In 1967 the Portuguese, in the face of Frelimo’s growing disenchantment with colonial rule, established Nampula as their main military base. Its location on the important Nacala–Malawi railway and on the north–south overland route contributed to attach to Nampula the label: ‘capital of the north’. Despite its isolation it is an important service centre for the surrounding area and provides essential amenities. Diesel and petrol (unleaded now readily obtainable) are available, there is cellphone reception, supermarkets and a wide range of accommodation. Because LAM, TransAirways and Air Corridor scheduled flights land here regularly and there are daily trains from Cuamba (near Malawi), Nampula has become the traveller’s hub of the north. It has a hospital, public telephones, migração (visa extensions) and a well-stocked municipal market. The Clube CVFM (Railway Club) is even able to offer a swimming pool with clean water, though they do tend to charge the earth for the privilege of using it.