This coastal outpost is the last major town before the Rovuma River and the Tanzanian border. Like Palma, further north, it has become a focus for the lucrative natural-gas industry. Most local residents are Mwani (‘People of the Sea’) – a Swahili, and hence Muslim, people known for their textiles and silver craftsmanship, as well as for their rich song and dance traditions. Moçimboa da Praia does a brisk trade with Tanzania, both legal and illegal, and from here northwards a few words of Swahili will often get you further than Portuguese.
The town itself is long, stretching over several kilometres between the main road and the sea. In the upper section are a small market, several pensões (cheap pensions), a petrol station and the transport stand. About 2km east, near the water, are a few more places to stay, plus police and immigration, a lively fish market and the dhow port.