Toggle Menu SearchSearch

Mozambique

smartraveller.gov.au smartraveller.gov.au

Summary

  • Exercise a high degree of caution in Mozambique because of high levels of serious crime. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks. Avoid travelling at night.
  • Reconsider your need to travel to Cabo Delgado Province.
  • There have been multiple clashes, at times deadly, between armed groups, security forces and residents in Cabo Delgado Province. At the end of May 2018, villagers were reported killed in the area of Olumbi in the district of Palma. Be aware of an increased security presence in the region, including road blocks. Check local and social media for updates before you travel to the area, remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities.
  • Reconsider your need to travel by road along the EN1 north of the Save River and south of Caia in Zamebezia province, and the EN6 between Beira and Chimoio, due to armed attacks on vehicles arising from increased political tensions.
  • From 5 to 6 October 2017, there have been armed attacks on Mozambican government facilities and violent clashes between the police and militants in the town of Mocimboa da Praia in Cabo Delgado. There are reports of military and police road blocks set up in response to the situation. Avoid the area and monitor the media for updates. Follow the instructions issued by local authorities.
  • There has been an increase in violent criminal activity, including kidnapping in Maputo and Beira. Avoid walking at night, even in well-known tourist areas, and avoid isolated beaches. See Safety and security.
  • Be particularly vigilant in Sofala province, particularly in remote areas around the Gorongosa hills, Muxungue, Chibabava, Maringue, Macossa and Canxixi where banditry and politically-motivated violence have been reported.
  • Demonstrations can occur with little warning. Avoid all demonstrations and protests as they may become violent.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas

Mozambican visas can be arranged prior to travelling through the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Mozambique. There have been reports of travellers having difficulties obtaining visas on arrival.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Mozambique for up-to-date information.

Passport

Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you intend to return to Australia.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.

Other formalities

Australians travelling to or from Mozambique through South Africa (including transiting) should read our travel advice for South Africa. South Africa has introduced specific documentation requirements for all children travelling to South Africa. Please note South Africa’s Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate requirements and be aware that it does not accept provisional travel documents (i.e. one page travel documents).

If you're arriving from a country where yellow fever is present, a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required.

Safety and security

Civil unrest and political tension

Prior to the national elections held in October 2014, there were armed clashes between the Mozambican government security forces and the Renamo opposition party.

During 2016 there were reports of armed attacks on vehicles on the EN1 road between the Save River and Muxungue and Gorongosa to Caia leading to fatalities. Mozambican police convoys were providing timed escorts for traffic in these areas. Since December 2016, a ceasefire has held although conflict could return at short notice.

Always exercise extreme caution when travelling the Beira corridor and make sure all documentation is in order.

Avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent. Demonstrations can occur with little warning. Monitor the media and other local information sources for details about possible safety and security threats.

Crime

Exercise a high degree of caution in Mozambique because of high levels of serious crime. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.

Violent attacks, including sexual assault, can occur at any time of day. Serious assault and robberies have occurred at two coastal resorts in Inhambane province. Isolated beaches and picnic spots should be avoided. Criminal activity increases at night and during holiday periods. Avoid walking at night, even in well-known tourist areas.

Petty crime is common throughout the country, especially muggings and bag snatching. Foreigners have been targeted.

Armed robbery and break-ins are common in Maputo and in other towns. There have been a number of restaurants and cafes targeted after dark by gangs of armed robbers.

Due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.

Carjacking is common, particularly in Maputo and on routes to Mutare, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Avoid travelling at night.

Kidnappings occur in Maputo and have also been known to occur in Beira. While the majority of victims have been Mozambican nationals, foreigners have been threatened. The kidnappings have occurred in public areas and have been perpetrated by armed individuals. Be cautious about your surroundings and avoid displays of obvious wealth.

Visitors should not expect the same level of service from police in Mozambique as they would in Australia.

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism in Mozambique. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreigners.

  • Be alert to possible threats, especially in public areas.
  • Report any suspicious activity or items to police.
  • Monitor the media for any new or emerging threats.
  • Take official warnings seriously.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. More information: Terrorist threat worldwide

Money and valuables

There are several ATMs in Maputo where you can withdraw local currency (the metical) using a credit card. In addition, US dollars and South African Rand can be changed in all urban centres across Mozambique. Travellers cheques in US Dollars or Euros are accepted at major banks in Maputo but can only be changed for local currency. Travellers cheques are very difficult to change in other areas of Mozambique and a high rate of commission is charged where the facility does exist.

Keep your credit card in sight at all times when using it. The export or import of local currency is prohibited.

Local travel

Road travel

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), you're six times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Mozambique than in Australia. Driving in Mozambique can be hazardous due to poor road conditions, local driving practices and inadequate lighting. It is especially dangerous to drive after dark in rural areas. Drivers should look out for pedestrians and livestock, especially in rural areas.

During the rainy season (November to April) travel by four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for most road travel outside Maputo. Many roads in the Gaza and Inhambane provinces and parts of Sofala, Zambezia and Tete provinces, including the North-South road, are subject to flooding and damage in the rainy season.

More information: Road safety and driving

There have been reports of pedestrians deliberately causing accidents in order to extort money from foreign drivers.

Checkpoints are common throughout Mozambique and drivers should obey police signals to stop. There have been reports of police soliciting bribes from tourists.

Although all known minefields in Mozambique have been cleared, care should be taken when travelling away from the main road networks in remote, rural areas, especially in the central and southern provinces. Travellers should remain on well-travelled roads.

Sea travel

Piracy occurs in the Indian Ocean. To the north of Mozambique’s waters, attacks by pirates against all forms of shipping around Somalia's waters and the Gulf of Aden continue to occur. The International Maritime Bureau issues piracy reports.

More information: Piracy

Airline safety

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Mozambique.

More information: Air travel

Laws

You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

More information: Arrested or in prison

Drug laws

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include prison sentences.

More information: Carrying or using drugs

Other laws

Homosexual acts are not illegal in Mozambique, but be aware of local sensitivities.

More information: LGBTI travellers

It is required by law that you carry identification at all times (passport, identity documents or notarised copies).

Government buildings, other infrastructure and officials should not be photographed without permission from the Ministry of Information.

Unlicensed purchase of or trading in endangered wildlife products such as ivory and rhino horn is illegal and carries severe penalties. Visit the Australian Department of the Environment's Wildlife trade website for more information.

It is illegal to export or import the local currency (Meticais).

If you're detained or arrested, the authorities in Mozambique may not automatically notify the Australian Government. As soon as possible, request police or prison officials to notify the Australian High Commission in the Pretoria, South Africa.

Australian laws

Some Australian laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you can be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering
  • terrorism.

Information for dual nationals

See our Dual nationals page.

Health

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart.

Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are and are not covered
  • that you're covered for the whole time you'll be away.

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated vaccinations before you travel.

More information:

Medical facilities

Medical facilities in Mozambique are limited. While costs are generally lower than in Australia, up-front payment will be required before receiving treatment regardless of whether the patient has travel insurance. In the event of serious illness or injury, medical evacuation to a country with state-of-the-art medical facilities may be required. This can be very expensive. Medical evacuation to South Africa from Mozambique can cost up to A$25,000.

Health risks

Malaria is prevalent throughout the year in Mozambique, particularly outside Maputo. Other insect-borne diseases (including filariasis, plague and African sleeping sickness) are also common. We encourage you to take prophylaxis against malaria and take measures to avoid insect bites including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.

The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Mozambique is high. Exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to the risk of infection.

Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including cholera, hepatitis, tuberculosis and rabies) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water. Avoid ice cubes and raw or undercooked food. Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as bilharzia (schistosomiasis). Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

Natural disasters

The rainy season is November to April when flash floods and mudslides can occur, making some roads impassable. Flooding occurs on low ground around rivers and coastal areas during the rainy season. Cyclones may occur along the coastal areas of Mozambique. Mozambique is also subject to earthquakes. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

More information: Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

Where to get help

Depending on the nature of your enquiry, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.

Emergency phone numbers

There is no national emergency number in Mozambique. For criminal issues, contact the local police. Always get a police report when reporting a crime.

Tourism services and products

For complaints about tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.

Australian Government

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

Australia has a Consulate in Mozambique, headed by an Honorary Consul, who can provide limited consular and passport assistance. The Honorary Consul currently works remotely, and can be contacted at:

Australian Consulate

Mr Blake Gray
Honorary Consul
Australian Consulate
Ave Kamba Simango, 71
MAPUTO
Phone: +258 2149 8778 
Email: australian.consulate.moz@gmail.com

Full consular and passport assistance is available from the Australian High Commission, in Pretoria, South Africa.

Australian High Commission, Pretoria

292 Orient Street
Arcadia
Pretoria, South Africa   
Phone: (27 12) 423 6000
Fax:  (27 12) 342 8442
Email: pretoria.info@dfat.gov.au
Website: southafrica.embassy.gov.au

See the High Commission website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the above Embassy, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Additional resources