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Mozambique Travel Information

The Basics

Time

Local time is GMT +2.

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. The rounded three-pin plug is common, particularly near the border with South Africa and in Maputo. Two pronged, round- and flat-pin plugs are also found.

Language

Portuguese is the official language, though over 40 languages are spoken in the country. English is taught in secondary schools, but is only spoken in the southern tourist regions.

Travel Health

Health regulations in Mozambique require visitors to have a yellow fever certificate if travelling from infected areas. Malaria is a risk throughout the year and prophylactics are recommended, as well as precautions against mosquitos.

Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and typhoid. Visitors who will be spending a lot of time outdoors and may be at risk of animal bites should consider a rabies vaccination.

Diseases caused by unsanitary conditions are common throughout the country, and untreated water should be considered as unsafe to drink. Cholera and other waterborne diseases are prevalent during the rainy season.

The government has declared tuberculosis (TB) a national emergency and expects it to be a problem for the next 15 years. Hospital facilities are generally poor in Mozambique, and outside the major cities of Maputo and Beira medical facilities are limited.

Comprehensive medical insurance is essential and visitors should carry personal medical supplies with them. Make sure that all medication is in its original packaging and accompanied by a signed and dated letter from a doctor, detailing what the medication is and why it is needed.

Tipping

Tipping has become standard practice in Mozambique, particularly in tourist areas where a tip of about 10 percent is expected in restaurants.

Safety Information

Safety is not an issue for the vast majority of visitors to Mozambique, but tourists should remain vigilant at all times. Violent crime is on the increase in the major cities and tourist areas. Mugging, bag snatching, and pick-pocketing is fairly common, and visitors are advised to be alert in public places, to keep valuables out of sight, and to avoid walking anywhere at night. All visitors, especially women, should avoid walking alone on the beach, as beaches and offshore islands are not policed.

Visitors are advised that it is extremely risky to wander off well-travelled paths and roads, as a few unexploded landmines still lie scattered about the southern parts of the country. Local information should be sought before going off-road outside provincial capitals.

Remain vigilant when driving, as traffic accidents are common due to the poor condition of the roads. Many roads can become impassable in the rainy season (November to April), when there is also a risk of cyclones. Overland travel after dark is not recommended, and travellers should be especially alert when driving near the Mozambique-South African border. Police checkpoints are common, where foreigners may be at risk of harassment. There have been many reports of police attempting to solicit bribes, but travellers should insist on a written citation that can be paid at a police station.

Local Customs

Identity documents should be carried at all times; drug offences are taken very seriously, and can receive long jail terms and heavy fines. Ask permission before photographing anyone, particularly in remote parts of the country.

Business

Conducting business in Mozambique can be difficult, as many people only speak Portuguese or their own ethnic language. Translators are usually found in Maputo, but remain hard to come by. Punctuality is important and dress is usually conservative, with lightweight materials recommended.

Business associates should be addressed by their professional titles unless otherwise stated, and meetings generally start and end with a handshake. Men and women may shake hands, but any additional physical contact can be interpreted as romantic interest.

Communications

The international dialling code for Mozambique is +258. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). Internet access is easy and fast in Maputo and other major centres; upmarket hotels offer wifi. Mobile coverage is expanding to all main cities in most provinces.

Duty Free

Travellers to Mozambique may enter the country with the following items without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco, perfume for personal use, and 750ml of spirits or three standard bottles of wine. Drugs are strictly prohibited and a permit is required for firearms and ammunition.

Become our Mozambique Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Mozambique travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Mozambique or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.