Inhambane (ĭnˌyəmbănˈə) [key], city (1997 pop. 52,370), SE Mozambique, on Inhambane Bay, an inlet of Mozambique Channel on the Indian Ocean. It is a port, a provincial capital, and the center of an important agricultural region. The bay was discovered in 1498 by Vasco da Gama, who claimed it for Portugal. Inhambane developed as a trade center, notably for slaves and ivory. Sugar and coconut products are significant exports.