The Republic of Mozambique lies on the Indian Ocean on the eastern coast of Africa. This large country of rugged highlands and pristine beaches has a long history of being a trading post for Arabian sailors and Portuguese merchants. After long years of struggling for its independence, Mozambique is finally starting to find its feet despite the difficulties of recent years.
The majority of Mozambique's 21.3 million inhabitants are black Africans (99.66%) of various descent. The remaining population are a combination of white Africans, mostly of Portuguese descent, and Indians with a population of Asian immigrants. The majority of the people live in the Zambezia and Nampula regions of the country in the north.
As a Portuguese colony and controlled country for many decades, it comes as no surprise that Portuguese is spoken throughout the country and is the official language. Mozambique is a member of the Community or Portuguese Language Countries. While Portuguese is spoken widely in the country, English is recognised as the second language that is often used in business and in higher education. Along with these two European languages, various indigenous languages are also spoken, but they are not as prevalent as in other African colonies.
Mozambique is a large nation covering 801 590 km². The Zambezi River divides the country into two major topographical regions. In the north, the narrow coast changes to hills and low plateaus as they move inland. In the west lie the rugged highlands. In the south the country stretches out into lowlands before reaching the Lebomo Mountains in the deep south. The country is drained by a number of rivers and has access to three large lakes: the Niassa (or Lake Malawi), the Chiuta and the Shirwa.
Its position on the coast of Africa on the Indian Ocean gives it a tropical climate. The seasons are nearly indistinguishable but most people generally give the countries two seasons: a wet and dry season. The wet season is from October to March and falls into the summer of the southern hemisphere while the dry season, from April to September, falls into winter.
This climate creates a special environment that consists of large wetlands, mangrove forests, open grasslands and savannah. Mozambique was once home to large amounts of wild animals that roamed freely across its wide expanse. The war, however, took a heavy toll on the animal populations thinning them out considerably. Since the war, conservation efforts have been put into place and many of the animal species are beginning to recover their numbers.
Mozambique is a beautiful country with a lot of hidden potential hidden within its lush confines. From remote beaches to overgrown wilderness, Mozambique offers a unique experience unlike any other in Africa.