The first thing you discover when walking on the popular areas of Maputo is that the streets are a lively market. They sell absolutely everything, but the most abundant are the used shoes. If you have a pair or two of shoes that you carry find a spot on the street and wait for an interested party to buy them. Of course there are places where the sidewalks are crowded with shoes. There are miles of heels, shoes and slippers as organized regiments not let you pass. The best place to see this curious display is in the large square between Avenues 24 and Albert Luthuli Julho. Besides shoes you'll find a million things that will surely be more interesting. Best: saris, shawls, tunics and dresses from Mozambique to India.
It's impossible not to see them since the wonderful cotton fabrics are spread all over Baixa, in the neighbourhood of Maputo. The vendors of 'capulanas' (cuts of fabric worn as skirts by the Maputo women) carry their goods on their heads from one place to another, and are always surrounded by clients. Watching these women cluster around the fabrics is a fascinating experience. They don't normally speak Portuguese, but Ronga and Shangaan. The capulanas are incredibly beautiful and a spectacular quality of cotton. The designs are endless with vibrant colours. They are cheap, so you can't avoid the temptation and you end up buying a difficult amount to pack.