Mozambique is brimming with wonderful wildlife, beautiful beaches and rich cultural heritage. Its coastline is surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters and its landscapes are scattered with verdant forests and African animals. Whether you fancy lazing on one of the white-sand beaches or heading out on a traditional dhow to explore along the coastline (look out for dolphins and dugong), Mozambique has a little something for everyone. Be sure to take a dive into our list of things to know before travelling to get the most out of an adventure to this southeast African gem…

Climate and Weather in Mozambique

Mozambique is warm and tropical, lying largely within the tropics. Temperatures across the country hover in the mid-20s with the warmest time of year between October and February while May to October is generally cooler. The upper Zambezi Valley is often the hottest part of the country with temperatures flirting with the 30s while the mountainous areas on the western borders can reach lows of around 10°C. The coast is subject to the regular seasonal influence of the Indian Ocean and its monsoon rains, mostly in the northeast, but the area is always warm. In January and February, the beaches tend to be wet, but they are lovely throughout the rest of the year. The dry season (May to October) is a great time to spot wildlife, as animals will congregate around the only remaining watering holes, while the wet season makes for a soggier safari where a 4x4 is a must. The grasslands are verdant which means the plains game will be rife, although finding them may be trickier as the mud gets thicker.

Food and Drink in Mozambique

When it comes to food in Mozambique, think seafood, seafood and more seafood. Thanks to its ocean-facing location, much of Mozambique’s cuisine centres around seafood. There is clear Portuguese influence with spices like garlic and pepper, but the use of coconut milk still prevails and features in most dishes. Traditional dishes of stew, corn porridge, rice, millet and cassava are very popular and if a little spice takes your fancy, peri, a local hot pepper, is a great addition to many dishes. Matapa is a dish usually served in the southern regions and is made of cassava leaves cooked in peanut sauce, and lulas are a coastal delicacy of calamari fried in batter and often stuffed or grilled.

Madeira wine is a popular drink of choice across the country, along with locally produced beers including Manica and Laurenta. Mozambique’s national lager is called 2M and is brewed jointly with South Africa. If you are looking for a different kind of beer, try one of the locally brewed ones made from maize which is very thick and sweet. For an after-dinner kick, carefully (it’s pretty potent) sip on nipa, a liquor-esque drink made from cashew nuts that is sure to wake you up after dining on some of Mozambique’s delicacies.

Language in Mozambique

Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique, but it is only spoken by about half the population. The other commonly spoken languages include Makhuwa, Changana, Nyanja, Ndau, Sena, Chwabo and Tswa, but there are around 50 other different dialects scattered across the country. English is generally spoken in hotels and beach lodges.

Health and Safety in Mozambique

Most visits to Mozambique are trouble free, but street crime is common. The beaches and offshore islands are not policed, and it is recommended that visitors don’t walk alone at night or draw cash from ATMs after dark. Be sure to carry ID with you as protests or demonstrations sometimes occur with little notice. Hospital care is generally poor in Mozambique so ensure you have proper travel insurance and in case of serious illness or injury, evacuation to South Africa or the UK may be necessary. Although there is no risk of yellow fever in Mozambique, visitors must have certification of having the vaccine.

Things to do in Mozambique

What could be better than combining culture, nature and a little bit of adventure? Spending the day on a dhow (traditional wooden sailing boat) safari is a great way to explore the beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago while keeping an eye out for dolphins or even a dugong if you’re really lucky. Make sure to pack your snorkel as you will be able to hop off the boat to explore what goes on beneath the waves. Make the most of the caster-sugar sands that line the coast and spend time relaxing on the beautiful beaches that line the Mozambique channel under the shelter of a swaying palm and with an ice-cold drink in hand. For a dash of culture, head out with a private guide to explore the area, including the bustling market, the white-tipped church and the local orphanage, or if you want a little more adrenaline, hop aboard a noble steed and go riding along the sandy beach.

Transport in Mozambique

Ensure that you keep others informed of your travel plans when moving around in Mozambique. If you are planning to drive, UK driving licences are valid for up to 90 days and it is an offence not to carry your driving licence with you when driving. Third party insurance cover is compulsory. It is recommended that you only drive during the day, keep to major roads where possible and travel in convoy in rural areas.

Additional Information

If you need emergency medical help during your trip, dial 08911 or 21313103 and ask for an ambulance. The legal drinking age is 18 years old.

Contact one of our Mozambique specialists