The bay is the northern termination of the series of lagoons which line the coast from [[Saint Lucia Bay]]. The opening is toward the N.E. The southern part of the bay is formed by a peninsula, called the [[Inyak]] peninsula, which on its inner or western side affords safe anchorage. At its N.W. point is [[Port Melville]]. North of the peninsula is [[Inyak Island]], and beyond it a smaller island known as [[Elephants Island]].
In spite of a bar at the entrance and a number of shallows within, Maputo Bay forms a valuable harbour, accessible to large vessels at all seasons of the year. The surrounding country is low and very unhealthy, but the island of Inyak has a height of 240 ft., and is used as a sanatorium. A river 12 to 18 ft. deep, known as the [[Manhissa]] or [[Komati]], enters the bay at its northern end; several smaller streams, the [[Matola]], the [[Umbeluzi]], and the [[Tembi]], from the [[Lebombo Mountains]], meet towards the middle of the bay in the estuary called by the Portuguese the Espirito Santo, but generally known as the English river; and the [[Maputo River|Maputo]], which has its headwaters in the [[Drakensberg]], enters in the south, as also does the [[Umfusi]] river. These rivers are the haunts of the [[hippopotamus]] and the [[crocodile]].