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Zavala District

Geographical Location
Zavala is a district of Mozambique located in the southern province of Inhambane. It has geographical boundaries, with the northern districts of Panda and Inharrime, east and south by the Indian Ocean and west to the Manjacaze district of Gaza province.

Area and Population
The Zavala district has an area of 2011 square kilometers and a population of 139,145, according to preliminary results of the 2007 Census, resulting in a population density of 69.19 inhabitants / km². The population recorded in 2007 represents an increase of 10.2% compared to 126 730 inhabitants registered in the 1997 Census.

Source of Income
Agriculture is the dominant activity and involves the majority of local households. The main food crops of the family sector are maize, cassava, peanuts and beans. The most important livestock in the district, for the consumption of households and marketing are chickens and goats.

Zavala Located roughly 130km northeast of Xai-Xai on the EN1, Quissico is the capital of the Zavala district of Inhambane. It is the first major town when entering Inhambane province from the south. Quissico is famous for; 1) the large serene lagoon and 2) it is the home of the famed 'timbila' instrument, and hosts an annual timibila festival on the last weekend of August, where dozens of orchestras, or teams with accompanying dancers perform for the thousands that converge for this exciting festival.

The 'timbila' is a type of traditional wooden marimba made of long rows of wooden slats carved from the slow-growing mwenje (sneezewood) tree with resonant bowl. To provide variation of pitch and depth, gourds of varying sizes are attached to the bottom of these slats. The 'timbila' is hand-made, and the skills and techniques are handed down from master to disciple over the generations.

The size of the performing orchestra may vary, however, up to 20 or more instruments of varying sizes and ranges, singers and dancers, rattle or shaker players and synchronize a single composition with movements. . Rhythms are complex, often demanding that the players master different beats simultaneously with each hand.

Although you may not be able to plan your visit for the festival, a rest stop at Quissico to take in the view of the beautiful lagoon is worth it. There is a view point area where many visitors stop to take pictures of the scenery.

Zavora Beach
Roughly 55km north of Quissico and about 80km south of Inhambane town you will find Zavora Beach. Zavora has two very long, accessible reef systems. The 'deep reef' system runs parallel to the coast approximately to the coast approximately 10km off shore. Multiple dive sites have been identified on this system, varying in average depth from 24 to 45 meters. This reef system is quite literally packed with marine life, with enormous shoals of game fish, Manta Ray cleaning stations and an extremely healthy shark population, including Bull, Tiger, Dusky and Blacktip sharks. Humpback whales are sighted from the shore during the months of June to November. Occasionally Eagle and Manta Rays burst from the surface in brief flights as well as the streamlined and graceful Sailfish. Dolphins are regularly seen feeding and playing in the bay.

It is said that Zavora is recognized to be one of the best fishing areas in Mozambique and is frequented by many avid fishermen and women. Launching is done from the bay that is protected by a reef. This reef also creates a natural tidal pool that is excellent for snorkeling and swimming.

Away from the sea, quad bike excursions to the inland lakes are an experience not to be missed.

Quissico
Located roughly 130km northeast of Xai-Xai on the N1, Quissico is the capital of the Zavala district of Inhambane. It is the first major town when entering Inhambane province from the south. Quissico is famous for; 1) the large serene lagoon and 2) it is the home of the famed 'timbila' instrument, and hosts an annual timibila festival on the last weekend of August, where dozens of orchestras, or teams with accompanying dancers perform for the thousands that converge for this exciting festival.

The 'timbila' is a type of marimba or xylophone made of long rows of wooden slats carved from the slow-growing mwenje (sneezewood) tree. To provide variation of pitch and depth, gourds of varying sizes are attached to the bottom of these slats. The 'timbila' is hand-made, and the skills and techniques are handed down from master to disciple over the generations.

The size of the orchestra performing may vary, however, up to 20 or more instruments of varying sizes and ranges, singers and dancers, rattle or shaker players and a single composition with movements similar to those of a Western-style classical symphony are performed. Rhythms are complex, often demanding that the players master different beats simultaneously with each hand.

Although you may not be able to plan your visit for the festival, a rest stop at Quissico to take in the view of the beautiful lagoon is worth it. There is a view point area where many visitors stop to take pictures of the scenery.

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