Nampula is the capital city of Nampula Province in northeastern Mozambique. Also known as "The Capital of the North", Nampula is the centre of business in northern Mozambique. It has several western-style hotels, restaurants and shopping centres. It also has a small international airport connecting to Nairobi in Kenya and Johannesburg in South Africa, and is a transport hub for local transport in northern Mozambique.
Nampula is located in Nampula Province and is the third largest city in Mozambique. The coastline 150 km away is basically untouched with small villages and beach lodges dotted here and there. This is a part of the country which is quite off the beaten track.
There are a few tourist attractions in Nampula so if you are interested in the culture and the history you must include a visit to Ilha do Mozambique (Mozambique Island). This island has a small population and the Portuguese built a naval base here in 1507. The town is made out of coral rock and most of it is still standing today.
Fort Sao Sebastiao is on the northern part of the island. This was built from limestone and imported from Lisbon. Other interesting sites in Nampula include the dilapidated but still running hospital, built in 1877 and of course the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, built in 1522. Nampula accommodations are at luxury Mozambique lodges on the beach. See below for Nampula lodges offered in Mozambique.
With a population of 743,125 (2017 census), it is the third largest city in Mozambique after Maputo and Matola. Nampula is also home to the Mozambique National Ethnographic Museum, several markets, cathedrals, mosques, universities and schools: both government and private. The city is also fairly diverse, with the native eMakhuwa population being the largest group but with a visible Indian, European, Chinese, and Lebanese population.
History of Nampula Mozambique
Nampula is a relatively new city. It was founded by the intruding Portuguese colonial army in 1907, and elevated to city status only in 1956. During the liberation war Nampula was the strategic military centre for the fight against the Frelimo liberation movement. Because of this the city grew substantially in the last decades of colonial rule.
After Indepence in 1975 the portuguese litterally abandoned Nampula and rural populations invaded the city, squatting in un‐planned areas in the outskirts. This migratory movement was dramatically increased during the war of destabilisation, affecting Nampula in the decade between 1982 and 1992.
When the war ended the Government expected the refugees to return to the countryside, but this did not happen. Rather, after a few years of migratory slow‐down, growth of the city resumed, as the rapid economic development of Mozambique materialised mostly in the urban areas, as opposed to the rural area. Therefore, Nampula in the post‐war period developed into a major Mozambican growth centre. It attracted an incresing number of public and private investments in wide range of economic and social areas.
In colonial times there was a a Nampula Town Hall with a very limited mandate. It was estinguished in 1979. The Municipal Council of Nampula was created in 1998, alongside with those of other major Mozambican cities. Frelimo won the first local elections that year, and in the subsequent elections.
Weather in Nampula
In Nampula, the wet season is hot, oppressive, and overcast and the dry season is warm and mostly clear. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 58°F to 95°F and is rarely below 54°F or above 100°F.
Based on the beach/pool score, the best time of year to visit Nampula for hot-weather activities is from early September to early November.
The hot season lasts for 2.2 months, from October 1 to December 6, with an average daily high temperature above 91°F. The hottest day of the year is November 6, with an average high of 95°F and low of 69°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.1 months, from May 4 to August 9, with an average daily high temperature below 81°F. The coldest day of the year is July 12, with an average low of 58°F and high of 77°F.
In Nampula, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Nampula begins around March 31 and lasts for 7.8 months, ending around November 24. On August 20, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 91% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 9% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around November 24 and lasts for 4.2 months, ending around March 31. On January 15, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 87% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 13% of the time.
Things to Do in Nampula
Tour to Fort of Sao Sebastio
Located on the Ihla de Mocambique in the Nampula Province in northern Mozambique, the Fort of Sao Sebastio is the oldest still-standing fort in sub-Saharan Africa and a great site to visit in Mozambique.
The construction of the Portuguese fort began in the mid-1500s and ended at the end of that century, taking 62 years to reach completion. The military fort withstood numerous attacks, including those by Dutch and British forces, but stubbornly remained standing through the bombardments and invasions.
Now the previously glorious military fort stands in ruin but is still a formidable site to see in Mozambique. Perched on the rocks overlooking the Indian Ocean, it is a great military remnant in a beautiful setting.
|Languages spoken||Portuguese, Makhuwa|
|Currency used||Mozambican Metical (MZN)|