Mozambique is a truly unique country characterized by a relatively short history when compared to most African countries. It has had a heavy foreign influence because of colonialization, and this has infused itself into almost every aspect of the country starting from language, religion, cuisine and their National holidays. The one aspect where Mozambique has […]
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The Gorongosa National Park is located in the southern end of the African Rift Valley which covers a widespread area of 3770 square kilometers. This park lies in the heart of Mozambique and contains a wide variety of soil. This varied soil type makes the park host several ecosystems because of seasonal flooding in the region that makes the soil compatible for all types of vegetation. It contains grasslands, savannah, miombo, montane forests, rainforests, and dry forest on sands. This park has an interesting history and dynamic stories. In the early years of it was just an attraction where people used to survey by aerial vehicles. It has seen a massive destruction in the beginning but today the park is in the state of a planned recovery because the government has realized its significance from the point of view of tourism. Due to this determination, the region that once lost optimism and growth is right on the track of regaining its beauty and possessions.
Destruction And Restoration
This national park has been protected since 1920 when 1000 square kilometers of the area was designated as the reserve are but by 1935 the reserve area expanded up to 3200 square kilometers in order to protect rhinos and nyala living in the region. Development continued and the region became popular day by day. However, due to flooding, working areas were abandoned and hence captured by lions that earned the name Casa de Leos which means the house of “lions” and very soon it had become one of the most popular tourist spots of the country.
By 1960 the reserve had banned hunting and earned the status of a national park. It was not much affected by the civil wars of 1950-60 and remained developing like other national parks of the world. During the same time, the population of both lions and elephants grew considerably and it reached to the figure almost double of the pre-civil war times. In1983 the violence escalated and the park was abandoned for almost 9 years. The violent conflicts destroyed the park’s infrastructure and animals were killed for ivory and traded for guns. The war ultimate came to the end but by that time the wildlife had declined by 90% due to loss of animals and destruction of the ecosystem which completely disturbed the food chain. The government re-planned for its restoration in 1994 and many steps were taken up to resume it as earlier which was really a difficult task. In 2009 the first eco-tourism company reached there to review its condition and prepare the plan for its restoration. Many international charity organizations volunteered the programme and today it has gained its lost popularity and has become one of the major tourist destinations again. Thousands of tourists visit this spot every year. Some of them stay with the Carr Foundation’s Chitengo Safari Camps while others with private companies. The animal population now includes lions, buffalos, wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, impala, hippos, sable and elands. The bird’s population never got affected much.
The rich culture of Mazambique and its diverse way of life make it one of the most wonderful tourist destinations in the world. The customs of this country are deeply rooted in the culture of the local groups that is passed down generations. Let us have a glance of the culture and society of Mozambique.
The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese but there are more than 40 regional languages and dialects that are spoken, originated from the Bantu family.
Dress And Clothing
Western clothes in the modern times have overtaken the traditional dress of the country but on specific occasion traditional dresses are worn. Mozambican women wear Capulana which is a thick cloth printed with beautiful art. Along with Capulana on top the women wear wraps from the waist downwards and scarves on their hair which they make pillows and use for transporting goods also. Men usually wear printed casual dresses of bright color.
The Mozambican culture is featured through its combination of African, American, European, Italian and even Chinese food. Grilled-food and seafood are popular here and the rich spices are used to add flavor to the dishes. Cuisines of Mozambique also include rice and coconut. They are also fond of fruits like avocados, papayas, bananas, oranges, and grapefruits.
Music And Dancing
Africans are fond of music and dancing on occasions and they organize traditional music and dance programs on the ceremonies and religious events to express their customs. There are a number of dance styles and a variation of instruments and rhythms incorporated. Traditional music instruments are mainly made of wood, fruits and animal skins such as lupembe, marimba and Timbila.
The main dimension of cultural differences between the groups is the societal lineage. The northern areas of the country mostly practice matrilineal inheritance. This means males can inherit property and rights through their mothers. On contrary, the southern Mozambique mostly practices patrilineal inheritance.
Religion In Mozambique
Mozambique has a wide mix of religions comprising, one-third of the population are Christians (Roman Catholic), about a quarter are Muslims and rest are tribal. Nearly half of the population practices animist beliefs, where ancestors are worshipped as the God’s messengers and people believe that they can affect their lives with their spirits.
Local culture affects the practices, religious beliefs, healing methods, ceremonial rites and the way, men, and women deal with their community leaders and rest of the society. Local dance ceremonies of Mozambique includes Hunting Dance of Chopi where the men and women dress up in lion skin clothes and dance on the traditional music.
Support For The Arts
Nambu Productions is a national arts company in the country and the National Dance Company, both of which perform contemporary productions based on the national traditions and forms. The National Institute of Culture was established to collect and preserve traditional art, music, literature, and mythology.
Child Rearing And Education
Children are treated with enormous affection and love but because of low literacy rate, they are forced to work at very young age. After the civil war, many children were left without their families and these children are found in Maputo and other cities selling small items or stealing. With continuous efforts of the government the literacy rate after independence grew but until 1995 it reached only 40 %. Only 7% children were enrolled in the secondary level. Still, the attempts are going on to fix the problem of trained teachers, adequate school building, and higher education infrastructure but this problem is not going to soon eradicated.
Mozambique has become one of the most attractive destinations in the world that offers a wide variety of adventure, recreation, food and cultural entertainment to the tourists coming from all parts of the world. However, it should be kept in mind while traveling to any destination from anywhere that there are a few things, a tourist should analyze such as the best possible connection to the home country and the destination, safety, emergency services, and travel documents. If all preparations are done then the next is the budget and expense to be incurred on travel, food, stay and recreation. Here is a short research on how one can travel from the UK to Mozambique in the best possible ways.
Flights To The Bazaruto Archipelago
The easiest and probably the cheapest to the Bazaruto Archipelago is to take a flight via Johannesburg, in South Africa. Both British Airways and South African Airways operate between the two cities. Every evening Flights depart from London Heathrow and arrive Johannesburg the next morning. Then the Pelican Air links Johannesburg to Vilanculos departing around 10:30 and takes a few hours to reach. From there one can reach Benguerra Lodge, Bazaruto Lodge, Anantara Bazaruto and Azura Mozambique by a short fight or to Marlin Lodge and Dugong Lodge by a speedboat.
Flights To Pemba And The Quirimbas Archipelago
The easiest route is to fly to Dar- es Salaam, Tanzania by British Airways. Flights depart from London Heathrow on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evening and reach the capital the next morning. The Air Mozambique links Dar to Pemba which take a few hours and some light aircrafts will take you to either of the lodges such as Ibo Island, Medjumbe Private Island, Matemo Island Resort and Azura at Quilalea.
If you want to go to Vamizi in the north of Quirimbas Archipelago, there are scheduled flights on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday from Pemba to Vamizi which take a few hours to fly between the two destinations and operate a couple of trips daily. It is often convenient to use a flight charter operating directly from Dar on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday in the morning and get back to Dar alternate days. However, the lodges near Pemba are comparatively easier to reach by roads such as Avani Pemba Beach and Guludo Beach Lodge.
Flights To Pemba And The Quirimbas Archipelago Via Johannesburg
If you want one more alternative to fly to Pemba, you can reach via Johannesburg. Regular flights from London to Johannesburg with South African Airways and British Airways depart every evening and after an overnight journey, reach Johannesburg the following morning. South African Airlines operate between Johannesburg and Pemba daily except Monday and Thursday and reach Pemba around noon. After reaching Pemba various lodges can be accessed as describes above. Both domestic short-time flights and road transport can be used to reach the destination. To reach Vamizi Lodge it would be the easiest to take a domestic flight and a charter to Vamizi from there.
A touristic portal that aims to show you all the travel destinations of Mozambique and the beauty of the serene landscape, beaches, coral reefs and rich culture of the country.