Quick short Facts about Mozambique

Geography, history, weather, money, banks, credit cards, places of interest and more a quick overview of facst about Mozambique Africa.

Passports and Visas

Mozambique Quick View

Mozambique At A Glance

  • Size: Approximately 800,000 sq km's
  • Coastline: 2500km of coastline onto the Indian Ocean with amazing coral reefs off shore many of which are still largely unexplored
  • Highest Peak: Mt Binga in the Chimanimani mountains
  • Largest Rivers: The Zambezi and the Limpopo, these are two of the largest in southern Africa
  • Bordering Countries: (From north to south) Tanzania; Malawi; Zambia; Zimbabwe; South Africa; Swaziland
  • Population: Around 16 million, 80% in rural areas
  • Ethnic groups: There are 19 main groups of which the Makua are the largest group; This group has many distinct subgroups
  • Temperatures: Temperatures vary around the country and depending on the season but as a guide daytime temperatures vary between 24 °C and 31 °C
  • Currency: Metical (Mts, Meticais in plural, pronounced Meticash but often abbreviated to Mets); Most Businesses quote in South African Rand (ZAR) or US Dollars (US$) and both are widely, but not exclusively, accepted around the country

Quick Weather
Mozambique has a warm, tropical climate, although there are regional differences in climate throughout Mozambique, the highest temperatures are during the rainy season (November to April). April to November form Mozambique's Dry Season when temperatures are more comfortable. February is traditionally a windy month in Mozambique.

Simple Geography of Mozambique
Mozambique covers an area of 800 000 sq km with more than 2500km of coastline. The northern terrain rises much sooner from the coast and forms mountains and plateaus bordering with Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia

Quick History of Mozambique
The earliest inhabitants of Mozambique are believed to be related to the San people (Bushman) around 1000 BC. In 1498, the Portuguese Vasco de Gama landed in Mozambique en route to India and the Portuguese quickly established control of the Swahili-Arab trading posts. Portugal pulled out almost overnight after the independent Peoples Republic of Mozambique was proclaimed on 25th June 1975 and many years of civil unrest followed. A formal peace agreement was signed in 1992 and Mozambique is now a peaceful country.

Areas of Mozambique

Starting in the south and heading north

Ponta do Ouro known for its good beaches, great swimming, excellent diving and fishing with plenty options for accommodation - access by 4wd only lodges will collect from Kosi Bay border.
Maputo the capital of Mozambique, a compact city with the Indian Ocean on two sides, vibrant nightlife, good seafood restaurants and plenty hotels from budget to 5 star.
Inhaca Island just across the bay from Maputo, an ideal getaway from busy life, daily flights and at the weekends a ferry take you across to this sleepy Mozambique Island.
Beline 180 km from Maputo this sleepy village has a variety of accommodation and has lovely sandy beaches around a tranquil lagoon with a sea entrance. Great for families and fishermen.
Chidenguele out on a sandy peninsula this is a lovely area for those who want peace and quiet away from the crowds and resorts. Small lodges offering good value.
Xai Xai a good place to stopover on the way north, excellent fishing beaches and good fuel supply.
Inharrime another quiet little village ideal as a stopover, enjoy a cold drink or to spend a few days at the local Cashew farm
Inhambane is the main town along the southern coast, fuel, supplies and gateway to Barra beach, Tofo and Guinjata.
Barra Beach one of the main areas for holiday makers in Mozambique, a long sandy beach with a selection of lodges, self catering chalets and plenty to do in the area.
Tofo small village and a hub for divers, snorkellers and sunseekers, a selection of accommodation options, restaurants, bars and lovely beach make Tofo a relaxing place for a holiday.
Guinjata Bay down a 4wd sandy track Guinjata bay has several places to stay and offers beautiful beaches, fishing and diving
Linga Linga across the bay from Barra beach and accessed by 4wd or boat transfer only, the remote beautiful sandy beaches are perfect for honeymoons, families or those seeking escape.
Maxixie nothing really to see here but a good place to get fuel on the road north.
Pomene / Morrungulo / Ngulane this part of the coast is all old coconut plantations so plenty swaying palms and long sandy beaches, 4wd preferred to get to these remote peaceful places.
Vilankulo / Vilanculos busy seaside town with a selection of restaurants, accommodation and a vibrant nightlife and gateway to the Bazaruto Islands.
Bazaruto / Benguerra these beautiful islands known as the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean' are perfect Island escapes, accommodation choices are top end lodges.
Beira bustling port city and nearest airport to Gorongosa National park.
Gorongosa National park is Mozambiques major wildlife reserve and is now open after extensive rebuilding of the accommodation and roads, fantastic birding and a wonderful wildlife experience.
Tete / Cahorra Bass Dam Tiger fishing centre for Mozambique, most of Mozambiques electricity is created by the dam also the hottest place in the country.
Nampula city north of the Zambezi river, nearest airport for access to Mozambique Island (Ilha De Mocambique) a couple of hotels and fuel available here.
Nacala peaceful bay with fantastic diving, not easy to get to but more difficult to leave as after a few days you will adjust to the wonderful pace of life.
Ilha De Mocambique a world heritage site with amazing history and full of crumbling old buildings forts and people all hanging on to this small piece of history in the Indian Ocean.
Niassa reserve the most remote and untouched part of Mozambique, from the shores of Lake Malawi (called Lake Niassa in Mozambique) Niassa offers the ultimate pioneering safari in a part of Africa still wild and untouched.
Pemba the most northerly city in Mozambique and runs as if the rest of the world does not exist, beautiful beaches, peaceful people and gateway to the Quirimbas islands and Lazarus banks.
Quirimbas Islands a group of exclusive islands stretching along the northern coast, luxury lodges with excellent food and service, watersports, snorkeling, diving and sunbathing in such a remote area make it the perfect escape from all the world.

Mozambique Currency

Mozambique Currency: Mozambique Meticas (MT).
Approximate exchange rate: US$ 1 = MT23 ZA Rand 1 = MT3 £1 = MT46

Banks and foreign exchange bureaus in Mozambique will change all major currencies into Metical the local currency, South African Rand and US dollar are also widely accepted, ATM’s are spreading across the popular locations but travellers cheques are difficult and expensive to exchange.

The unit of currency in Mozambique is the meticais (M) which is divided into 100 centavos. If you are travelling in the southern parts of the country, South African rands, US dollars and pounds sterling are also accepted and can be used to pay for accommodation. North of Beira US dollars and sterling are widely accepted.
Private exchange bureaus in Maputo usually offer better exchange rates than banks. Changing money on the black market is strongly discouraged.

Local banks have branches in most cities which are open from Monday to Friday from 07:45 to 11:00 or 12:00. The main banks include Banco Commercial de Mozambique (BCM) and Banco Popular de Desenvolvimento (BPD), which both have branches throughout the country, as well as Banco Standard Totta.

Credit Cards
Credit cards are usually accepted at more upmarket hotels, but apart from this your credit card will be of little use.

Tipping is not usually expected though in tourist areas locals are becoming used to this and a tip of 5-15% is often appreciated. Bargaining for local handicrafts is commonplace.