Mozambique – Travel Guide
Facts to assist you when travelling to Mozambique
- The Mozambiquan population currently stands at 33 million.
Capital and Largest City
- Maputo is the largest and capital city of Mozambique.
- Mozambiquan metical.
- 08:00 – 17:00.
- Saturday – Sunday.
- UTC +2.
- If a service charge is not included in the bill a tip of 10% is acceptable.
- Most countries are represented by embassies or consulates located in the capital city.
- Filipe Nyusi is the current and 4th president of Mozambique. He is the leader of the FRELIMO party, which has been governing the country since 1975.
- Mozambique has a tropical climate with two seasons. The wet season lasts from October to March, while the dry season lasts from April to September. However, climatic conditions vary depending on altitude. Rainfall is heavy along the coast and decreases in the north and south.
- Mozambique’s main airport is Maputo International Airport, located in the capital city. The country’s modes of transport include rail, road, water, and air. While the infrastructure is on par with that of a developing country, many of the roads are unfortunately unpaved. Mozambique is also home to several large seaports, including Nacala, Beira, and Maputo. The central Beira Railroad Corporation route links the port of Beira to the country’s neighbours such as Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- The main industries in Mozambique that contribute to its economy include aluminum, coal, petroleum products, chemicals (fertilizer, soap, paints), cement, asbestos, glass, textiles, tobacco, food processing, and beverages.
- Locals in Mozambique are known for their friendliness and hospitality. There is mutual trust and respect amongst the country’s people. A handshake and a warm smile are often exchanged during greetings. However, unlike other African countries where its considered polite to ask questions about the individual’s personal health, in Mozambique it is considered rude to ask personal questions or pry into someone’s private life.
- Greeting is an integral part of the Mozambiquan culture as it is in many other ethnic cultures. Upon entering a room or seeing someone for the first time it is important to greet everyone. It is also integral to shake hands, exchange names, and wish the people you are greeting a good day. Politeness lies in body language such as maintaining a smile and eye contact. Other forms of greeting include clasping the forearms, tapping shoulders, and the Quembo, which is native to the country.
- The official currency of Mozambique is the metical. The name metical comes from the Arabic word mithqal. The symbol for the metical MZN or MT. It is divided into 100 centavos.
- Most major roads in Mozambique are paved and offer a smooth ride between major destinations. However, potholes remain the country’s biggest road hazard. Additionally, many local drivers are also in the habit of driving recklessly. The number of recorded traffic accidents in the country is therefore at a current high. Expats may take precautions when driving and are advised to avoid travelling at night. Fatal crashes and pedestrian accidents are also common after daylight.
- Mozambique is generally a trouble-free country. The most common crimes in the country happen to be street crime, sometimes involving knives and firearms. There are some areas in cities which are more dangerous than others, and these should be avoided. Expats are advised to be vigilant at all times. Avoid walking alone at night and don’t display valuables or money. Beaches or offshore islands are not policed.
- Language is important to any culture, and Mozambique is no different. Mozambique has a diverse population that speaks many languages. Although Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique, there are also many other languages spoken in the country, such as Swahili, Macua, Changana, and Makhuwa. The country’s people also boast exquisite traditional clothing that is heavily influenced by the country’s many ethnic and cultural traditions. The colours and cuts of a dress of their traditional garments vary greatly from region to region. Women’s clothing typically consists of bright cotton and muslin skirts. Older women and Muslim women may wear two dresses for extra modesty, and even a headscarf.
- Mozambique has a number of modern shopping centres and malls that resembles those found in western countries. Shopping in this country should be hassle free, especially in the capital city and other urban areas. There are also a multitude of online stores for the convenience of all shoppers.
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Written by Saudika Hendricks
Edited by Eloise Williams