Fort of São Sebastião

Northern Mozambique

The island’s northern end is dominated by the massive Fort of São Sebastião – the oldest complete fort still standing in sub-Saharan Africa and, arguably, the finest military building on the continent. Construction began in 1558 and took 62 years. The fort has withstood numerous Dutch, British and Omani bids to diminish it. While the structure remains in a pretty unkempt state, with little explanatory information, it size and aura, along with the views from its battlements, are awe-inspiring.

Just beyond the fort, at the island’s tip and accessed via the fort entrance, is the tiny Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, built in 1522 and the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere.