There's nothing like up-to-date, relevant travel information direct from the experts - get Go2Africa's essential Mozambique travel advice before you go.
Money & Spending
Mozambique’s official currency is the Metical (plural Meticais) but if you’re travelling in southern Mozambique both the South African Rand and US Dollar are widely accepted. In the north it’s best to carry dollars. If you want to use a foreign currency instead of Meticais when souvenir shopping at markets and craft shops then we'd recommend that you bring small denomination notes.
Most hotels and lodges have credit card facilities but there are a couple of exceptions so be on the safe side and check with your Africa Safari Expert before you travel.
At our recommended beach and island lodges all non-motorized water sports are usually free though you might be charged for snorkelling trips if a boat is needed to take you out to the reefs. We’d advise that you find out which activities are included beforehand to avoid any unexpected extras when it's time to check out.
A 10% tip for service in most Mozambique restaurants is standard. Tipping tour guides is at your discretion and depends on the size of your group and the level of service you feel you’ve received.
For in-depth tipping guidelines, enquire with one of our Africa Safari Experts - they'd be happy to share their knowledge with you.
Average summer temperatures: 21°C to 31°C
Average winter temperatures: 15°C to 26°C
Rainy season: mid-November to April
Refer to “best time to visit Mozambique” for climate charts and information on the cyclone season.
What to Pack
Generally, casual comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year for a Mozambique holiday. If you are visiting Mozambique for a beach holiday, pack plenty of light cotton tops and shorts, as well as a hat, sunglasses, beach sandals and a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
If you are planning on taking lots of photographs, be sure to pack extra memory cards and batteries for your camera as these are difficult to find in Mozambique and very expensive if you do manage to get hold of them.
For the evenings – or if you are going on safari in combination with Mozambique – pack long-sleeved clothing to protect against mosquitoes and a fleece or jacket for winter game drives.
Flights & Getting Around
Did you know you can book your flights through Go2Africa? For more information and frequently asked questions, please see our Flights section.
Maputo International Airport: the main gateway into Mozambique with direct flights from Portugal, Johannesburg or Cape Town, holiday-makers are usually on their way to one of the country's smaller airports to access the Indian Ocean coast.
Vilanculos International Airport: fly from Maputo, Johannesburg, Cape Town or Kruger International for the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago. The Kruger connection means a great logistics solution for a Big 5 safari and beach holiday.
Pemba International Airport: gateway to the Quirimbas Archipelago, Pemba is accessed via Maputo, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam - the latter two making for a great East Africa safari and beach holiday combination.
Once you've arrived on the coast, travelling onwards to the islands themselves means a boat, light aircraft or helicopter transfer. The islands are small enough to get around on foot though there will be plenty of opportunities for sailing and boating trips.
Mozambique is not a self-drive destination and travellers who want to explore its inland regions should arrange a guided safari.
Visa & Passport Requirements
All visitors to Mozambique must possess a passport valid for at least six months after their departure from the country. Visas are required by everyone except citizens of South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Swaziland and can be bought at most borders for between US $35 and US $80 depending on your nationality. However, due to recent reports of visitors being refused this service, we strongly advise you obtain your visas in advance from your nearest Mozambican Embassy.
History & Economy
Mozambique's indigenous Khoisan hunter-gatherers were displaced two thousand years ago by West African migrants, bringing with them Iron Age technology, cattle and crops. The result was a collection of powerful tribal kingdoms scattered between the Zambezi and the Limpopo Rivers, trading with Swahili and Arab coastal settlements. Plagued by slavers, the country fell under control of the Portuguese in the early 16th century but freedom came late. Only after a bitter struggle was independence achieved in 1975, and that was followed by a devastating 17-year civil war.
Coming off virtually a zero base, the Mozambican economy has been among the fastest growing in the world. Agriculture, which employs 80% of the country's workforce and makes up around 30% of GDP, has traditionally dominated but Mozambique's economic future lies in its extensive natural resources which include huge coal reserves and the world's fourth biggest natural gas fields. The country's tourism sector is growing but still performing well below its potential.
People & Culture
Since the post-independence departure of some 360 000 Portuguese, Mozambique's 24 million people are overwhelmingly drawn from its black ethnic groups, the largest being the Macau and Shangaan. Nevertheless, it is the Portuguese language that dominates and around 50% of Mozambicans speak it as a first or second language, despite the 60 or so regional languages.
Traditional African religious beliefs are still strongly held in Mozambique though some 56% of Mozambicans regarding themselves as Christian (especially in the south and in cities) with a further 18% adhering to Islam, particularly in the Arabian-influenced north. Music and dance feature prominently in Mozambican culture - the famous marimba is a local instrument - while the Portuguese influence on Mozambique's spicy, Mediterranean-style cuisine will be obvious to visitors.
Landscape & Wildlife
About three times the size of Great Britain, Mozambique is divided into two topographical regions by the Zambezi River. Northern Mozambique is a landscape of hills and low plateaus with rugged highlands in the west. Southern Mozambique is flatter due to the coastal plain which widens from north to south and accounts for almost half of the country's surface area. Away from the coast, Mozambique is very under populated and its vast open woodlands remain virtually untouched.
Most visitors to Mozambique head for the country's Indian Ocean coast. The mainland offers long stretches of palm-fringed beaches but it's the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos that are home to classic 'desert islands' and pristine coral reefs. Several of the best dive sites in the Indian Ocean can be found here and the marine life is exceptional. Highlights include year-round diving with whale sharks and manta rays, concentrations of which peak from October to April.
Once world-renowned, Mozambique's wildlife is still recovering from decades of war but one or two big game destinations are emerging as the herds return and conservation efforts pay off. Head for the Gorongosa National Park and the Niassa Reserve for some of Southern Africa's most remote, exclusive and crowd-free game viewing.