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. See Safety and security.
- Reconsider your need to travel to Cabo Delgado Province due to ongoing clashes between armed groups, local residents and security forces. In 2019, there have been several attacks. Militants have used explosives, machetes and firearms to conduct lethal attacks, including attacks on vehicles. There is increased security in the region, including roadblocks. Take particular care around government offices, shops, and on the roads. Check local and social media for updates. Be alert and follow the advice of local authorities. See Safety and security.
- Reconsider your need to travel by road along the EN1 road between Save River and Caia in Sofala Province, and the EN6 road between Beira in Sofala Province and Chimoio in Manica Province, due to armed attacks on vehicles. See Safety and security.
- In Sofala Province, banditry and politically-motivated violence are threats, particularly in remote areas around the Gorongosa hills, Muxungue, Chibabava, Maringue, Macossa and Canxixi. See Safety and security.
- Kidnapping and other violent criminal activity occurs. Avoid walking at night, even in tourist areas. Avoid isolated beaches. See Safety and security.
- Avoid demonstrations and protests as they can become violent with little warning. See Safety and security.
- Tropical cyclones may occur along coastal areas. Monitor local and international weather updates and follow advice provided by local authorities. See Natural disasters.
Entry and exit
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Australian Government cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
You'll need a visa to enter Mozambique.
If you meet certain conditions, you may be eligible for a visa on arrival. Some travellers have faced difficulties getting a visa on arrival.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact an
Embassy or High Commission of Mozambique to apply for a visa before you travel or for up-to-date information on entry and exit conditions.
You'll need a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate to enter if you're arriving from a country where yellow fever is present. More information:
Yellow fever risk and certification requirements by country (WHO)
If you travel through South Africa, you'll need to satisfy certain requirements, including carrying Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificates and certain documents if travelling with children. South Africa doesn't accept provisional travel documents. Other conditions may apply. More information:
Check the expiry date of your Australian passport before you travel. Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for six months from when you plan to leave that country.
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.
Be aware of attempts to obtain access to your passport by deception. If you're forced to hand over your passport, contact an
Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate for advice.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.
The local currency is Mozambique Metical (MZN). Exporting or importing MZN is prohibited.
You can exchange US Dollars and South African Rand for MZN in all urban centres. Travellers' cheques in US Dollars or Euros are accepted at major banks in Maputo, but can only be changed for MZN. 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.
There are several ATMs in Maputo that accept international credit cards. Credit cards are widely accepted. Keep your credit card in sight at all times, including during transactions. Contact your bank to make sure your cards will work in Mozambique.
Safety and security
Since October 2017, violent clashes between armed groups, local residents and security forces have occurred in Cabo Delgado province. If despite our advice you decide to travel there check local and social media for updates, remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities.
In March 2019, the US Government warned its citizens that 'there have been attacks by violent extremists in the districts of Mocimboa da Praia, Nangade, Palma, Macomia, Ancuabe, Meluco, Ibo, and Quissanga in the northern Cabo Delgado Province that borders Tanzania. These groups have used machetes and firearms to conduct lethal attacks, as well as burned vehicles and homes. While the attacks have been localised, there remains a possibility that such violence could spill over into other districts bordering Macomia'.
Civil unrest and political tension
Political tensions exist and have led to armed clashes in the past.
- Attacks on villages and clashes between security forces and insurgents continue to occur in Cabo Delgado province. There is increased security in the region, including roadblocks.
- In 2016, vehicles on the EN1 road between the Save River and Muxungue and Gorongosa to Caia were attacked and some people were killed.
A ceasefire has held since December 2016 but conflict could return at short notice.
Demonstrations can occur with little warning. Demonstrations and other public gatherings can turn violent.
- Avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings.
- Monitor the media for reports of planned or possible unrest, or other security risks. Avoid affected areas.
- Follow instructions from local authorities.
Violent attacks, including sexual assault, can occur at any time of day. Criminal activity increases at night and during holiday periods.
Petty crime is common, especially muggings and bag snatching. Foreigners have been targeted.
- Armed robbery and break-ins are common in Maputo and other towns. Several restaurants and cafes have been targeted after dark by gangs of armed robbers.
- Carjacking is common, particularly in Maputo and on roads to Mutare, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Serious assault and robberies have occurred at two coastal resorts in Inhambane province.
- Secure your accommodation against intruders, including when you're in it.
- Carry only what you need. Leave other valuables, including your passport, in a secure location.
- Avoid carrying bags that are easy to snatch.
- Avoid walking or travelling at night, even in tourist areas.
- Keep vehicles doors locked, windows up and valuables out of sight at all times, including when moving.
- Avoid isolated beaches and picnic spots.
- If you're a victim of violent crime, including rape, seek immediate medical assistance due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
Groups with links to Islamic extremism are present in Mozambique. There is a threat of kidnapping.
- Since 2017, several foreigners have been kidnapped by armed groups for ransom.
- Kidnappings have occurred in Maputo and Beira. Most victims are locals.
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
If you decide to travel to an area where there is a particular threat of kidnapping despite our advice:
- seek professional security advice and
- have effective personal security measures in place.
Terrorism is a threat in Mozambique. An attack could happen anywhere and at any time. Foreigners could be targeted.
- Be alert to possible threats, especially in public areas.
- Report suspicious activity or items to police.
- Monitor the media for any new or emerging threats.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities and take official warnings seriously.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. More information:
Terrorist threat worldwide
All known minefields have been cleared but risks could remain. Take care when travelling away from the main road networks in remote and rural areas, especially in the central and southern provinces. Stick to well-travelled roads.
You are six times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Mozambique than in Australia. Driving hazards include poor road conditions, local driving practices and inadequate lighting. It's especially dangerous to drive after dark in rural areas. Roads are often shared with pedestrians and livestock, especially in rural areas.
During the rainy season (November to April) four-wheel drive vehicles are 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, experience flooding and damage in the rainy season.
There have been reports of pedestrians deliberately causing accidents in order to extort money from foreign drivers.
Checkpoints are common. There have been reports of police soliciting bribes from tourists.
- Check you have adequate insurance cover before driving.
- Familiarise yourself with local traffic laws and practices before driving.
- Get up-to-date local advice on road conditions before travel outside major centres.
- Obey police signals to stop, including at checkpoints.
You can drive with a valid Australian driver's licence and an International Driving Permit (IDP). You must get your IDP before departing Australia.
Check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when using a motorcycle, quad bike or similar vehicle. Your policy may not cover you for accidents that occur while using these vehicles. Always wear a helmet.
Only use registered taxis and limousines from reputable providers, preferably arranged through your hotel.
Public transport can be hazardous due to reliability and security issues. Use instead a car and driver from a reputable provider.
Piracy is a threat in the Indian Ocean. Somali pirates have been using mother ships to attack shipping vessels up to 1,000 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia. All forms of shipping are attractive targets for pirates, including commercial vessels, pleasure craft and luxury cruise liners.
International Maritime Bureau (IMB) issues piracy reports.
If you decide to travel by boat in the Indian Ocean:
- first check the IMB's
- take appropriate security precautions
- be alert to threats.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the
Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local 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.
If you're arrested or detained, authorities may not automatically notify the Australian Government. As soon as possible, request police or prison officials to notify the Australian High Commission in South Africa.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include prison sentences. More information:
By law, you must you carry identification at all times (passport, identity documents or notarised copies).
Activities that are illegal include:
- photographing government buildings, other infrastructure or officials without permission from the Ministry of Information
- purchasing or trading in endangered wildlife products, such as ivory and rhino horn, without a licence – more information:
- exporting or importing the local currency (Meticais).
Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may 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
Staying within the law
Homosexual acts are not illegal, but there are local sensitivities.
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. Make sure your policy includes adequate coverage for any pre-existing conditions.
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 your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.
- what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
- you're covered for the whole time you will be away.
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, 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 implications for your health.
- Get vaccinated before you travel.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Before you leave, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to and find out if any quantity restrictions or certification requirements apply. Consult your doctor about alternatives well in advance of travel
Take enough legal prescription medicine with you to last for the duration of your stay so you remain in good health. Carry copies of your prescription and a dated letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only.
Malaria is prevalent throughout the year, particularly outside Maputo. Other insect-borne diseases (including filariasis, plague and African sleeping sickness) are also common.
Protect yourself against insect-borne diseases:
- ensure your accommodation is insect proof
- avoid insect bites, including by using insect repellent and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing
- consider taking malaria prevention medication
- seek medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
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.
Other infectious diseases
Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including cholera, hepatitis, tuberculosis and rabies) are prevalent. More serious outbreaks occur from time-to-time.
- Practise good hygiene including frequent handwashing.
- Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water in rural areas.
- Avoid ice cubes in rural areas.
- Avoid raw and undercooked food.
- Don't swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases.
- Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering diarrhoea.
Medical facilities are limited.
Costs are generally lower than in Australia but you'll need to pay up-front, before receiving treatment, even if you have travel insurance.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to South Africa or another destination with appropriate facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
Mozambique can experience cyclones, flooding, mudslides and earthquakes.
If a natural disaster occurs:
- secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location or carry it on you.
- closely monitor local media and other sources such as the
Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
- follow the advice of local authorities
- contact friends and family with regular updates about your welfare.
Cyclones and severe weather
The rainy season is November to April. Flooding occurs on low ground around rivers and coastal areas. Flash floods and mudslides can make some roads impassable.
Cyclones may occur along coastal areas from November to May. The direction and strength of cyclones can change with little warning.
If there is a cyclone or severe storm, you may not be able to leave the area. Flights in and out of affected areas could be delayed, suspended or may fill quickly. Access to sea ports could also be affected. Roads and bridges may collapse or be blocked. Power, communication systems and other essential services could be affected. In some areas, adequate shelter from a cyclone may not be available.
If a cyclone is approaching, follow the advice for all natural disasters above and:
Mozambique experiences earthquakes. Familiarise yourself with earthquake safety measures for each place you stay and visit, including hotels, public and private buildings. More information:
Where to get help
Depending on what you need, 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
- Fire: phone 198
- Medical emergencies: phone 117 or go to the nearest hospital
- Police: phone 119 or visit the nearest police station.
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.
Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia has an Honorary Consulate in Mozambique. It can provide limited consular and passport assistance. You can get full consular and passport assistance from the Australian High Commission, in South Africa.
Australian Honorary Consulate
Mr Blake Gray
Ave Kamba Simango, 71
Phone: +258 2149 8778
Australian High Commission, Pretoria
292 Orient Street
Pretoria, South Africa
Telephone (27 12) 423 6000
Facsimile (27 12) 342 8442
Australian High Commission in South Africa
High Commission website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
If you can't contact the High Commission in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.