Republic of Moçambique (also Mozambique / Mocambique), 801,590 km2 (784,090 km2 land; 17,500 km2 water); Population: 18,811,731
Portuguese is the official language and English is only spoken in the southern tourist regions. The major ethnic groups each have their own languages: Makhuwa, Tsonga, Lomwe, Sena, and numerous others.
The indigenous tribal groups of Mozambique make up about 99% of the population. There are 16 major ethnic groups, the largest of which is the Makua of the northern region. The Makonde, another northern group, are famous for their traditional and contemporary carved figures and also their lupembe (wind instruments). Other major groups include the Sena, found in the centre of Mozambique, and the Shangaan of the south. Europeans including native Portuguese, and Asian residents make up less than 1% of the population.
The traditions, stories and arts of Mozambique’s ethnic groups have survived colonial corruption and years of civil war. Since Mozambique gained independence, there are emerging Mozambican sculptors, painters and writers known worldwide
Summer: October – March – Winter: April – September
The average temperature for Mozambique is around 28ºC all year round. The climate varies slightly according to the regions of the country. The coast experiences a sub-tropical climate while the northern parts of the county are tropical. Generally, the hot rainy season is from October to March. The average temperature along the coast is 31º C (88º F). Inland, temperatures are slightly cooler, but conditions are more humid. In the dry season, April to September, temperatures along the coast average 27ºC (80ºF).
WHEN TO GO
The best time to visit Mozambique is during the winter months from April to September.
The southern parts of the country are generally dryer and less tropical than the north. The best months for game viewing are August and September, towards the end of the dry season. The best time for bird-watching is usually November and December, which is the hot, rainy season. A wide variety of fish are attracted to the warm waters of Mozambique, with larger fish populating the waters in summer, and the small to medium sized fish in winter, making the coast a good fishing and diving destination.
Domestic air services operate between Beira, Maputo, Nampula, Pemba, Quelimane, Tete and Vilanculos.
GMT +2 hours
Khaki, brown, white and beige colours; Light cotton tops and cotton trousers/shorts in summer; Long-sleeved blouses/shirts for game drives, which will protect you from the sun and from mosquitoes; Safari trousers for evenings and cooler days; Fleece or sweater and a warm jacket for game drives; Swimwear; A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen; Sandals, especially to protect feet against razor clams on Bazaruto Archipelago
Comfortable walking shoes
We recommend that you obtain malaria prophylactics before entering Mozambique. When purchasing these, please tell your doctor or pharmacist that you intend visiting Mozambique. Whatever prophylactics you use, remember to complete the course as directed after leaving the malaria area.
If you suffer from side effects, try taking your malaria prophylactics at night after dinner. Resistance to prophylactics is widespread so the best way to avoid getting malaria is to avoid being bitten. Take precautionary measures to prevent contact with mosquitoes, like: sleeping under a bed net or in a room/tent with mosquito proofing; making use of a mosquito repelling lotion or stick at sunset time is recommended.
No inoculations for smallpox, cholera or yellow fever are required unless you are coming from an infected area. This could change and you should check with the Mozambique Embassy when you obtain your visa. However, travel clinics generally recommend that visitors should take precautions against yellow fever, cholera, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, typhoid, smallpox, malaria and hepatitis A, particularly if you will be in the country for more than 1 month.
We advise not to drink Tap water.
Important Note: This is a guide only – please check with your nearest Mozambican consulate, embassy or Mozambican diplomatic mission for up to date information. All nationalities, apart from Malawians, require a visa to enter Mozambique. Visas can be obtained prior to departure or can be issued upon arrival at Maputo Airport or border post. This applies to all passport holders. A single entry visa is valid for up to 30 days, although with Consul’s approval this may be extended to 90 days. A multiple entry visa is valid for six months, though each entry is only valid for a ten day stay.
The unit of currency is the meticais (M) which is divided into 100 centavos. If you are travelling in the southern parts of the country, South African rands, Euros, US dollars and pounds sterling are also accepted and can be used to pay for accommodation. North of Beira US dollars and stirling are widely accepted.
Credit cards are usually accepted at more upmarket hotels and Restaurants, but apart from this your credit card will be of little use.
Local crafts and indigenous art can be purchased from markets in the cities and tourist areas. These include masks, carvings and ornaments made of wood, soapstone, malachite and wire, as well as pottery, paintings and basket ware. Avoid purchasing natural items like ivory as it is illegal to export these without a license. As expected Mozambique is a country rich in gold and diamonds, there is an excellent selection of jewellery and the opportunity to see the goldsmiths in action.