INHAMBANE, a seaport of Portuguese East Africa in 23 50' S., 35 25' E. The town, which enjoys a reputation for healthiness, is finely situated on the bank of a river of the same name which empties into a bay also called Inhambane. Next to Mozambique Inhambane, which dates from the middle of the 16th century, is architecturally the most important town in Portuguese East Africa. The chief buildings are the fort, churches and mosque. The principal church is built with stone and marble brought from Portugal. The population, about 4000 in 1009, is of a motley character: Portuguese and other Europeans, Arabs, Banyans, half-castes and negroes. Its commerce was formerly mostly in ivory and slaves. In 1834 Inhambane was taken and all its inhabitants save ten killed by a Zulu horde under Manikusa (see GAZALAND). It was not until towards the close of the 19th century that the trade of the town revived. The value of exports and imports in 1907 was about 150,000. The chief exports are wax, rubber, mafureira and other nuts, mealies and sugar. Cotton goods and cheap wines (for consumption by natives) are the principal imports. The harbour, about 9 m. long by 5 wide, accommodates vessels drawing 10 to 12 ft. of water. The depth of water over the bar varies from 17 to 28 ft., and large vessels discharge into and load from lighters. Inhambane is the natural port for the extensive and fertile district between the Limpopo and Sabi rivers. This region is the best recruiting ground for labourers in the Rand gold mines. Mineral oils have been found within a short distance of the port.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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