Portuguese is the official language in Mozambique.
newspapers are published in Portuguese and a limited national
radio network broadcasts in Portuguese and in local languages.
DSTV satellite television with more than 50 regional and international
channels is available privately and in many hotels.
The unit of currency in Mozambique is the Meticais. Bank notes
are in very high denominations. At present new Metacais notes
are being issued – these are 1 000 times the value of
the old notes. In other words, 1 000 new Metacais are worth
1 000 000 old Metacais. The notes are very different but be
hours in most centres are 08h15 to l Mondays to Fridays. Banks
are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
United States Dollar and the South African Rand are the most
acceptable foreign currency to carry and can be exchanged
in commercial banks in large towns and cities.
currency at a hotel will usually involve the charging of a
higher commission than at a bank. When converting foreign
currency you will be required to show your passport.
not exchange money with the locals at the border – you
will be cheated. Exchange at the Bureau de Change at Komatipoort
(opens at 07:00) or at a bank in Inhambane.
hotels, shops and restaurants in cities and towns and most
resorts accept valid, international credit cards. MasterCard
and Visa are accepted for payment. However, carry some cash
with you in case.
The hot rainy season is from November through to end March.
The winters are mild which many guests prefer (May through
to July) because of the lower incidence of malaria. The average
max temperature in centigrade in summer (Oct - Mar) is 30º
and in winter (May — Aug) 20º.
Holders of passports from outside SADC countries will require
a visa. Two passport photographs are required when entering
Mozambique for the first time. Your passport must be valid
for 6 months after your departure from the country. A visa
can be obtained from Mozambique consulates around the world
and in South Africa. Allow 7 days for processing.
can be obtained at certain border posts – this will
be at a higher cost.
air arrivals must be in possession of a valid return ticket;
failing which the equivalent cost of the airfare must be deposited
must be able to prove that they have sufficient funds to cover
their stay in the country.
If you enter Mozambique in your own vehicle you must have
the vehicle registration papers and the papers of any trailer
or caravan you are towing. If you are driving a vehicle or
towing a trailer that is not yours you must obtain a letter
of authorisation from the registered owner. This also applies
to hire cars. If your vehicle is still under an instalment
sale agreement (hire purchase or lease) it is a good idea
to obtain a letter of acknowledgment of your trip from the
finance company. You should also check that your vehicle insurance
policy covers you for Mozambique.
to carry the vehicle registration papers and your valid driving
licence at all times, otherwise your vehicle could be impounded.
It is advisable to carry insurance papers, letters of authorisation
and your passport and ID Book, just in case.
is recommended that you make copies of all documents and take
these with you. Keep these in a separate place from the originals.
You will need to purchase 3rd party insurance (see ‘At
the Border’ below) either before your journey or at
the border. You should carry this in the vehicle at all times.
you are towing you must attach a triangle at the front of
the vehicle and on the back of the trailer or caravan. Buy
special Mozambique triangles before your departure. Stickers
may also be used.
Diving is on the left and most cars are right hand drive.
Most roads are in reasonable condition but outside of the
main towns or away from the main roads conditions may deteriorate.
To get to many of the resorts you will need a 4x4 vehicle
or must arrange to be collected from a central point.
you intend travelling on soft sand make sure you deflate tyre
pressures to around 1 bar and have a tyre pump/compressor
and pressure gauge with you.
speed limit is 120km/h on national roads and 60km/h in built
up areas. If you are in a built up area and you do not see
speed restriction signs it is advisable to slow to 60km/h
until you are out of town. Speed restriction signs, when erected,
are prominent. Some end of restriction signs are three diagonal
lines on a white background.
Note. Many South African and foreign travellers have been
harassed and extorted by Mozambican traffic officials. If
stopped do not be aggressive or hand over any official documentation
i.e. passports, ID documents, drivers licence etc. Show them
but at all times retain possession of them.
is advisable to not drive at night or, if you do so, to be
on the lookout for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles with
no lights. Look out for cattle, horses and other animals.
Many local drivers will signal right when approaching another
car at night. This can be disconcerting but in fact means
that they are showing you the part of their vehicle which
is closest to you.
there are potholes in the roads try to avoid the worst ones
but be careful of other traffic.
Travel and Public Transport
The road network is poorly developed. Access to Maputo
from the South African border, north up the coast as far as
Vilankulo and from Beira to the Zimbabwe border is possible
with a normal two wheel drive vehicle as these roads have
been rehabilitated, although some damage to these roads have
been caused by the flooding of 2001. It is advisable to use
a 4X4 vehicle in all other areas of the country. It is recommended
that visitors make use of established tour operators operating
in Mozambique due to the poorly developed national and tourist
transport is practically non-existent although various buses
run up the coast. These services are improving all the time.
Taxi services are available in the larger cities which can
be booked by hotel staff or at airports. Trains and luxury
inter-city coaches run between Maputo and Johannesburg in
At the South African side:
- Complete a temporary export document, have it
stamped and then proceed to
immigration with your papers.
At the Mozambican side:
- Purchase 3rd Party Insurance at the insurance
table or at one of the booths
- Proceed to the customs desk, present your temporary
expory permit and pay
- You may import the following goods: per person
– groceries to the value of
$ 200.00, 5 litres of wine, 1 litre of spirits
- Do not exchange money with the locals at the
border – you will be cheated.
Exchange at the Bureau de Change at Komatipoort (opens at
07:00) or at a bank in Inhambane.
Boat launch license and fishing permits are available in Inhambane.
Spear fishing of bottom fish is punishable with fines of up
to 10 000 000 Meticais (R3 000).
TO BRING WITH YOU
Meat (vacuum packed) and dairy products; Insect repellent.
PLEASE SUPPORT THE ECONOMY BY PURCHASING BASIC FOODSTUFFS
Banking hours in most centres are O8hl5 to 12h00 and are closed
on Saturday and Sunday. Shops and businesses close for siesta
between 12h00 and 14h00 and are closed on Sundays.
businesses and shops are open between 14h00 and 18h00 on Mondays
and 08h30 and 13h00 and 15h00 and 18h30 on other weekdays
and Saturday. Shops and businesses are closed on Sundays.
Curios can be purchased from street traders and at flea-markets
in a more informal shopping environment.
Visitors are responsible for their own medical needs and it
is advisable to carry comprehensive medical insurance including
emergency medical evacuation cover.
Hospital services are generally poor and often non-existent
in rural or more remote regions of the country. Chemists/pharmacies,
private doctors and other medical practitioners are available
in large towns and cities. Hospitals are listed under “H”
and private doctors and medical practitioners under “medical
practitioners” in telephone directories.
Malaria is endemic to the entire country. Suitable precautions
and the use of Prophylactics are recommended for visitors
to these areas. There are a number of excellent mosquito repellents
available, which are applied directly to the skin or clothes
in the evening. Most luxury hotels and lodges have mosquito
nets over the beds in their rooms.
HIV/Aids is widespread in Mozambique and it is recommended
that visitors do not engage in any high-risk sexual or drug-related
activities; which may cause exposure to the disease. Condoms
are available in the larger towns and cities however a thorough
inspection before use may be prudent and it is possibly advisable
to bring your own.
Tap water should be considered unsafe to drink. Bottled mineral
water is widely available.
A modern and efficient telephone service is available in towns
and cities across the country.
national and international dialling is possible.
Mozambican food reflects the agricultural products of the
country. Superb seafood products feature prominently. Maputo
boasts a wide variety of restaurants featuring most of the
prominent cuisine varieties of the world.
Cashew nuts are plentiful in season and are superb but beware
of weights when buying at the roadside. Naartjies (tangerines)
are also very tasty and cheap. You can also buy prawns, crayfish,
crabs, calamari and linefish from the fishermen, traders or
at the market. The sellers will often clean and prepare the
Coconuts and coconut water are also available. Local vegetables
and fruits are available at the markets.
Beers and spirits are readily available with most international
brands represented. There are several really good local beers.
Wines are generally imported from South Africa and elsewhere.
Tap water should be considered unsafe to drink. Bottled mineral
water is widely available. Locally brewed beer is of good
quality. South African wines of superb quality are available
in most restaurants in Maputo and at reasonable prices.
Tipping for service is standard practice in Mozambique and
is usually 10% in restaurants and about US$1 per item for
hotel porters; cleaners and maids in hotels and Lodges usually
get between US$1 and US$2 per day.
your trip it is likely that you will come into contact with
tour guides. Tipping in this instance ranges between US$4
and US$5 per person per day. Tipping is only recommended if
you are satisfied with the service you have received and is
entirely at your own discretion.
The Mozambique power grid uses 220/240 volts AC 50 Hertz,
Wall sockets (round and square 3 pin) are rated to carry a
maximum of 15 amps. It is important to carry a 3 pin round
and square adapter, as this is unobtainable in Moçambique.
Direct flights from Johannesburg and Harare and a service
from Lisbon, Portugal are the only effective links to the
outside world. The internal airline links Maputo with Beira,
Nampula, Pemba and Lichinga.
flights from Europe, North and South America, Australia, the
Far East and the Middle East provide easy access to Mozambique
via Johannesburg in South Africa. Visitors can also make use
of private air charter networks, which connect all areas in
Mozambique and the southern African region.
Although Mozambique has a relatively low level of crime with
most offences involving petty thieving, the poor economy in
the country is resulting in an escalation of more serious
crime and it is important that the visitor is aware of the
- Certain inner city areas are unsafe and should
be avoided, especially after dark.
This applies in particular to Maputo and Beira.
- Avoid lonely and deserted areas in the city,
especially after dark.
- Passports and money should be safely locked
away in your hotel.
- Carry your wallet and other documents you may
require in a body belt, preferably
under loose clothing.
- Be aware of what others around you are doing,
both when walking and driving.
- If you are unsure about anything ask your tour
guide, hotel staff or a local
person with whom you are acquainted.
- Do not leave valuables in your motor vehicle,
which are visible from the outside.
- Avoid picking up hitchhikers and ensure your
car doors are locked.
- Do not hand your car keys over to anyone.
- The Mozambican Police are available at any time
to assist in the event of any
difficulties, however you may experience communication difficulties
if you are not conversant in Portuguese.