Mozambique is a perfect holiday getaway popular with European and South African holidaymakers.The clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean teeming with sea life make Mozambique one of the best places in the world for snorkelling and scuba diving

Before you go

Passports and visa

NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
Note: Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travellers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.

Visa Link: https://www.embassypages.com/southafrica

https://www.embamoc.co.za

Health

Health regulations in Mozambique require visitors to have a yellow fever certificate if travelling from infected areas. Malaria prophylactics are recommended. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid. Comprehensive medical insurance is essential.

Public Holidays

New Year's Day                                       1 Jan
Heroes Day                                              3 Feb
Women's Day                                           7 Apr
Worker's Day                                           1 May
Independence Day                               25 Jun
Victory Day                                              7 Sep
Armed Forces Day                                  25 Sep
Peace Day                                                  4 Oct
Christmas Day                                        25 Dec

Money & duty free

The official currency is the New Metical (MZN), which is divided into 100 centavos. In the southern parts of the country, South African Rands, US Dollars and Pounds Sterling are often also accepted to pay for accommodation. Credit cards are accepted in some upmarket hotels in Maputo.It is advisable to carry cash.

DUTY FREE:
Travellers to Mozambique may enter the country with the following items and not incur customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 250g tobacco, perfume for personal use, and 750ml of spirits. Drugs are strictly prohibited and a permit is required for firearms and ammunition.

The basics

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. The rounded three-pin plug is common, particularly near the border with South Africa and in Maputo. Two pronged, round- and flat-pin plugs are also found.

Time Difference

Local time is GMT +2.

Dialing Code

The international dialling code for Mozambique is +258. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are also in use, e.g. (0)22 for Xai Xai.

Language

Portuguese is the official language- there are 13 main national languages spoken. English is only spoken in the southern tourist regions.

Immigration & border crossing

Border Post Formalities:

On arrival at the Mozambican side of the Kosi Bay/Farazela border post:

Migracao/Immigration:
Proceed to the counter and produce your passport. Please ensure that your passport is stamped with an entry date. We have received numerous reports of passports not being stamped and then when the passport holder wants to return to South Africa, he/she is informed that the passport does not have an entry stamp, that the passport holder has been in Mozambique illegally and the passport is then confiscated until a fine of R2 000 is paid.

Alfandegas/Customs:
If you are travelling in your own vehicle, you will be required to produce vehicle registration and fill in an importation form. Please keep a copy of this form with you during your stay in Mozambique as you may be asked by officials to produce it.

Third Party Insurance:
There are several small huts on the far side of the border post which house offices selling Third Party insurance which you are required to take out if you are driving a vehicle and/or a trailer into Mozambique. Choose any hut as they all offer the same service at the same price. You may need to show the original registration papers of your vehicle so it is best to have them with you. Policies are based on the value of your vehicle (expect to pay approximately R175) and they are valid for 30 days.

Under no circumstances, should you try to photograph anything at the Border posts.

Please note that no fresh food and meat can be taken back into South Africa unless it is frozen and vacuum packed.

The border post opens at 08h00 and closes at 17h00 daily. It does not take much time to get through the border posts. However long weekends and peak holiday periods can create extensive delays. During the High Season (12 December to 5 January) it is open for an extra two hours daily 07h00 to 18h00.

When to go

The best time to visit Mozambique is between April and October with June to October  when night time temperatures require a duvet but during the day the weather is still very hot and good for swimming and beach activities.

Late November to March is the wet season in Mozambique, and temperatures during this period can be uncomfortably hot.

What to pack
  • Enough ZAR cash as the closest ATM is in Ponta do Ouro - it only works with Visa cards - and very few facilities take credit cards
  • Fresh drinking water
  • Cool casual clothing
  • Swimsuit, sarong and hat
  • Beach chairs
  • Windbreaker
  • Something warm for chilly evenings
  • Sunscreen and other toiletries
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Binoculars and bird book
  • Diving, snorkeling and fishing gear
  • Beach umbrella
  • Contact numbers
  • Medical Aid card and contact numbers
  • First Aid kit
Useful contacts

USEFUL CONTACTS
National Tourism Fund (FUTUR), Maputo: +258 21 307 323, or Empresa Nacionale de Tourismo (ENT), Maputo: +258 21 420 147.
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MOZAMBIQUE EMBASSIES
Mozambique High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 401 0300. www.embamoc.co.za
Please contact your closest Mozambique embassy for passport and visa requirements.
________________________________________
MOZAMBIQUE EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Mozambique has no short emergency number. For medical emergencies call +258 82 012 3455.
AIRPORTS IN MOZAMBIQUE
________________________________________
Maputo International Airport (MPM)

LOCATION
The airport is situated 5km northwest of Maputo.
Buses service the airport roughly every hour during the day and taxis are available.

CONTACTS
Tel: +258 (0)1 465 038/9, +258 (0)1 465 036/7, +258 (0)1 465 003.
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Beira International Airport (BEW)

LOCATION
The airport is situated 10km north east of Beira.
There are buses and taxis available to the city centre.

CONTACTS
Tel: +258 (0)3 301 071/2, +258 (0)3 302 011.
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Inhambane Airport (INH)

LOCATION
The airport is located on the outskirts of the city of Inhambane in Mozambique. Taxis are readily available at the airport. Ask one of the friendly airport staff members what they feel a reasonable fare into Inhambane city is, and agree on this price before getting into the taxi.

Map

Cahora Bassa Lake

Situated in the Tete Province of Mozambique, the Cahora Bassa Lake is Africa's second-largest artificial lake. The nearest town is called Songo, established in 1969 to house the workers for the construction of the dam.

Great fishing is the biggest drawcard of the dam and fishing trips are very popular, as the vast stretch of water contains Tiger Fish, Sharptooth Catfish, Vundu, Bream, Longfin Eels, Zambezi Parrotfish and much much more.
Boat cruises and waterskiing are other attractions of the area. The lake and surrounding landscapes are very picturesque, with lush vegetation and dramatic mountainous scenery.
The rich birdlife attracts bird enthusiasts. There is a large population of hippos in the dam, and Baobab trees can be seen on the southern shores. Boat tours down the beautiful gorges of the dam, and sunset cruises are a must for travellers in the region.

Admission:
Entry to the dam is restricted and visitors should speak to the owner of O Sitio restaurant about admission before leaving Songo.

Gorongosa National Park

Gorongosa National Park

Often referred to as 'the place where Noah parked his Ark', Gorongosa National Park was a playground for the rich and famous back in the 1960s, lured by the abundance of wildlife in the area. The subsequent years of war and poaching decimated the wildlife count but programmes have since been put in place to restore the park's previous status as one of the richest wildlife refuges in the world.
The park now includes the verdant Mount Gorongosa, which has lush rainforest on its summit and slopes and is the source of the life-sustaining rivers that travel through the reserve.
Gorongosa National Park supports astounding biodiversity, with 398 bird species, 122 mammals, 34 reptiles and 43 amphibians that have been documented. Highlights for visitors include elephants, buffalo, lions, crocodiles and zebra. There are traversable roads to the park from both Beira and Maputo, and comfortable lodgings are available.

Website: www.gorongosa.org/

Transport: It is advisable to make this trip in a 4x4 vehicle.

Opening times: Park is closed between mid-December and mid-April.

Ilha de Mozambique

Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique Island) is an island in the Nampula Province in Northern Mozambique, up the coast from Beira, with a fascinating historical heritage. It was the capital of Mozambique for nearly four centuries under Portuguese rule before the move to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), and was used as a base for Arab traders long before that. It is not only a wonderful tourist destination in Mozambique, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an exquisite mix of old Portuguese and Muslim architecture, dividing the old Stone Town in the north and the Reed Town in the south. There is a great museum in the form of the Palacio Govierno, a big red building in Stone Town. Also worth seeing is the fort at the northern tip of the island, home to the Church of Nossa Senhora Baluarte, quite possibly the oldest surviving European building in the southern hemisphere, dating back to 1522. At the northern end of the island there is a dive centre, situated on a beach where visitors can take boat trips or else just laze on the sand. For the more adventurous, a dhow can be taken to Chaga or Mossuril on the mainland to explore the coast.

Transport:
The tiny island is accessible via a bridge from the mainland. Because of the island's size, visitors won't have any trouble walking around it; it's a 20-minute walk from end to end, and Gabriel's has bicycles for hire.

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Mauritius is truly one of the world's tropical paradises with excellent beach resorts dotted along its coastline. Most of the resorts offer luxury amenities such as spas and golf courses and watersports which include diving, snorkelling, sailing,windsurfing and fishing. The capital, Port Louis, is the tourist hub of the island.

Before you go

Passports and visa

NOTE: Travellers are advised to check their entry requirements with the closest Mauritian embassy or consulate.
NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Health

No vaccination certificates are required for entry into Mauritius, unless travelling from a country infected by yellow fever or where yellow fever is classified as endemic. Vaccinations are usually recommended for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Travellers should stick to bottled water. Medical facilities are good and free in public hospitals, but private clinics are expensive and medical insurance is recommended.

Public Holidays

New Year's Day                                                 1 Jan
Thaipoosam Cavadee                                     17 Jan
Abolition of Slavery Day                                 1 Feb
Maha Shivaratri                                               8 Mar
Chinese New Year                                            8 Feb
Independence Day                                         12 Mar
Labour Day                                                       1 May
Eid al Fitr (End of Ramadan)                         7 Jul
Ganesh Charturthi                                           5 Sep
All Saints' Day                                                   1 Nov
Diwali                                                                30 Oct
Christmas Day                                                 25 Dec

Money & duty free

The currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee (MUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and larger hotels. Restaurants and large retailers accept major credit cards.

DUTY FREE:
Travellers to Mauritius over 18 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 1 litre spirits and 2 litres of wine, ale or beer; perfume and eau de toilette for personal use. Prohibited items include sugarcane and fresh fruit from parts of Asia. No dogs or cats from a 62-mile (100km) radius where rabies has occurred in the past 12 months are allowed into the country.

The basics

Electricity

Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs and round two-pin plugs are commonly used.

Time Difference

local time is GMT +4.

Dialing Code

The international access code for Mauritius is +230. The outgoing code is 020 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0201 for the United States). The whole island is covered by the mobile network.

Language

English is the official language of Mauritius, but the most widely used language is French.

Immigration & border crossing

It is best to check with your nearest consulate with regards to immigration and border crossing regularities.

When to go

Mauritius has only two seasons, with minimal differences between them, making it a perfect year round destination. Summer runs from November to April, with temperatures reaching as high as 93ºF (34ºC) on the coast.
Humidity is highest from December to April but is never unbearable, particularly on the coast where there is an almost constant sea breeze.
The northeast (around Grand Baie) is more protected from the southeast trade winds.
Cyclones, with strong winds and heavy rain, can occur between January and March. Mauritius will normally experience about three or four cyclones a year during this period.
Sea temperatures vary between 75ºF (24ºC) in the winter and 82ºF (28ºC) in the summer.
The peak holiday season runs from October to April, with hotel prices dropping over the winter months.

What to pack

As most of your Mauritius holiday will likely be spent on the beach, light beach wear and cotton clothing will be most comfortable during the day and include a few slightly more formal outfits for the evenings.

Other items to not forget:

  • Avoid synthetic fabrics which are just too uncomfortable in the heat.
  • Pack plenty of beach wear but modesty is expected and nudity - including females going topless - is an absolute no-no, so be conservative and you won't offend.
  • Some of the beach sand is coral, which means you will need flip-flops and they are much cheaper to bring with you - Mauritius is quite expensive for tourists.
  • For paddling, swimming or snorkeling pack dive shoes or similar, as the coral will hurt your feet.
  • A wide-brimmed sunhat is a must along with quality sunglasses.
  • There is lots to explore on the island, including the Casela Nature Park, Botanical Gardens and an extinct volcano. If you're planning to walk around, take comfortable flat shoes or walking sandals (we love Hotter shoes, they are incredibly light and comfy).
  • Please show due respect when visiting religious sites; cover up and remove leather shoes and belts.
  • Your laundry will be done for you as standard at most all-inclusive hotels, meaning that you can pack very light.
Useful contacts

USEFUL CONTACTS
Mauritius High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 342 1283.

MAURITIUS EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Emergencies: 999.

Airports in Mauritius:
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU)

OVERVIEW
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, or Mauritius International Airport, is located approximately 34km south-east of Port Louis in Mauritius.
A regular bus service operates from the airport every 30 minutes, taking about an hour to reach Port Louis. The bus fare into town is relatively cheap and must be paid onboard. Taxis are available and take around 45 minutes to reach the capital.

CONTACTS
Tel: +230 603 6000.

Map

Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth

The seven colored earth is a natural phenomenon and a prominent tourist attraction. The colors evolved through conversion of basaltic lava to clay minerals.

It is a relatively small area ofsand dunes comprising sand of seven distinct colours (approximately red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow).

Due to the tropical weather conditions, all water-soluble elements such as silicon dioxide have been washed out. The remains are the reddish-black iron- and aluminium oxides which create shades in blue, cyan and purple. The various colors developed due to the different compositions.

And what is more fascinating is the fact that if you mix the colored earth together, they'll eventually settle into separate layers. And you may also be puzzled as the colors might play tricks on you and may appear to be shadows.

The Colored Earth of Chamarel has become one of Mauritius' main tourist attractions since the 1960s. Nowadays, the dunes are protected by a wooden fence and visitors are not allowed to climb on them, although they can look at the scenery from observation outposts placed along the fence. Curio shops in the area sell small test-tubes filled up with the coloured earths.There is also a childrens playground and some giant tortoises too.

Central Market

“Made in Mauritius”, a label that your family and friends will definitely appreciate!

Port Louis' rightly famous Central Market, the centre of the local economy since Victorian times, was cleaned up considerably in a 2004 renovation. Many comment that it's lost much of its dirty charm and atmosphere (you're far less likely to see rats, although it's possible), but it's still a good place to get a feel for the everyday life of many locals, watch the hawkers at work and buy some souvenirs. Most authentic are the fruit and vegetable sections (including Chinese herbal medicines and aphrodisiacs).
The shopping in Mauritius offers you to enjoy very high value-for-money on your shopping, and turn the shopping into an interesting and enjoyable experience.

Mauritian Sea & Marine Life

Mauritius boasts a huge range of sea treasures. The Mauritian sea never fails to surprise :
- Multi-coloured fish, moray eels, magnificent coral beds.
- Skin diving masks, flippers and scuba diving equipment is what one needs to enjoy one of the happiest experiences in the world!
- Whether you are in a diving suit or in a submarine, Mauritius can introduce you to the secrets of its submarine world.

One of the most spectacular ways to explore the ocean beds is to go on board the Blue Safari submarine. You will enjoy a superb encounter with the marine life and get a chance to see various wrecks dating back to the 17th century. Night diving and training sessions are available.

A semi-submersible craft, will provide you with a one hour trip under the sea in complete safety. A unique experience with optimal viewing for passengers of all ages. And for those who want to experience the feeling
of walking on the sea bed, Undersea Walking will help you enjoy the thrill in complete safety.

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