Mozambique with its enchanting people, full of welcoming kindness and consideration, is bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is a land full of life and hidden beauty, with untouched nature stretching from the endless pristine beaches of Tungué Bay in the far north to the diving enthusiasts’ paradise at Ponta de Ouro in the south. And in between there are the paradise islands of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique Island, with its centuries of history and culture, truly a World Heritage site, the treasures of the Bazaruto Archipelago Nature Reserve, nature’s gift of Inhambane, where migrating whales pass by without fail, and the beach at Xai Xai, where delicious fresh oysters wet the appetite for more. Mozambique is also one of the world’s new sanctuaries. It is investing in the recovery of its wildlife, with a great variety of nature reserves, and it is likewise devoting resources to tourism, with high-quality hunting safaris, but at the same time working to develop greater awareness of the environment. In the towns and cities that seem so familiar to us, a great diversity of history and cultures is melded into the architecture, and the pulse of daily life can be felt, from the bustle of the markets to the striking handicrafts, from the museums to the bars and restaurants. But since it is impossible to say everything at once, we have prepared this guidebook for you. Here you will be able to find directions towards finding enjoyment in the culture, the people, the cuisine and the beauty of a country that awaits you. Come and discover its mysteries and you will cherish it forever.
Intresting Facts About Mozambique
In the North, the beaches are mainly rocky, whereas, in the Centre, situated near the river mouths, we find what can be described as dry riverbed beaches bordered by extensive mangroves. The sandy beaches are to be found in the South, with high dunes covered with low rough vegetation. Parallel to the coast, are isolated or groups of islands, some of which provide the tourist with good conditions in terms of lodging and the opportunity to observe the very varied vegetation and fascinating wildlife. Historic monuments are also to be found on these islands, a testimony to the Arabs and Europeans who settled there. The magnificent transparent waters are an irresistible invitation to go swimming, snorkeling, and diving and admire the extraordinarily beautiful coral reef and the underwater marine life. The best-known beaches along the coast noted for their visitor orientated infrastructures are: Pemba, Island of Mozambique, Fernão Veloso, Chocas, Vilankulo, Tofo, Morrungulo, Inhassoro, Inhambane, Bazaruto, Zongoene, Xai-Xai, Bilene, Marracuene, Inhaca, Ponta de Ouro and Ponta de Malongane.
A well laid out airport system makes domestic air travel within Mozambique quick and safe. The airports of Maputo, Beira and Nampula are open to international traffic. Regional traffic uses Pemba and Vilanculos.
Borders Control Posts
The existing posts are to found at Ressano Garcia (06H00-24H00), Namaacha (06H00-20H00), Goba (06H00 20H00), Ponta d`Ouro (06H30-17H30), Machipanda (06H00-18H00), Cuchamano (06H00-18H00), Zóbwè (06H00-18H00), Milange (06H00-18H00) and Mandimba (06H00-18H00).
It is recommended that visitors arrive well before the stipulated closing times.
Ports: Maputo, Beira, Nacala and Pemba.
Any visitor wishing to visit the country must obtain a visa from the Mozambique Consulate or Embassy. It is necessary to present a passport, two recent photographs and fill in the respective form. Visas can be obtained at the frontiers for a 30 day visit. South Africa, Swaziland, Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe in the base of agreements are exempt of visas.
Upon arrival visitors must declare those articles subject to customs duties. Free of tax are objects of personal use Such as clothing, books and camaras Each visitor is allowed:
– Tobacco: 400 cigarettes or 100 small cigars or 50 big cigars or 250grm of loose tobacco;
– Alcoholic drinks: 1 liter of spirits and 2,25l of wine;
– Perfume: 50ml of perfume; Medication: reasonable quantities for personal use.
– Other articles not exceeding USD 50;
– Narcotics and Pornographic material are prohibited;
– Transport of arms must have a special licence;
Any transactions with customs should include the respective receipt.
Entry of vehicles on tourist or business trips belonging to or driven by non-residents
A temporary import licence is required upon entry into the country.
Vehicles imported temporarily cannot be sold or lent out and the owners must present temporary import documentation whenever requested.
It is obligatory to carry identifi cation at all times.An authenticated photocopy of the same is allowed.
All visitors must be in possession of a certifi cate declaring that they have been vaccinated against yellow fever. Precautions should be taken to avoid mosquito bites and extra care taken when drinking water and eating local tropical food so as to minimize the risk of intestinal upsets so frequent in tropical climates. Should medical assistence be required, well-equipped clinics are available.
Local voltage is 220/240 V 50 Hz.
Although local water is reasonably safe, visitors are advised to drink the good quality bottled water available in must urban and tourist centres.
The main urban centres provide the necessary postal services. Express Mail, such as DHL and EMS are also available.
In Mozambique driving is on the left.
All drivers must carry the following documents: Identification, driver’s license, car registration, insurance when applicable a temporary import license for towing caravans, boats, etc.
Seat belts are obligatory as is the emergency triangle in case of breakdown or accident. Access to certain regions often depends on weather conditions; consequently, it is advisable to obtain information on certain routes before planning a journey.
The official language is Portuguese.
In general, people understand and speak some English.
Outside the urban areas, each region has its own mozambican languages.
The local currency is the metical.Dollars and Rand are accepted in many places.Exchange is easily available in the banks and exchange agencies.Credit cards and traveller`s cheques are accepted in most establishments.
Public holidays in Mozambique are:
January 1st – New Year’s Day
February 3rd – Mozambique’s Hero’s Day
April 7th – Mozambique’s Women’s Day
May 1st – Labour Day
June 25th – Independence Day
September 7th – Lusaka Agreement Day
September 25th – Armed Forces Day
October 4th – Peace Day
December 25th – Family Day
The climate of Mozambique, influenced by the monsoons from the Indian Ocean and the hot current of the Mozambique Canal, is generally tropical and humid. The dry season, in the Centre/North lasts for about four to six months, where as in the South, the dry tropical climate lasts between six and nine months.The rainy season is between October and April. In the mountainous areas, the climate is typical of tropical conditions to be found at high altitudes.Average temperatures are around 20º in the South and 26º in the North. Highest temperatures are normally registered during the rainy season.The Mozambique coast faces the Indian Ocean and because of its climate, warm waters and vast beach area is rich in many marine species, some of which are unfortunately in danger of extinction.
The climate of Mozambique, influenced by the monsoons from the Indian Ocean and the hot current of the Mozambique Canal, is generally tropical and humid. The dry season, in the Centre/North lasts for about four to six months, where as in the South, the dry tropical climate lasts between six and nine months.The rainy season is between October and April. In the mountainous areas, the climate is typical of tropical conditions to be found at high altitudes. Average temperatures are around 20º in the South and 26º in the North. Highest temperatures are normally registered during the rainy season. The Mozambique coast faces the Indian Ocean and because of its climate, warm waters and vast beach area is rich in many marine species, some of which are unfortunately in danger of extinction.
Flora and Fauna
Mozambique is very rich in both land and sea fauna and flora. The type of land and climate has created three different varieties of vegetation: dense forestland in the high parts of the North and Centre of the country, woodland and savannah in the South and mangroves along the coastline.
In terms of wild life, the main species to be found in these ecosystems are elephants, lions,leopards, cheetahs, hippopotamus, antelopes, tortoises and monkeysand varied species of bird life. Apart from the wild life, there are beautiful landscapes and views to be admired both along the coast and in the higher montainous areas.
To allow the visitor to once again appreciate these magnificent natural surroundings, which were seriously affected by the war, a number of parks are being recuperated such as, Gorongosa National Park which was one of the best in Africa, is a treasure of Mozambique which provides environmental, educational, esthetic, recreational and economic benefits to the Central region of the Country and all humanity.
Situated in the Sofala Province in an area of 3.770Km2, at the southern end of East Africa Great Rift Valley, the park’s sweeping landscapes and unique wildlife makes this a perfect destination whether you�re seeking adventure or relaxation. Other special reserves, in particular, the one in Maputo, famous for its elephants, Marromeu at the mouth of the Zambezi, the home of many buffalo and also partial reserves such as Gilé, northwest of Quelimane and Niassa, on the banks of the river Rovuma.
The natural reserve of Bazaruto offshore is well known for its exotic birds, coral reefs and protected marine species such as, dolphins, marine turtles and also the dugong.
The first people to inhabit Mozambique were the Bushmen. Between 200 a 300 AD, the Bantu, a group with different ethnic strains but with similar characteristics, migrated from the Great Lake to the North and pushed the local people into the poorer areas in the South. Towards the end of the VI century, the Swahili-Arabs established trading posts to trade for gold, copper and iron.The Portuguese reached Mozambique in the XV century, with the arrival of Pêro Covilhã on the coast and the landing of Vasco da Gama on the Ilha de Moçambique. (Island of Mozambique). From 1502 up until the middle of the XVIII century Portuguese interests in Mozambique were controlled by the Portuguese India administration.Right from the outset, the Portuguese built “feitorias”, or trading posts. These were followed by the fort of Sofala built in 1505 on the coast, and the fort on Ilha de Mozambique built in 1507. Only years later, in an attempt to take over the gold producing areas did they venture inland and establish new trading posts. These trading posts were succeeded, at the end of the XVII century in the Vale do Zambeze, by “prazos” or privately owned agricultural estates. These lands were either donated or conquered, as the case maybe. This period can be considered as the beginning of Portuguese colonization in Mozambique.The “prazos” were discontinued in 1832, by royal decree, and the emergence of fiefdoms initiated the slave trade, which continued up to and even after the abolition of slavery In the Colonies in 1869. The first elections took place in 1994 and victory was obtained by Presidente Joaquim Alberto Chissano who had succeeded Samora Machel as party leader and President after Samora Machel died in a plane crash, in neighbouring South Africa.In 2004 took place the third presidential and legislative elections that brought to power President Armando Emilio Guebuza and Frelimo party and remained for two consecutive terms. In 2004 the third presidential and legislative elections took place. These elections brought to power president Armando Emilio Guebuza of the Frelimo party who had remained the president for two consecutive terms. Mozambique is a democratic country, with the holding of free elections on schedule in the Constitution. In October 2014 the fifth elections occurred without any major incident where President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi was elected of the Frelimo Party. The inauguration occurred in Maputo on the 14th day of January 2015.
Mozambique is situated on the Southeast Coast of Africa. To the East is the Indian Ocean, Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia are to the North, to the West, Zimbabwe and South Africa and to the South, Swaziland and South Africa.
The total area of Mozambique is 799 380 Km2 from North to South, to the East it has a coastline with the Indian Ocean for over 2515 Km.The more south we go the narrower the land becomes, its widest point being the Central Northern region, between the Coast and the point where the rivers Aruángua and Zambeze meet. The narrowest southern point, in the Namaacha region is only 47,5 Km wide.
From the coastal plains inland, the land changes abruptly from a narrow palm studded strip of beach along the coast to a broad belt of savannah and woodland then forested mountains. Forty percent of the territory has an altitude rising to 200 meters; Cabo Delgado, Nampula and the interior of Inhambane, are plateaus of 200 To 600 meters and further on between Manica and Sofala the land forms mountains with heights above1000 meters. The highest points of the country are in the mountainous region located by the border. For example, Massururero on the slopes of Manica and Sofala is 2436 meters high, Picos Namuli has an altitude of 2419 meters and Serra de Gorongosa is 2000 meters high.Most of the country’s rivers flow eastwards to the Indian Ocean.
Due to its strategically privileged position in the Southern part of the African Continent, its easily accessible vast coastline, abundant in fish and its fertile lands, Mozambique has been the home of various peoples and cultures, including the Bantu from Central Africa, Arabs, Indians and Europeans.
The Bantu are the most important however. This group made up of a number of different groups with a common culture and similar dialects originated the main Ethnic groups such as the “Yaos”, the “Macuas”, the “Angones”, the “Nhanjas”, the “Tongas”, the “Bitongas” and the “Muchopes” who can be found living in groups and sub-groups, in this same order, from North to South.
Apart from the descendents of the Bantu group, another strong influence is the Swahili, located on the coast and responsible for introducing Islam into Mozambique. Indians and Europeans are also to be found in various parts of the country the present day population of Mozambique is in the order of 21 million, 30% of which live in the main urban centres, such as Maputo, Beira and Nampula.