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Mozambique Travel Guide

>> Mozambique Tours    Map for planning your Mozambique Tour

Offering an unique historical and cultural heritage, tropical beaches, coral reefs, spectacular landscapes, intriguingly rich architecture and small desolated islands close to the coast, Mozambique is one of the most enticing tourist destinations in Southern African.

Although the country is opening up to tourism, it does not yet have the developed infrastructure for self-drives and 4x4 vehicles are often required. Joining a tour is advisable.

It borders the Indian Ocean with a coastline of nearly 2500km dotted with beaches bordered by lagoons, coral reefs and strings of islands.

Popular Destinations
Amongst the numerous beaches in Mozambique are Inhaca Island (near Maputo), Inhambane with its beach resorts, Xai-Xai and Vilankulo.

Maputo, the capital, is an interesting city and worth visiting is the museum, the gallery in the Ministry of Labour building and the market.

The Bazaruto Archipelago (780km north of Maputo) consisting of four islands plus surrounding islets and reefs. This beautiful area features inviting sandy beaches and offers excellent opportunities for game fishing and is a popular honeymoon destination.

Ilha de Moçambique (Mozambique Island), near Nampula in the north, is a fascinating place, dotted with 17th- and 18th-century buildings, many of them from the colonial Portuguese period.

Population
17,242,240 (2000)

Capital
Maputo

Language
Portuguese is the official language. Many local African languages, such as Tsonga, Sena Nyanja, Makonde and Macua, are also spoken.

Time
GMT + 2.

Electricity
220/240 volts AC, 50Hz.

Communications
Telephone: IDD is available. Country code: 258. Outgoing international calls must go through the operator, although direct dialling is available to South Africa and Swaziland.

Mobile telephone: GSM 900/1800 networks with limited roaming agreements. Coverage is expanding to all main cities in most provinces.

Visas
Required by all.

Climate
Inland is cooler than the coast and rainfall higher as the land rises, with most rain between January and March. Hottest and wettest season is October to March. From April to September the coast has warm, mainly dry weather tempered by sea breezes.


Health
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required of travelers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with infected areas.
A cholera vaccination certificate is not a condition of entry to Mozambique. However, cholera is a serious risk in this country and precautions are essential.

Immunisation against typhoid and poliomyelitis is often advised.
Malaria risk exists throughout the year, particularly in the north. The predominant falciparum strain is reported to be highly resistant to chloroquine and resistant to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine.

Avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water; swimming pools which are well chlorinated and maintained are safe.

Full health insurance is essential. Medical facilities are scarce and it is advisable to carry basic medical supplies including medications and sterile syringes - specially when traveling the rural areas.

Health insurance is essential.

Money
The currency of Mozambique is the Metical (plural: Meticais). Many businesses in the tourist centers are run by South Africans and prices are often quoted in Rand ( ZAR).

US$, ZAR, British pounds and Euros are freely convertible at commercial rates at any bank or exchange. You cannot exchange meticais outside Mozambique, but you can convert them back at exchanges prior to leaving the country.

In all towns you will find cash dispensers (ATMs) which accept all major credit cards.

Transport
Mozambique is huge and getting between major destinations can take days not hours. Roads are generally in poor condition, although significant improvements are underway.

Buses and chapas (minibuses) leave early in Mozambique - 4am is not unusual, particularly as you go further north. Connections away from the main cities may not be in the best condition, and breakdowns cannot be ruled out - it's wise to carry a decent supply of water.

Domestic flights are the fastest and most sane way to get around the country. Linhas Aereas de Moçambique and Air Corridor fly between the major cities.

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