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Mozambique Travel Advice

Southern Sky Adventures: Mozambique Travel Advice

Visas for Mozambique

US citizens are required to have a visa to visit Mozambique. The visa can be purchased at points of entry, including airports.


Health in Mozambique

Health care in the private hospitals in Maputo and the provincial capitals is good and the healthcare providers will speak English. There are both public and private hospitals in Mozambique and all US travellers should seek out a private hospital when in need. Medical facilities outside the major tourist areas are rudimentary and many medical providers there will only speak Portuguese. All health care institutions and providers require payment at the time of service and may even require payment before providing service. Some facilities will accept credit cards.

Despite medical facilities being more limited in rural areas, all game reserves have well trained doctors on call that can be flown in.  For serious medical treatment, medical evacuation to the US or South Africa may be necessary. Game reserves have pilots available to fly any serious need patient out quickly. Properties in the game reserves have a complete local and long distance plan for treating healthcare emergencies.

Malaria has a tropical climate and malaria can be found throughout the country, particularly during the rainy season (October-April).  Malaria medications are recommended for travel into Mozambique. Please consult with your local travel doctor and/or the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) to determine what inoculations are needed before travel to Mozambique commences.

Check yourself daily for ticks when spending time in the bush of Mozambique.

Ask that your travel doctor fill out an inoculation card after your visit and make sure you copy it and carry both the original and copy with you. Often, yellow fever inoculation will need to be proven to gain entry into Mozambique.


Travel and Health Insurance to Mozambique

As with travel anywhere in the world it is essential that you should have travel and health insurance. Southern Sky Adventures advises you purchase both and would recommend that you contact Pari Morse at info@1earthtravelprotection.com with 1 Earth Travel Protection if you do not already have a supplier of these services. The travel insurance will protect you financially against any unplanned emergences that might change your plans prior to or during your travels in Mozambique.

Health insurance will ensure you get the best medical care possible while in Botswana, regardless of cost. Call your current health care provider and ask them what is covered during your trip abroad. If you purchase supplemental insurance make sure you ask for a policy that will cover transportation back to your home. We will discuss these points in detail prior to booking your trip to Mozambique.


Safety in Mozambique

Mozambique is 20 years removed from its 16 year civil war. The country stabilized following Mozambique’s first multi-party elections in October 1994 and the current president was reelected in October 2009. Should you be driving yourself through Mozambique, be aware that the road conditions, while improving, are still in need of upgrades. A 4 wheel drive vehicle is needed. In general, the roads are best the closer to the coast. Police road blocks are common and it is important for you to have a photo ID. We suggest you make copies of your photo ID (driver’s license and passport) and provide these (not the originals) to any police who ask for them.

Petty crime does exist in the larger cities so general precautions should be taken to protect valuables. Avoid bringing high end jewelry. Once in the hands of your driver, pilot or camp manager you can be assured that all these people and the camp staff can be trusted. As a precaution, use the in room safes to store valuables, cash and your passport. Always carry copies of your passport and driver’s license. In the event these items are lost, it will be much easier to replace them back at the consulate in Maputo or provincial center.

Travelers arriving into Mozambique via South Africa should be aware that there is a baggage pilferage problem at Johannesburg and Cape Town International Airports. The issue has improved as of late but travelers are encouraged to use an airport plastic wrapping service and to avoid placing electronics, jewelry, cameras, designer athletic gear, or other valuables in checked luggage. Also, make an inventory of items in checked baggage to aid in claims processing if theft does occur.


Animals in Mozambique

The Big 5 are found in most all the game reserves in Mozambique. Most all travelers from the US will be viewing these animals with a trained ranger as an escort. Strict adherence to their rules is required and special attention must be paid when traveling with children. In some cases, walking safaris are also offered. The type treks are common and can be enjoyed with no greater sense of risk if the regulations are adhered to. In addition to game viewing on land, the coast of Mozambique is also home to the seasonal migrations of the humpback whale and the whale shark.


Weather in Mozambique

Weather patterns in Mozambique are divided into two separate periods. From April to September, the weather is cool and dry and little rain is received. Daytime temperatures on the coast range from about 75 to 80 degrees with interior temperatures about 10 degrees cooler. This is the better time to visit Mozambique. From December to March the weather turns yields more rain and humidity along with a more thunderstorms. Temperatures generally range from 80 – 88 degrees along the coast but the air will be less humid and cooler further inland. The northern coastlines tend to be hotter still, sometimes rising to close to 100 degrees.


Food and Water in Mozambique

Safari lodges and camps serve international-style cuisine, generally of an extremely high standard, along with local beer and imported wine and spirits. When coming to Mozambique on safari your biggest problem with food is likely to be the very real danger of putting on weight. Good restaurants and bars can be found in main towns and often within hotels. Given its long coastline, seafood will be a main staple of many meals and a variety of fresh caught fare, including prawns, lobster and calamari can be enjoyed. The Portuguese influence is seen in the cooking where spicy sauces such as peri peri are readily used.

All camps/lodges do supply plenty of bottled mineral water. We would also recommend you use bottled water in the cities and along the coast, as well.


Internet and Phones in Mozambique

Like most African countries, mobile phone access is widespread in Mozambique.

If you are bringing your own mobile phone, ask your service provider to ensure your phone is open to allow international roaming. It is not a guarantee that your cell phone will work in some of the more remote safari lodges but all lodges will have phone access in the event of an emergency.

Mozambique’s internet infrastructure is relatively well developed. Five internet service providers provide local access to four cities and there are a number of internet cafes in Maputo and Beira.

Internet facilities are readily available. Most city hotels with either have an internet connection in the bedroom or a business center. Some safari lodges and camps in Mozambique all offer this facility but in remote areas, there is limited or no internet connection. There is very little broadband internet available except in the larger hotels in the major cities.


Money in Mozambique

The unit of currency in Mozambique is the meticais (M) which is divided into 100 centavos. If you are travelling in the southern parts of the country, South African rands, US dollars and pounds sterling are also accepted and can be used to pay for accommodation. North of Beira, US dollars and sterling are widely accepted.

Major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club, are accepted at high end hotels but very little anywhere else. Most hotels and lodges accept foreign currency or travelers’ checks. When traveling to private game reserves it is helpful to provide tips in cash in meticals. Travelers can change money at any of the Mozambique airports. Should you not have any meticals when at the game reserve, you can also tip in $US.

The exchange rate works very much in your favor. You will find that food, beverage and entertainment cost a fraction of what you might pay elsewhere in the world. Private exchange bureaus at airports and in Maputo usually offer better exchange rates than banks. There are also Exchange bureaus at major border posts. Credit card cash advances are available in major cities through the two main banks: Banco Commercial de Mozambique and Banco Popular de Desenvolvimento.


Photographic Facilities in Mozambique

There are no photographic facilities available while in the bush. Cameras, lenses, camcorders and film can be bought in Maputo and Beira. Most all the top names are represented, however most equipment is more expensive than the USA. Equipment repair will only be available in the major cities. Always bring extra batteries.

Binoculars are recommended especially while on safari in Mozambique and a camera with a powerful zoom or telephoto lens will reward you with superb shots on safari. If you have considered buying a higher power telephoto lens, now is the time to buy it.


What clothing should you bring to Mozambique

Travel light! Laundry services will be available at all private game reserves. The basics include a light rain resistant jacket; durable washable khakis, shorts; 2-3 short sleeve shirts and one pullover in summer. Hiking shoes and open shoes are useful. A hat is essential. Consider bringing a cloth wide brimmed hat that can be rolled up in your bag. Don’t forget swimwear in the summer.

If traveling in winter you can expect temperatures in the low 50’s at dawn, particularly on a morning game drive if inland. Temperatures along the coast will seldom drop to below 65 degrees at night along the coast.

Few restaurants in Mozambique will warrant dressing up as you might in the United States for an evening on the town. Khakis will be fine if dining in town. Access to laundry facilities is readily available in the major cities.


Geography and Topography of Mozambique

Mozambique is a country of a long and beautiful coastline (over 1,500 miles) on the warm waters of the Indian Ocean as its east boundary, as well as mountains on its western boundary. The great Zambezi River is the country’s primary source for power and its major freshwater fishery along with the Limpopo River. The country is often referred to having two regions: the south and the north. Mozambique shares its northern border with Tanzania and its southern border with South Africa.


Some Interesting Facts about Mozambique

Mozambique is almost twice the size of California.

Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama discovered Mozambique in 1498.

Bob Dylan once said, “It’s nice to stay a week in Mozambique”.

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