By Candice de Beer
With the opening of the Maputo-Catembe Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in Africa, and Maputo Waterfront development, an urban regeneration project, underway Mozambique’s capital is set to become a world-class travel destination.
As one of the most beautiful countries in Africa it is heartening to see the positive changes taking place in Maputo. The country’s capital is famed for its vibrant nightlife and welcoming people. Strolling through the streets the sounds of Afro-Brazilian funk music waft through the air, and its pavements are packed with hawkers and kiosks selling their wares. Finding a bite to eat or a trinket to take home is never difficult. And getting lost – virtually impossible, the city is so well signposted! If for some reason you still can’t find your way the locals are a wealth of knowledge always willing to help a visitor out.
Despite this energetic, lively atmosphere, the previously dilapidated buildings were a reflection of the years of hardship which Maputo endured. And yet, with the implementation of the urban renewal project, this once rundown and neglected inner-city is slowly being transformed into a chic and alluring upmarket tourist destination.
Think Cape Town Waterfront, only in Maputo.
Construction of the 83 000 m² Maputo Bay Waterfront – which comprises office parks, retail, residential and leisure developments – is underway. Once complete, it is expected to substantially boost the economy and more importantly re-energise and cultivate a renewed sense of pride in the locals.
The dense mixed use urban village which overlooks the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, an evergreen park and the old city, will attract investment to the area, create jobs and draw tourists from around the globe.
But this is not the only new development to get excited about.
Maputo-Catembe Bridge opens soons
Construction of the 3 km long Maputo-Catembe Bridge is imminent. In fact, according to Dean Swanepoel (Quality Manager and Senior Materials Engineer at Gauff Engineering) the bridge is expected to open on 25 June 2018 – just in time for Independence Day celebrations.
This new suspension bridge, which is the largest in Africa and links Maputo to the Catembe district, cost a jaw dropping US$735 million. But this was money well spent. Currently travel between the city and Catembe district requires boarding a ferry and crossing Maputo Bay. Unfortunately, for many frustrated travellers, the ferry frequently breaks down causing considerable delays. As you might imagine, this could be nerve wracking for passengers aboard the ferry in open water.
With the opening of the new bridge, not only will time spent travelling between the capital and many of the countries favourite tourism destinations be dramatically reduced, but it will also provide a safer and more comfortable journey.
Added to this, construction of two main roads in the district is underway. One will link Catembe to Ponta do Oure and the other to Bela Vista. For visitors to the country, popular resorts and scenic hotspots will now be far more accessible. And with further plans to implement an urbanisation project in underdeveloped parts of the Catembe district, Mozambique is truly set to become Africa’s next top travel destination.