Weekend: Maputo, scent of flowers

There are images that enter your soul and decide never to leave. This shot recall all the meaning of your journey, and the only remembrance of them allows you to experience once again taste and colours that kept you company for a week’s experience in Mozambique, and imperceptibly traced a sign on you. It is not my intention to show you this image, but it is with an image that I want to describe a city: flowers.

In a busy town with a big amount of smog, chaotic markets and spinning machines, the eyes, although distracted by the many colours surrounding us, are fixed on these guys who in the street do not offer cigarettes, but beautiful bouquets of flowers.

That’s how Maputo welcomes us, on a cool evening in August. And it is great to discover, among the new skyscrapers that sway in the center, an old colonial house transformed into a place to welcome us travellers, with its spacious rooms and its canopied beds. Mozambique’s discovery for us is not only made of colours, but of flavours and scents.

Garlic is the king of Mozambique cuisine and perhaps only appreciating it gets you closer to the local culture, if it is true that we are what we eat. This, which wants to be a little garlic praise, dedicated to those who do not appreciate garlic, just want to warn that Mozambique cuisine is great, is definitely exalted by the use of this ingredient , to the scent of which you get used to it quickly, and which makes it possible to transform bread, squid, clams, into delicious dishes to which it is difficult to give up (but do not worry if you are allergic to garlic, as all dishes can be prepared garlic free).

Dried prawns at the Maputo Municipal Market.

Maputo is a big city, that deserves a bit of our time to get used to, to stroll in its historic center, where you can find delicious views, inviting you to sit down for a cup of coffee and to observe the life of a city where they are old and there are new; there is wealthy and there is poor.

It’s so while you are bargaining at the Mercado Central to buy a box of dried shrimp, see crossing the other side of the road elegant ladies and business man, it almost doesn’t seem to be in Africa, if it wasn’t for the wink of our seller, capturing  your attention, trying to convince you that his is the right price.

Our time spent in Maputo is short, but enough to visit the places that have made the city’s history: the market, the station, the revolution square, and the elephant’s house, a triumph of colours.

The Deco architecture enriches this beautiful decadent city. We also choose a walking tour through Mafalala bairro focuses on exploring the area’s rich historical and cultural roots. It includes a stop at a local curandeiro (healer) and a traditional dance performance. Highly recommended.

by Nunzio DeNigris


 

Torino native Nunzio De Nigris felt in love with Africa in the early 1990’s when traveling around the region on photographic expeditions. In 2009 while driving down from South Africa to North of Mozambique, he first visited the “Poelela” Lagoon in Inharrime, in southern Mozambique on the shores of country coastal lakes. He invested in what was them a small project under construction which later became known as the “Lagoa Poelela Resort”, an unpretentious boutique hotel catering for discerning travellers looking to explore the beauty  and wildness of Mozambique. Nunzio often design bespoke experiences according to each of his guests.

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