Travel Destinations / Mozambique
Mozambique is located on the south-eastern coast of Africa and has incredibly diverse and scenic landscapes. The country is a tropical paradise with stunning natural attractions and all the intrinsic characteristics of an idyllic holiday destination. There is 2,400km of coastline, with palm-lined beaches, tropical islands, crumbling forts, delicious seafood and world class diving, which is complemented by unspoiled bush, unique wildlife and an enchanting history and culture.
You can go snorkeling around the Bazaruto Archipelago or experience the mangrove channels on a dhow, or just relax under the palms in the Quirimbas Archipelago. You can also enjoy a safari at Gorongosa National Park, or simply wander along Ilha de Moçambique’s cobbled streets while enjoying the stately colonial-era architecture. Alternatively sip a café espresso at a lively sidewalk café in Maputo, take an afternoon to watch silversmiths at work on Ibo Island or dance to the country’s trademark marrabenta music.
Getting around Mozambique may take some time, but what makes the journey well worthwhile are the phenomenal coastal panoramas, the sense of space and the sheer sense of adventure travelling into the “Pearl of Africa”.
Mozambique is home to eight dominant tribal groups, namely Tsonga, Shona, Chuabo, Sena, Nyungwe, Yao and Makua-Lomwe. Portuguese is the official language, but there are more than 60 different African dialects across the country.
There is a unique African blend in Mozambique, with a rich Arabic and hence Muslim influence in the north, to a predominately Catholic orientation elsewhere. As a result of the lucrative trade routes, the interior of the country held little interest. This explains the lack of Portuguese or Arabic influences in the interior. Local cultures have survived and emerging Mozambican artists, musicians and sculptors are fast gaining international recognition.
In every town in Mozambique you will find an official Mercado (market). These frantic markets are a real treat and insight into the life of Mozambique and its friendly people. Everything you would like to buy is available, from second hand clothing, to fresh fruit, African vegetables, dried fish, tailors touting printed cloth and even shoes made from recycled car tires.
Traveler are encouraged to be responsible shoppers by not buying ivory, rare shells, seahorses, pansy shells, giant turtle shells, tiny birds in cages and live tortoises along the roadside. These and other animal products are obtained illegally and have a great impact on the already dwindling numbers of African animals remaining in previously war ravaged Mozambique.
The unit of currency in Mozambique is the metical (M), comprising 100 centavos.
Notes: 1 000, 5 000, 10 000, 20 000, 50 000 and 100 000.
Credit cards and traveler’s cheques are not widely accepted. You can withdraw money from ATMs or banks in the capital, Maputo. Exchange currency at an official Bureau de Change, but remember that US dollars and SA Rands are widely accepted. If you’re only visiting the south, you don’t need to exchange South African Rands, as it’s accepted in southern parts of the country.
Visitors are advised to take necessary precautions against malaria, including malaria prophylaxis, using insect repellents and wearing long-sleeved shirts, trousers and socks in the evenings.
Vaccinations against yellow fever are not required except for travelers over a year old originating from yellow fever endemic areas.
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Mozambique has a warm, tropical climate. There are two seasons, summer and winter. The average temperature is around 28°C and the weather along the coast is sunny and warm, even in midwinter. Summer is from October to April and is rainy, humid and very hot. Winter is from April to September and is drier and cooler than summer.
Best time to visit
The perfect island getaway, Mozambique enjoys average temperatures that range between 24°C and 27°C along its shoreline, except in the rainy season when temperatures and humidity noticeably increase. Taking that, and the summer rainy season into consideration, the logical deduction would be that May to November is the best and driest time to visit this gorgeous country.
During peak season, December to January, as well as over the Easter period in March/April, prices can increase, while South African visitors tend to flock to the south of the country. If you do want to visit during high season, it’s advisable to go more to the north as the crowds tend to be prevalent mostly in the south.