historic seaport situated at the mouth of the Sofala River on the coast of what was Portuguese East Africa, now Mozambique. Once the first town of the Portuguese possessions of eastern Africa, Sofala declined rapidly in importance after 1890, when Beira was established about 20 miles (30 km) north. Sofala's harbour, once capable of holding a hundred large ships, silted up and came to be obstructed by a bar
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