Mozambique

Cahora & Tete

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The Mission of Saint José de Boroma

The Mission of Saint José de Boroma

The Mission of Saint José de Boroma
GIGI GUIMBEAU

Resting languidly upon a dusty hill, the impressive edifice watches knowingly over the Zambezi rushing by below. Bearing witness to years of abandonment and neglect, its walls are stained a dusty grey and the glass of its eerie windows was shattered long ago.

Yet, from within, comes the joyous singing of a Sunday morning church service. This is the Mission of Saint José de Boroma, one of the oldest remaining man-made structures in 
the Tete region.

Founded in the mid 1880’s by Jesuit missionaries, this magnificent historical monument was once well known for its carpentry training centre, highly respected school and majestic church. If you visit on a Sunday, or are lucky enough to find the caretaker present to let you inside, you will be privileged to witness the colourful fresco paintings that remain preserved within the chapel.

Having been deserted for many years, new life is slowly being breathed back in to the mission. Regular services are held in the church, Boroma high school conducts its classes within the mission buildings, and you will find refreshments for sale in the village on the banks of the river below. It is also possible to camp nearby.

Boroma village is only 25 kms northwest of Tete. However, there is no tarred road between Tete and Boroma so it is likely to take you roughly an hour to get there.

Attempting the route in a sedan is not recommended, and in the rainy season four wheel drive is a must. With some patience, more adventurous travellers will find pickup trucks leaving for Boroma from the market on the edge of Tete. For a minimal fee you can catch a ride, but don’t expect a comfortable one.

Regardless of how you choose to get there, the evidence of the former glory of the Mission of Saint José de Boroma makes it well worth the effort.

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Cahora & Tete

Read more from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 06, Sept 2011)