Mozambique Travel Tips

time

GMT : +2 hours

climate

Mozambique is essentially a hot country as it is mostly situated at low elevations and almost entirely within the tropics. The hot rainy season is from November to March and the dry winter months are cooler, but still quite hot during the day, especially along the northern coast.

languages

The official language is Portuguese. In general the local people understand and speak some English. Outside the urban areas, each region has its own dialect.

public holidays

January 1 ( New Year’s Day)
February 3 (Heroes’ Day)
April 7 (Women’s’ Day)
May 1 (Workers’ Day)
June 25 (Independence Day)
September 7 (Lusaka Agreement Day)
September 25 (Armed Forces Day)
October 4 (Peace Day)
December 25 (Family Day).

electricity / voltage

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 Mozambique.

health risks / immunization

A course of anti-malaria tablets is strongly advised. Vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio tetanus and typhoid are also recommended. A valid yellow fever certificate is required for all visitors arriving from a Yellow Fever region. Malaria is endemic to the entire country, therefore suitable precautions and the use of Prophylactics are recommended.

There are a number of excellent mosquito repellents available, which are applied directly to the skin or clothes in the evening. Most 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. Although local water is reasonably safe, visitors are advised to drink the good quality bottled water available.

medical facilities

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.

safety / security

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 following:

  • Certain inner city areas are unsafe & should be avoided, especially after dark. This applies in particular to Maputo & 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.

tipping

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. During 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.

visas and passports

Visas are required for citizens of all countries, which must be applied for and obtained in advance – see www.mozambiquehc.org.uk (consular section – visa application forms can be downloaded) or tel: 020 7383 3800. It has previously been possible to get a visa on arrival but this facility is no longer available. Valid passports are required by all foreign nationals to enter Mozambique & must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended stay. All air arrivals must be in possession of a valid return ticket, failing which the equivalent cost of the airfare must be deposited with customs. Visitors must be able to prove that they have sufficient funds to cover their stay in the country.

tax

A tax of US$20 is payable, at the airport, by passengers departing on international flights.

identification

It is obligatory to carry identification at all times. An authenticated photocopy of the same is allowed.

banking hours

Banking hours in most centres are 08h15 to 11h00, Mondays to Fridays. Banks are closed on Saturday and Sunday. The 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. Changing 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.

currency and credit cards

Mozambique’s local currency is the Metical, divided into 100 centavos, however US$ and SA Rand are widely accepted. It is advisable to carry cash or travellers cheques as credit cards are not widely accepted and obtaining a cash advance on a credit card in a bank can be costly and time consuming. Luxury hotels and certain shops and restaurants in Maputo accept valid, international credit cards.

customs

Upon arrival visitors must declare those articles subjected to customs duties. Personal items are not subject to tax. Custom free allowance is 400 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco, 1 litre of spirits , 2.25 l. of wine and 50ml of perfume. The total cost must not exceed 200 USD. Any person under the age of 18 is not allowed to carry alcohol or tobacco. Narcotics and pornographic material are prohibited. Transport of arms must have a special licence. Any transactions with Customs should include the corresponding receipt.

telecommunication

A modern and efficient telephone service is available in towns and cities across the country. Direct national and international dialling is possible.

road and public transport

The road network is poorly developed. Access to Maputo from the South African border & north up the coast as far as Vilanculos, and from Beira to the Zimbabwe border is possible with a normal two wheel drive vehicle, as these roads have been reconstructed, although some damage to these roads has been caused by the flooding of 2000/01. 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 infrastructure. Public transport is practically non-existent although taxi services are available in the larger cities which can be booked by hotel staff or at airports.

what to take and what to wear

Don’t forget to take a camera, camcorder and binoculars. Stock up with plenty of film and batteries. Also take some insect repellent for spraying on exposed areas of the skin at dusk. Sunglasses, suntan lotions and possibly lip-balm should also be packed. If you do forget something, most accessories can be bought in major centres. For most of the year light clothing is a must. However, during the winter (June-August), it can get chilly in the evenings so pack a sweater or jacket. In restaurants’ smart casual is the norm - short sleeved shirts and slacks for men, blouses and skirts or informal dresses for women - but not shorts and vests. Topless sunbathing is frowned upon. When visiting game reserves neutral colours are preferred because bright hues may unsettle the animals. Wear sensible walking shoes and take a hat for protection from the sun.

Africa Collection: Portfolio House, Field Place Estate, Byfleets Lane, Broadbridge Heath, W Sussex, RH12 3PB. Office Hours: 09h00 – 17h30 - Tel: +44 (0) 1403 256655, Fax: +44 (0) 1403 253325

Africa Collection after hours/emergencies: +44 (0) 7785 344648 OR +44 (0) 7904 324368

Last updated – August 2014