Mozambique is a unique African destination offering beautiful beaches, wild game reserves, diving escapes, swimming with dolphins, city breaks and more. Many people head straight to the beaches, forgetting that the country is brimming with kind local people, fresh markets, rich historical architecture rich historical architecture and a past that included slavery, spice trading and the export of homegrown nuts and cotton.
We now let you in on 10 facts about Mozambique that you probably didn’t know:
1. Geography: Mozambique is mainly a savanna plateau drained by the mighty Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers and the warm tropical climate is conducive to plenty of rain and flooding which has displaced thousands of people in the past who live in simple villages along the coast and in the river valleys. Thousands of tourists looking for beach resorts and accommodation along the Mozambique coast head here annually. The top visited areas include the beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago and resort towns like Vilanculos and Inhambane.
2. Mozambique borders: The most popular border entry posts for tourists in Mozambique are Komatipoort and Kosi Bay. With the new tar road to Maputo travelling time from Kosi Bay is now less than an hour and a half. So the days of the dreaded 4 wheel drive trek into Southern Mozambique are over. Visit resort towns like Pona do Oura or treat yourself to some luxury accommodation in Ponta Mamoli at places like White Pearl Mozambique. There’s some useful and current travel information available from the SA high commission in Maputo. Its normally pretty up to date and current. Further info on borders below:
Ressano Garcia to South Africa – 120 kms from Maputo
Namaacha to Swaziland – 80 kms from Maputo
Machipanga to Zimbabwe – Beira via Mutare
Nyamponda to Zimbabwe – Tete to Harare
Chanida to Zambia
3. Visas – Mozambique has revised its visa policy and visas are issued on arrival to ALL nationalities at border posts and international airports at a cost of USD 60. South Africans do not require a visa and there is no charge for entering the country.
4. Driving: can be hazardous and stressful – more often than not you will be stopped at a police checkpoint so you need to remember to wear seat-belts, obey the speed limits, and carry your driver’s license, your 3rdparty insurance and road tax documents and a huge smile.
5. Top destinations in Mozambique for holidays and leisure include the Islands of the Quirimbas, the Bazaruto Islands, Inhambane Tofo and the Barra Peninsula, the beaches of Vilanculous and the capital city of Maputo.
7. Independence: Mozambique became independent in 1975 and the country was devastated by war, also enduring almost 500 years of Portuguese rule. Thereafter there was plenty of fighting against white rule in Rhodesia and South Africa, and between the government and right-wing guerrillas. Thousands of people died.
8. Area: The country stretches some 309 496 square miles with more than 22 million people living there.
9. Official language: Portuguese, spoken by 50.3% of the population. More than half the population is Christian, nearly 20% is Islam, 10% is animism and some 20% of the population do not have religious beliefs.
10. How to greet and dress in Mozambique: shake hands wear neat casual gear to most venues. Formal attire is not really necessary in this warm climate.
11. Photographs: do not take photos of any armed forces, airports, bridges or government buildings but as a tourist, you can take photos of tourist attractions and beaches and wildlife, etc.
12. Landmines: there are still a few remnants of landmines found in the central parts of the country from the civil war, so stick to known roads and paths as emergency facilities will not get to you!