Mozambique is a perfect holiday getaway popular with European and South African holidaymakers.The clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean teeming with sea life make Mozambique one of the best places in the world for snorkelling and scuba diving
Passports and visa
NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
Note: Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travellers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.
Visa Link: https://www.embassypages.com/southafrica
Health regulations in Mozambique require visitors to have a yellow fever certificate if travelling from infected areas. Malaria prophylactics are recommended. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid. Comprehensive medical insurance is essential.
New Year’s Day 1 Jan
Heroes Day 3 Feb
Women’s Day 7 Apr
Worker’s Day 1 May
Independence Day 25 Jun
Victory Day 7 Sep
Armed Forces Day 25 Sep
Peace Day 4 Oct
Christmas Day 25 Dec
Money & duty free
The official currency is the New Metical (MZN), which is divided into 100 centavos. In the southern parts of the country, South African Rands, US Dollars and Pounds Sterling are often also accepted to pay for accommodation. Credit cards are accepted in some upmarket hotels in Maputo.It is advisable to carry cash.
Travellers to Mozambique may enter the country with the following items and not incur customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 250g tobacco, perfume for personal use, and 750ml of spirits. Drugs are strictly prohibited and a permit is required for firearms and ammunition.
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.
Local time is GMT +2.
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). City/area codes are also in use, e.g. (0)22 for Xai Xai.
Portuguese is the official language- there are 13 main national languages spoken. English is only spoken in the southern tourist regions.
Immigration & border crossing
Border Post Formalities:
On arrival at the Mozambican side of the Kosi Bay/Farazela border post:
Proceed to the counter and produce your passport. Please ensure that your passport is stamped with an entry date. We have received numerous reports of passports not being stamped and then when the passport holder wants to return to South Africa, he/she is informed that the passport does not have an entry stamp, that the passport holder has been in Mozambique illegally and the passport is then confiscated until a fine of R2 000 is paid.
If you are travelling in your own vehicle, you will be required to produce vehicle registration and fill in an importation form. Please keep a copy of this form with you during your stay in Mozambique as you may be asked by officials to produce it.
Third Party Insurance:
There are several small huts on the far side of the border post which house offices selling Third Party insurance which you are required to take out if you are driving a vehicle and/or a trailer into Mozambique. Choose any hut as they all offer the same service at the same price. You may need to show the original registration papers of your vehicle so it is best to have them with you. Policies are based on the value of your vehicle (expect to pay approximately R175) and they are valid for 30 days.
Under no circumstances, should you try to photograph anything at the Border posts.
Please note that no fresh food and meat can be taken back into South Africa unless it is frozen and vacuum packed.
The border post opens at 08h00 and closes at 17h00 daily. It does not take much time to get through the border posts. However long weekends and peak holiday periods can create extensive delays. During the High Season (12 December to 5 January) it is open for an extra two hours daily 07h00 to 18h00.
The best time to visit Mozambique is between April and October with June to October when night time temperatures require a duvet but during the day the weather is still very hot and good for swimming and beach activities.
Late November to March is the wet season in Mozambique, and temperatures during this period can be uncomfortably hot.
- Enough ZAR cash as the closest ATM is in Ponta do Ouro – it only works with Visa cards – and very few facilities take credit cards
- Fresh drinking water
- Cool casual clothing
- Swimsuit, sarong and hat
- Beach chairs
- Something warm for chilly evenings
- Sunscreen and other toiletries
- Mosquito repellent
- Binoculars and bird book
- Diving, snorkeling and fishing gear
- Beach umbrella
- Contact numbers
- Medical Aid card and contact numbers
- First Aid kit
National Tourism Fund (FUTUR), Maputo: +258 21 307 323, or Empresa Nacionale de Tourismo (ENT), Maputo: +258 21 420 147.
Mozambique High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 401 0300. www.embamoc.co.za
Please contact your closest Mozambique embassy for passport and visa requirements.
MOZAMBIQUE EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Mozambique has no short emergency number. For medical emergencies call +258 82 012 3455.
AIRPORTS IN MOZAMBIQUE
Maputo International Airport (MPM)
The airport is situated 5km northwest of Maputo.
Buses service the airport roughly every hour during the day and taxis are available.
Tel: +258 (0)1 465 038/9, +258 (0)1 465 036/7, +258 (0)1 465 003.
Beira International Airport (BEW)
The airport is situated 10km north east of Beira.
There are buses and taxis available to the city centre.
Tel: +258 (0)3 301 071/2, +258 (0)3 302 011.
Inhambane Airport (INH)
The airport is located on the outskirts of the city of Inhambane in Mozambique. Taxis are readily available at the airport. Ask one of the friendly airport staff members what they feel a reasonable fare into Inhambane city is, and agree on this price before getting into the taxi.
Cahora Bassa Lake
Situated in the Tete Province of Mozambique, the Cahora Bassa Lake is Africa’s second-largest artificial lake. The nearest town is called Songo, established in 1969 to house the workers for the construction of the dam.
Great fishing is the biggest drawcard of the dam and fishing trips are very popular, as the vast stretch of water contains Tiger Fish, Sharptooth Catfish, Vundu, Bream, Longfin Eels, Zambezi Parrotfish and much much more.
Boat cruises and waterskiing are other attractions of the area. The lake and surrounding landscapes are very picturesque, with lush vegetation and dramatic mountainous scenery.
The rich birdlife attracts bird enthusiasts. There is a large population of hippos in the dam, and Baobab trees can be seen on the southern shores. Boat tours down the beautiful gorges of the dam, and sunset cruises are a must for travellers in the region.
Entry to the dam is restricted and visitors should speak to the owner of O Sitio restaurant about admission before leaving Songo.
Gorongosa National Park
Gorongosa National Park
Often referred to as ‘the place where Noah parked his Ark’, Gorongosa National Park was a playground for the rich and famous back in the 1960s, lured by the abundance of wildlife in the area. The subsequent years of war and poaching decimated the wildlife count but programmes have since been put in place to restore the park’s previous status as one of the richest wildlife refuges in the world.
The park now includes the verdant Mount Gorongosa, which has lush rainforest on its summit and slopes and is the source of the life-sustaining rivers that travel through the reserve.
Gorongosa National Park supports astounding biodiversity, with 398 bird species, 122 mammals, 34 reptiles and 43 amphibians that have been documented. Highlights for visitors include elephants, buffalo, lions, crocodiles and zebra. There are traversable roads to the park from both Beira and Maputo, and comfortable lodgings are available.
Transport: It is advisable to make this trip in a 4×4 vehicle.
Opening times: Park is closed between mid-December and mid-April.
Ilha de Mozambique
Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique Island) is an island in the Nampula Province in Northern Mozambique, up the coast from Beira, with a fascinating historical heritage. It was the capital of Mozambique for nearly four centuries under Portuguese rule before the move to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), and was used as a base for Arab traders long before that. It is not only a wonderful tourist destination in Mozambique, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an exquisite mix of old Portuguese and Muslim architecture, dividing the old Stone Town in the north and the Reed Town in the south. There is a great museum in the form of the Palacio Govierno, a big red building in Stone Town. Also worth seeing is the fort at the northern tip of the island, home to the Church of Nossa Senhora Baluarte, quite possibly the oldest surviving European building in the southern hemisphere, dating back to 1522. At the northern end of the island there is a dive centre, situated on a beach where visitors can take boat trips or else just laze on the sand. For the more adventurous, a dhow can be taken to Chaga or Mossuril on the mainland to explore the coast.
The tiny island is accessible via a bridge from the mainland. Because of the island’s size, visitors won’t have any trouble walking around it; it’s a 20-minute walk from end to end, and Gabriel’s has bicycles for hire.