Mozambique: travel books to read before you go

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This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Mozambique guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip.

Zombie CucumbersKalashnikovs and Zombie Cucumbers: Travels in Mozambique (1995) by Nick Middleton – part travelogue and part historical overview – is a highly entertaining read, covering everything from colonial times and the war, to aid and development.

With Both Hands WavingWith Both Hands Waving: A Journey Through Mozambique (2003) by Justin Fox is another insightful and often humorous look at Mozambique in the early 1990s.

Mozambique MysteriesLisa St Aubin de Terán’s Mozambique Mysteries (2007) is as much about the author as it is about Mozambique, but it offers insight into a little-visited corner of the country.

Empires of the MonsoonEmpires of the Monsoon (1998) by Richard Seymour Hall is a scholarly yet easy-to-read book, which covers a broad historical and geographical sweep, including Mozambique, and gives an excellent overview of the influences shaping coastal cultures.

A Complicated WarA Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique (1993) by William Finnegan examines the roots of Mozambique’s civil war through a series of vivid close-ups on various areas of the country, and is essential reading for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the country’s post-colonial era.

At the Mercy of the RiverPeter Stark’s At the Mercy of the River (2005) is an adventurous read before visiting the Niassa Reserve.

The Last Flight of the FlamingoAlthough not travel literature as such, any of the novels of Mia Couto, Mozambique’s foremost author, make an excellent introduction to the country. Two to start with are The Last Flight of the Flamingo (2004) and Sleepwalking Land (2006).

More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.