Mozambique

/Mozambique
Mozambique 2018-07-20T11:59:16+00:00

Your Mozambique Travel Experts

The last undiscovered pearl of the Indian Ocean, Mozambique has azure warm waters and white deserted beaches on the islands, bustling fish markets and jovial locals; the country offers a wealth of sights, sounds, tastes and experiences to delight all of your senses. Mozambique offers a diverse variety of experiences for you to discover. From the delights of discovering abundant coral reefs or experiencing the majestic Whalesharks whilst scuba diving to its growing National Parks and idyllic tropical islands – this country offers all this and so much more!

The Arab and Portuguese influences in its history can still be seen and experienced today in historic architecture and mouthwatering dishes prepared by talented chefs. Mozambique is a destination ideal for honeymooners, families, scuba divers as well as self-drive enthusiasts and can also easily be combined with other African itineraries.

Mozambique Voyages is the most knowledgeable Tour Operator specializing in Mozambique. Contact us for more info.

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Below are the regions in Mozambique we operate in:

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More travel tips when visiting Mozambique

Please note that the below information remains subject to change without prior notification. Please reconfirm prior to departure.

The new law and facilities at all airports, harbors and borders allow visitors from all countries to obtain a visa upon arrival in Mozambique for $50. Please note that you have to be able to provide documentation proving that you are a bonafide tourist (return flight tickets, confirmed hotel accommodation vouchers ext).

As it might add an extra few minutes to your travels and the fact that the law remains subject to change, we recommend that all travelers obtain a visa prior to arrival in Mozambique.

Officially a tourist Visa is required for ALL nationalities (except for Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) but exceptions are well known.

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from areas with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Mozambique is a Malaria risk area and it is therefore strongly recommended that all travelers consult their medical practitioner at least two weeks prior to the start of their safari. Whether oral prophylaxis is taken or not, it is recommended to always use mosquito repellent, wear long pants, closed shoes and light long-sleeved shirts at night, and sleep under a mosquito net in endemic areas (the Anopheles mosquito, which carries malaria, operates almost exclusively after dark).

It is also highly recommended that all travelers ensure that they have adequate and sufficient Travel and Medical Insurance prior to the start of their holiday

Due to the Geographical elongated nature of Mozambique, its coastline stretches about 2500 kilometres, allowing visitors to enjoy near-coastal accessibility via various airports along the coastline. The six major airports in Mozambique, from North to South, and the destinations nearby are as follows:

  1. Pemba Airport (POL): Azura Quilalea, Chuiba Bay Lodge; Avani Pemba Beach Hotel; Ibo Island Lodge, Diamonds Mequfi Beach Resort, as well as Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort.
  2. Nampula Airport (APL): Coral Lodge; Villa Sands; Teracco das Quitandas; Ossimba Beach Lodge, and Feitoria Boutique Hotel.
  3. Beira Airport (BEW): Tivoli Beira Hotel and Montebelo Gorongosa.
  4. Vilankulo Airport (VNX): Vilanculos Beach Lodge; Villa Santorini; Casa Rex Boutique Hotel; Casa Babi B&B; Bahia Mar Boutique Hotel; Azura Benguerra; &Beyond Benguerra Island, as well as Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa.
  5. Inhambane Airport (INH): Dunes de Dovela Ecolodge; Blue Footprints Ecolodge; Sentidos Beach Retreat; Baia Sonambula Guest House; Hotel Tofo Mar, and Corasiida Guest House.
  6. Maputo Airport (MPM): Southern Sun Hotel; Polana Serena Hotel; Cardoso Hotel; Machangulo Beach Lodge, and White Pearl Resort.

There are facilities at all the airports in Mozambique to issue biometric 30-day tourist visas for visitors from all nationalities for US$50 payable in cash.

We use a few car rental companies, depending on the type of vehicle tourists require. Most of our suppliers offer transfers to and from the various airports, making car rental unnecessary unless the clients desire a self-drive itinerary. Contact our offices to inquire about the vehicle required for their specific itinerary.

Mozambique’s currency is the Mozambican metical (MT) and comes in a range of coins (1, 2, 5, 10 meticais obsolete: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 centavos) and note denominations (20, 50, 100, 200, 500 & 1000 meticais).

Mozambique is renowned for its warm climate, making it the perfect tourist attraction for holiday goers. It has a pronounced tropical climate with basically only two seasons, a wet season (from October to March) and a dry season (from April to September). Temperatures can reach over 40degrees Celcius in summer and rarely drop below 25 degrees in Winter. The most rainfall occurs along the coast and decreases in the north and south.

Mozambique might be a third world country, but the tourist attractions such as most of the five-star hotels and resorts will have WiFi. The communication infrastructure is reasonably well-developed with national coverage, as well as well-established landline phone networks. Both internet and Wi-Fi connections are accessible in most urban areas although access to free Wi-Fi is still limited.

Mozambique’s generating capacity is around 2,200 MW, mainly supplied by the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam. Most of that power is exported to neighbouring South Africa, while only 18 percent of Mozambicans have access to electricity. Mozambique has 220-volt electrical sockets, and you will need special adapters for foreign appliances. Follow this link to find out more…

There are eleven provinces in Mozambique, namely: Cabo DelgadoGazaInhambaneManicaMaputo CityMaputoNampulaNiassaSofalaTete and Zambezia.

Mozambique is a multilingual country. A number of Bantu languages are indigenous to Mozambique. Portuguese, inherited from the colonial period, is the official language, and Mozambique is a full member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Ethnologue lists 43 languages spoken in the country. According to INE, the National Institute of Statistics of Mozambique, Portuguese is the most widely spoken language. Other widely spoken languages include Swahili, Makhuwa, Sena, Ndau, and Shangaan (Tsonga). Other indigenous languages of Mozambique include Lomwe, Makonde, Chopi, Chuwabu, Ronga, Kimwani, Zulu, and Tswa. The language of the deaf community is Mozambican Sign Language.

Roman Catholic 28.4%, Muslim 17.9%, Zionist Christian 15.5%, Protestant 12.2% (includes Pentecostal 10.9% and Anglican 1.3%), other 6.7%, none 18.7%, unspecified 0.7%

Use common sense and take basic safety precautions. Keep valuables locked away and don’t wear expensive watches or jewellery, flash expensive cameras, or walk in deserted areas. Keep car doors and windows locked at all times. If in doubt, ask a guide or at your accommodation for safety guidelines.

Smoking is banned in public places, but there are usually designated areas where people can smoke. Under-18s may not enter a designated smoking area or buy cigarettes.

As a rough guide, the customary tip for a waiter in a restaurant is between 10% to 15%.  However, the tip amount is a personal decision and should be based on whether the service exceeded your expectations.

Although the road infrastructure is not as advanced as nearby countries, tourists can get around with 2×4 vehicles in towns. 4×4’s are compulsory for driving along the coast or on the beaches, of course. Some roads are very narrow without shoulder lanes and the general public is not keen on adhering to speed limits or traffic rules. We recommend making use of transfer services where possible, but for self-drive tours, we provide all the necessary equipment and guidelines to enjoy the country.

We would advise tourists to buy bottled water or only drink water provided by reputable sources and restaurants in the towns, especially when travelling to remote rural areas and the bush.

More info on Mozambique

Continent: Africa
Neighbouring Countries: Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa & Swaziland
Ocean: Indian Ocean
Capital: Maputo
Language: Portuguese and a rich variety of local languages
Religion: African traditions, Christianity, Islamic, Hindu and Moslem
Climate: Tropical
Currency: Mozambican Metical (Mtn)
Dialing code: +258
Area: 799 380 km2
Population (approximately) around 20 million
Independence Date: 25 June 1975

History

The first residents of Mozambique were the Bantu speaking people. They migrated through the Zambezi river valley from the north and west, and they gradually moved to the plateau and coastal areas. Their lives were based on cattle herding and they built their communities based on this. The settlements were not very sturdy and today there are very few remains of their settlements.

Swahili and Arab settlements existed for many centuries along the coast and outlying islands. This brought in the trade with Madagascar and the Far East.

The Portuguese achieved control in the early 16thcentury. This was largely due to the voyage of Vasco da Gama around the Cape of Good Hope, on the Indian Ocean in 1498, which marked the Portuguese entry into the trade. The Portuguese gradually expanded their power over the country.

During the 19th century, British companies became increasingly involved in the trade as well as the politics. By the 20thcentury there were large private companies namely the Mozambique Company, Zambezia Company and Niassa Company, which were controlled and financed by Britain. These companies were responsible for establishing the railroads to neighbouring countries.

In September 1964, The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) began a guerrilla war against the Portuguese rule. This conflict became part of the Portuguese Colonial War (1961 – 1974). After over 10 years of warfare, FRELIMO gained control of the country.  Samora Machel was elected the president of the new government. Shortly after the country had gained independence, it was overwhelmed from 1977 to 1992 by a long and violent civil war between the RENAMO rebel’s armed force and the FRELIMO government.  Machel’s successor was Joaquim Chissano. He had big changes in store and started began peace talks with RENAMO. The civil war ended in October 1992. By 1993 more than 1.5 million refugees from Mozambique returned to the country.

Currency

Mozambique’s official currency is the New Metical as from March 2011. It has replaced the old Metical at the rate of one thousand to one. US dollars, South African Rand (mainly in southern Mozambique) and in some places the Euro are accepted and used in business.  Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and restaurants…

Geography

Mozambique is situated in Africa on the southeast coastline. It is the 35th largest country in the world. Tanzania is north of the country while Zambia and Malawi are northwest, Zimbabwe is west, South Africa is to the southwest and Swaziland is south of the country. To the east, you will find the Indian Ocean, which is known for its warm waters. The white sandy beaches are studded with palm trees and the dunes seem to go on forever. Mozambique is very unique; it has beautiful beaches on one side, wilderness, rolling mountains and forest on the other from the Great Rift Valley.

There are two different topographical regions which are separated by the Zambezi river. To the north of the river, the narrow coastline moves inland to low plateaus and hills. Further west the landscape changes to rugged highlands which include the Niassa highlands, Namuli highlands, Angonia highlands, Tete highlands and the Makonde plateau which is covered with miombo woodlands. To the south, you will find the lowlands are wider with the Mashonaland plateau and the Lebombo mountains.

Climate

Mozambique has a tropical climate. The Equator being close by allows for hot and humid days. Winter days in Maputo are an average of 24oC (75.2oF), so for many people even though it is winter, they can still enjoy time on the beaches. The wet season is from October to March and the dry season is April to September. Along the coast rainfall is heavy. Mozambique is affected by cyclones in the wet season, which forms in the Mozambican Channel.

Public Transport

The public transport in Mozambique is not recommended for travellers.  The busses or chappas do not run according to any fixed schedules and the arrival times can, therefore, vary by several hours.  it is advised that you rent a car or use the transport that lodges and hotels supply for transfers. There is a train that operates three times a week from Johannesburg to Maputo and it stops in Nelspruit and Komatipoort. Buses only operate in the major towns where the road conditions are good.

Roads

The combination of the civil war and flooding has left the roads in a poor condition. However, a lot of work has already gone into the upgrading of the road infrastructure especially in major towns and on main routes.  It is, therefore, possible to self-drive in Mozambique – especially in the southern section of the country from Maputo to Vilanculos.

There are parts of Mozambique that are only accessible by 4×4.

The biggest hazards are the potholes in the roads.  Other things to look out for are vehicles without lights driving at night, livestock crossing the roads and pedestrians. For ecological reasons driving on the dunes of beaches is not allowed.

We do not recommend any driving after dark in Mozambique.  It is important to always remain on the main roads and not to deviate from the route descriptions given.

Malaria

Malaria is present in Mozambique due to its tropical climate, large amounts of rainfall, regular high temperatures along with high humidity and stagnant water. The disease is caused by the bite of an Anopheles mosquito, only the female mosquito is the carrier of the disease. The disease is a result of the growth of malaria parasites that enter the body and head straight for the liver. Two weeks later they invade the person’s red blood cells. It is very serious and needs medical attention.

It is important that all travellers to Mozambique visit their local travel clinic or health professional before travelling.  Full and comprehensive Travel Insurance is highly recommended.