Travel tips when visiting Mozambique
Mozambique is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world to visit on holiday, with its miles of pristine coastline, sparkling crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Untouched natural beauty and the friendly, open and diverse population make it even more intriguing. However, with this been said, it is important to remember that Mozambique was once a war torn nation and still considered a third world country, and needs to be approached with this in mind.
Certain remote areas of Mozambique are situated off the beaten track and therefore certain supplies are not readily available. When visiting these destinations, ensure that you stock up on provisions before arrival. Most major towns and cities have just about everything you might need.
South African passport holders do not require a visa to enter Mozambique. However, your passport must be valid for 6 months after your return. South African citizens do not need an international driver’s licence however a valid licence and original vehicle registration papers are necessary if you are driving yourself. Please note that travelling after dark in Mozambique is not advisable in certain areas as there are no streetlights and inadequate lighting from other vehicles on the roads. Public transport can be hazardous and some resorts require 4 x 4’s or at least a vehicle with good clearance as the roads are thick and sandy and cars could get stuck.
Please note that it is not uncommon to be stopped at police checkpoints around the country. If you follow the basic guidelines, you will not have any issues. Ensure you wear your seat belts at all times and stick to the speed limit.
Travelling by air
Main access from Europe and North America is via Johannesburg although TAP Air Portugal and LAM Mozambique Airlines operate direct services to Maputo from Lisbon. From Johannesburg connecting flights to Maputo are operated by South African Airways and LAM while other operators serve Inhambane, Pemba and Vilanculos. Regional flights to Mozambique are also available from Durban, Cape Town and Mpumalanga in South Africa; Dar es Salaam in Tanzania; Nairobi in Kenya; and Harare in Zimbabwe. LAM’s domestic services connect Maputo with the country’s major cities and tourist destinations. Mavalane International (MPM), five miles (8 km) north of Maputo. Beira (BEW), eight miles (13 km) from the city, Inhambane, Lichinga, Nampula, Pemba and Vilanculos.
What may I bring into the country?
Items such as alcohol and cigarettes are limited to 1 bottle of hard tack, or two bottles of wine and 200 cigarettes per person.
Mozambique as a whole is a malaria zone and the threat is very real. It is suggested that you take prophylaxis and contact your doctor for any further information prior to departure. Most resorts and accommodation establishments provide mosquito nets and coils in the rooms.
The Mozambican currency is the Metical, however most businesses accept South African Rand’s as well as US Dollars in cash. Credit cards are accepted however only in major towns and cities. It is advised that you query the payment methods before arrival and carry cash with you. Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted.
Climate and dress codes
Mozambique has a tropical climate and the weather varies from mild to extremely hot and humid. It is very rarely gets cold in Mozambique however it is advised that you pack a warm jacket or sweater just in case.
Due to climate and the Mozambican culture, dress codes are relaxed and therefore sarongs, shorts and T-shirts are acceptable in most areas. Please note that due to the Arab influence, there is a high Muslim population and therefore vest/tank tops and topless sunbathing is not allowed. It is also advised not to wear items of clothing with army print.
Electricity and water supplies
Many of the island resorts and coastal regions run off generators. You should be advised beforehand should there be limitations on electricity supplies and if generators are switched off during certain hours of the day / night to save on power. For some this might be an area of grave concern and therefore highly recommended that you ask regarding the power supply if not mentioned prior to booking.
Tap water in Mozambique is generally deemed unsafe to drink and therefore recommended that you only drink bottled water.
Although most accommodation establishments are covered with Medical Evacuation Insurance, it is highly recommended that you are covered with Travel Insurance. Medical emergencies might not be covered by certain policies and therefore recommended that you carry sufficient cash in case you are in a situation requiring medical treatment (note not all medical health providers have card facilities).
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