cranes and new high-rises cropping up along the waterfront, evidence of the economic revival of this once war-torn nation. Its 16-year-long Civil War ended in '92. The region is now flush with foreign investment, thanks to a rush on the nation's untapped natural resources. Lush vegetation, cafe culture, buzzing street traffic, crumbling Portuguese colonial architecture, bustling marketplaces, historic sites and interesting little museums make the juxtaposition that is Maputo well worthy of a day of urban exploration.
Port of Maputo
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Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The metical is the currency of Mozambique; visit www.xe.com for current currency conversion rates. Many shop vendors, especially at arts and crafts markets, will accept U.S. dollars, euros and South African rand. There are 24-hour ATMs across town, with a preference for Visa-branded cards.
Mozambique is a multilingual country, with many residents speaking the official language, Portuguese (a holdover from colonial days), while others converse in a wide mix of African languages (like Emakhuwa). English is widely used, too, especially in international business places and tourist areas.