Borders: Tete & Zambézia, north, Inhambane, south, Manica, west, Indian Ocean to the east
Sena and Ndau are the most representative ethnic groups.
Population Density: 20inhabitants/ sq.km
Main products: shrimp, sugar and hard wood.
Beira city, the capital of the province lies by the ocean and yet the province offers the synergetic tourist lover not only the Gorongosa National Park but also Marromeu Buffalo Reserve.
BEIRA, this lovely city, become a city on the 20 of August of 1907, is situated right in the middle of the country, is the capital of Sofala Province and the second biggest city of the country, its an important commercial centre with link to Zimbabwe, its normally a bit difficult for people that don't speak the language, but don't panic, its only the first impression. There is a lot to see and most of them in the centre of the city, so just take a walk around and enjoy yourself.
Casa dos Bicos, which is at the moment under renovations, holds concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events. Go and see the Railway Station, built in 1966 is a completely different architecture, for the ones that understand, Pancho Guedes, our most famous architect, designed it. The Cathedral at Independencia Av. is stunning. Was built in 1925 with the stones from the 16th century Fort of Sofala, which no longer exists. Casa Infante Sagres, restored to its former glory, now the offices of Manica Freight Services. Casa de Portugal, colonial style from the turn of the century. Clube Chinês, from 1917, now holds the city archives. Casa da Cultura, the cultural centre, art school and coffee bar. There are a few cinemas but only one, Novocine, shows new movies. Swimming in the beach in Beira could be a problem as it has very strong currents, so it's always better to check before. Places between Estoril where the Light House is, and Palmeiras are normally a bit raft, but its really nice to take a walk all the way along the sea front into town. Stop by at Biques, Nauticos, Oceana and so many other bars, for a cold beer and same snacks, there are some art and crafts outside these bars. The main square in town with is cafes like Capri, Riviera and shops, the prison in one of the back streets of main town, the street with lots of Indian shops, etc. Just relax and walk around, you will probably enjoy yourself more than you thought.
Some really good restaurants are:
Lanchonete Aniz, the place to go for toasts and snacks. *
Imperial, down town, behind the Moçambique Hotel, the best seafood. On weekends also a disco**
Wing Restaurant, Portuguese, Pizzas and Chinese food, at the Railway Station. **
Complexo Macuti, near the Macuti Church, excellent Portuguese and Chinese food. **
Pic Nic, good seafood. * *
Kanimambo Restaurant, the real Chinese food in town. **
Restaurant/Disco Oceana, the pizza place, on Mateus Sansão Mutemba Av. **
Palmeiras Restaurant, Portuguese and seafood, on FPLM Av. **
Restaurant Biques, more fast food type, on Marginal Av. **
A beautiful area, that you can walk along the beach, almost all the way into town, or just walk up to the river mouth. With a Zimbabwean owner, the place is normally packed with foreigners, so you can always try to get a lift to the border. They have caravans to let, allow camping but not many facilities. You can find some information about the city there.
Nauticos, Portuguese and seafood. Marginal Av.* *
Moinho Verde, on the weekends the place to be. Restaurant, good food, and disco on the weekends. On the way to the airport, so a bit far but really nice ambience. Take a taxi there and get a lift back with some locals that you will meet there for sure. *
Pensão Moderna, right in the centre, and the cheapest one *
Hotel Miramar, right by the beach, on Marginal Ave on Ponta Gea area. *
Hotel Infante, downtown, Jaime Ferreira Str, 218. *
Hotel Moçambique, downtown, Bagamoyo Str **
Hotel Tivoli, downtown, behind Moçambique Hotel ***
Hotel Savoy, downtown, Pedro Álvares Cabral Ave, 297 **
Camping at Clube Náutico. Good reports, this place is located right at the beach, on Marginal Ave in Nauticos area and has a good Restaurant "O Zéquinha".
There are a few markets in town, where you should be aware of pickpockets and like, especially the Tchungamoyo or Mercado do Goto. For second hand clothes, capulanas and goods, on Armando Tivane Av. Mercado Central located in central town on one of the small streets, for vegetables, fruit, fish, meat and crafts. Mercado do Maquinino, behind the Hotel Moçambique, for fruit, vegetables and traditional medicines, the most African market in town. For fresh fish and seafood try the Mercado da Praia Nova, at the beach down town.
A good supermarket is Shoprite in Munhava area. Besides that there are a lot of small shops where you can buy anything you want.
The Central Hospital is on Macuti area.
The Post Office is in central town.
The Bus Station is in Daniel Napatima Ave between the Moçambique Hotel and the Railway Station.
Byte, the Internet café, on 198/210, Artur Canto de Resende Str
For Visa Cards and Travellers Cheques, go to Austral Bank, down town.
There is only one place that is not advised to walk at nighttime; which is the bridge over the Chiveve River, down town next to Ferroviário Swimming Pool and Moçambique Hotel. As a girl travelling on her own, which I have done quite a lot, we have to be more careful, so avoid walking around late at night. Take a taxi; call Fernando, who speaks some english (03) 302406
Six Miles Reserve, just a few kilometres out of town, another great place to visit with is natural forest. Camping and Bungalow facilities. Local food. *
Just 34Kms out of Beira city is the Savane River Resort, you will need a 4x4. Nice beach, which you have to cross by, ferry, a paradise for birdwatchers, and small bush animals. There is a Bar&Restaurant. Prices are affordable.
Marromeu Buffalo Reserve, to the north of the province, is another Game Park. To get there you need to contact Safrique in Beira town.
Gorongosa is one of the three National Parks in Mozambique and the biggest, still trying to recover from the war; it was once used for transporting supplies and army equipment by exchanging them with ivory, rhinos, and skins. Gorongosa was for a long time, the premier tourist attraction in Southern Africa. In early 1921, because of some different ecological zones like the Zambezi valley, the Rift zone and coastal plain of the Indian Ocean, it become a game reserve for the protection of the animals, in which you can find the big five besides others. By the 1970's the area had doubled to 5,370km2. To get their take the rod from Inchope, turn left, you don't need a 4x4, and there is local transport, and go on for another 40km. After the turn off to the park at Nota, travel another 11km to the park gates. If you are lucky you could see some of the remaining lions or a herd of elephants, hippos, buffalos, crocodiles, antelopes and warthogs and many other species, and maybe if you are really lucky a rhino, which some people say are completely exterminated and others said no. The forest, waterfalls and flood plains are something to be seen with the help of a guide.
There is a campsite and some bungalows in the process of being built, so, there is a possibility of staying there. The entrance fee is 5Usd. For the Bungalows that sleep 2 or 4 people. They have common showers and no kitchen facilities. They will make a fire if you have the utensils for cooking. The staffs are very friendly and willing to welcome you. They don't allow you to drive inside the park; they do the tour in the park for 30Usd for maximum 10 people.
You can also climb the Gorongosa Mountain, outside the boundaries of the park, which is 1.862 meters, the fourth highest peak in Mozambique. The three-hour hike to the summit, guided by locals, is well worth the effort.
If you travelling by car fill up with petrol in Beira, there are a few petrol stations all the way up north, Tete or Manica. There is always the hand pumped petrol station, in places like Zavala, Cumbana, Save and so on.
From Beira to the Zimbabwe border is about 280Kms, you should stop in Manica Province, where there is lots to see.