Bruce Marais recently completed a 4-week, 10-country drive through Africa, from Kenya south to Cape Town. There were many surprises along the way, but Mozambique surprised him and his travel companions the most. And especially the capital city. “In the 14 years since I was last in Maputo,” he  writes, “the city has developed incredibly. The suburbs are growing and the inner city has kept most of its colonial Portuguese charm.”

His photographs give you just a taste of what’s in store for you.

Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
The view from the Polana Hotel. Reminds me a bit of Lima, Peru.
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
Bottles of homemade peri-peri everywhere.
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
The iconic Beaux Arts Maputo Railway Station, opened in 1916.
railway station Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
One of the most beautiful stations in the world.
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
New buildings going up in Maputo, a very good sign.
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
Funky coffee shops…
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
…with very trendy young women. Who also gave great recommendations.
hotel polana
The pool at the Polana Serena, a real classic opened in 1922 and backed by South African mining tycoon Solly Joel.
hotel polana Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
Sometimes in road trips you have to spoil yourself a little.
waterfront Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
The new bridge between Maputo and Catembe that has recently opened and dramatically shortens travel time to KwaZulu-Natal. It looks like the Ponte de 25 Abril in Lisbon!.
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
Old Portuguese architecture still in good nick.
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
The food, especially the seafood and the peri-peri chicken, make up some of my favorite foods in the world.
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
Loved this old door, years and years of layers.
railway station Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
The train platform in Maputo station.
railway station Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
14 years ago the station was light green and white, but I like the new darker green.
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
The work of Portuguese architect Pancho Guides offers a perfect reason to explore the city. Near the railway station is Prédio Abreu.
moque Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
The Jumma Masjid mosque in downtown.
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
Outdoor cafes and Portuguese bakeries have exploded around the city.
Mozambique maputo bruce marais travel africa
Fancy little French bakeries, upmarket delicatessens, designer supermarkets, it’s all happening in Maputo!