Travel to Mozambique, all the things to know before leaving for a holiday in this state of Africa, climate, necessary documents, when to go and how to get there.
Mozambique in a nutshell
- Capital: Maputo
- Area in sq. Km: 801.590
- Population: 23,700,000
- Religion: mainly Christian and indigenous cults-approx. 20% Muslim.
Where Mozambique is located
Mozambique is an East African state. It borders to the north with Tanzania, to the north-west with Malawi and Zambia, to the west with Zimbabwe, to the south-west with Swaziland and South Africa, to the east with the Mozambique Channel that separates it from Madagascar.
Almost half of the territory is made up of coastal alluvial plains and hills below 300 meters, for the remainder, the country is flat and affected by deep fractures.
The northern part is occupied by the region of the highlands, delimited internally in the longitudinal direction, by the incision of the Rift Valley, where Lake Malawi and the Shire River are located.
To the east of Lake Malawi, isolated hills rise up to 2419 meters in the granite massif of Namuli. The central and southern part is occupied by a vast plain that narrows to the center, where the Zambezi River flows in a wide valley.
To the south of the Zambezi valley, the landscape, dominated by the vast coastal plain, is interrupted by some fragments of the eastern escarpment of the Zimbabwe highlands, among them Mount Binga (2437 meters), which represents the highest peak in the country.
Mozambique has 2470 km of coastline, which is in the northern part of the country largely high, steep and carved by deep inlets.
In the center, the coast is low, sandy and sometimes marshy.
To the south, the coast often bordered by sandy bars, stands out for the beautiful bays of Inhambane and Maputo.
Many rivers descending from the southern African altars cross the territory of Mozambique to flow into the Indian Ocean. The Zambezi, one of the main rivers of Africa, enters Mozambique where it forms the artificial lake of Cahora Bassa, enriched by various rivers, including the Shire and Luangwa, crosses the country before flowing into the Mozambique channel with a large swampy delta.
The other most important rivers are Ruvuma, which largely marks the border with Tanzania, Lúrio, Save and Limpopo. Part of Lake Malawi belongs to Mozambique.Recommended readings
- Mozambique: what to see between beaches and natural parks
- Mozambique: useful information
- Maputo: what to see in the capital of Mozambique
Mozambique's climate is tropical with seasons determined by the rain regime. The periods are distinguished in cool, hot, rainy and post-rainy seasons.
The cool season runs from mid-May to mid-August and coincides with the driest period.
The daytime temperatures are between 21 ° / 27 ° C and the minimum between 8 ° / 15 ° C.
Between mid-August and September the days get longer and the temperatures start to rise, generally reaching, between late October and early November (late November in the south), maximum temperatures between 30 ° C and 36 ° C.
The end of the hot season marks the beginning of the rainy season, from November to March approximately, reaching its climax in January.
The post-rainy season runs from early April to mid-May. In this period the weather becomes increasingly sweet and sunny with maximum temperatures between 25 ° C and 32 ° C.
Mozambique's population belongs to various ethnic groups of Bantu blacks.
The most numerous ethnic group is that of the Makua, which is located in the northern provinces of the country. Other groups are Swahili, Makonde, Yao, Sena, Kunda, Podzo, Nnyungwe, Chwabo, Lolo, Manyawa, Marenje, Takwane, and others. There are also small minorities of whites (mostly Portuguese), and Asians.
Time zone Mozambique
The time difference in Mozambique is 1 hour ahead of Italy. The time is the same when daylight saving time applies in Italy.
The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese. In addition, various languages are spoken belonging to the three main linguistic groups of Makua-Lomwe, Tsonga and Sena-Nyanja.
Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, depends on international aid and has a high external debt.
However, in recent years structural reforms have been made that have favored foreign direct investments that have been used for the realization of large projects concerning the substantial mineral resources present in the country, the exploration of oil, agriculture (biomass) and transport.
The country's workforce is mainly employed in agriculture, although there are few cultivable areas due to the lack of adequate technical means that would be necessary to make the land productive.
Therefore subsistence agriculture prevails, oriented towards the cultivation of cassava, cereals and potatoes. The most profitable crops are those destined for export, such as sugar cane, cotton and tea, as well as citrus fruits, bananas, and other coastal products.
The industry is underdeveloped and mainly concerns the manufacturing sector. Tourism, despite having a lot of development potential, is hampered by the lack of infrastructure.
When to go to Mozambique
The best time to visit Mozambique is from June to September.
Documents required for travel to Mozambique
To enter Mozambique you need a passport with a residual validity of at least six months, and an entry visa, which for tourism can be obtained directly upon arrival at the airport, otherwise it must be requested from the Embassy of the Republic of Mozambique in Rome. The visa is valid for 30 days, extendable in Mozambique.
- The international prefix for telephoning from Italy to Mozambique is: 00258
- The international prefix for telephoning from Mozambique to Italy is: 0039
The cellular network is widespread. To make a call, it is advisable to purchase a local SIM card. In the major cities there are Internet Cafés.
The electric current in Mozambique is 220 volts / 50 Hz. The sockets used are of three types:
- with two small round holes, European type.
- with two large round holes, German type.
- with three round holes arranged in a triangle, identical to the South African ones.
It is advisable to have an adapter.
Coins and credit cards
The official currency of Mozambique is the New Metical. The euros and especially the US dollars can be exchanged at the exchange offices and banks of the main cities, where there are also ATMs to withdraw cash through the main credit cards.
The use of credit cards for payments is very limited, outside the major cities the local currency is the only usable.
How to get to Mozambique
From Italy it is possible to reach Mozambique through flights operated by the airline Tap Portugal, which connects Lisbon to Maputo where the international airport is located.
From Europe, there are greater possibilities of air connections with South Africa, Johannesburg airport, where by bus or car rental it is possible to reach Mozambique by land.
No mandatory vaccinations are required to enter Mozambique. The yellow fever vaccination certificate is required only from travelers over the age of one year from areas at risk of yellow fever transmission.
After medical consultation, malaria prophylaxis and vaccines against meningitis, cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A and B are recommended.
It is also advisable to follow some hygienic measures, drink only bottled water without adding ice, eat only cooked meats and vegetables, fruit only if peeled personally.
Before departure, it is recommended to take out health insurance that covers medical costs and a possible repatriation.