Sofala is a province of Mozambique. It has an area of 68,018 km² and a population of approximately 1.5 million (2002). Beira is the capital of the province. The province is named for the ruined port of Sofala.
Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique. It lies in the central region of the country in Sofala Province, where the Pungue River meets the Indian Ocean. It had a population of 412,588 in 1997 and an estimated 546,000 in 2006. It holds the regionally-significant Port of Beira which acts as a gateway for both the central interior portion of the country as well as the land-locked nations of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.
During the colonial period Beira was noted for its large English-speaking population, one reminder of this is the former Grande Hotel near the shore of the Indian Ocean, which now lies in near-ruins, but is still occupied by around 1,000 poor Beirans.