A medium sized country in southern Africa that was once a Portuguese colony, Mozambique is a colorful tapestry of Bantu, Portuguese and Indian language and customs.
1. The capital city, Maputo, was renamed upon the country’s 1975 independence. Street names were changed to reflect their appreciation of freedom fighters and their association with the Soviet Bloc. There are streets named for Ho Chi Minh, Robert Mugabe, Patrice Lumumba and Karl Marx.
2. The marimba, a percussion instrument, is native to the country. Mozambican musicians combine influences from native and Portuguese music to produce marrabenta, a popular style of dance music.
3. Popular destination for eco-tourism, especially in the Maputo Reserve and Gorongosa parks, where visitors can see hippos, elephants, antelopes and samango monkeys.
4. The Bazarut Archipelago is the largest marine reserve in the Indian Ocean and home to 1200 species of fish.
5. The Mozambique flag is the only flag to feature a modern firearm, representing defense and vigilance. And it makes sense, given the fact that the AK-47 played an important role in Mozambique’s liberation from Portuguese rule.
6. Home to the Niassa Reserve where 8,000-year-old cave paintings have been found. The Niassa is 42,000 square kilometers of wilderness. Affected by the civil wars of the 1970s and 80s, the animal population is now in rebound, with thousands of buffalo and sable antelopes wandering the open savannah.