I traveled to Mozambique during a day trip from Malalane, South Africa in late July of 2010. Only traveling to Maputo and the surrounding area's I noticed that the country is still trying to recover from the devastating civil war that raged in the 1980's. The people were wonderful, quite friendly, but also quite poor. I was told by many that have traveled to Mozambique that I missed some of the countries beautiful beaches, the areas that make it a popular tourist destination today. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to return one day and visit these area's. 

Mozambique was originally inhabited by ancestors of the Khoisani peoples. The San people were hunter and gatherers. By the 300's they were pushed out when by the Bantu speaking peoples who were migrating southward. Around the same time Arab and Swahili traders were setting up shop along the coastal areas, to create trading routes into the interior. When the Portuguese began exploring routes to India, Vasco da Gama would claim the area for Portugal. This led to trading posts and forts being established by the Portuguese to act as ports on the way to India. The most notable fort was São Sebastião de Moçambique. For the next 400, the country, was known as Portuguese East Africa. All the regions gold, ivory, land and people (who were sold as slaves) were taken to Europe, Asia, and the America's. In 1891 a large private company, Companhia de Moçambique (among others), were given by charter/sovereign rights for 50 years. While this charter helped the white settlers and Portugal, no thought was given to the education and skills of the local people. Eventually the Portuguese government took more interest in Mozambique. They removed the companies’ administrative power and began to build infrastructure using forced labor. In 1951, Mozambique officially became an overseas province of Portugal. Regardless of the new title, Portugal had strong control over Mozambique and did little to improve the lives of the people. In 1962, several anti colonial groups formed the Frente de Liberação de Moçambique (Front for the Liberation of Mozambique), or FRELIMO. In response to Portugal's refusal of independence, FRELIMO launched a bitter armed campaign in 1964. After 10 years of warfare, FRELIMO took control in April of 1974. By agreement, Mozambique became independent on June 25, 1975. When the Portuguese left they took their knowledge, equipment, and money with them. This left Mozambique with unskilled people who were never given the education or know how to run their own country. Mozambique later became a base for neighboring nationalist rebels. As a result, the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (Mozambican National Resistance), or RENAMO, was born and launched guerilla warfare against the FRELIMO party. Mozambique descended into civil war. During the war, over 1 million people were killed and 3 million displaced. Finally in 1992 the war came to an end and a new constitution was adopted. Today the country is still struggling to recover. 

Images of Mozambique's Capital City Maputo

More of Maputo

Maputo and it's surrounding beach area