Here is a brief history to get you excited about our Mozambique travel guide.
Mozambique has traces of many civilizations that lived and ruled here. It was first inhabited by the Bantu tribes after the great Bantu migration. Even before the arrival of the Portuguese, it was a trade center between other African countries.
The arrival of Vasco de Gama in 1498 started a massive Portuguese settlement that lasted for four centuries until the country gained independence from Portugal in 1975.
However, the first multiparty elections weren’t held until 1994 due to a devastating civil war.
Ever since the first elected president, Mozambique demonstrated significant economic growth owing to its rich natural resources, with the dominance of agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing to some extent.
The discovery of a gas field with 4200 billion cubic meters of natural gas in Mamba made the country a potential candidate for producing liquefied natural gas.
Mozambique Travel Guide: Things to Do, Places to Stay, Culture, and Travel Tips
Official language: Portuguese
President: Filipe Jacinto Nyusi
Currencies: Mozambican metical
Plan a Trip to Mozambique
Points of Interest: Bazaruto Archipelago, Quirimbas Islands, and more…
Average Flight Time: 24 h 45 min flight
Fun Fact: The Island of Mozambique, just off Northern Mozambique, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Why Visit Mozambique
With the turquoise beaches and rich marine life, Mozambique is already the number one choice of tourists from South Africa and overseas.
Whether you are at the vibrant capital city of Maputo or chilling on a hammock in the coastal city of Tofo, you are guaranteed to be mesmerized. Besides the lovely coastline, the country offers spectacular wildlife that is often underestimated.
In this travel guide, we aim to give you a quick yet comprehensive review of everything you need to know about this beautiful country.
Best of Mozambique
Best Places to Stay in Mozambique
#1 Maputo Afecc Gloria Hotel
It is in Polana Cimento A district
#2 Southern Sun Maputo
For the ultimate rest and relaxation, Southern Sun Maputo offers the perfect atmosphere. Located on the beautiful shores of the Indian Ocean you get everything you need including an in-house hair salon and boutique.
#3 Radisson Red/Blue Maputo
Line about Radisson
#4 Taka-Taka Hotel, Maputo
The Taka-Taka hotel is just 3.2 miles from the Maputo International Airport and is located in the Central A district in Maputo (~0.6 mi from Peace Square). The hotel features an on-site restaurant and room service with a beautiful atmosphere and beaches for guests.
#5 Baia Sonambula, Tofo
Baia Sonambula in Tofo is a stunning hotel with lush gardens and a terrace for guests. The hotel features room service, continent breakfast, hairdryer and more. Baia Sonambula is just an 18-minute walk from the Tofinho Monument and other points of interest.
#6 Chuiba Bay Lodge, Pemba
For those looking for the tropical vibes in the Pemba, the Chuiba Bay Lodge offers over 24 acres of pure, undiluted nature situated between the dunes of a clear blue beach. Chuiba Bay Lodge is less than 5 miles from the Pemba International Airport.
#7 Ruby Backpackers, Nampula
The ultimate backpackers’ paradise and top-rated accommodation in Nampula is Ruby Backpackers. At a rate of ~$30/night, you get a comfortable spot to lay your head inclusive of breakfast!
Best Things to Do in Mozambique
#1 Explore the beaches
Mozambique’s coastal towns will make you believe that you went to heaven while still alive. Port cities like Tofo, Vilankulo, Ponta do Ouro in the south, the Quirimbas Islands and Pemba in the north are full of turquoise beaches with crystal clear waters.
You can either sip a cocktail and relax by the beach all day or join the diving tours to see marine life from whales to dolphins.
#2 Visit the national parks
Although excessive hunting and civil war damaged the wildlife in the past, an enormous attempt is being made to bring it back. It seems that partial success was achieved.
The wetlands in the country still boast thriving wildlife of antelopes and occasional big game animals. The Maputo Special Reserve gives you a glimpse into the wildlife of this country.
#3 Explore the cultural heritage
Mozambique’s rich culture was influenced by Portuguese settlers, Bantu tribes, and many other civilizations. In the cities, you can admire the captivating architecture.
You can then visit the rural towns in the Zambezi Valley and Makonde Plateau in the north to witness the Bantu traditions that the people still practice. This is a great 9-day cultural tour of the coastal areas of Mozambique including Tofo, Vilanculos, and Chidenguele.
Best Things to See in Mozambique
It contains the archeological remains of the Menu Mutapa Kingdom dating back to the 12th century. The site is 52 km to the west of Vilankulo. There is not left of the remains but it’s a great stop if you need some time away from the beach.
Gorongosa National Park is the largest national park in the country and the one with the most diverse wildlife. The thick vegetation of the park is home to wild animals like lions, elephants, and hippos. Lake Urema, Murombodzi Falls, Mount Gorongosa, and Cheringoma Plateau are main attractions.
The group of six islands belongs to the mainland Vilanculos, creating picturesque sandy beaches, coral reefs suitable for many water sports.
Ready for your trip to Mozambique? Don’t forget these key essentials. You might also find this post about Gorongosa National Park insightful.
Best Places to Eat in Mozambique
Mozambican cuisine is heavily influenced by Portuguese, African and Arab cultures. Needless to say, you will reach the Nirvana of seafood here.
#1 Zambi, Maputo
#2 Dhow Café, Maputo
#3 Piri Piri, Maputo
#4 Branko’s, Tofo
#5 What U Want Restaurant
Average Flight Cost from Maputo to Inhambane: $100
Set low fare price alert for Mozambique!
Fatima’s Backpackers in Maputo: $8.50 per night
Baobab Backpackers in Vilanculos: $32 per night
Standard hotels in Maputo: $30-40 per night
Standard hotels in Tofo and Vilanculos: $60-100 per night
Meals such as seafood platter: $6
Fruits: $0.006 each
Chapa from Maputo to Tofo: $12
Single tuk-tuk ride in the city: $1-2
A full-day diving tour in Vilanculos: $50
Shark-whale-dolphin spotting in Tofo: $40
Full single-day tours: $45 – $350
Total Travel Cost
By African standards, Mozambique is a pretty affordable country to explore. You’ll likely spend the most on accommodation. Depending on your budget or luxury needs, you might spend about $100/day which includes your hotel.
That comes out to $700, give or take, for a one-week trip. There is a $50 fee for a single-entry visa on arrival.
Mozambique Travel Tips
Weather in Mozambique
Mozambique is one of the countries where the Tropic of Capricorn passes through. Therefore, it has a wet and a dry season.
The wet season is in summer between December and April, with temperatures varying between 22 and 32 degrees. The dry season is slightly colder, but still warm enough between 18 and 24 degrees.
Best Months to Visit (When to Visit)
The wet season is when the cyclones occur. Although they don’t occur every year, you must still follow the weather forecast for the most recent reports.
The dry season between June and September is much more plausible for touristic activities, especially if you are looking to sail out into the ocean. This is the best time for diving because of high visibility, absence of strong winds and weak currents.
How to Save Money in Mozambique
- Food is incredibly cheap in Mozambique, but you can still save up from transportation and accommodation.
- Public transport between towns- although a bit painful and overcrowded – is as cheap as $5 – $10 for a 6-hours-long ride
- Ruby Backpackers is always accommodating for budget travelers. Fatima’s Backpackers is an alternative with two branches; one in Maputo, one in Tofo.
Mozambique Travel Guide: What You Need to Know About Mozambique
- Mozambique is unfortunately in a high-risk-malaria zone, so you need to include anti-malarial pills when you are preparing your packing list. There are options at varying prices. The rule of thumb is, the cheaper the pills are the more severe the side effects become.
- You must only buy water and drinks from trusted brands with proper packaging. In January 2015, a mass poisoning occurred due to contaminated beer, causing the death of 72 people.
- Mozambique is safer compared to African countries like South Africa; however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be street-smart. Take necessary precautions, don’t flash your valuables, don’t walk alone at night; you will probably be just fine.
- The northern half of the country is under the threat of cyclones such as cyclone Ida that caused massive destruction. You should always keep an eye on the weather forecast before you plan your trip.
Culture & Customs
The official language is Portuguese; however, several Bantu languages are also spoken in the rural area. These include Tsonga (Tswa-Ronga), Shangaan, Makhuwa, Zulu, Makonde, and Chopin.
The currency is Mozambican Metical (MT)
1 USD = 62 MT
1 CAD = 46.06 MT
1 AUD = 41.22 MT
1 EURO = 67.68 MT
1 GBP = 74.67 MT
A tip of 10% is expected at restaurants. Guides, kitchen and cleaning staff will also appreciate the tipping of 3-5 USD.
Although Mozambique’s wildlife suffered from extensive poaching and hunting, current attempts are successful at re-introducing a huge portion of the animals.
The fertile soil of the terrain accommodates thousands of antelopes, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, lions, hippos and crocodiles. The wetlands are also in perfect condition for the birdlife.
You can read our detailed guide about Gorongosa National Park for more information.
Getting Around Mozambique
Renting a car in South Africa is possible for driving to Mozambique; however, it is not recommended. The police are inclined to pull over international drivers for bribery.
You can take the chapa-type buses between towns and tuk-tuks in the cities. (see the prices above)
There are also flights between major cities. Check LAM Mozambique Airlines for details and booking.
Entry & Exit Requirements
- Mozambique does not require a visa from SADC countries for up to 30 days
- The other countries are required to obtain a visa, which can be granted at the borders on arrival for 50 USD. The visa allows a single entry and is valid for 30 days.
We hope you found our detailed Mozambique travel guide helpful. To help you get started on your trip, check out our travel guides, Mozambique Packing List, and the additional resources below.
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