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 Carlos Agostinho do Rosário since 2015.
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.
From 4am on Saturday 9 January, visitors arriving into the UK who have been in or transited through Mozambique in the previous 10 days will not be permitted entry. British and Irish citizens, and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in the UK from Mozambique, need to self-isolate on their return. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
From 1 January onwards, those with residence rights include: holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain; holders of existing leave to enter or remain (i.e those with biometric Residence permits) or an entry clearance/visa that grants such leave e.g. students, workers, etc (excluding visit visas); holders of EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”) leave; those who have rights of entry under the Withdrawal Agreements (including returning residents with a right of residence under the EEA Regulations and EEA frontier workers); family members of EEA nationals with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Commercial flights to and from Maputo have resumed. Passenger flights are operating with a maximum frequency of twice a week. 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.
Returning to the UK
When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.
You are responsible for organizing your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should check that the test result can be provided in the correct format and language.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
If you test positive for COVID, or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must self-isolate in a hotel or private accommodation. If you do not have symptoms, you must self-isolate until advised otherwise by their doctor, after testing negative, or for 10 days. If you test positive and are showing symptoms, you must self-isolate for 14 days after developing symptoms.
If you are forced to self-isolate, please make sure you have a plan for ensuring continued access to supplies such as food, as there is no government provision.
These measures are the same for all ages.
If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact the Mozambique National Institute of Health on 82 34 34/ 84 34 34 /86 34 34 000 and follow their instructions. You can also reach out to health assistance through the following routes:
- Dial free line Alo Vida (Hello Life): 1490 through TmCel and Movitel networks
- Dial free line Alo Vida 84146 if calling from a Vodacom network
- Reach out to PENSA (Think) through *660#
- Reach out via WhatsApp Fica Atento (stay alert) through +258 843318727
- Visit the Mozambican government’s COVID-19 website for more information (This website is only available in Portuguese)
Travel in Mozambique
The Mozambican government has declared “State of Calamity”’, which will remain in place indefinitely. These regulations laid under the “State of Calamity” have imposed restrictions on movement within the country. These restrictions can change at short notice, so contact your accommodation provider or tour operator for the latest information, and comply with the advice of the local authorities.
The Mozambican government announced new COVID-19 restrictions starting at midnight on 17 July for a period of 30 days. The new restrictions include: a mandatory curfew in all provincial capitals and some district capitals (Chokwe, Gondola, Moatize, Mocuba, Maxixe, Cuamba, Manhiça, Montepuez, Massinga and Nacala) from 09pm to 4am; limiting meetings to 15 people in closed spaces and 30 people in outdoor spaces; and the closure of gyms, public swimming pools and beaches.
Wearing face coverings is compulsory in all public spaces including on public transport.
Individuals who have been in areas with high incidence of coronavirus cases will be required to observe self-isolation for a period of 14 days.
Some hotels and other accommodations have closed. Please check with your accommodation provider before you travel.
Masks/face coverings are compulsory in hotels and other accommodation.
Public places and services
Most shopping centres, markets, restaurants, cafes and bars are open, with some restrictions on timings.
Beaches are now closed to the public. Swimming pools, gyms and other areas for physical training activities are now closed. Hotel swimming pools are open for guests only.
Only civil and religious weddings are allowed and attendance is limited to 20 people. All other religious services are not permitted except for civil and religious weddings not exceeding 20 people.
Wearing face coverings is compulsory in all public spaces
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.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Mozambique
We will update this page when the Government of Mozambique announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.
The Mozambique national vaccination programme started in March 2021 and is using the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The Government of Mozambique has stated that British nationals resident in Mozambique are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme. Further information on the vaccination programme is available on the Government of Mozambique Ministry of Health website
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.
If you’re a British national living in Mozambique, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider or nearest health centre. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.
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. 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 increases the risk of further hostage-taking.
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 advise 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 Islamic extremism.
The FCDO also advise against all but essential travel to to the districts of Ancuabe and Metuge (with the exception of the city of Pemba) in Cabo Delgado province, including the islands off the coast, due to attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism. See Terrorism
The FCDO advise against all but essential travel on the EN1 road between Inchope and the town of Gorongoza and the EN6 road between Tica and Inchope, in Sofala province. Since August 2019, there have been a number of armed attacks on vehicles on roads in the province.
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.
Since August 2019, there have been a number of armed attacks on vehicles on roads in Sofala province. The FCDO advise against all but essential travel on the EN1 between Inchope and the town of Gorongoza and the EN6 between Tica and Inchope.
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.
Until 16 May 2017 all Mozambican airlines were refused permission to operate services to the EU. The EU ban was imposed because the Mozambican regulatory authorities were unable to verify that these airlines complied with international safety standards. The EU operating ban was lifted on 16 May 2017.
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.
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.
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, 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. Most recently, 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 March 2020, the district of Mocimboa da Praia has been attacked and captured several times by groups with links to Islamist extremism, the most recent on 12 August 2020. There has been an increasing number of attacks since 2019.
There are reports of an increased security presence in Cabo Delgado province, including road blocks, and 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. If you’re planning to travel to the area, you should check local and social media for updates before you travel to the area and follow the advice of the local authorities.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
Due to the presence of groups with links to Islamic 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 not illegal, but is frowned upon by many, particularly rural or religious, Mozambicans. Attitudes in Maputo tend to be more liberal. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry to Mozambique
Entry to Mozambique is allowed to all travellers with a valid tourist, business or residency visa.
The issuing of border visas for tourism purposes has now resumed.
Testing on arrival
Testing for COVID-19 may be required on arrival in Mozambique, at your expense.
Travellers presenting a negative COVID-19 PCR test are exempt from the quarantine regime regardless of whether they have been fully vaccinated. The test must have been issued in the departure country, within 72 hours prior to the time of arrival. Children under 5 years old are exempt from the requirement to present a COVID-19 PCR test. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
A negative PCR test is valid for up to 7 days for travellers using the South Africa land border.
Anyone testing positive, or in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Anyone who does not present a negative COVID-19 test will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
All arriving passengers are required to provide their contact details to the Mozambican authorities.
Extension to visas
You’ll need to apply for an extension of stay if your visa expires. All applicants must make an appointment in order to apply for the extension. You can make an appointment on the government website, or alternatively you can contact SENAMI on 90243 from 7:30am to 3:30pm, or make an appointment in person at your provincial immigration office. Further information is available on the Mozambican government website.
Regular entry requirements
You will need a visa to enter Mozambique. If you’re a tourist or travelling for work purposes from a country where there is a Mozambican diplomatic mission, you must get the appropriate visa before travelling.
In summer 2017, Mozambique introduced the possibility for tourists to buy visas at border posts. However, border visas should be considered an exception, not standard practice; they’re intended for visitors originating in countries where there is no Mozambican diplomatic mission to issue visas. If you’re travelling from a country where there is Mozambican diplomatic or consular representation (such as the UK), you should continue to apply for a visa before travelling. If you intend to ask for a border visa on arrival, you should be ready to explain clearly why you didn’t get a visa before travelling.
You must present on entry a return air ticket (for air travellers) and either an invitation from family / friends or a confirmed hotel reservation.
You can apply for a visa at the High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique, 21 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6EL, telephone: + 44 (0)20 7383 3800.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date your visa for Mozambique was issued, and have at least two blank pages.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry into, transit through and exit from Mozambique as long as they have a minimum of 6 months’ validity and a valid entry visa.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
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. This and other land borders are currently closed except to essential freight traffic.
Travelling with children via a South African airport
If you’re transiting through a South African airport with children, check travel advice for South Africa for information and advice about the documents you’ll need to carry.
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Mozambique on the TravelHealthPro website
See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Mozambique.
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 generally poor in Mozambique, 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.
In the 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 11.5% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. Exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 08911 or 21313103 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.
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).
Don’t enter or exit the country with more than 500 Meticais.
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.We are not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.