Visas and Passports
All visitors must present a passport, with a minimum six months validity, and visas are required by visitors other than nationals of Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is advisable to get one’s visas in advance. These are obtainable from Mozambique embassies or consulates, on presentation of two passport size photographs and the necessary visa fee, but they may also be acquired at international airports and border posts.
Health and Immunisation
A course of anti-malaria tablets is strongly advised. Vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio tetanus and typhoid are also recommended. A yellow fever certificate is required for those arriving from infected areas.
A tax of US$30 is payable, at the airport, by passengers departing on international and regional flights or US$10 on domestic flights.
Mozambique’s currency is the Metical. Banks and Foreign Exchange Bureau will exchange any recognized currency while credit cards and travellers cheques in US dollars and South African rand are widely accepted. Most city banks have ATM machines from which local currency may be withdrawn at all hours.
International car hire companies are represented in Maputo and Beira. Driving is on the left. An international driving license is required.
Shopping in Mozambique and Guide to Souvenirs
There are good bargains available in Mozambique’s markets and roadside stalls. Brightly coloured landscapes by Mozambican painters are becoming collectors’ items. Woven baskets, bags and hats as well as beautiful, locally produced printed cloths are also worth looking out for – as is silver jewellery made by craftsmen on the islands of Mozambique and Ibo. There are lots of shops in Maputo selling locally made arts and crafts including wooden sculptures, pottery, decorated plates and ceramics.
Travel tips for Mozambique: What to take
Don’t forget to take the camera, camcorder and binoculars. Stock up with plenty of film and batteries. If you’re visiting a game reserve, take a torch for finding your way around the camp at night. Also bring some insect repellent for spraying on exposed areas of skin at dusk. Sunglasses, suntan lotions and possibly lip-balm should also be packed. If you do forget something, most accessories can be bought in major centers.
|What to WearFor most of the year light clothing is a must. However, during the winter (June-August), it can get chilly in the evenings so pack a sweater or jacket. In restaurants ‘smart casual’ is the norm: short-sleeved shirts and slacks for men, blouses and skirts or informal dresses for women – but not shorts and vests. Topless sunbathing is frowned upon.When visiting game reserves neutral colours are preferred, but not white, because bright hues may unsettle the animals. Shorts and safari shirts in brown, beige, dark green or khaki are best. Wear sensible walking shoes and take a hat for protection from the sun. In the evening it is a good idea to wear long sleeved shirts and slacks so as little skin as possible is exposed to mosquitoes.Travel LightSome safari/air charter companies limit baggage to a 10 kilo maximum.|
Weather, Food & Water
SUMMER: October – March
WINTER: April – September
April to September:
Cool and dry, a little rain is received in these months (less than 50mm a month for Maputo) and daytime temperatures on the coast range around 24° – 27° C, while in the interior temperatures are generally cooler (around 5° C lower). You can expect around 8 hours of sunshine a day with around 60% – 70% humidity for Maputo, however this figures increases in proportion to how far north you travel. This is the best time to visit Mozambique.
December to March:
Hot, sticky and rainy with electrical storms usually in the afternoons, preceded by humid build-ups in the mornings. Rainfall of well over 200mm a month can be received. Temperatures generally range from 27° – 31° C while again it’s less humid and cooler in the interior. The northern coastline areas tend to be hotter still, sometimes soaring into the high 30s.
Please note that most Island lodges close over February as this is generally cyclone/ hurricane season.
Best Months to visit:
The cooler dry months April to September to benefit from the best wildlife viewing and excellent weather. November to December is normally best for birding activities. Remember summers are humid to very humid (tropical) in the north.
The southern beaches can be crowded during South African school holidays (Dec, Jan, early April, July, late September) so avoid those periods if you can.
Remember that Mozambique is a warm destination, so the most practical items to pack are:
- Light cotton tops and cotton trousers / shorts in summer, hat / cap and light shoes
- Long-sleeved blouses/shirts for game drives/ boat cruises, which will protect you from mosquitoes and the sun
- Safari trousers, jeans or casual pants for evenings and cooler days. A fleece or sweater is required for those cool winter evening and mornings.
- Swimwear, snorkel, mask, fins (most lodges have these for hire or included in daily rate – if you have you own you are more than welcome to bring them)
- A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (a tanning lotion and a high factor sunscreen for your face, neck, feet and hands)
- Sandals, especially to protect feet against razor clams on Bazaruto Archipelago
- Comfortable walking shoes, sandals for when swimming in the sea as razor clams can cause nasty damage to your feet
- Camera film, extra memory cards and batteries, these are near impossible to find in Mozambique and should they be available they will cost you an arm and a leg. Remember not to process your film in Mozambique rather trust your holidays photos to your photo lab when you get home or in South Africa.