However the civil war that ravaged the country during the 1970’s and 80’s has meant that it is still virtually unknown as one of the top diving paradises in the world.
People & Culture
Many of the cultural traditions of the Mozambican people survived centuries of colonialism. The Makonde in the north are renowned for their ebony sculptures and masks. The Chopi of the south central coast are famous for their complex musical arrangements and dance.
Mozambique enjoys a great range of cultural and linguistic diversity. Islamic culture, Swahili language, and matrilineal Bantu-speaking groups coexist in northern and central regions, reflecting prevailing patterns in neighbouring Tanzania and Malawi. The great variety of people of the Zambezi valley overlap culturally and linguistically with neighbouring Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and patrilineal, cattle-keeping people who share a heritage with neighbouring Nguni-speaking groups in South Africa and Zimbabwe are common in the south. Amid the variety of languages, social relationships, artistic traditions, clothing, and ornamentation patterns is a common theme of dynamic and creative cultural expression in song, oral poetry, dance, and performance.
The traditional food crop in Mozambique is maize which is what we call corn. It is eaten by the people for most of their meals. It is often ground into a flour which is then made into different dishes. Mealie is a common one which is really like our porridge cereal.
Chickens are cooked over the open fire and then dissected for eating or the flesh made into a chicken dish that is often eaten with rice. Rice is not grown in northern Mozambique and this means the villagers there have to buy it if they wish to eat it. Of course this costs money which the majority of them can’t afford.
Bananas and cashew nuts grow well so these are part of the local diet. Goats are kept and so goat’s milk is available. Fish and other forms of seafood are a vital part of the diet of those people living along the long coastline of Mozambique.
The people are friendly and has a rich culture with a long an interesting history. However the civil war in Mozambique only ended in 1992 and left the country with very little infrastructure. Not having the precious minerals that its neighbor’s like South Africa and Zimbabwe have, its economy collapsed. While not rich in minerals, Mozambique is rich in natural beauty especially along its coastline, and this has lead to Tourism becoming its major industry and diving a major part of that tourism.
While there are many places in Mozambique to go diving, none of them are crowded, and in general the service and amenities are some of the best in the world. A wide variety of fish and other marine species live in the warm waters of Mozambique and there are numerous shipwrecks along the coast to be explored. The marine life includes tropical and game fish species as well as rare creatures like dugongs, whale sharks and turtles. Conditions are favorable most of the year. The beauty of diving at Mozambique is that it is still not commercialized and most of the dive sites are still unspoilt.
The official currency of Mozambique is the New Metical (MZN), which is sub-divided into 100 centavos. In the southern belt of the country, US Dollars, South African Rand, and Pounds Sterling are also acceptable for the payment of accommodation. Credit cards are accepted in some expensive hotels in Maputo, but in the rest of Mozambique this facility is limited; it is better to carry cash or travelers cheque’s for easier transaction. ATMs are very few and not up to the mark. The local banks provide good facility and have branches in most cities of Mozambique. Five days a week from Monday to Friday, the banking hours are from 0730 to 1530.