Destination Guides


Mozambique


General   Money   Entry Requirements   Health & safety   Weather   Embassies   Etiquette   Public Holidays   Attractions   Map  

Introduction

Vamizi Island ©vamizi.com

Situated on the southeastern coast of Africa, Mozambique has persevered through a violent civil war and terrible floods, and is emerging from a ruinous past to stake its claim once again as one of the jewels of Africa. A holiday in Mozambique provides a combination of glorious weather, gorgeous scenery, friendly people and great value for money, ensuring that this country is becoming an increasingly trendy destination for global travellers. In fact, Mozambique has become one of the most-visited countries in Africa in recent years, drawing around two million annual tourists to its welcoming shores.


The 1,500 miles (2,414km) of palm-fringed coastline is washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and graced with long white beaches, excellent coral reefs and strings of pristine islands. The idyllic Bazaruto archipelago, off the coast of the Inhambane province, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, consisting of four main islands that make up one of the most beautiful places on the continent. The islands offer a classic tropical getaway, with superb fishing, water sports, shaded beaches, surf, and a marine park offering outstanding diving and snorkelling opportunities.


Attracted by rumours of pearls in the 1700s, the Portuguese established the capital city of Maputo, formerly Lourenzo Marques, in the southern reaches of the country. It became one of the most stylish cities in Africa, with broad avenues lined with jacaranda and acacia trees, sidewalks paved with mosaics, tall buildings and a unique Mediterranean/African atmosphere that attracted a wealthy cosmopolitan crowd. The civil war left the city in a dismal state of disrepair, and although still tainted by shabbiness, Maputo is slowly recovering some of its former glory. Today the bustling capital reveals many Portuguese-style colonial buildings, and offers culture and old world charm along with numerous places to enjoy Mozambique's famous peri-peri prawns.


Lying just off the coast of Maputo is the popular Inhaca Island, which has extensive coral reefs, a fascinating maritime museum and a historical lighthouse. Most of the wildlife reserves are located in the central and southern parts of the country, with the exception of the important Niassa Reserve on the northern Tanzania border; and although they were largely decimated during the civil war, they are currently being restocked and improved, with large populations of elephant, buffalo and antelope. North of Maputo there are beautiful beaches, perfect for summer holidays, and a number of centres that offer some of the best fishing in the world, particularly the areas around Guinjata Bay and the Mozambique Channel.


Whether you're seeking a sun and sand beach holiday, or sport fishing and off-road adventures, warm and welcoming Mozambique will cater to your every desire.


Communications

The international dialling code for Mozambique is +258. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are also in use. Outgoing international calls, other than for South Africa, must go through the operator. Mobile phone GSM 900/1800 networks provide limited coverage in and around Maputo, Beira, some coastal locations and a few other isolated towns. Internet cafes are available in Maputo and other major tourist hubs.


Emergencies

Mozambique has no short emergency number. Travellers should have their embassy emergency number on hand, and look up local police numbers in each city or region.


Languages Spoken

Portuguese is the official language, and there are 13 main national languages spoken. English is taught in secondary schools, but is only spoken in the southern tourist regions.


Duty Free

Travellers to Mozambique may enter the country with the following items without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco, perfume for personal use, and 750ml of spirits or three standard bottles of wine. Drugs are strictly prohibited and a permit is required for firearms and ammunition.


Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. The rounded three-pin plug is common, particularly near the border with South Africa and in Maputo. Two pronged, round- and flat-pin plugs are also found.


Climate Info

The climate of Mozambique is typically tropical, with a wet season during the long summer, between October and March, and a dry season in the winter, from April to September. There is little variation of temperatures between the seasons, differences in climate being dependent mainly on altitude. The wet season brings the heaviest rain along the coast, and cyclones may be experienced during this period.


Mozambique's climate varies in different regions of the country, but generally the inland areas are slightly cooler and more humid than the coastal areas during the rainy season. Rainfall is generally heaviest between December and March. The southern parts of the country are generally drier and less tropical than the north, with temperatures along the coast averaging 80ºF (27ºC) during winter. The rainy season can get swelteringly hot and humid with average coastal temperatures of 88ºF (31ºC).


The best time to visit Mozambique is in the cooler, dry winter season between April and September, when it is sunny and the water is still pleasantly warm. The country is also a popular New Year's destination, particularly for South Africans, but those travelling in December and January should be prepared for rain.


Passport

All foreign passengers to Mozambique must hold return/onward tickets, the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, and proof of sufficient funds to cover their expenses while in the country. Until recently visitors of most nationalities could obtain a 30-day tourist visa on arrival in Mozambique, but visas can now no longer be purchased at points of entry and must be organised beforehand. Those visiting Mozambique from a country where there is no Mozambican diplomatic mission should be able to get a visa on arrival but this should be confirmed in advance. Note that a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter Mozambique, if arriving within six days of leaving or transiting through an infected area. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.


Entry Requirements

US citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after their arrival in Mozambique, with a minimum of three consecutive blank pages. A visa is required.

British citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after their arrival in Mozambique, with a minimum of three consecutive blank pages. A visa is required.

Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after their arrival in Mozambique, with a minimum of three consecutive blank pages. A visa is required.

Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after their arrival in Mozambique, with a minimum of three consecutive blank pages. A visa is required.

South African citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after their arrival in Mozambique. No visa is required.

Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after their arrival in Mozambique, with a minimum of three consecutive blank pages. A visa is required.

New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after their arrival in Mozambique, with a minimum of three consecutive blank pages. A visa is required.

Health

Health regulations in Mozambique require visitors to have a yellow fever certificate if travelling from infected areas. Malaria is a risk throughout the year across the country, and prophylactics are recommended, as well as precautions against mosquitoes. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid. Visitors who will be spending a lot of time outdoors and may be at risk of animal bites should consider a rabies vaccination.


Diseases caused by unsanitary conditions are common throughout the country, and untreated water should be considered unsafe to drink. Cholera and other water-borne diseases are prevalent during the rainy season. The government has declared tuberculosis (TB) a national emergency and it is expected to be a problem for the next 15 years.


Hospital facilities are generally poor in Mozambique, and outside the major cities of Maputo and Beira medical facilities are limited. Comprehensive medical insurance is essential and it is recommended that visitors carry personal medical supplies with them. Make sure that all medication is in its original packaging and accompanied by a signed and dated letter from a doctor, detailing what the medication is and why it is needed.


Safety

Safety is not an issue for most visitors to Mozambique, but tourists should remain vigilant at all times. Violent crime is on the increase, particularly in the major cities and tourist areas. Mugging, bag snatching, and pick-pocketing is fairly common, and visitors are advised to be alert in public places, to keep valuables out of sight, and to avoid walking anywhere at night. All visitors, especially women, should avoid walking alone on the beach, as beaches and offshore islands are not policed, and there have been several rapes and attacks on tourists.


Visitors are advised that it is extremely risky to wander off well-travelled paths and roads, as a few unexploded landmines still lie scattered about the southern parts of the country. Local information should be sought before going off-road outside provincial capitals.


Remain vigilant when driving, as traffic accidents are common due to the poor condition of the roads, and car-jackings are on the increase as well. Many roads can become impassable in the rainy season (November to April), when there is also a risk of cyclones. Overland travel after dark is not recommended, and travellers should be especially alert when driving near the Mozambique-South African border. Police checkpoints are common, where foreigners may be at risk of harassment. There have been many reports of police attempting to solicit bribes, but travellers should insist on a written citation that can be paid at a police station.


Emergency Phone Number

Mozambique has no short emergency number. Travellers should have their embassy emergency number on hand, and look up local police numbers in each city or region.



* For current safety alerts, please visit Foreign travel advice - GOV.UK or Travel.State.Gov

Money

The official currency is the Mozambican Metical (MZN), which is divided into 100 centavos. In the southern parts of the country, South African Rands, US Dollars and Pounds Sterling are often also accepted to pay for accommodation. Credit cards are accepted in some upmarket hotels in Maputo, but card facilities throughout the rest of the country are limited; it is advisable to carry cash. ATMs are scarce and tend to be unreliable, but local banks have branches in most cities.


Exchange Rate

Not available.

Embassies of Mozambique

Mozambique Embassy, Washington DC, United States (also responsible for Canada): +1 202 293 7146.


Mozambique High Commission, London, United Kingdom: +44 (020) 7383 3800.


Mozambique Honorary Consulate, Sydney, Australia: +61 2 9669 1099.


Mozambique High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 401 0300.




Foreign Embassies in Mozambique

United States Embassy, Maputo: +258 21 492 797.


British High Commission, Maputo: +258 21 356 000.


Canadian High Commission, Maputo: +258 21 492 623.


Australian Consulate, Maputo: +258 21 498 778.


South African High Commission, Maputo: +258 21 243 000.


Irish Embassy, Maputo: +258 (0)1 491 440.


New Zealand High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa (also responsible for Mozambique): +27 (0)12 435 9000.


Customers

Identity documents should be carried at all times. Taking photographs of public buildings is prohibited by law. Drug offences are taken very seriously, and can receive long jail terms and heavy fines.


Business

Mozambique has largely been cut off from foreign investment, and has only in recent years started opening up to the worldwide business community. Conducting business in Mozambique can be difficult, as many people only speak Portuguese or their own ethnic language. Translators may be hard to come by, and most are found in Maputo.


Generally, business in Mozambique follows the Portuguese model in terms of business etiquette; punctuality is important, and dress is usually conservative (though lightweight materials are recommended). Business associates should be addressed by their professional titles unless otherwise stated, and meetings generally start and end with a handshake. Men and women may shake hands, but any additional physical contact will be interpreted as romantic interest.


Business hours are usually 7.30am or 8am to 12.30pm, and 2pm to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.


Tipping

Tipping has become standard practice in Mozambique, particularly in tourist areas where a tip of about 10 percent is expected in restaurants.


Public Holidays in Mozambique

20172018
New Years Day1 Jan1 Jan
Heroes Day3 Feb3 Feb
Womens Day7 Apr7 Apr
Workers Day1 May1 May
Independence Day25 Jun25 Jun
Victory Day7 Sep7 Sep
Armed Forces Day25 Sep25 Sep
Peace Day4 Oct4 Oct
Christmas Day25 Dec25 Dec

Overview

A laid-back, friendly and comparatively very safe tourist destination in East Africa, Mozambique offers visitors numerous things to see and do, as well as dozens of stunning tropical beaches that are perfect for just lazing around on. For beach holidays, Mozambique is arguably the best destination in Africa. It is also widely lauded as one of the best destinations in the world for scuba diving and game fishing, and its colourful and well-preserved coral reefs and clear, warm waters attract plenty of snorkellers and honeymooners.


See the enormous sand dunes and freshwater lakes of Bazaruto Island, or visit Benguerra Island's forests and wetlands. History enthusiasts will enjoy the historic lighthouse on Inhaca Island and a number of UNESCO-listed cultural attractions, but the country is known mainly for its beach resorts and ocean activities. Other attractions include Africa's second largest artificial lake, Cahora Bassa, and 'the place where Noah parked his Ark', Gorongosa National Park. The north of the country offers some amazing wilderness areas. Go horse riding on the beach in Vilanculos, or scuba diving in its turquoise waters, and take a trip on a Pemba Bay dhow. Ponta d'Ouro, in the south, is good for swimming with dolphins, or surfing one of the most perfect waves in the world.


Map of Mozambique



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