Inhambane (pop. ~1,300,000) is a province of Mozambique located on the coast in the southern part of the country. The provincial capital is also called "Inhambane" (1997 pop. ~52,000).
The climate is tropical throughout, more humid along the coast and dryer inland. The coast has a number of mangrove swamps.
The town of Inhambane existed in the 10th century, and was the southernmost port used by Arabs for slave trading. The region was visited by Vasco da Gama in 1498, who claimed Imhambane Bay for Portugal. The Portuguese established a trading post at Inhambane in 1534.
The province is the second largest grower of cashews (after Nampula), and also produces coconut and citrus fruit (inspiring Mozambique's most famous poet Craveirinha to write of "The Tasty Tangerines of Inhambane"). The long coastline supports much fishing. The Inhambane Bay area is of some interest for tourism, with a number of beaches, and one of the last remaining populations of dugong in Mozambique.
Inhambane province consists of the following districts:
Stamps and postal history of Inhambane
As with several other districts of colonial Mozambique, the Portuguese government printed postage stamps specifically for Inhambane for several years. The first issue was for the 700th anniversary of St Anthony of Padua in 1895, the stamps being those of Mozambique overprinted "CENTENARIO / DE / S. ANTONIO / Inhambane / MDCCCXCV". This was followed up in 1903 by a regular set featuring a portrait of King Carlos and inscribed "IMHAMBANE". Between 1911 and 1917, revolution in Portugal resulted in a variety of "REPUBLICA" overprints. Subsequently Inhambane reverted to the use of the stamps of Mozambique.