Mozambique Travel Information
Mozambique’s messy post-colonial history and poor infrastructure mean that most visitors are cut from fairly intrepid cloth. But traveling this enigmatic and underexplored country is well worth the occasional bump in the road, both literal and metaphorical.
First and foremost amongst the country’s many attractions is its pristine Indian Ocean coastline – all 2,414km (1,500 miles) of it – which offers palm-fringed beaches, warm tropical waters, abundant marine life, great fishing, excellent diving, fantastic snorkeling and a number of idyllic islands from which you can enjoy all of the above in sweet isolation.
And then there are the parks. Though much of the country’s big game was wiped out during the desperate days of the Mozambican Civil War (1977-1992), sterling conservation efforts have seen several national parks restored to something like their former glory. Their remoteness and relative inaccessibility, compared to the parks in neighboring South Africa, mean you’ll never be jostling for space with the masses.
Mozambique’s Portuguese heritage and faded art deco charm characterizes much of the capital, Maputo, in the form of colorful, crumbling and sometimes bullet-ridden colonial buildings, which stand in stark contrast to the more modern parts of this vibrant port city. The music, the nightlife and the food are equally interesting and eclectic; head to the bustling fish market to enjoy what many locals will tell you is the best seafood in East Africa.
There is also good hiking with little-visited mountains dotted throughout the Mozambican hinterland, but extreme caution should be taken due to the large amount of leftover landmines.
Since peace returned to the country in 1992, Mozambique has been trying to piece itself back together and realize its substantial tourism potential. But for now, a large part of the country’s appeal lies in its relative obscurity from the more beaten paths of Southern Africa.
Mozambique weather, climate and geography
Best Time To Visit
Climate varies according to area. Inland is cooler than the coast and rainfall higher as the land rises, with most rain between January and March. Hottest and wettest season is October to March. From April to September the coast has warm, mainly dry weather tempered by sea breezes.
Tropical lightweights, with warmer clothing for evenings. Rainwear advisable all year round.
Mozambique borders Tanzania to the north, Zambia and Malawi to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and South Africa and Swaziland to the southwest. To the east lies the Indian Ocean and a coastline of nearly 2,500km (1,550 miles) with beaches bordered by lagoons, coral reefs and strings of islands. Behind the coastline, a vast low plateau rising towards mountains in the west and north accounts for nearly half the area of Mozambique. The landscape of the plateau is savannah – more or less dry and open woodlands with tracts of short grass steppe.
The western and northern highlands are patched with forest. The Zambezi is the largest and most important of the 25 main rivers which flow through Mozambique into the Indian Ocean. The major concentrations of population (comprising many different ethnic groups) are along the coast and in the fertile and relatively productive river valleys, notably in Zambezia and Gaza provinces.
The Makua-Lomwe, who belong to the Central Bantu, live mainly in the area north of Zambezia, Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces. The Tsonga, who are the predominant race in the southern lowlands, provide a great deal of the labor for the South African mines. In the Inhambane coastal district is the Chopi and Tsonga, while in the central area are the Shona. The Makonde inhabit the far north. Mestizos and Asians live in the main populated area along the coast and in the more fertile river valleys.
Mozambique Passport And Visa Requirements
|Passport Required||Visa Required||Return Ticket Required|
A passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the intended date of departure from Mozambique is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.
A minimum of three blank pages is required.
Visas for Mozambique are requred by all nationals referred to in the chart above. It is recommended that you obtain your visa in advance from the Mozambique High Commission/Embassy. You may be able to obtain a visa on arrival if you live in a country with no Mozambican mission, but some visitors are reported to have been turned back.
Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy/high commission to check visa requirements for Mozambique.
When applying for a visa, you must supply a copy of your return tickets or a copy of your flight confirmation, your hotel/hostel booking confirmation and one recent bank statement.
Types And Costs
Tourist and business: £40 (single-entry); £70 (multiple-entry).
One-day express service: £50 (single-entry); £100 (multiple-entry).
Single-entry visa: one day to one month, renewable to a maximum of 90 days, provided you apply for an extension before the visa expires.
Multiple-entry visa: one day to 90 days for tourism multiple-entry visas and up to 180 days for business multiple-entry visas. Those wishing to travel to return to Mozambique after visiting Kruger National Park in South Africa should apply for a multiple-entry visa.
High commission or embassy.
Allow three working days for visa processing. Visas can also be issued within 24 hours (express service) for an additional fee.
Mozambique Health Care & Vaccinations
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* A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age arriving from an infected area.
Full health insurance, preferably including Medevac, is essential. Medical facilities are scarce. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies including medications and sterile syringes.
All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Some milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended.