Mozambique is known to all as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean - its beaches are the gem of Africa and its expanse of crystal clear waters can keep you mesmerised.
Known for its rich wildlife and beautiful coastline in the South East of Africa - South Africans can easily plan their holidays to this wonderful island. Escaping to Mozambique will provide you with an unreal experience as you feel as if you are thousands of miles of out Africa.
Mozambique boarders South Africa to the east and is visa-free for locals. Being colonized by Portugal it is littered with Mediterranean and European flavors, making it a hot spot for tourists from across the world.
The country really is historically rich - the Eastern flavors across the islands originate from the early colonial days as trading occurred between Persia, India and China, allowing these spices to become infused with the culture of Mozambique.
The remnants of Portuguese colonization make it an architectural feast as many buildings are adorned with colonial-era architecture, featuring the Cathedral Metropolitana de Nossa Senhora de Fatima. The seafood is a delicacy of Mozambique and seafood lovers are highly encouraged to travel here.
It will serve you well to explore multiple islands while visiting Mozambique as each of them have something special to offer - from snorkeling with the dolphins along a lush coral reef to the tastes of Mozambican and Portuguese inspired food, to being awe-inspired by the wildlife of Africa.
Mozambique is the destination to head to for an ultimate disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life.
Here's what you need to go if you go:
Visas: South Africans do not require a visa, if staying for less than 30 days.
Upon arrival you are issued with a temporary entrance visa that is given to you at the airport. The process is rather speedy and requires you to fill in a entrance form.
Passport validity: must be valid for 6 months with at least 3 blank pages in your passport.
Costs: There is no costs included in a visa IF you are entering the country for less than 30 days.
Click here to find out the requirements for 30 days +
SEE: Mozambique introduces tourist visa on arrival
Medical: Anti-Malaria medication is a MUST.
Mozambique is a malaria zone and it is strongly advised to take anti-malaria medication for the trip. The medication is prescription based and requires a consultation with your doctor.
The Centre for Disease and Control recommends that the following vaccinations be taken for those travelling to areas of active transmission of the following ; Cholera, Hepatitis A and B and Typhoid. If you are travelling from an area with Yellow Fever infection rates - it is a requirement to get the vaccination before entering Mozambique.
Flight Route Access : There is a direct flight from Johannesburg International airport to Maputo.
- In order to reach Bazaruto Island, Inhaca Island, Medjumbe and Benguerra Island a flight to Vilankulos or one of the several airports must be taken as it must be a close distance via boat to the island.
- Boat travel is organized by the hotel if need be. The trip from Vilankulos to Bazaruto Island is 45 minutes.
National Carrier: Lam Mozambique Airlines
Airport Hub: There are a total of 7 airports in Mozambique, each caters to travelling to a specific destination.
Flight time: It is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
PLAN AHEAD: Click here to find flights
Time Zone: South Africa and Mozambique run on the same time zone.
Travel Adapter: Type C, F and M are used in Mozambique - a generic adapter can be purchased from a travel store. Keep in mind that we also use Type M plug points and Type C and F are two point plug points.
Public Transport: When travelling outside of the major cities of Mozambique - public transport becomes unreliable and you are advised to resolve transport measures prior to the trip.
- Unfortunately Uber is not yet available in Mozambique.
- Expect to travel by taxi and bus within the city centres.
- Most hotels offer a transportation service and are reliable.
Where to stay : Search The Top hotels for Mozambique
Climate: Being located on the tropic of Capricorn, it provides the island with a tropical climate and minor levels of humidity. The average temperature along the islands ranges from 26 - 28 degrees Celsius during the summer.
Best time to go: The rainy season falls from December to March but slowly begins to clear up around April, from June to August are the cooler months with the temperature picking up to a hot 30 + degrees Celsius in September.
Currency: The local currency is the Mozambican Metical MT - US dollars are often used at the hotels as a form of currency. 1 South African Rand is currently = 4, 5 Meticals. One US dollar is = 60 Metical
SEE: Mozambique: Budget friendly escapes for South Africans
Basic costs provided by Expatisian.com which states that food is 4% cheaper in Cape Town than Maputo.
- Basic lunch time menu with drink in the business district cost 645 MT vs SA R106
- Combo meal in a fast food restaurant cost 355 MT vs SA R56
- 0,5 litre Beer from the local shop cost 51 MT vs SA R16
- A good bottle of wine cost 518 MT vs SA R80
- 2 litres of Coca- Cola cost 73 MT vs SA R16
Food to eat:
Mozambique is well known for its seafood delicacies as there is an abundance of it freshly caught from the ocean. They are also known for their local chilies. The local chilies grown on Mozambican soil are known to be extremely pungent. Most of their dishes are a fusion of Mozambican and Portuguese tradition. Matata is a local spinach-based dished that has Portuguese roots but is fusion-ed with the spices and prawns of Mozambique.
Useful phrases in Portuguese
Bom Dia! - Good Morning
Tchau - Bye
Obrigardo - Thank you
Por favor - Please
Quanto - How much?
Come estas? - How are you?
Desculpe - I am sorry
Muito Bem - very well
Voce Fala ingles - Do you speak English?
Ponde me ajudar? - Can you help me?
Onde fica a casa de banho? - Where is the bathroom?
SEE: Get your tongue roiling: 4 free language apps everyone can use.
Duolingo is a wonderful way to learn a new language.
Mozambique total population consists of 29, 5 million people and bridges on the tropical line of Capricorn. The population is made up of several tribes ; the Makonde, Swahili, Tonga, Yao, Nguni and Chopi. The country has 45 000 people who have Indian ancestry.
It gained its independence from 500 years of colonialism in 1975. The lush greenery and diverse nature is home to not only a vibrant ocean life but a wildlife of abundance. It is home to some of the rarest species in the world such as the elephant shrew and the elusive ocean giant, dugong.
Many visitors to Mozambique have had this rare chance to see this gentle giant in the waters. During July to September it is dolphin season and they can be spotted swimming through the pristine waters.
READ: #AfriTravel: Here's what a R34m Mozambique island adventure entails
Key Tips to Keep in Mind:
- Apply a decent amount of sunscreen throughout the day
- Cover your legs and arms in the evenings to avoid mosquito bites
- Make sure to take the anti - malaria medication as indicated by your doctor.
- Do not drink the tap water! Stick to bottled water.
Highlights to check out:
1. Gorongosa National Park
It is a restoration project devoted to ensuring the wildlife is kept in their natural habitat and that the land flourishes.
2. Lake Niassa
Although people think of this lake as in Malawi, 25% of its waters are in Mozambique. Its crystal clear waters will stun you.
3. Scuba Diving
Mozambique is ayear-round diving destination. Its warm, crystal clear Indian Ocean waters offer a thrilling and rewarding experience with remarkably unspoilt coral reefs and an abundant variety of marine life.