The Republic of Mozambique is a state in East Africa. It borders South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, and Swaziland. On the east, the country is washed by the Indian Ocean. The capital city is Maputo.
The climate varies in different districts. On the south, the climate is tropical and on the north, it is dry equatorial. The average temperature in January is +26 - +30°C and in summer, it is +15 - +20°C. We recommend coming to Mozambique from May to November as in winter rains and hurricanes occur.
The population of Mozambique consists of local African tribes. 40% of people follow traditional pagan beliefs, 35% are the Catholics, and 18% practice Islam. The official language of the country is Portuguese.
Mozambique is a real Mecca for those who is searching lazy and calm or active beach holidays. The best places for diving and fishing are in Beira, Langos, Lurio, and Tofu. The underwater world in these places is diverse and the coral reefs are very beautiful. The Bazaruto Archipelago is believed to be the best touristic centre for scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing, kitesurfing, or windsurfing.
The tourists who prefer to spend time on out-of-town resorts should visit the Zinave National Park and the Banine National Park where jeep safaris can be arranged. The landscape of the north of the country is mountainous and it attracts the climbers. This is also a destination for those who like to see ancient monuments of the civilisation and learn more about the culture and history of the African tribes. The travellers can see the Bow Lake and the Tete district.
In Maputo, there are architectural and historical monuments such as the ruins of the fortress wall. Visit the National Art Museum and see the fresco paintings, wooden and gypsum sculptures.
If you like city entertainments and shopping, go to the noisy African markets. The largest market is in Shung-Moyo where anyone can buy traditional souvenirs.
The only convenient way to get to Mozambique for the CIS and EU tourists is a transit flight with a transfer in the hub airports in Europe and Africa.
The best route is to get to Paris, Lisbon or Frankfurt first and then fly with Lufthansa and TAP Portugal to Johannesburg. Then, in the capital of South Africa, the tourists can choose a flight to Maputo or Pemba offered by South African Airways.
The alternative is to fly to Cairo or Doha. From these cities, Qatar Airway offers the flights to Kenya, Zimbabwe or Durban. From these countries, the tourists can take a direct flight to Pemba or Maputo.
The CIS citizens must submit the documents for a visa to the Embassy of the country or send the documents by e-mail. There is the official mission of Mozambique only in Moscow.
The normal time for processing the documents for a visa is 7-10 working days. The urgent processing is 5 working days.
The European citizens also must obtain a visa to travel to Mozambique. There the Embassies in Portugal, France, and Germany. The citizens of other countries must send the documents by e-mail.
The tourists are allowed to bring in:
- perfume, personal belongings, and jewellery;
- alcohol, tobacco, and cigarettes;
- gifts and brand new goods (the total cost must not exceed 100 US dollars).
The following goods must be declared:
- money exceeding 5.000 US dollars;
- photo camera, video camera and any modern gadgets;
- gold, platinum, and silver jewellery;
- sports equipment and fishing gear.
It is prohibited to import:
- national currency of Mozambique (MOZ);
- pornographic materials and literature insulting the national dignity of the people of Mozambique;
- pets and birds without an international vet certificate.
The tourists are not allowed to export:
- national currency;
- objects having artistic or historical value;
- skins of animals (without the permission of the authorities);
- cultural objects (without a sales receipt).
The cuisine in Mozambique is a mix of Portuguese cooking traditions with an African twist. The main ingredients for many dishes are fish or seafood, meat, potatoes, rice, and hot pepper.
There is a traditional dish which one can try only here, in Mozambique. This is rice rolls with a thin layer of meat. The rolls are served on a sweet flatbread Paozinho. The tourists will be pleased with a taste of Mozambique goulash with several types of meat and a hot sauce Piri-Piri.
Try a national porridge Shimu from cassava with turkey.
The most popular dish in the coastal regions is Matapa (prawns marinated in garlic and lemon juice served with rice and Piri-Piri sauce). Treat yourself to other seafood dishes such as fish goulash with mussels, potatoes, palm leaves, and coconut. If you do not mind experimenting, order salad with octopus, chickpea, and pepper or marinated squid with greens.
For the first course, order a Mozambique soup Feijoada (rich pork broth with maize flour). In the coastal regions, one can try shells Ameja which are served with hot fish broth.
Among the alcoholic drinks we recommend Kasha, anise-based or cane sugar, vodka, cashew-based home-made vodka Adjirdy (it is a very popular drink as aphrodisiac). In bars and eateries, you will be served local beer brands such as Doysh-Em, Manica, and Laurentina Clara.
As for non-alcoholic drinks, people in Mozambique prefer coconut water, fruit juices, tea, and not very strong coffee with coconut water. The local tribes make a beverage based on a plant Kakano. It is believed to be a drink of
Those who have a sweet tooth will have to resist their temptation because the choice of desserts is not great here. You will be served sweet maize flatbread, fried bananas and coconut cookies with tea or coffee. People in Mozambique can prepare a paste from Kakano and mix it with ground peanuts and cashew.
The national currency of Mozambique is the Metical (MOZ) and a small coin is centavo.
The tourists can exchange the currency at banks and in exchange offices. To perform any transactions at a bank, people must set up an account. The hotels accept US dollars and rands (South African currency). Do not exchange the currency on the street and do not take advantage of the services of the sellers as they have their own very high exchange rate.
American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are accepted at the airport of Mozambique, in large stores in Maputo, and in the hotels in the coastal regions. Traveller’s checks in US dollars are accepted only in large hotels in the coastal regions.
It is recommended to leave the tips:
- in eateries and restaurants (up to 10%);
- luggage carriers at the airport and in hotels (50 centavos for an item);
- guides and drivers in jeep safaris (1-2 meticals).
A major threat to the tourists’ security is a high level of crime. We also strongly recommend you against exchanging money in the offices without an official certification.
Details of interest
The legal norms in Mozambique are based on the Portuguese legislation system because the country for a long time was under the influence of Portugal.
The tourists must be aware that the Civil War has recently ended and not the entire territory has been cleared of missiles. The southern districts, the capital city and the coastal areas are safe for the tourists. However, in the northern districts, restrictions are imposed on the movements.
Sightseeing in Mozambique
In the Republic of Mozambique, there is one natural site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is the Island of Mozambique. Three more sights are UNESCO candidate sites:
- Chibuene and Manyikeni. 52 kilometres away from Vilanculos in Manyikeni, there are the ruins of an ancient city. 50 kilometres away from Manyikeni, the tourists can take an interesting excursion in Chibuene and see an ancient trading settlement.
- During a trip to Quirimbas Archipelago, the tourists can see 31 islands scattered for 200 kilometres away from the Delgado Cape. On the Quisiva and Matemo islands, the tourists can see the colonial Portuguese settlements Swahili.
- Anyone can take a picture of a mystical Vumba Mountain Range in the central part of Mozambique. There you can see rock art depicting the hunters: figures of a human being during a sacred ritual of the Shona people.
- A trip to the Ponta de Ouro Protected Marine Area will be an unforgettable experience. This is a marine protected area in the province Maputo and one of eight major marine bioreserves in East Africa.
- There are many other interesting sights in Mozambique that are worth the tourists’ attention.
- The Bazaruto Archipelago is a wonderful underwater park in Mozambique. The tourists will see unique flora and fauna.
- A tour across the Zinave National Park, the Banine National Park, and the Gorongosa National Park is a great chance to enjoy unique African nature and learn about the diversity of the animal world.
- In Maputo visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Conception, the City Hall and the Iron House, see the Statue of Samora Machel, and the Workers Square. The tourists can see the Louis Trichardt Trek and the Jardim Tunduru Botanical Gardens. The Money Museum and the Fortaleza Fortress are must-visit places.
Souvenirs in Mozambique
On the markets of Maputo and on the largest market in Shung-Moyo, the tourists can buy souvenirs and unusual gifts. The national jewellery made by the people from the tribes, beads, earrings, and bracelets, fur headwear and wooden carved figurines will remind you of the time you spent in Mozambique.
A cute gift is a Calabaza. It is a vessel made of a pumpkin. The locals take Calabaza with them to carry refreshing drinks.
You can also buy smoking pipes of any size. The pipes in Mozambique are made of red or ebony tree. Only people from some tribes can make the pipes, so this will be a truly unique and a valuable gift.