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Friday 19th July
Mozambique Information - Page 1
The Republic of Mozambique is in southeast Africa. It is bordered by Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland and the Mozambique Channel of the Indian Ocean.

Maputo is the capital city and a major port. Other important ports include Beira and Nacala.

Mozambique has a long stretch of coastal lowlands, with higher terrain inland and mountains in the west. Major rivers are the Zambezi and the Limpopo.

The weather is tropical to subtropical with the rainy season between November and March. Severe weather conditions include drought and floods.

Wildlife in Mozambique's conservation areas suffered great loss of life during wars from the 1970s until the early 1990s. At the end of 2004 the government of Mozambique formalized their partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation to improve the conservation of Mozambique's wildlife.

The Niassa Reserve was the most resilient of the wildlife reserves and by 2004 supported herds of antelopes, zebras and buffalo.

Other National Parks in Mozambique include Banhine National Park, an important wetland, Bazaruto National Park, one of the largest marine parks in the Indian Ocean, and Quirimbas Archipelago National Park which has one of the world's best areas of coral reef.

The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrived in Inhambane, one of Mozambique's oldest towns, in 1498. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conception is a reminder of the Portuguese colonial era.

Mozambique Island, a World Heritage site, is a fortified Portuguese trading post dating back to the sixteenth century. The small island, not far from Mozambique's mainland, has a variety of architecture including Christian churches and Islamic mosques.

The capital city of Maputo and the second city of Beira also have examples of Portuguese Colonial architecture, although years of war have taken their toll on the buildings. It is also interesting to note that Maputo has a railway station designed by France's Gustave Eiffel.

The population of Mozambique was estimated at 21,284,700 in 2008.

Portuguese is the official language although English is widely used in business. Other languages spoken include Lomwe, Makhuwa, Sena and Tsonga.

A significant number of Mozambicans are Christians, others are Muslims and some have indigenous beliefs.

The cuisine of Mozambique has been influenced by centuries of Portuguese colonization. Crops grown by the Portuguese in South America were introduced to Mozambique. The best example is maize, a native plant of the Americas.

Millet and sorghum, also grown by Mozambicans, are more drought resistant crops.

Maize and cassava are both made into porridge. Stews and soups are popular. Soups include bean soup and squash soup. As well as meat and fish, shellfish, such as shrimps and prawns, are eaten. Piri piri, a hot pepper sauce or marinade, is used in meat and fish recipes.

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