Macuti Shipwreck & Lighthouse in Beira, Mozambique

Macuti Lighthouse and Shipwreck during sunrise

photography by: Andrew Moore/ Flickr

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Nestled along the coast of the Indian Ocean, Beira is Mozambique’s fourth most populous city, whose major port serves as a gateway for several landlocked countries in Southern Africa. Away from the city’s hustle and bustle lies a defunct lighthouse, accompanied by the skeletal remains of a formerly iconic ship.

Overlooking the choppy waters of the Indian Ocean, a red-and-white-striped lighthouse now sits unassumingly in the coastal outskirts of Beira, Mozambique’s second largest port city. Apparently, the 28-meter-tall structure also has a close sidekick, a decades-old shipwreck which barely protrudes above the surface of the water during high tide.


Constructed in 1905, the lighthouse was originally painted with black and white horizontal stripes, and then in the 1930’s, its slender neck was entirely whitewashed. While the tower successfully guided vessels across the area for nearly a century, it has been abandoned for the last two decades or so. Despite its abandonment, though, the building was recently rejuvenated when an army of paint-armed workers covered its cylindrical torso with red and white stripes.


The nearby shipwreck, on the other hand, is a far later addition. In 1985, a Dutch tugboat by the moniker of Macuti was deliberately beached near the lighthouse so its bulky corpse would serve as a breakwater. Weirdly though, prior to its demise, the ship was regarded as a national icon and even featured on one of Mozambique’s postage stamps.


Since its intentional end, the vessel has been consumed by the elements and slowly but steadily dissipates with every day that passes. The surrounding beach is regularly frequented by locals and visitors alike, who in turn can wade around the shipwreck whenever the tide allows it.