1. It’s located in southeast Africa and is the 16th largest country on the continent.
2. Its capital and largest city is Maputo.
3. Major languages: Portuguese (official), Swahili, Mwani, Chewa, Tsonga, Makhuwa, Sena
4. Major ethnic groups: Makua, Sena, Shona, Tsonga, Shangaan
5. Major religions: Christianity (56%), Islam (18%), Traditional and other (8%), None (18%)
6. It was colonized for nearly 500 years, before gaining independence from Portugal in June 1975 after a long civil war.
7. Mozambique’s flag, adopted at independence, is full of symbolism. The feature colors of red, green, black and yellow were derived from the flags of the African National Congress in South Africa and FRELIMO, the Mozambican liberation movement party. The star stands for Marxism and internationalism, the book stands for the importance of education, the hoe stands for the country’s agriculture, and the AK-47 rifle stands for defiance and vigilance. It is the world’s only national flag with a modern weapon.
8. Some of the scenes from the movie Blood Diamond were shot in Maputo.
9. It has extensive natural resources, including aluminum, oil and natural gas, but it is one of the poorest and most undeveloped countries in the world.
10. Its tourism industry is small, but growing. Its natural beauty, beaches, national parks and wildlife reserves, cultural heritage and abundant seafood provide excellent eco-tourism opportunities for the adventurous.
11. It has the 4th longest coastline in Africa and numerous islands. The coast is 1,535 miles (2,470 km) long and is lined with beach towns. Popular destinations include Maputo, Inhaca Island, Ponta d’Ouro, Xai Xai beach, Tofo beach, Vilanculos, Bazaruto Archipelago, Inhambane, Ilha de Mozambique, Pemba and the Quirimbas islands.
12. It has some of the best coral reefs in the world, especially in the Bazaruto Archipelago. Over 1,200 species of fish have been identified there.
13. Gorongosa National Park, the Maputo Elephant Reserve, and Limpopo National Park provide wildlife safari experiences.
14. Things to do in Maputo include: the Central Market, the Train Station, FEIMA Arts and Crafts market, National Arts Museum, Casa do Ferro, Nucleo de Arte, Museum of Natural History, National Money Museum, and the Fundação Fernando Leite Couto Cultural Center.