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Maputo, formerly named Lourenço Marques, is the capital of Mozambique. The city has wide avenues lined with red acacia and lilac jacaranda flowering trees and offers the tourist innumerable historical, cultural and scenic spots.
Worth visiting in Maputo
* The Museum of Natural History has a unique display showing the gestation of the elephant, a wonderful insect collection and a wildlife tableau with roaring lions and other sound effects.
* The Museum of the Revolution tells the story of the struggle against Portuguese colonialism.
* The Art Museum shows exhibitions of the best of Mozambican paintings and sculptures and there is a Money Museum where you can see coins and banknotes from other eras. There is also a Museum of Geology.
* A focal point in the city is the Praca de Independencia. Around it are a statue of the country's first president, Samora Machel, the gleaming white Roman Catholic cathedral, the neo-classical City Hall and the French-Mozambican cultural centre, a splendid old colonial building which has been tastefully restored and now presents art exhibitions.
* Tunduro Gardens - located off Av. Samora Machel, where you can admire the fine cycad collection and other indigenous and exotic plants.
* Railway Station - built in 1910, this green and white building has a metal dome on the top designed by Mr. Eiffel.
* Near centre of town is the Fortaleza, a Portuguese fort with cannons pointed out to sea. In the Fortaleza lie the remains of Ngungunyana, ruler of the old Gaza Empire, who tried and failed to defeat the Portuguese at the end of the 19th century.
* The remains of Mondlane, Machel and several other national heroes are enshrined in a star-shaped monument in the Praca dos Herois, which also boasts a large mural recounting the country's centuries of struggle.
* In Maputo's Lhanguene cemetery one can find the gravestones of South African liberation personalities, killed in Maputo by apartheid shock troops, poisoners and senders of letter bombs.
Beaches surrounding Maputo
* Praia da Macaneta is a beach with strong and large waves. To reach Macaneta you can go by boat from Maputo or by road to Marracuene.
* Ponta do Ouro - 117 km from Maputo, but the road requires a 4x4 vehicle. From the South African side, the Ponta do Ouro border post can be reached by taking the road to Kosi Bay and turning left at the fork after the Manguzi Spar.
* Ponta Malongane, 5 km to the north of Ponta do Ouro, is a beautiful beach with white sand and a blue-green sea.
* Inhaca Island - 34 km from Maputo in the bay, the island can be reached by both boat and plane. Organised tours to various parts of the island such as Ponta de Santa Maria or to Portuguese Island are possible.
* About 30 km to the north of Maputo is the village of Marracuene, which overlooks the Incomati River. It is possible to catch the ferry across to the other side and then to drive for 8 km along a sandy/muddy road to the beach.
* Maputo Elephant Reserve is situated 79 km south of Maputo on the road to Ponta do Ouro via the ferry to Catembe, or 112 km from Maputo via the Boane road. The Maputo Reserve is famous for its elephant herds. Flamingos can also be seen on the large inland lakes near the sea.
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