Mozambique travel guide
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.
799,380 sq km (308,642 sq miles).
28,751,362 (UN estimate 2016).
31.7 per sq km.
President Filipe Nyusi since 2015.
Prime Minister Adriano Maleiane since 2022.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to:
- the districts of Mueda, Nangade, Palma (except Palma town), Mocimboa da Praia, Muidumbe, Meluco, Macomia, Quissanga and Ibo in Cabo Delgado province, including the islands off the coast.
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:
- the rest of Cabo Delgado province, including Palma town
- the districts of Memba and Erati in Nampula province.
Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Mozambique’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Mozambique. There has been an increasing intensity of attacks in areas of Cabo Delgado province dating back to January 2019. There was a large-scale attack on Palma in March/April 2021 in which dozens of people were killed. Since May/June 2022 there has been a series of attacks in the Ancuabe,Metuge and Chiure districts of Cabo Delgado and in the Memba and Erati districts of Nampula province just to the south. Although there have been no recent reports of attacks in the Mecula, Mavago and Marrupa districts of Niassa Province, you should remain vigilant in these areas, as the situation may change with no prior warning. Militants have used explosives, machetes and firearms to conduct lethal attacks, as well as burning vehicles and homes. Attacks have been carried out on the mainland and on islands off the coast, including in areas frequented by foreigners. There is an increased security presence in the province, including road blocks, and there are regular clashes between militants, armed vigilante groups and Mozambican security forces. There is also a threat of kidnap in Mozambique, which is particularly acute in northern districts of Cabo Delgado province. See Terrorism.
Coastal areas are at risk from tropical cyclones during the rainy season (November to April). Widespread flooding can also occur around river basins, especially the Zambezi, Licungo, Pungue, Buzi, Limpopo and Save. The rainy season (November to April) will also make roads harder to pass, and make some areas impassable.
There continues to be a risk of cyclone and tropical storm weather systems during the rainy season (November to April). These may lead to widespread damage to infrastructure as well as disruption to basic services including communications, power and water supplies.
Most visits to Mozambique are trouble-free, but violent crime does occur and there have been cases of criminal kidnappings. You should take extra care. See Crime
Traffic accidents are common due to the condition of the roads, poor driving and vehicle standards. Always drive carefully and be aware of pedestrians using the roads. If you’re travelling by road make sure you have relevant documents with you at all times and monitor local media for traffic updates. See Road travel
Piracy remains a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. See Sea travel
Consular support is limited in parts of Mozambique where the FCDO has existing advice against all but essential travel (see above). If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
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.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Mozambique on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial flights to and from Maputo are operating normally. Check with your travel company for the latest information.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Mozambique.
Travel in Mozambique
The Mozambican government has declared the end of the “State of Calamity 2” and removed COVID-19 restrictions.
Wearing face coverings is no longer compulsory, but recommended in health facilities, doctor’s office, laboratories, pharmacies, elderly care homes and inside commercial aircrafts.
You do not need to self-isolate if you test positive or if you have been in areas with high incidence of coronavirus cases.
All border posts are now open.
Most hotels and other accommodations are open. Please check with your accommodation provider before you travel.
Public places and services
Most shopping centres, markets, restaurants, cafes and bars are open, with no restrictions on timings.
Most public beaches are now open, however alcohol consumption on beaches is prohibited. In Maputo, the beach is closed from 7pm to 5am. Swimming pools, gyms and other areas for physical training activities are now open. Hotel swimming pools are open for guests only.
Healthcare in Mozambique
For contact details of English speaking doctors, visit our list of healthcare providers.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.
View Health for further details on healthcare in Mozambique.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
Protests or demonstrations can occur with little notice. You should remain vigilant, avoid demonstrations, protests and marches, and carry ID with you at all times. Stay alert for signs of disturbances. In the event that unrest occurs, you should follow instructions from the local authorities.
Most visits to Mozambique are trouble-free, but street crime, sometimes involving knives and firearms, is common in Maputo and increasing in other cities and tourist destinations. There are some areas in cities which are more dangerous; seek local advice.
Be vigilant at all times. Beaches or offshore islands are not policed. Avoid walking alone at night and don’t display valuables or money. Use a hotel safe if possible. Avoid withdrawing cash from ATMs at night.
Some visitors to Mozambique report being victims of police harassment, including robbery, or requests for bribes. If a police officer threatens you or asks for a bribe, you should report the incident to the British High Commission Maputo.
If you are a victim of any form of crime and wish to report it, contact the local police immediately and get a police report. If your passport is stolen you should also contact the British High Commission and inform the local immigration authorities.
There have been criminal kidnappings reported in Mozambique, mainly in Maputo. While most victims have been Mozambicans, foreigners have also been targeted.
If you’re working in Mozambique, you should follow your employer’s local 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. See Terrorism
Cabo Delgado province
The FCDO advises against all travel to the districts of Mueda, Nangade, Palma, Mocimboa da Praia, Muidumbe, Meluco, Macomia, Quissanga and Ibo in Cabo Delgado province, including the islands off the coast, due to attacks by groups with links to Islamist extremism.
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the remainder of Cabo Delgado Province due to attacks by groups with links to Islamist extremism. There are no direct flights between Palma town and Maputo and we advise against travelling to there by road. See Terrorism.
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the districts of Memba and Erati in Nampula province due to attacks by groups with links to Islamist extremism.
All known minefields in Mozambique have been cleared. In the central and southern provinces (Sofala, Tete, Manica, Gaza, Inhambane, Maputo), mines may still exist in remote areas away from main routes. Seek advice from district authorities if you’re travelling in these areas.
UK driving licences are valid for up to 90 days. If you intend to stay longer you should get an International Driving Permit or apply for a Mozambican licence. The office which issues driving licences has now reopened. It is an offence not to carry your driving licence with you when driving. Be ready to present original car documentation when requested by the police.
Third party insurance cover is compulsory. You can buy this at most land borders. You should carry two reflective triangles and a reflective vest in your vehicle at all times. You must wear the reflective vest when repairing, loading or unloading a vehicle. Police officers sometimes attempt to extract bribes from tourists. Don’t pay a bribe to anyone. If you are stopped by the police, ask for a clear explanation of the offence and a written fine that can be paid at a police station.
Only travel by road outside Maputo and other major cities during daylight. Where possible, keep to major roads and travel in convoy in rural areas. Fuel is often only available in larger towns.
There have been reports of carjacking, particularly in Maputo but also between Boane and the Swaziland border crossing points of Namaacha and Goba. Keep your car doors locked while driving. Be particularly vigilant when arriving at or leaving residential properties after dark. Avoid driving alone at night.
Don’t pick up strangers or stop to help distressed motorists or pedestrians. Hijackers sometimes use these techniques to trick motorists into stopping their vehicle. If in doubt, drive directly to a police station.
Traffic accidents are common in Mozambique due to the condition of the roads and poor driving and vehicle standards. Always drive carefully and be aware of pedestrians using the roads.
Overland travel on public transport can be hazardous due to poor vehicle and road conditions. If you doubt a vehicle’s condition, make alternative arrangements.
Low-lying areas around major rivers flood regularly during the rainy season (November - April) making many roads impassable. Check local conditions before travelling. Make sure you have emergency supplies, including a first aid kit.
The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes lists of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices – IATA Operational Safety Audit and IATA Standard Safety Assessment. These lists aren’t exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation has carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Mozambique.
You can find a list of recent incidents and accidents on the website of the Aviation Safety network.
Flights operated by the Government-owned airline LAM are prone to cancellation without notice. Check your flight information between 24 and 48 hours before your scheduled departure.
Recent piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden highlight that the threat of piracy related activity and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean remains significant. Reports of attacks on local fishing dhows in the area around the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa continue. The combined threat assessment of the international Naval Counter Piracy Forces remains that all sailing yachts under their own passage should remain out of the designated High Risk Area or face the risk of being hijacked and held hostage for ransom. For more information and advice, see Piracy and armed robbery at sea.
President Filipe Nyusi was re-elected for a second term in October 2019.
Municipal elections will take place on 11 October 2023.
Protests or demonstrations can occur with little notice. You should remain vigilant, monitor local media reports, avoid demonstrations and large crowds, and carry ID with you at all times. Make sure you have a means of communication with you at all times and that your mobile phone is charged.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Mozambique. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. You should be vigilant at all times, especially in crowded areas and public places and you should follow the advice of local authorities.
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.
Groups with links to Islamist extremism have carried out attacks in Cabo Delgado since late 2017, with attacks reported in the districts of Palma, Mocimboa da Praia, Macomia, Nangade, Quissanga, Muidumbe, Meluco, Ancuabe, Metuge, Chiure Ibo and Mueda, including the islands off the coast. Attacks may also take place outside of these areas. Militants have used explosives, machetes and firearms to conduct lethal attacks, including attacks on vehicles. In June 2019, Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack for the first time. There was a large-scale attack on Palma in March/April 2021, also claimed by the Islamic State, in which dozens of people were killed. Since mid-2022, groups with links to Islamist extremism have also carried out attacks in the districts of Memba and Erati in Nampula province.
Although there have been no recent reports of attacks in the Mecula, Mavago and Marrupa districts of Niassa Province, you should remain vigilant in these areas, as the situation may change with no prior warning. There are heightened security measures in place throughout Cabo Delgado province, including road blocks and vehicle checks. There are regular clashes between insurgents, armed vigilante groups and Mozambican security forces in areas where we advise against all or all but essential travel.
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. You should remain vigilant at all times.
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 viewed as legitimate targets, including those engaged in tourism, humanitarian aid work, journalism or business sectors. If you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release.
If you’re working in Mozambique, you should follow your employer’s local 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.
The long-standing policy of the British government 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.
You must by law carry original identity documents at all times and present them on request to the authorities. Police patrols and checkpoints are common. Don’t hand over your passport to anyone other than an official. Ask to see their ID if in doubt.
Photographing government offices, airports, military establishments, residences and the police or officials is illegal without special permission from the Mozambique Information Office (Gabinete de Informação – GABINFO). If in doubt, don’t take pictures.
Drug use, possession and trafficking are serious offences. Punishments can include long jail terms and heavy fines.
Homosexuality is legal. Attitudes in Maputo tend to be more liberal than in more remote rural or religious areas of the country. See our information and advice page for the LGBT+ community before you travel.
This page has information on travelling to Mozambique.
This page 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 unsure how Mozambique’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.
See Visas for more information.
You do not have to present a verifiable full vaccination certificate at the point of entry. If you have a COVID-19 certificate, it is always best to carry it with you.
You do not have to to provide a negative PCR test if you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Check with your travel company or airline for changes.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Proof of vaccination status
Mozambique will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
If you’re transiting through Mozambique
Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.
Transiting through Mozambique is permitted for all travellers who follow the entry requirements.
There are no exemptions to Mozambique’s entry requirements.
Check your passport and travel documents before you travel
If you are visiting Mozambique, your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive and have at least two blank pages.
Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
If you are traveling to Mozambique for tourism or business on a normal passport and staying for less than 30 days, you are visa exempt.
You must make a payment of 650 meticais equivalent to $10 with cash or card at the point of entry (airport or border post).
You must present on entry a return air ticket (for air travellers) and an invitation from either family / friends or a confirmed hotel reservation.
For all other visa types, you will need a visa to enter the country. You can now apply for a visa through the new e-visa portal online by selecting the most appropriate visa for your travel.
Travel to or from South Africa
If you’re planning to enter South Africa before or after you visit Mozambique, you should refer to the travel advice for South Africa.
Travelling with children via South Africa
If you’re transiting through South Africa with children, see our South Africa travel advice page for information and advice about the documents you’ll need to carry.
It can take a long time to clear border formalities at the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia land crossing with South Africa, especially during holiday periods and if you are travelling on public transport. Allow adequate time to arrive at your destination before nightfall.
There have been reports of armed robberies close to the Lebombo border at Nelspruit. These often take place in queues for the border, when your vehicle is stationary, mainly after dark. When you stop at junctions or in queues, ensure you can see the tyres of the car in front of you, giving you space to escape if you need to.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.
See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
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.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 08911, 21313103 or 21322222 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Mozambique is regularly affected by natural disasters, including floods, drought and cyclones. Cyclones and floods are particularly common during the rainy season (November-April).
Floods and landslides are likely in affected areas. Monitor local reports and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation, check your routes before travelling around the country and follow the advice of the local authorities.
You should monitor the National Meterological Institute website (in portuguese) for the latest information and follow instructions from the local authorities.
See our Tropical cyclones page for advice about how to prepare effectively and what to do if you’re likely to be affected by a tropical cyclone.
The currency of Mozambique is the Metical (‘meticais’ in plural).
When entering or exiting the country, travellers must declare any physical amount of money above 10,000 meticais or $10,000 US dollars, or equivalent in other foreign currencies.
Make sure you can access money in a variety of ways. Travellers’ cheques are not commonly accepted. 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.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCDO travel advice
If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.