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Mozambique travel guide

About Mozambique

Mozambique’s messy post-colonial history and poor infrastructure mean that most visitors are cut from fairly intrepid cloth. But travelling this enigmatic and underexplored country is well worth the occasional bump in the road, both literal and metaphorical.

First and foremost amongst the country’s many attractions is its pristine Indian Ocean coastline – all 2,414km (1,500 miles) of it – which offers palm-fringed beaches, warm tropical waters, abundant marine life, great fishing, excellent diving, fantastic snorkeling and a number of idyllic islands from which you can enjoy all of the above in sweet isolation.

And then there are the parks. Though much of the country’s big game was wiped out during the desperate days of the Mozambican Civil War (1977-1992), sterling conservation efforts have seen several national parks restored to something like their former glory. Their remoteness and relative inaccessibility, compared to the parks in neighbouring South Africa, mean you’ll never be jostling for space with the masses.

Mozambique’s Portuguese heritage and faded art deco charm characterises much of the capital, Maputo, in the form of colourful, crumbling and sometimes bullet-ridden colonial buildings, which stand in stark contrast to the more modern parts of this vibrant port city. The music, the nightlife and the food are equally interesting and eclectic; head to the bustling fish market to enjoy what many locals will tell you is the best seafood in East Africa.

There is also good hiking with little-visited mountains dotted throughout the Mozambican hinterland, but extreme caution should be taken due to the large amount of leftover landmines.

Since peace returned to the country in 1992, Mozambique has been trying to piece itself back together and realise its substantial tourism potential. But for now, a large part of the country’s appeal lies in its relative obscurity from the more beaten paths of Southern Africa.

Key facts


799,380 sq km (308,642 sq miles).


28,751,362 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

31.7 per sq km.





Head of state:

President Filipe Nyusi since 2015.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Adriano Maleiane since 2022.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.

Areas where FCDO advises against travel

Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice.

Cabo Delgado Province

FCDO advises against all travel to the following districts in Cabo Delgado Province due to attacks by groups with links to Islamist extremism. The advice covers the districts of:

  • Chiure
  • Mueda
  • Nangade
  • Palma, except Palma town, where FCDO advises against all but essential travel
  • Mocímboa da Praia
  • Muidumbe
  • Meluco
  • Macomia
  • Quissanga
  • Ibo, including the islands off the coast

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the rest of Cabo Delgado Province due to attacks by groups with links to Islamist extremism.

Nampula Province

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the districts of Memba and Eráti in Nampula Province, due to attacks by groups with links to Islamist extremism.

Find out more about why FCDO advises against travel

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and see support for British nationals abroad for information about specific travel topics.

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Mozambique set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Mozambican High Commission in the UK.

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Mozambique.

Passport validity requirements

To enter Mozambique, your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive.

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

Make sure you get your passport stamped.  

You need at least 2 blank pages for entry stamps.

Visa requirements

You can travel without a visa to Mozambique for tourism or business for up to 30 days.

On arrival, you must be able to show border control a written invitation from your host, or a confirmed hotel reservation, and a return or onward air ticket. You must pay a fee of 650 Mozambican meticais using cash or card.

For all other travel purposes, you can apply for a visa online through the e-visa portal.

Entering Mozambique by land crossing

It can take a long time to clear border formalities at the Lebombo-Ressano Garcia land crossing from South Africa, especially during holiday periods. There can be delays if you are travelling on public transport. Allow time to get to your destination before nightfall.

There have been armed robberies close to the Lebombo border in Nelspruit. These often take place in the queue for the border, mainly after dark. When you stop at junctions or in queues, stay alert and ensure you have space to turn and drive off.

Travel to or from South Africa  

If you’re planning to enter South Africa before or after you visit Mozambique, or if you’re planning to travel through South Africa, check the travel advice for South Africa.

Vaccination requirements

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need in the Mozambique guide from TravelHealthPro.

Depending on your circumstances these may include a:

  • yellow fever vaccination certificate
  • polio vaccination certificate

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Mozambique. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

Taking money into Mozambique

Declare 10,000 Mozambican meticais or more in cash. Declare foreign cash or travellers cheques if the value is 5,000 US dollars or more.

This guide also has safety advice for regions of Mozambique.


There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.  

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.

Terrorism in Mozambique

Terrorists are very likely to try and carry out attacks in Mozambique.

The main threat is from IS-Mozambique (IS-M), a terrorist group with links to Daesh (formerly known as Islamic State) that is mainly active in Cabo Delgado Province, and has previously carried out attacks in neighbouring districts of Niassa and Nampula Provinces.

Since January, IS-M have been associated with 76 incidents (violent attacks, robberies, looting, threats) across Cabo Delgado which has resulted in over 125 deaths, including civilians and security personnel. In these incidents, security forces have not been able to reach these areas quickly.

See regional risks.  

Militants have used explosives, machetes and firearms to conduct lethal attacks, as well as burning vehicles and homes. In 2021, dozens of people were killed in a large-scale attack in Palma, Cabo Delgado Province.  

Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreign nationals, such as:

  • roads and road blocks
  • military bases
  • towns and villages
  • islands off the coast

Stay aware of your surroundings, stay up to date with local media reports, and follow the advice of local authorities.

Terrorist kidnap

Due to the presence of groups with links to Islamist extremism, there is a threat of kidnap in Mozambique. The threat is particularly acute in northern districts of Cabo Delgado Province.

British nationals are seen as legitimate targets, including tourists, humanitarian aid workers, journalists and business travellers. If you are kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to protect you or secure your safe release. 

The long-standing policy of the British government policy is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners builds the capability of terrorist groups and finances their activities. This can, in turn, increase the risk of further hostage-taking. The Terrorism Act (2000) makes payments to terrorists illegal. 

If you work in Mozambique, you should follow your employer’s security guidelines. Employers are strongly advised to take professional security advice, be vigilant at all times and review security measures regularly. Keep others informed of your travel plans and vary your routines. Make sure your accommodation is secure and consider pre-deployment training or travelling under close protection, particularly if working in Cabo Delgado.

Political situation

Presidential elections are due to be held on 9 October 2024.

In Mozambique demonstrations and protests can be unpredictable, occur at short notice and may turn violent. Pay attention to your surroundings, stay away from crowds and monitor the local media.


Street crime, sometimes involving knives and firearms, is common in Maputo and is increasing in other cities and tourist destinations. There are some areas in cities which are more dangerous – seek local advice. Beaches and offshore islands are not policed.

Protecting yourself and your belongings

You can reduce the risk from pickpocketing and mugging by:

  • not walking alone, especially in deserted areas or at night
  • not displaying cash, jewellery or mobile phones
  • not using ATMs at night, and using ATMs in banks whenever possible
  • keeping valuables in a hotel safe or other secure place

If you want to report a crime, contact the local police to get a police report. Also report stolen passports to the British High Commission in Maputo and the Mozambican immigration authorities.


There is a risk of carjacking, particularly in Maputo and Matola but also between Boane and the Eswatini border crossing points of Namaacha and Goba. Keep your car doors locked and windows closed while driving. Be particularly vigilant when you arrive at or leave residential properties after dark. Avoid driving alone at night.

Do not pick up strangers or stop to help distressed motorists or pedestrians. Hijackers sometimes use these techniques to trick motorists into stopping their vehicles. If in doubt, drive directly to a police station.

Police harassment

Some visitors to Mozambique report being victims of police harassment, including robbery and requests for bribes. If a police officer threatens you or asks for a bribe, report this to the British High Commission for awareness.  

Criminal kidnap

There have been kidnappings for ransom reported in Mozambique, mainly in Maputo. While most victims have been Mozambicans, kidnappers have also targeted foreigners.

Laws and cultural differences

Personal ID

As a foreigner, you must always have your passport with you. Police patrols and checkpoints are common, and they will not accept copies or photos.

Do not hand over your passport to anyone other than an official. Ask to see their ID if in doubt.

Alcohol laws and bans

It is illegal to drink alcohol on public beaches.

Illegal drugs and prison sentences

If you are convicted of drug use, possession or trafficking, you can expect to get a long prison sentence and a fine.


All known minefields in Mozambique have been cleared. In the central and southern provinces of Sofala, Tete, Manica, Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo, mines may still exist in remote areas away from main routes. Get advice from district authorities if you plan to travel in these areas.

Using cameras in secure areas

It is illegal to photograph government offices, airports, military establishments, residences and police or officials without special permission. If in doubt, do not take pictures.

LGBT+ travellers

There are no laws against same-sex sexual activity. Attitudes in Maputo tend to be more liberal than in more remote rural or religious areas of the country. Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.


Make sure you can access money in a variety of ways. Travellers’ cheques are not commonly accepted, Mastercard is not always accepted across the country. US dollars and South African rand are the main exchange currencies.

Credit cards, are increasingly accepted in the larger cities. You should tell your bank before using your card in Mozambique.

Transport risks

Road travel

If you are planning to drive in Mozambique, see information on driving abroad and check the rules of the road.

You can use a UK photocard driving licence to drive in Mozambique for up to 90 days. If you still have a paper driving licence, you may need to update it to a photocard licence or get the correct version of the international driving permit (IDP) as well.

After 90 days, you must have an IDP or a Mozambican driving licence.

Drink-driving is a serious offence in Mozambique. If you are tested and found to have more than three-quarters of England’s legal limit of alcohol in your system, you may get a fine and possible imprisonment.

You are legally required have third-party insurance, which you can buy at most land borders. Traffic police may give you an on-the-spot fine if you cannot show your licence and ownership and insurance documents.  

You must always carry 2 reflective triangles in your vehicle and wear a reflective vest when repairing, loading or unloading a vehicle. If you cannot produce the 2 triangles and 2 vests, you can get an on-the-spot fine.

Police officers sometimes stop drivers and try to extract bribes. If police are fining you for no clear reason, ask for a written fine you can pay at a police station.

Only travel by road outside major cities during daylight. Where possible, keep to major roads and travel in convoy in rural areas. Fuel is available in larger towns only.

Driving standards and road conditions

Traffic accidents are common in Mozambique due to poor road conditions and low driving standards. Watch for pedestrians on the roads.

Low-lying areas around major rivers flood regularly during the rainy season from November to April, making many roads impassable. Check conditions before travelling. Make sure you have emergency supplies, including a first aid kit.

Public transport

Overland travel on public transport can be hazardous due to vehicles being in an unsafe condition. If you doubt a vehicle’s condition, make alternative arrangements.

Sea travel

There is a significant risk of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Pirates can attack up to 1,000 nautical miles from the Somali coast or more. The threat assessment of the combined international naval counter-piracy forces is that sailing yachts should not enter the designated high-risk area, due to the risk of hijacking.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Find out what you can do to prepare for and respond to extreme weather and natural hazards

Cyclones and floods

Cyclones and floods are common during the rainy season from November to April. They often cause landslides, which result in road closures and disruption to travel and public transport.

Monitor local reports and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organization and the National Meteorological Institute (in Portuguese).

This section has safety advice for regions of Mozambique. It only covers regions where the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has specific advice.

You should also read FCDO’s overall travel advice and safety and security advice.

Cabo Delgado Province

FCDO advises against all travel to the following districts of Cabo Delgado due to attacks by groups with links to Islamist extremism and clashes between insurgents, armed vigilante groups and Mozambican security forces:

  • Chiure
  • Mueda
  • Nangade
  • Palma, except Palma town, where FCDO advises against all but essential travel
  • Mocimboa da Praia
  • Muidumbe
  • Meluco
  • Macomia
  • Quissanga
  • Ibo, including the islands off the coast

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the remainder of Cabo Delgado Province due to attacks by groups with links to Islamist extremism. Security forces have set up roadblocks throughout the province.

There are no direct flights between Palma town and Maputo and we advise against travelling there by road.

Nampula Province

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the districts of Memba and Eráti in Nampula Province due to attacks by groups with links to Islamist extremism.

Niassa Province

Groups with links to Islamist extremism have previously carried out attacks in the Mecula, Mavago and Marrupa districts of Niassa Province. Although there have been no recent reports of attacks, you should stay aware of your surroundings in these areas, as the situation may change without warning.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Mozambique is currently experiencing a cholera outbreak in central and northern areas of the country. See information on cholera.

Emergency medical number

Call 08911, 21313103 or 21322222 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance company quickly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

At least 8 weeks before your trip check:


The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro.

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.

Healthcare facilities in Mozambique

FCDO has a list of medical providers in Mozambique where some staff will speak English.

There is also guidance on healthcare if you’re living in Mozambique.

Hospital facilities are of a lower standard compared to the UK, especially in the north of the country. In cases of serious illness or injury, medical evacuation to South Africa or the UK may be necessary.

Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health. There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in Mozambique

Call 112 (ambulance, fire, police)

If the call does not connect, use the country-based numbers or contact your nearest police station or medical facility.

Ambulance: 08911, 21313103 or 21322222  

Fire: 198 or 82 476 8990   

Police: 119 or 21325031

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

You can also contact FCDO online.

Help abroad in an emergency

If you’re in Mozambique and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British High Commission in Maputo.

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges

Risk information for British companies

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

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