Sofala is a former trade and port city in present-day Mozambique in the same named province of Sofala. The majority of the old city today is flooded by the sea. Today, insignificant fishing village of Nova Sofala ( New Sofala ) is slightly higher. Here you will find only a few ruins of the old town.
The place is located about 30 km south of Beira, on the same bay. Here ends the Pungwe in the Mozambique Channel.
The city was probably founded in the 9th century and became a harbor, was collected from which the gold of Munhumutapa Empire and then transported to the north, in importance. Sofala was the southernmost port in Africa, anliefen the Arab and African traders regularly with their merchant ships. At times, the place was under the control of Kilwa.
In the early 16th century, the town was conquered by the Portuguese, who in 1505 built a fortress here. With the establishment of Beira in 1871 Sofala lost its importance. From the stones of the Portuguese fortress, all of which were imported from Portugal 1505-1512, the Cathedral of Beira ( Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora do Rosário ) was built in the 20th century.
In the 19th century ended in Sofala, the infamous " Sofala Path", a footpath across the bush of Mozambique, on the " Crook 's Corner " had its beginning, the tri-border region of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The area on the Limpopo River, which is known for its abundance of game today, then pulled on poachers and outlaws, where the plots of the police had no other choice, as they could quickly take refuge in one of the neighboring countries. Probably the most famous of them was Cecil Barnard, also known under the pseudonym Bvekenya. The book The "Ivory Trail " describes its history. The captured in excessive poaching rhino horn, ivory and other trophies were placed on the bush trail to Sofala and embarked here.