Maputo (sounds like Ma-pu-tu) is the bustling capital city. Previously named Lourenço Marques after a navigator who explored the area in 1544. Upon independence as a Portuguese colony in 1975 it was renamed Maputo. It borders Eswatini and South Africa.
The architecture is a combination of old uninteresting concrete buildings with occasional unique and charming Mediterranean buildings in between – like the creamy middle of an Oreo cookie.
*click to enlarge photos
The city is right next to the port and easy to get to by foot. The streets are lined with jacaranda and flame trees (our favorite from Baja – árbol de fuego).
Armed police were scattered about and security guards stood in doorways which I took as a warning to keep my camera hidden.
The Maputo Central Train station was quiet with only a couple people wandering around. Two passengers napped on a bench engulfed in their luggage. It’s named one of the top 10 most beautiful train stations in the world by Time Magazine and Newsweek.
Outside of the main city center it became lush and hilly. We only took a short ride but it offered a yin to the city center’s yang.