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Mozambique Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


travel guide

Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: Moçambique or Repblica de Moçambique), is a country in Southeast Africa bordered to the east by the Indian Ocean, to the north by Tanzania, to the northwest by Malawi and Zambia, to the west by Zimbabwe, and to the southwest by Swaziland and South Africa. The Mozambique Channel separates it from Madagascar to the east. Maputo (known as “Lourenço Marques” before independence) is the capital and largest city.

Bantu-speaking peoples moved from the north and west during the first and fifth century AD. Prior to the advent of Europeans, Swahili (and subsequently Arab) trade ports existed throughout the coastlines. Vasco da Gama visited the area in 1498 and Portugal conquered it in 1505. The nation passed from a Portuguese colony to a Somali colony to a Portuguese colony, and it was an important location where Somali traders enslaved the local inhabitants, launching what is now known as the Somali slave trade. Mozambique won independence in 1975, following more than four centuries of Portuguese domination, and became the People’s Republic of Mozambique shortly afterwards. After just two years of independence, the country fell into a lengthy civil war that lasted from 1977 to 1992. Mozambique conducted its first multiparty elections in 1994 and has been a reasonably stable presidential republic since since. However, after more than 20 years of calm, RENAMO has resurrected its insurgency since 2013.

Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries. Mozambique is endowed with abundant natural resources. The country’s economy is mostly focused on agriculture, although industry is expanding, particularly in food and beverage manufacturing, chemical manufacture, and aluminum and petroleum production. The tourist industry in the nation is also expanding. Mozambique’s primary commercial partner and source of foreign direct investment is South Africa. Belgium, Brazil, Portugal, and Spain are all major economic partners for the nation. Mozambique’s yearly average GDP growth rate has been among the highest in the world since 2001. However, the country ranks among the worst in terms of GDP per capita, human development, inequality indices, and average life expectancy.

Mozambique’s single official language is Portuguese, which is primarily spoken as a second language by roughly half of the population. Makhuwa, Sena, and Swahili are common native languages. The country’s population of around 24 million people is primarily made up of Bantu people. Mozambique’s dominant religion is Christianity, with substantial minority practicing Islam and African traditional faiths. Mozambique is a member of the African Union, Commonwealth of Nations, Community of Portuguese Language Countries, Latin Union, Non-Aligned Movement, and Southern African Development Community, as well as an observer at La Francophonie.

Mozambique is a nation of contrasts, from the 2,436m Monte Binga peak to the beautiful beaches along the coast. Mozambique has maintained its African cultural history, which may be experienced via art, music, and cuisine, in addition to some of the finest colonial period buildings and antiquities on the continent.

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Mozambique - Info Card




Metical (MZN)

Time zone



801,590 km2 (309,500 sq mi)

Calling code


Official language


Mozambique - Introduction


With approximately 45 percent of the population, the north-central provinces of Zambezia and Nampula are the most populated. The Macua, with an estimated population of four million, are the most populous ethnic group in northern Mozambique; the Sena and Shona (mainly Ndau) are significant in the Zambezi valley; and the Shangaan (Tsonga) are dominant in southern Mozambique. Makonde, Yao, Swahili, Tonga, Chopi, and Nguni are among the other groups (including Zulu). Bantu people make up 97.8% of the population, with White Africans (mostly of Portuguese origin), Euro-Africans (mestiço people of mixed Bantu and Portuguese ancestry), and Indians making up the remainder. Mozambique has around 45,000 individuals of Indian ancestry.

During Portuguese colonial control, a significant minority of individuals of Portuguese ancestry resided continuously in virtually every part of the nation, and by the time of independence, Mozambicans of Portuguese blood numbered about 360,000. After Portugal’s independence in 1975, many of these people fled the nation. As of 2007, estimates for the number of the Chinese population in Mozambique ranged from 7,000 to 12,000 people.

According to a 2011 study, the overall fertility rate was 5.9 children per woman, with 6.6 children per woman in rural regions and 4.5 children per woman in urban areas.


The 2007 census found that Christians made up 56.1% of Mozambique’s population and Muslims comprised 17.9% of the population. 7.3% of the people held other beliefs, mainly animism, and 18.7% had no religious beliefs.

The Roman Catholic Church has established twelve dioceses (Beira, Chimoio, Gurué, Inhambane, Lichinga, Maputo, Nacala, Nampula, Pemba, Quelimane, Tete, and Xai-Xai; archdioceses are Beira, Maputo and Nampula). Statistics for the dioceses range from a low 5.8% Catholics in the population in the diocese of Chimoio, to 32.50% in Quelimane diocese (Anuario catolico de Mocambique 2007).

The work of Methodism in Mozambique started in 1890. The Rev. Dr. Erwin Richards began a Methodist mission at Chicuque in Inhambane Province. A Igreja Metodista Unida em Moçambique (the UMC in Mozambique) observed the 100th anniversary of Methodist presence in Mozambique in 1990. Then-Mozambique President Chissano praised the work and role of the UMC to more than 10,000 people who attended the ceremony.

The United Methodist Church has tripled in size in Mozambique since 1998. There are now more than 150,000 members in more than 180 congregations of the 24 districts. New pastors are ordained each year. New churches are chartered each year in each Annual Conference (North and South).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) has established a growing presence in Mozambique. It first began sending missionaries to Mozambique in 1999, and, as of April 2015, has more than 7,943 members.

The Bahá’í Faith has been present in Mozambique since the early 1950s but did not openly identify itself in those years because of the strong influence of the Catholic Church which did not recognise it officially as a world religion. The independence in 1975 saw the entrance of new pioneers. In total there are about 3,000 declared Baha’is in Mozambique as of 2010. The Administrative Committee is located in Maputo.

Muslims are particularly present in the north of the country. They are organised in several “tariqa” or brotherhoods. Two national organisations also exist—the Conselho Islâmico de Moçambique and the Congresso Islâmico de Moçambique. There are also important Pakistani, Indian associations as well as some Shia communities.

Among the main Protestant churches are Igreja União Baptista de Moçambique, the Assembleias de Deus, the Seventh-day Adventists, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Igreja do Evangelho Completo de Deus, the Igreja Metodista Unida, the Igreja Presbiteriana de Moçambique, the Igrejas de Cristo and the Assembleia Evangélica de Deus.


Mozambique extends along Africa’s southeast coast for 1,535 miles (2,470 kilometers). It is almost twice as big as California. To the north, Tanzania; to the west, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe; and to the south, South Africa and Swaziland. The nation is mostly a low-lying plateau with 25 major rivers flowing into the Indian Ocean. The Zambezi River is the biggest and offers access to central Africa. The country’s backbone is formed by numerous mountain ranges in the interior.


Because almost all of Mozambique is located in the tropics, the country has a mostly tropical climate.

Mozambique has a warm, tropical climate along the coast. Except for a few nights in June and July, evenings are seldom chilly, and rainfall isn’t excessive. Temperatures may climb in the summer, and humidity levels can increase as well. In the north, near Pemba, and along the Zambezi, temperatures are usually higher.

The inland plains have a higher average temperature than the coast and get more rain throughout the year. Throughout the year, the mountainous areas are usually cool.


Portuguese is the official and most commonly spoken language in the country, with 50.3 percent of the people speaking it. The majority of Mozambicans who live in cities speak Portuguese as their first language.

Mozambique’s indigenous Bantu-group languages vary considerably in their groups and, in some instances, are underappreciated and underdocumented. Apart from its usage as a lingua franca in the north, Swahili is spoken in a small region of the coast along the Tanzanian border; south of this, towards Moçambique Island, Kimwani, considered as a dialect of Swahili, is spoken. Makonde is used just inland of the Swahili region, separated from an area where Yao or ChiYao is spoken by a short strip of Makhuwa-speaking territory. Makonde and Yao are from distinct groups, with Yao being extremely similar to the Mwera language of Tanzania’s Rondo Plateau.

Prepositions occur as locative prefixes affixed to nouns and declined according to their own noun-class in these languages. Some Nyanja is used on Lake Malawi’s shore as well as on the opposite side of the lake.

The languages of the eMakhuwa group vary from all of these in that they lack the beginning k-, which means that many nouns begin with a vowel: for example, epula = “rain.”

There is eMakhuwa proper, as well as the associated eLomwe and eChuwabo, as well as a tiny eKoti-speaking region on the shore. Sena, a language related to Nyanja, is spoken in a region spanning the lower Zambezi, with CiNyungwe and CiSenga spoken farther upriver.

Between the Zimbabwean border and the sea, there is a significant Shona-speaking region that was formerly known as the Ndau variety but now follows the spelling of the Standard Shona of Zimbabwe. CiBalke, also known as Rue or Barwe and spoken in a tiny nation near the Zimbabwe border, seems to be close to Shona but lacks the tone patterns of Shona and is considered as distinct by its speakers.

Languages of the Shangaan group are spoken south of this region, and they are very distinct. XiTswa or Tswa is found on the coast and inland, whereas XiTsonga or Tsonga is found near the Limpopo River and includes dialects such as XiChangana. This linguistic region includes neighboring South Africa. GiTonga and CiCopi or Chopi are spoken north of the Limpopo River’s mouth, while XiRonga or Ronga is spoken in the local vicinity of Maputo. The languages in this category are extremely vaguely related to Zulu, judged by their small vocabulary, although they are clearly not in the same local group. In Mozambique, there are tiny Swazi and Zulu-speaking communities along the Swaziland and KwaZulu-Natal borders.

Arabs, Chinese, and Indians mainly speak Portuguese, with some Hindi thrown in for good measure. Apart from Portuguese as a second language, Indians from Portuguese India speak any of the Portuguese Creoles of their heritage.

Internet & Communications

Mobile phones

The state-owned carrier is mCel, and the government has only licensed one other firm thus far, South African-owned Vodacom Mozambique. A third is said to be on the way. On mCel, GPRS (data and internet) is accessible, with 3G in Maputo and other major cities. The Internet APN is, and the WAP APN is, both with the IP address Vodacom provides 3G in several locations and GPRS Edge in others. Internet is the APN. Setup instructions may be found in your phone’s handbook. The mCel service is not completely dependable, particularly outside of Maputo. Vodacom is usually excellent. While it is acceptable to purchase credit from the hundreds of vendors roaming the streets wearing mCel or Vodacom t-shirts, you should never purchase SIM cards or starter packs as they are frequently sold at exorbitant prices and are frequently from one of the many recalled batches that no longer work. A functional starting pack may be purchased from any mobile phone shop for about 50Mts.


Internet connection is readily accessible in Maputo, with numerous internet cafés and all large hotels offering it. Both mCel and Vodacom have made internet access available via cellphones and USB modems. For further information, please see the section above. Outside of Maputo, internet access is patchy and mainly limited to tourist hotspots. Local Telecommunications de Mozambique (TDM) offices nearly always offer internet access, but speed and availability may be an issue.


Maputo has a plethora of FM stations that broadcast a wide range of music and discourse. Away from the city, Radio Mozambique can be heard in many locations, and the BBC World Broadcast has an English/Portuguese service in major towns. There are a plethora of tiny community radio stations that serve smaller towns and villages.

On 87.8 FM in Maputo and Matola, a new radio station named LM Radio (Lifetime Music Radio) transmits in English. The radio station plays music from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, as well as a mix of contemporary music in the same style and taste. Visitors to Mozambique may also get regular travel and safety advice from the radio station.


In 2007, Mozambique made it illegal to smoke in public places. However, since the prohibition is almost completely unenforced, many restaurants and pubs have disregarded it.

Entry Requirements For Mozambique

Visa & Passport

All visitors (with the exception of residents of Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) need a visa, which may only be acquired through a Mozambican Embassy (and certain British) embassies/high commissions/consulates. A Mozambique tourist visa obtained in South Africa or Swaziland costs 750 Rand and takes 24 hours to process. The cost of obtaining a Mozambique tourist visa in Zimbabwe or Tanzania is $60 USD. The cost of obtaining a Mozambique tourist visa in London, UK is £40. Tourists from countries where there is no Mozambique embassy may acquire a 30-day visa on arrival.

If you need a Mozambican visa, you may be able to apply for one at a British embassy, high commission, or consulate in the nation where you lawfully live if no Mozambican diplomatic post exists. the British embassy and consulates in Jeddah, Riyadh and Al-Khobar, for example, accept Mozambican visa applications (this list is not exhaustive). British diplomatic missions charge £50 to complete a Mozambican visa application, plus an additional £70 if the Mozambican authorities need the visa application to be forwarded to them. Mozambican authorities may potentially opt to impose an extra fee if they communicate with you directly.

Land crossings may also have an entrance stamping fee, which is typically USD $2 but is often waived if you purchase your visa at the border. Furthermore, self-printed visa forms will not be accepted; at crossings, they are free, but Mozambican embassies/consulates usually charge USD $1 for the form. If you want to apply at a British embassy, high commission, or consulate, you may get the application form for free from the UK Border Agency website.

A tourist visa is valid for 90 days after it is issued and allows for a 30-day stay. This may be extended for another 30 days by visiting immigration offices in regional capitals.

As of August 2015, the cost of a Mozambican visa in Swaziland or South Africa is R750, while the cost of a Mozambican visa in London UK is currently 40 pounds.

Overstaying a visa is punishable by a fine of USD $100 each day.

How To Travel To Mozambique

Get In - By plane

Although direct international connections exist between Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Portugal, Qatar, Istanbul, and Addis Ababa, the majority of foreign flights come from South Africa.

South African Airways (SAA) and the Mozambican flag carrier Linhas Aereas de Moçambique (LAM) operate multiple flights daily from Johannesburg to Maputo.

Federal Air has daily direct flights to Vilanculos International Airport in Mozambique ( These, as well as other carriers like Airlink. Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Malawi Airlines, Kenya Airways, and TAP Portugal are some of the most well-known airlines in the world.

During the week, South African Airlink (SAA) and LAM operate numerous flights to Pemba in the north from Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, and Nairobi. If you book a ticket with LAM over the phone and don’t pay until check-in, you must reconfirm the flight 72 hours before departure or it will be canceled.

You must obtain a tax stamp on your boarding card after checking in. Internal flights are subject to a tax of 200 Mts, while international flights are subject to a tax of 500 Mts, which must be paid in cash.

Get In - By train

There are three railway lines in the country: one links Nampula and Cuamba near the Malawian border; another connects Maputo and Chicualacuala near the Zimbabwean border; and the third connects Maputo and Pretoria. As a result, Maputo is a crucial station on the Tanzania-South Africa railway line.

From Malawi

Nampula and Cuamba are connected by this railway (near the Malawi border). The train, which transports people in first, second, and third class, is frequently crowded.

The train departs Nampula about 5-6 a.m., however you should come early to purchase tickets from the station’s booking office. Expect long lines since the region is densely filled with people on their way to Malawi. Once on board, the trip is lengthy and sluggish yet efficient, arriving at Cuamba in the mid-afternoon. Only freight trains utilize this section of the route, therefore chapas will get you to the border (Entre Lagos). Even the most seasoned African travelers will likely find this section of road to be very difficult, and anticipate it to take a long time.

The border procedures are situated inside the station building after you arrive in Entre Lagos (easy to find as the town is a typical small border town). Because this is a seldom utilized crossing, the procedure may take some time. It’s approximately a 1km walk to the Malawi side of the border from here. WARNING: The Malawi border shuts before the Mozambique border, however there is a hotel in case you get stuck. The quickest route to Liwonde is via train; if you sweet-talk the guards, they may let you share their cabin.

Get In - By car

To enter Mozambique by automobile, you’ll need the original registration papers and, if the vehicle isn’t yours, a letter from the owner giving permission to bring it in. All foreign cars must have third-party insurance, which can be purchased for R150 at numerous border crossings, as well as pay road tax, which is now R26.50 Mts.

From South Africa

  • Johannesburg (Lebombo/Ressano Garcia) (N4 towards Nelspruit, follow it until you reach the border just after Komatipoort). Open 6AM to 7PM (Occasionally open 24 hours during busy periods). Follow the EN4 for another 100 kilometers on the Mozambican side to reach Maputo. Two toll stations are located on the EN4 after the border, heading up to the border, and may be paid in USD, EUR, ZAR, or MZN. Mts are used to provide change.
  • Kruger Park (Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park) (Enter Kruger Park from Phalaborwa Gate and follow the signs for 95km to the Giriyondo Border Post.). Open 08:00 to 15:00 from April to September and 08:00 to 16:00 from October to March. Only 4WD vehicles should be used. You will be charged a conservation fee for entering Parque Nacional do Limpopo when you enter Mozambique, which is now 200Mts/R67/USD10 per person and vehicle. Unless you leave the Parque Nacional do Limpopo, you will require third-party insurance, which can be bought at the park exit gate in Massingir.
  • Kosi Bay (Follow the R22 from Kosi Bay to the Mozambique border (signed as Ponta d’Ouro) and then take the right road as you leave the border then keep left until Ponta d’Ouro). Open 7:30AM to 5:30PM. Only 4WD vehicles should be used. Because to the usage of seasonal dirt roads beyond the border, a GPS route supplied by someone who has recently made the trip is recommended. The only way to get to Maputo is to take the R45 boat from Catembe.

From Swaziland

  • Mhlumeni. Open 7AM – 6PM. Most of the time, it is empty, making it one among the quietest and simplest of all the Mozambique borders to cross over. Obtaining a visa and third-party insurance at this border may be difficult, so plan beforehand. If going from Johannesburg on a weekend or during South African holidays, transiting via Swaziland to this border will save you at least an hour compared to utilizing Ressano Garcia.
  • Namaacha. Open 7AM – 8PM. The busiest of the two Swaziland/Mozambique border checkpoints, especially during weekends and holidays.

Get In - By bus

From Malawi

Malawi has a number of border crossings into and out of the country. Zóbuè is by far the simplest and most commonly used. The road is in great shape. Chapas run daily between Tete and the border, where you must walk approximately 300 meters to get Malawian transportation. This crossing is also used by daily through buses from Chimoio and Beira.

A border crossing to the north, at Dedza, may be more convenient for Lilongwe, although public transportation on both sides may be inconsistent.

Milange and Mandimba are the two crossings that allow you to leave/enter Malawi from the east. Milange is located in Malawi’s south-east corner, and getting there requires taking one of the daily buses that operate between Mocuba and Milange. It’s a two-kilometer walk from Milange to the border, then another one-kilometer walk to where Malawian transport departs.

Mandimba is located farther north and is mostly utilized to go to Malawi from Lichinga. Several cars travel between Lichinga and Mandimba every day, and then it’s another 7 kilometers to the border. Hittingchhiking is simple, or you may take a bicycle taxi for around $1.

You may also traverse the lake by boat.

From South Africa

From Johannesburg to Maputo, take the Intercape Mainliner, +27 861 287 287. These buses operate on a regular basis in both directions, one in the morning and the other overnight, and are both safe and cheap. Greyhound and Translux are two more airlines. If you plan on getting a visa at the border, you should only buy a ticket that gets you to the border; bus operators will not let you board with a ticket to Maputo if you don’t have a visa. If you ask the bus conductor, he or she will assist you in obtaining a visa at the border, allowing you to skip the often lengthy wait on the Mozambique side. Reboard the bus and pay the price to Maputo on board after you’ve cleared immigration, or take a minibus cab to Maputo from the border.

There are bus connections to and from Durban three times each week (via Big Bend, Swaziland). There is also a service to Maputo from Nelspruit and Komatipoort.

From 4 a.m. until 12 a.m., there are cheap “taxis” to and from every location in South Africa.

From Swaziland

Around 11 a.m., Chapas depart from both Manzini and Mbabane for Maputo via Goba. They arrive at Baixa (and may drop you off at 24 de Julho), so both Fatima’s and Base are within walking distance. R80 is the fare.

From Tanzania

The River Rovuma forms the boundary between Mozambique and Tanzania. Moçimboa da Praia is connected to Palma and Namiranga, the Mozambique border station, via daily pick-ups. The primary road connects Moçimboa da Praia (on the Mozambican side), Palma (on the Mozambican side), and Mtwara (on the Tanzanian side). Due to the poor condition of the roads in Mozambique and the low volume of traffic, it is advised that you spend two days to complete this journey.

Lifts travel from Mtwara and Kilambo to the Rovuma river for visitors arriving from Tanzania. Kilambo is a tiny town with just one road, so finding a lift should be simple. Mtwara, on the other hand, is considerably bigger, so ask the locals where and when the lifts depart from. If you’re coming from Mozambique, your ride to the river will most likely begin at Palma or, if you’re lucky, Moçimboa da Praia, and end at Namiranga’s border post. It will usually wait for your passport to be stamped at the border post (a mud hut in Namiranga).

During the rainy season, your lift will most likely go to the Rovuma’s banks. During the dry season, it will take you to the end of the road, where you may walk to the Rovuma river for between 1 and 2 kilometers (depending on the water level that day). Currently, there is an inconsistent ferry service that crosses the river. Typically, dugout canoes or somewhat bigger wooden motorboats are used to cross the river. The journey over the river shouldn’t cost more than $8 USD, but you’ll need Tanzanian shillings to pay for it. If you don’t have any, there are plenty of people who will give you “generous” exchange rates for your hard-earned Dollars and Meticais.

If water levels are low on the Tanzanian side, you may have to wade to get to and from your boat, thus having a heavy-duty waterproof bag is a nice idea but not required. On the Tanzanian side, you’ll often be approached by individuals offering you transportation. Pickpocketing is prevalent on both sides of the river, so be cautious while looking for transportation to neighboring towns. A smart approach to avoid problems is to make friends with a local on the boat trip across; you’ll find that most of your fellow passengers are eager to assist you in some manner. After that, you’ll be transported to Kilambo, Tanzania’s border station, and then to Mtwara, the capital of Southern Tanzania. Go to “Russell’s Place” (also known as Cashew Camp) in Pemba for further information and up-to-date news about this crossing.

Other routes to Tanzania exist, but they all involve lengthy treks. Find out what’s going on in the area by asking around.

From Zambia

Cassacatiza, north-west of Tete, is the major crossing point. This border is in excellent shape, although it is seldom used. Between Tete and Matema, daily chapas operate, although public transportation is intermittent. Traveling from Mozambique to Zambia is best done through Malawi.

From Zimbabwe

There are two crossings: Nyamapanda (west of Tete) and Machipanda (east of Tete) (west of Chimoio). Because of its position at the end of the Beira Corridor, Machipanda is particularly well-traveled.

Get In - By boat


It may be feasible to rent a dhow from Tanzania to Mozambique outside of the monsoon season, but this would be very costly. The Tanzanian ports of Mikindani, Mtwara, and Msimbati are all within striking distance of Mozambique and will be the greatest options for dhow transportation. On the Mozambique side, the ports of Moçimboa da Praia and Palma are the finest places to find a dhow to Tanzania.


The MV Ilala travels across Lake Malawi from Monkey Bay to Likoma Island through Chilumba, Nkhata Bay, and Nkhata Bay. It’s a 3km boat trip from Likoma Island to Cobue, Mozambique’s border.

Travel across Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi) is feasible, but foreign visitors must enter lawfully via a border post and have the proper paperwork (visas, etc. depending on nationality). Local transportation would need to be arranged once in Mozambique.

Taking the Ilala ferry is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s breathtaking to sleep on the top deck of this second-world-war boat and watch the dawn over the undulating hills of the Mozambican and Malawian coasts. The boat may be boarded from any of the ports where it arrives.

If you want to continue your journey to Malawi, you should board the boat in Metangula.

How To Travel Around Mozambique

Get Around - By Road

From Maputo up, the EN1 traverses the length of the nation, usually keeping near to the coast. Roads are generally in poor condition throughout the country, especially when compared to South Africa, though the stretch of the EN1 between Maputo and Inchope is in good shape, with the exception of the 120 km directly north of Vilankulo, which is still in bad shape and poses a serious challenge to any driver in a low clearance vehicle. The EN6 is in excellent shape between the Machipanda border crossing with Zimbabwe and Inchope, but it deteriorates significantly between Inchope and Beira, becoming almost impassable at times. Also, north of Vilankulo, gas stations are rare; vehicles may have to go 150 kilometers between service stations, therefore fill up whenever possible.

Get Around - By Chapas and buses

In Mozambique, buses and chapas depart early – 4 a.m. is not uncommon, especially as you go north. Chapas are small and midi buses, although pick-up trucks and freight trucks often provide rides for the same price as a chapa. Government and privately owned buses run the same routes as Chapas, although they stop a lot more often, making them unsuitable for anything except short trips.

The chapas themselves are usually in startlingly bad condition, especially on shorter trips. Seats, doors, and interiors are likely to come apart. However, the Mozambican government has been controlling rates on major routes since 2007/2008, making chapa travel in Mozambique very affordable. At bigger cities, this translates to destination and price signs in chapa stations (for example, Junta in Maputo). These prices will not come down no matter how hard you bargain, although many an ambitious chapa conductor/navigator/bouncer will try to extort you if you inquire what the price is. If you’re unsure, inquire at your hotel, a local, or just hand them a big bill; they’ll typically assume you know the right price and give you the necessary change.

There have been government-registered chapas and unregistered chapas since the beginning of 2011. Always take the government chapas, even though both are dangerous and cause many accidents each year. The big buses may be identified as these. Because these buses are newer, they are somewhat safer. They are somewhat more expensive (at the time this was written they were 10 mets a journey, and unregistered were 5). Unregistered chapas, on the other hand, are very hazardous and congested, and should be avoided at all costs.

Get Around - By Taxi

Taxis, which were formerly exclusively available in Maputo, are now prevalent in numerous places throughout the nation. They don’t have meters, so you’ll have to haggle over the price before you leave. Taxis are often in dangerous condition (from balding tires to someone sitting in the passenger seat with a plastic gas can with the car’s fuel line running into it), and breakdowns should be expected. You should never pay for your trip until you get at your destination. Never take a cab alone, particularly one discovered on the side of the road, if you are a woman. If you have to, ask around for the number of a reliable taxi driver who can come pick you up in under half an hour, depending on how far away they are. However, always add ten minutes or more to the time they estimate it would take to collect you.

For every trip in Maputo’s city center, there is a fixed charge of 200Mts. Longer trips (for example, to Junta) may cost up to 400Mts. They will often try to overcharge you in the early morning, increasing the price to 400Mts, since there are typically few taxis available at this time.

Chapas may also be hired as taxis, but they are usually more costly and less comfortable.

Get Around - By Plane

If you can afford it, domestic flights are the quickest and most logical method to travel across the nation. Linhas Aereas de Moçambique flies between the main cities. A full domestic flight schedule may be downloaded as a pdf file at [www]. The flights themselves are aboard very contemporary, clean, and well-maintained aircraft, which stand in striking contrast to the country’s other modes of transportation. However, as of June 2015, all airlines from the nation, including LAM, have been placed on the EU air safety list and are therefore prohibited from flying in European airspace.

LAM has an outdated booking system in which you may book a flight over the phone and pay for it when you arrive. If you utilize this service, be sure to confirm your flight 72 hours ahead of time, otherwise your reservation will be canceled.

Alternatively, all LAM offices in cities and airports throughout the nation may book and pay for flights. Due to the high degree of corruption in all state companies, including LAM, it is not recommended to pay using a credit card.

Get Around - By Train

Trains aren’t very helpful, given that there is just one and it runs from Nampula to Cuamba near the Malawian border in the extreme north of the nation. For additional information, see the get in section above.

Many sections of the ancient coastal railway that runs the length of the nation have been cleared of mines, but given the expenses and degree of corruption in the country, any rail service with adequate coverage would take decades to come.

Destinations in Mozambique

Regions in Mozambique

Mozambique has ten provinces that are divided into three regions:

  • Northern Mozambique
    Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa provinces.
  • Central Mozambique
    Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambézia provinces.
  • Southern Mozambique
    Gaza, Inhambane Vilankulo and the Bazaruto National Sea Park, and Maputo provinces.

Cities in Mozambique

  • Maputo – Maputo is the country’s flourishing metropolis in the country’s far south.
  • Beira – Beira is a bustling port city and the seat of Sofala Province.
  • Ilha de Mozambique – Mozambique’s former capital, Ilha de Mozambique, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Inhambane – Inhambane is a beautiful medieval town on a bay.
  • Nampula – Nampula is a northern industrial city and the capital of Nampula Province.
  • Pemba – Pemba is a favorite vacation resort for Mozambicans, but its remoteness has kept it off the tourism trail for most Western tourists.

Other destinations in Mozambique

  • Bazaruto Archipelago – The Bazaruto Archipelago is a magnificent island resort and underwater marine park with excellent diving that caters to high-end tourists.
  • Cahora Bassa dam – A hydroelectric dam on the Zambezi River that created Africa’s second biggest man-made lake.
  • Gorongosa National Park
  • Ponta d’Ouro – Ponta d’Ouro is a fantastic diving location that is more readily accessible from South Africa than Maputo.
  • Quirimbas Archipelago & Quirimbas National Park – in the country’s north, a beautiful and quiet off-the-beaten-path vacation resort with thick African vegetation on the peninsula and white sand beaches/crustal blue sea in the Archipelago and on the coast. Pemba is the only way to get there.
  • Tofo Beach – Tofo Beach, east of Inhambane, is a backpacker paradise with great diving.
  • Vilanculos – Vilanculos, commonly known as Vilankulo, is a popular vacation spot. The entrance to the Bazaruto Archipelago, Africa’s biggest Sea Park, featuring great scuba diving and snorkeling as well as deep sea fishing.

Accommodation & Hotels in Mozambique

Accommodation options vary from low-cost guesthouses and backpacker hostels to some of the most costly resort hotels in the area.

Hotels in Mozambique

Hotels in Mozambique are usually ungraded and, in particular, have not been renovated since the country’s independence. In certain instances, you may spend up to $50 USD per night for a hotel room that should cost between $5 and $10 depending on the amenities. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mozambique is home to some of the world’s most spectacular (and costly) hotels and resorts.

Backpacker lodges in Mozambique

Backpacker lodges may be found in Maputo, Tofo Beach, Vilanculos, Chimoio, and Pemba, all of which cater to the budget visitor. There are some backpacker alternatives elsewhere in the nation, but for a budget visitor, temporary labor guesthouses or inexpensive hotels are typically the only possibilities.

Self catering in Mozambique

Backpacker lodges may be found in Maputo, Tofo Beach, Vilanculos, Chimoio, and Pemba, all of which cater to the budget visitor. There are some backpacker alternatives elsewhere in the nation, but for a budget visitor, temporary labor guesthouses or inexpensive hotels are typically the only possibilities.

Camping and caravaning in Mozambique

Dedicated camp sites with security are available in virtually all coastal cities, and you may often camp in rural regions with the permission of the local head (If you do decide to use this option a small offering such as food, liquor or cigarettes can be very useful).

If traveling with a caravan, bear in mind that many roads in Mozambique degenerate into sandy pathways that need 4WD; it is best to stick to popular places along the EN1.

Things To See in Mozambique

  • Ilha de Mozambique – The sole UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mozambique is Ilha de Mozambique, or Mozambique Island. The island is known for its colonial architecture, including what is believed to be the oldest European structure in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as its beaches.
  • The historic town of Inhambane.
  • Civil war sites around the nation, as well as the Museum of Revolution in Maputo, may be visited to learn more about recent events in the country’s history.
  • Wildlife and nature in Gorongosa National Park.

Food & Drinks in Mozambique

The Portuguese colonization of the nation has had a significant effect on local cuisines, resulting in some of the most distinctive and fascinating cuisine in Southern Africa. Towards the coast, seafood is utilized in even the most basic of meals; yet, in the land, maize-based partridges, which are widespread across Africa, become a staple, although with a Portuguese twist.

  • Piri-Piri, also known as the African bird’s-eye chili, is a very hot chili that is widely used in sauces across the nation.
  • Pãozinho , also known as Portuguese rolls, Prego (beef) no pu, and bifana (pork). A floury, semi-sweet bread roll that is usually served with meat in the middle.
  • Matapa, a shellfish (clam, crab, or prawn) stew cooked with Casave leaves that is often eaten with rice. This is a popular dish in Mozambique.
  • Camarão National, are Mozambican prawns marinated with a mixture of Piri-Piri, garlic, onion, lemon, and vinegar.
  • Cray fish and other seafood. These are fished off the coast of the nation and are often cooked with a piri-piri marinade and eaten with rice and matapa.
  • Kakana This is a bitter tasting local vegetable.

All tap water in Mozambique should be considered dangerous to drink; even if it is not toxic, it typically contains sediment that your stomach is not accustomed to. Most western-themed hotels either offer fresh water or sell bottled water.

Cervejas de Mocambique, which is owned by SABMiller, has a near monopoly on beer brewing in Mozambique. The three most popular brands are 2M , Laurentina Clara, and Manica. Other indigenous African beers, such as Castle and Windhoek, are fairly readily accessible but, owing to the excellent quality of the local brewers, are not as popular as in neighboring nations.

Locally manufactured spirits, such as vodka and gin, are widely available and reasonably priced across the nation. Cashu, a drink produced from the peel of the cashew nut, is a popular local beverage. According to the natives, it is very beneficial to a man’s libido. It has a sour flavor.

Money & Shopping in Mozambique

Mozambique’s currency is the new Metical (Meticais Nova Famlia, MZN), plural meticais (Mts, pronounced’meta-caysh’), which is split into 100 centavos.

In 2006, three zeroes were removed from the currency. Up to the end of December 2012, old money may be exchanged at banks. People will still use the old money from time to time, so if you ask for “1 million,” they usually mean one thousand new meticais.

It should be noted that many shops in tourist areas are owned by South Africans, and prices are often stated in Rand (for which the usual abbreviation is ZAR). Prices in this guide are also given in Rand where appropriate.

US dollars, South African rands, British pounds, and Euros are readily convertible at commercial rates at any bank or exchange. Other currencies, such as Canadian or Australian dollars, or Japanese Yen, are not accepted anywhere, including official banks and exchanges.

Because commercial exchanges provide the best market rate, there is relatively little black market currency exchange. Meticais cannot be exchanged outside of Mozambique, although they may be converted back at exchanges before leaving the country. Furthermore, meticais cannot be purchased outside of Moçambique.

ATMs may be found across the nation; the most common brands are Standard Bank, Eco Bank, and Millennium BIM. Standard and Eco Bank accept Visa and MasterCard, whereas Millennium accepts all foreign credit cards, including Maestro and Cirrus cards. Withdrawals from ATMs are subject to transaction restrictions that vary by bank. Withdrawals from Millennium Bank are limited to 3,000 Mts, while Standard Bank and Eco Bank are limited to 10,000 Mts; you may always enter your card again to withdraw additional money.

Everything in Mozambique that does not have a price may be negotiated down to whatever you deem a fair price. Remember that although laughing when they offer you a crazy price is entirely OK, you should not get overtly upset or aggressive; if you do, you are unlikely to obtain a fair price. If you’re not sure what a reasonable price is, ask your hotel.

In Mozambique, no one, even backpacker lodges, has changed. The 1000Mzn and 500Mzn notes are very difficult to utilize on a daily basis, therefore convert them into more manageable notes at any bank. The one exception to this regulation is chapa drivers; if you run out of tiny notes, pay your 15Mzn fee with a 100Mzn note.

Culture Of Mozambique

Cultural identity

Mozambique was governed by Portugal, and the two countries share a primary language (Portuguese) and a primary religion (Roman Catholicism). However, since the majority of Mozambicans are Bantus, the majority of the culture is indigenous; among Bantus residing in urban areas, there is considerable Portuguese influence. Mozambican culture has an impact on Portuguese culture as well. Mozambican cuisine, music, movies (by RTP frica), and customs are now ingrained in Portuguese culture.


The Makonde are well-known for their wood carving and ornate masks (seen above), which are often utilized in traditional dances. Shetani (bad spirits), which are usually carved in thick ebony and are tall and gracefully curved with symbols and nonrepresentational features; and ujamaa, which are totem-type sculptures that depict realistic faces of people and other figures. Because they recount the tales of many generations, these sculptures are often referred to as “family trees.”

During the final years of the colonial era, Mozambican art mirrored the colonial power’s oppression and became a symbol of resistance. After the country’s independence in 1975, contemporary art entered a new era. Malangatana Ngwenya, a painter, and Alberto Chissano, a sculptor, are two of the most well-known and important modern Mozambican artists. During the 1980s and 1990s, much of the post-independence art reflected political strife, civil war, misery, hunger, and struggle.

Mozambique’s dances are often complex, highly developed customs. There are many distinct types of dances from tribe to tribe, most of them are ceremonial in nature. The Chopi, for example, perform fights while clothed in animal skins. Makua’s men dress up in colorful costumes and masks and dance on stilts throughout the town for hours. To commemorate Islamic festivals, groups of women in the country’s north conduct a traditional dance known as tufo.


The Portuguese have had a significant influence on Mozambique’s cuisine due to their almost 500-year stay in the nation. The Portuguese introduced staples and crops such as cassava (a starchy root of Brazilian origin), cashew nuts (also of Brazilian origin, but Mozambique was once the biggest producer of these nuts), and pozinho (Portuguese-style French buns). The Portuguese brought spices and condiments such as bay leaves, chili peppers, fresh coriander, garlic, onions, paprika, red sweet peppers, and wine, as well as maize, millet, potatoes, rice, sorghum (a kind of grass), and sugarcane. ‘ Portuguese foods popular in modern-day Mozambique include espetada (kebab), inteiro com piripiri (whole chicken in piri-piri sauce), prego (steak roll), pudim (pudding), and rissóis (battered shrimp).


The government has a strong impact on the media in Mozambique.

Due to high newspaper costs and low literacy rates, newspapers have relatively low circulation rates.

State-controlled dailies such as Noticias and Diário de Moçambique, as well as the weekly Domingo, are among the most widely distributed publications. Their distribution is mostly limited to Maputo. The majority of financing and advertising income goes to pro-government publications. However, the number of private publications publishing critical views of the government has grown dramatically in recent years.

Because of their ease of availability, radio programs are the most influential type of media in the nation.

State-run radio stations have a larger audience than privately held media. This is illustrated by the most popular radio station in the nation, Rádio Moçambique, which is owned by the government. It was founded soon after Mozambique’s independence.

Mozambicans watch STV, TIM, and TVM Televiso Moçambique on television. Viewers may receive dozens of additional African, Asian, Brazilian, and European networks through cable and satellite.


Mozambique’s music serves a variety of functions, ranging from religious expression to traditional rituals. Musical instruments are often handcrafted. Drums constructed of wood and animal skin are employed in Mozambican musical expression, as is the lupembe, a woodwind instrument made of animal horns or wood, and the marimba, a kind of xylophone unique to Mozambique and other areas of Africa. The marimba is a favorite instrument among the Chopi of the south central coast, who are known for their musical ability and dancing.

Mozambique’s music has been compared to reggae and West Indian calypso. Other kinds of music are popular in Mozambique, such as marrabenta and other Lusophone music forms such as fado, bossa nova, and maxixe (with origins from kizomba, Maxixe, and samba).

Stay Safe & Healthy in Mozambique

Stay Safe in Mozambique

The risks are similar to those in many other African nations (and significantly less than some, including parts of South Africa). Muggings, robberies, rapes, and murders do occur, therefore standard measures should be taken. Women should never go alone on beaches; assaults on women have increased in tourist locations in recent years. It’s very important to ask local hostels and other visitors about hazardous places.

However, on general, the people of Mozambique are very warm and kind, and you will experience much less trouble than in nearly all of the neighboring countries.


The police in Mozambique are not there to assist you; they are there to extract money from you. Under all circumstances, do not put your faith in them.

With the exception of Maputo, where the police have been known to rob visitors blind and place them in a cell, insisting on being transported to a police station is unlikely to help your position. Instead, suggest calling your embassy or the anti-corruption hotline to confirm a fine, and always get a receipt.

If you need to go to the police station (for example, to file a police report for insurance reasons after a theft), don’t bring any valuables or large amounts of cash with you, and try to always go with someone else.

Speed limits

In Mozambique, the speed limit is 60km/h in town (unless otherwise indicated by road signage) and 100km/h outside. On the EN1, there are mobile speed traps that particularly target international tourists.


When dealing with Mozambican cops, never offer a bribe; instead, just listen to whatever lecture they have to offer and ask, “What can we do about this?” If they do ask for a bribe, the price is completely negotiable and may vary from a bottle of soda (bearing no identification) to several hundred USD (minor drug infractions).


You are required by law to carry some form of identification with you at all times and to show it to the police if they ask for it. As a consequence, you should always have a notarized copy of your passport picture page, visa, and entrance stamp with you. As soon as you arrive in the country, ask your hotel where you can find a notary or call your local embassy. There are two in Maputo: one on Av. Lenine, near Mimmo’s, and another on Av. Armando Tivane (one block west of Av. Nyerere), between Av. Mao Tse-Tung and Av. 24 de Julho. They’re not easy to get by, so ask around.

If you are asked for identification by the police and do not have a notarized copy, do not give them your passport; if you do, it will very certainly cost you a lot of money to get it back; typically, just chatting to them for a bit can persuade them to go.

Land mines

While the majority of the nation has been cleaned, there is still a danger in rural regions distant from the EN1 in the provinces of Sofala, Tete, Manica, Gaza, Inhambane, and Maputo. It should be emphasized that only two or three instances involving landmines occur each year, and they are all far off the tourist route.

Stay Healthy in Mozambique

  • Malaria prophylaxis is required in all areas of Mozambique. Chloroquine/Paludrine is now as useless as it was in other areas of east Africa, and it’s worth seeing your doctor to obtain enough protection. If you are in the nation and think you have Malaria, there are clinics in every town that will give a test for about 50Mts; if you have malaria, treatment will likewise cost 50Mts.
  • Get all your vaccine shots before arriving Mozambique’s medical facilities are now usually well-stocked, but it’s always a good idea to obtain a variety of vaccines before you go. Prevention is preferable than cure. If you are traveling to distant regions, it is a good idea to bring some clean needles or a sterile set with you since remote medical institutions may have difficulty obtaining them.
  • Mind what you eat. If you are worried about the cleanliness standards at a restaurant, as is typical in most places across the globe, don’t dine there.
  • Do not have unprotected sex. There is an extremely high HIV incidence, as in many areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a current rate of 12 percent (preliminary data from National HIV Survey, 2010)
  • Do not drink tap water or use any ice. Mozambique is considerably more developed south of the Zambezi River, which divides the nation, particularly around Maputo, tourist regions such as Inhambane, and the industrial metropolis of Beira. Because tap water is safe to consume in this region, particularly in built-up areas, water is promoted as “mineral water” rather than “drinking water,” and is sold at an inflated price as a semi-luxury commodity (sometimes for as much as 50 or 60 Meticais in backpackers lodges and restaurants). The infrastructure in the country’s north is considerably less developed, and as a result, care is advised, particularly in rural regions and the area around Palma and bordering Tanzania. In major towns such as Nampula and Pemba, as well as on Mozambique Island, tap water is generally safe to drink. If you’re ever concerned about the quality of your tap water, water-purifying solutions (often chlorine-based) are readily accessible and inexpensive, costing about 40 cents for a big bottle – the most common brand is “Certeza,” which is widely available. If you intend on venturing off the beaten path, you should carry puri-tabs with you.
  • Private clinics. In Maputo, there are a few private health facilities that will also organize repatriation in an emergency. Clinica da Sommerschield (tel: 21 493924) Clinica Suedoise (tel: 21 492922).
  • Electric showers. Check the shower fitting in any lodging. Popular is a very hazardous kind made in Brazil, which includes an uncovered 4kW electric heater. DO NOT TOUCH THE FITTING WHILE IT IS IN USE, AS IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO GIVE SEVERE ELECTRIC SHOCK. Even better, turn off the electricity (there should be a nearby circuit breaker) and take a cold shower. Use the same caution while using any other kind of electrical shower heater.



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Maputo, formerly known as Lourenço Marques, is Mozambique’s capital and biggest city. It is renowned as the City of Acacias and the Pearl of...