Traditionally a fishing community known for its basketry and mat weaving, Palma now rivals Tete as Mozambique's fastest-changing city. The reason: natural gas. Huge offshore gas fields were discovered in 2010 and foreign investors have been piling in with their chequebooks ever since. Several plush new hotels aimed at the gas industry have already opened, with more on the way.
The development is not without its problems. An 18,000-hectare 'gas city' is planned for the Palma area, but its roll-out has been hindered by a mixture of fluctuating world energy prices and controversial proposals to relocate large numbers of Palma's residents.
Palma sits on the coast nestled among coconut groves 45km south of the Tanzanian border. A melting pot of languages, with Makwe, Makonde, Mwani, Swahili and Portuguese all spoken, it doesn't hold many sights per se and is usually used as a staging post on the way to Tanzania.
Copy wright: Lonely Planet