The Port of Beira is situated on the Pungoe river estuary. It is the second largest port in Mozambique with 12 quays. Beira has always been essentially a transit port, handling the import and export cargoes from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and other countries in the region. The Beira Corridor has a road and railway connection to Zimbabwe.
The city was founded in 1891. It has become a real hub and a good place to arrange formalities etc. before you move on. The town has banks, hotels, restaurants and some interesting shops. One of the most interesting landmarks is the Cathedral of Beira constructed in part using stone from the historic sixteenth-century fort of Sofala. Apparently Sofalas fort of San Gaetano, erected between 1505 and 1512 from imported Portuguese stone, was one of the first structures built by white men in Southern Africa. The fort was on the southern side of the Pungwe River and like the rest of Sofala has now been flooded by water.
The most fashionable part of town is Macuti Beach, with its famous lighthouse. Some of the more expensive accommadation is in bad need of repair, however. Beira is a good base for going to the Grand etang forest reserve.