The long-awaited Maputo-Catembe Bridge in Mozambique was officially launched on Nov. 10 and has been recognized as the longest suspension bridge in Africa and one of the 60 largest in the world.

The bridge has made southern Mozambique a lot more accessible to travelers from around the world. For example, it dramatically shortens the drive from Maputo Airport to the White Pearl Resorts from a bumpy five-hour ride to a much smoother 90-minute trek.

Cordelia Masher, managing director at White Pearl Resorts, said: "Until now a time-efficient transfer to White Pearl has only been possible by chartering a private helicopter. The improved infrastructure means that it will not only be much quicker and easier to access Mozambique's coast but also much more affordable. The potential to lure more tourists is high given the unique wildlife experiences and eco-attractions this part of the country has to offer."

The new infrastructure will also link the capital city of Maputo with the South African province of Kwazulu-Natal. The ease of access is expected to transform the coastal region southeast of Maputo to a popular beach destination in southern Africa.

"The bridge is a game changer," said Natalie Tenzer-Silva, director at Dana Tours, a Maputo-based operator and destination management company. "It links KwaZulu-Natal with Maputo without going via Swaziland, making it even easier for travelers to get between the two countries.

"Bush and beach breaks are now even more accessible between the beaches of Maputo and bush getaways in Mkuze, Hluhluwe and Umfolozi... [while] a daytrip to Ponta do Ouro, a journey which in the past took four hours, will now only take 90 minutes," she explained.

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