Ilha de Goa Light, Mozambique

Thanks to Tim Cowley for these photos of Ilha de Goa Light, taken on a visit during July 2005.


Photo copyright 2005 Tim Cowley; all rights reserved. Used by permission.

One of the oldest lighthouses of East Africa, Ilha de Goa guides ships to the old Portuguese colonial capital of Moçambique, the town for which the country is named. The heavy brick tower was first lit in 1876. At that time it was much shorter, about 19 m (62 ft) tall. The upper two stages, extending the tower by 12 m to a height 31 m (102 ft), were added in 1923 as part of an ambitious program to improve the lighting of the Mozambique coast. This effort is detailed in the 1931 pamphlet Lighthouse Development in Mozambique, 1908-1931, translated for us by Michel Forand.


Photo copyright 2005 Tim Cowley; all rights reserved. Used by permission.

In this photo the lighthouse is seen over a grave, probably the grave of one of the early keepers. The island of Goa is in the Indian Ocean about 5 km (3 mi) off the Moçambique waterfront. Plenty of tourists see the lighthouse from a distance, but closeup views like these are much less common.

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Posted August 31, 2005. Checked and revised September 26, 2014. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.