Castelo do Mar can be found on the tip of the northern peninsula in the Bay of Inhambane. This area is called “Linga Linga”.
The Linga Linga area has much to offer in addition to the world-class fishing and diving, including excellent birding in the mangroves, a resident dugong “sirenian”, pristine tidal islets and long stretches of deserted beach. The peninsula is often referred to by the locals as an island because waters can rise over the sands at high tides, making access by road almost impossible. Castelo do Mar is of historical significance and has preserved remains of a Norwegian whaling station that dates back to around 1911 to 1915.
The town of Inhambane is roughly 478 kilometers north of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique and is accessible by road or plane. Covered by large palm plantations and famous for the production of cashews, coconuts and sweet tangerines, the province of Inhambane is one of the main tourism center hubs in Mozambique today. Inhambane is the capital city of the province and is more of a sleepy town rather than a capital city, but it has an intoxicating old world charm to it.
The town of Inhambane is one of the oldest towns in Mozambique dating back to the 10th century and the Arab traders. In 1498 Vasco do Gama landed with his ships just off the coast of Inhambane. When they reached land in inclement weather and approached a settlement, they were invited in the local Bitonga dialect to come out of the rain – ‘Bela khu Nyumbane’. The Portuguese thought they were being told the name of the region and so Inhambane got its present name.
Various side-walk cafes are dotted along the narrow streets and the bustling Central market is well worth a visit.
Linga Linga was the site of an old Norwegian whaling station. Whaling off Mozambique was initiated in 1987 by two Norwegian companies and this station was closed down in 1942. Part of the original building has been perserved and still remains today.