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Mozambique

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Mozambique (Moçambique) is a country on the Indian Ocean coast of Southern Africa. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Tanzania to the north and has inland borders with Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Mozambique's eastern coastline along the Indian Ocean is more than 1,000 km long, a fantastic draw for scuba divers, fishermen, sailors and beach lovers.

Regions

Mozambique has 10 provinces that can be grouped into the following three regions:

Cities

  • Maputo - the thriving capital in the far south of the country.
  • Beira - a busy port town and capital of Sofala Province.
  • Ilha de Mozambique - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital under Portuguese rule.
  • Inhambane - a pretty historic town on a bay.
  • Nampula - an industrial city in the north and capital of Nampula Province.
  • Pemba - in Northern Mozambique, a popular holiday destination for Mozambicans, although its isolation has kept it off the tourist route for most Western visitors.

Other destinations

  • Bazaruto Archipelago - a beautiful island resort and underwater marine park with great diving, geared to high-end tourism.
  • Cahora Bassa dam - Hydro-electric dam on the Zambezi river and the second largest man-made lake in Africa.
  • Gorongosa National Park
  • Ponta d'Ouro - a great dive spot, more easily accessible from South Africa than from Maputo.
  • Quirimbas Archipelago & Quirimbas National Park - at the North of the country, a scenic and secluded holiday destination off the beaten track with lush African bush on the mainland and white sand beaches/crustal blue water in the Archipelago and on the coast. Accessible through Pemba.
  • Tofo Beach - a backpacker haven on the coastline east of Inhambane with excellent diving.
  • Vilanculos - also known as Vilankulo is a popular holiday destination. The gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago the largest Sea Park in Africa with excellent scuba diving and snorkelling also well known for its deep sea fishing.

Understand

From the 2,436m Monte Binga peak to the stunning beaches along the coast, Mozambique is a country of contrasts. As well as some of the best colonial era architecture and relics to be found on the continent, Mozambique has also preserved its African cultural heritage, which can be experienced through art, music and food.

Geography

Mozambique stretches for 1,535 mi (2,470 km) along Africa's southeast coast. It is nearly twice the size of California. Tanzania is to the north; Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to the west; and South Africa and Swaziland to the south. The country is generally a low-lying plateau broken up by 25 sizable rivers that flow into the Indian Ocean. The largest is the Zambezi, which provides access to central Africa. In the interior, several chains of mountains form the backbone of the country.

History

Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama reached Mozambique in 1498, as a waypoint on the Cape Route to India.

In 1500, the Portuguese established a string of forts and posts up and down the coast, starting with present day Isla de Mozambique (at that time simply known as Mozambique and where the country gets its modern name), where the Portuguese plied the spice and slave routes from Mozambique up until 1891.

After World War 1, Portuguese investment in commercial, industrial, agricultural, educational, transportation, and health care infrastructure for the indegenious population started providing for better social and economic possibilities and these continued to gain pace up until independence in 1975.

In 1962, several anti-colonial political groups formed the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), which initiated an armed campaign against Portuguese colonial rule. Mozambique became independent after ten years of sporadic warfare on June 25, 1975. FRELIMO took complete control of the territory after a transition period and within a year of independence, almost all the Portuguese population had left Mozambique – some expelled by the new government of Mozambique, some fleeing in fear.

Upon independence, Mozambique had less than 5 engineers in the entire country and the previous colonial infrastructure investments stopped entirely resulting in the rapid disintegration of much of Mozambique's infrastructure. FRELIMO responded to their lack of resources and the Cold War politics of the mid-1970s by moving into alignment with the Soviet Union and its allies. FRELIMO established a one-party Socialist state, and quickly received substantial international aid from Cuba and the Soviet bloc nations.

In 1975, the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), an anti-communist group sponsored by the Rhodesian Intelligence Service, the apartheid government in South Africa and the United States after Zimbabwe's independence, was founded and launched a series of attacks on transport routes, schools and health clinics, and the country descended into civil war; see also 20th-century South Africa.

In 1990, with apartheid crumbling in South Africa, and support for RENAMO drying up in South Africa and in the United States, the first direct talks between the FRELIMO government and Renamo were held. In November 1990, a new constitution was adopted. Mozambique was now a multiparty state, with periodic elections, and guaranteed democratic rights. With the signing of the Rome General Peace Accords, the civil war ended on October 15, 1992.

Climate

Almost all of Mozambique falls within the tropics and as such, Mozambique features a mostly tropical climate.

Along the coast Mozambique has a warm, tropical climate. Evenings are rarely cold, except for a few nights in June and July and the rainfall isn't too high. In summer, temperatures can soar and the humidity levels rise. Temperatures are typically higher in the north, around Pemba, and around the Zambezi.

The interior plains generally have a higher temperature than that of the coast and have higher rainfall throughout the year. The mountainous regions generally remain cool throughout the year. For up-to date weather forecasts and tide tables visit http://www.climateandweather.com/weather-in-mozambique

Public Holidays

The public holidays in Mozambique are:

  • 1 January New Year's Day.
  • 3 February Heroes' Day.
  • 7 April Woman's Day.
  • 1 May Workers' Day.
  • 25 June Independence Day.
  • 7 September Lusaka Agreement Day.
  • 25 September Armed Forces Day.
  • 4 October Peace Day.
  • 25 December Family Day.

Smoking

Smoking in all public places was banned in Mozambique in 2007. However, many restaurants and bars have ignored this ban as it is almost entirely unenforced.

People

The Makua is the largest ethnic group that dominate in the northern part of Mozambique. the Sena and Ndau in the Zambezi valley, and the Shangaan dominate in the southern part of Mozambique.

Get in

As it is impossible to exchange Meticais outside of Mozambique it is advisable to change a small amount of currency if arriving at a land border in mid to late afternoon to cover taxi's and meals for the first night, currency exchanges generally close at 6PM and due to sporadic ATM failures access to currency is by no means guaranteed out of hours. When accepted by merchants foreign currency has an extremely poor exchange rate.

Visas and border fees

All visitors (except citizens of Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe) need a visa, which can only be obtained at a Mozambican Embassy (and some British) embassies/high commissions/consulates. the cost of a Mozambique tourist visa got in South Africa or Swaziland is 750 rand (as of Aug 2015) and takes 24 hours to get. The cost of the Mozambique tourist visa in Zimbabwe or Tanzania is US$60. The cost of the Mozambique tourist visa in London UK is £40. Tourists from a country without a Mozambique embassy may obtain a 30-day visa on arrival. The cost of obtaining a Single Entry Tourist visa at the Mozambique High Commission in Nairobi is $65 (March 2017). Required documents include passport with copy, two passport photos, copy of yellow fever card, flight itinerary, hotel itinerary, bank statement, plus a letter explaining your visit and requesting your tourist visa. Processing time is two business days and the visa is valid for 30 days with entry required within 90 days of issuance.

If you require a Mozambican visa, you might be able to apply for one at a British embassy, high commission or consulate in the country where you legally reside if there is no Mozambican diplomatic post. For example, the British embassy and consulates in Jeddah, Riyadh and Al-Khobar accept Mozambican visa applications (this list is not exhaustive). British diplomatic posts charge £50 to process a Mozambican visa application and an extra £70 if the authorities in Mozambique require the visa application to be referred to them. The authorities in Mozambique can also decide to charge an additional fee if they correspond with you directly.

Land borders may also charge a stamping fee on entry, which is generally US$2, but is often waived if you buy your visa at the border. In addition, you must use the visa forms provided at the consulate or border as self-printed versions will not be accepted; at borders, these are free, but Mozambican embassies/consulates generally charge US$1 for the form.

A tourist visa is valid for 90 days after issue and permits a 30 day stay. This can be extended by a further 30 days at immigration offices in provincial capitals.

There is a US$100 a day fine for overstaying a visa.

By plane

Most international flights arrive from South Africa, although direct international routes also exist between Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Portugal, Qatar, Istanbul, Addis Ababa.

There are several flights daily from Johannesburg to Maputo, operated by South African Airways (SAA) and the Mozambican flag-carrier Linhas Aereas de Moçambique (LAM). Federal Air fly daily direct to Vilanculos International airport. These and other airlines such as Airlink. Qatar airways, Turkish airlines, Ethiopian airlines, Malawi airlines, Kenya Airways, TAP Portugal.

There are also several flights during the week from Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, and Nairobi to Pemba in the North, operated by either South African Airlink (SAA) or LAM. If you make a telephone booking with LAM and will not be paying for your flight until check-in you must reconfirm the flight 72 hours before departure or they are liable to cancel it.

After checking in you need to get a tax stamp on your boarding card. For internal flights the tax is 200 MT and for International flights 500 MT to be paid in cash.

By train

There are three train lines: one is in the far north of the country, traveling from Nampula to Cuamba near the Malawian border; another runs from Maputo to Chicualacuala at the border with Zimbabwe; and the last one connects Maputo with Pretoria. This makes Maputo an important stop in the Tanzania-South Africa train connection.

From Malawi

This line connects Nampula with Cuamba (near the Malawi border). The train carries first, second and third class passengers and is usually packed.

From Nampula, the train leaves around 5-6AM, although you should arrive earlier to buy tickets from the booking office at the station. The area is packed with people traveling towards Malawi so expect queues. Once on board the journey is long and slow but fairly efficient and will get to Cuamba mid-afternoon. From here chapas will take you to the border (Entre Lagos) as only freight trains use this bit of the line. Be warned that even hardened African travelers will likely find this stretch of road very rough - expect it to take a fair amount of time.

Once at Entre Lagos, the border formalities are located within the station building (easy to find as the town is a typical small border town). The process can take some time as this is a little used crossing. From here it is about a 1km walk to the Malawi side of the border. The Malawi border closes before the Mozambique one, although there is a guesthouse if you get trapped. The easiest way to get from here to Liwonde is by train - sweet-talk the guards and they may let you share their compartment.

By car

In order to enter Mozambique by car you will need the original registration documents and if it is not your vehicle a letter from the owner granting permission to take the vehicle in to Mozambique. All foreign vehicles are required to have third party insurance, which is available at many borders for 150 South African rand, and also to pay road tax which of 26.50 MT.

From South Africa

  • Johannesburg (Lebombo/Ressano Garcia) (N4 towards Nelspruit, follow it until you reach the border just after Komatipoort). Open 6AM to 7PM (Occasionally open 24 hours during busy periods). On the Mozambican side follow the EN4 for a further 100km to reach Maputo. The stretch of the EN4 after the border leading up to the border has two toll stations that can be paid in US dollars, euros, South African rand or meticales. Change is provided in meticais.
  • Kruger Park (Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park) (Enter Kruger Park from Phalaborwa Gate and follow the signs for 95km to the Giriyondo Border Post.). Open 08:00 to 15:00 from April to September and 08:00 to 16:00 from October to March. Caution 4WD only. On entering Mozambique you will be charged a conservation fee for entering Parque Nacional do Limpopo which is 200 MT/R67/USD10 per person and per vehicle. You do not need 3rd party insurance unless you exit Parque Nacional do Limpopo but this can be purchased at the park exit gate to Massingir.
  • Kosi Bay (Follow the R22 from Kosi Bay to the Mozambique border (signed as Ponta d'Ouro) and then take the right road as you leave the border then keep left until Ponta d'Ouro). Open 7:30AM to 5:30PM. Caution 4WD only. Due to the use of seasonal dirt roads after the border it is advisable to use a GPS route provided by someone who has recently completed the journey. Access to Maputo is via a ferry service (R45) in Catembe.

From Swaziland

  • Mhlumeni. Open 7AM - 6PM. Easily one the quietest and easiest of all the Mozambique borders to pass through, it is deserted most of the time. Getting a visa and 3rd party insurance at this border can be problematic so arrange ahead of time. If coming from Johannesburg and traveling over the weekend or during South African holidays you can expect to save at least an hour transiting via Swaziland to this border compared to using Ressano Garcia.
  • Namaacha. Open 7AM - 8PM. The busier of the two Swaziland/Mozambique border posts and is very busy over weekend and holiday periods.

By bus

From Malawi

There are a number of border crossings to/from Malawi. By far the easiest and most frequently plied is at Zóbuè. The road is in good condition. Daily chapas run to/from Tete to the border, where you will have to walk about 300 m to get to Malawian transport. Daily through buses from Chimoio and Beira also use this crossing.

There is another border crossing to the north, at Dedza, which may be more convenient for Lilongwe but the public transport on either side can be sporadic.

To leave/enter Malawi to the east, there are two crossings, Milange and Mandimba. Milange is in the south-east of Malawi, and to get there you need to catch one of the daily vehicles that run between Mocuba and Milange. At Milange there is a 2 km walk to the border, and then another 1km to where Malawian transport leaves.

Mandimba is further north, used mainly to get to Malawi from Lichinga. Several vehicles run daily between Lichinga and Mandimba, from where it is another 7km to the border. Hitching is relatively easy, or bicycle-taxis do the trip for about $1.

It is also possible to cross the Lake - see BY BOAT below.

From South Africa

You can take the Intercape Mainliner, +27 861 287 287, from Johannesburg to Maputo. These buses run in both directions on a regular basis, one in the morning, and another overnight, and are safe and affordable. Other carriers include Greyhound and Translux. If you intend on obtaining a visa at the border you should only purchase a ticket as far as the border, bus companies will not permit you to board with a ticket to Maputo if you are not in possession of a visa. If you ask the bus conductor they will help you obtain a visa at the border and avoid the usually extremely long wait at the Mozambique side. Once through immigration either re board the bus and pay the fare to Maputo on board or pick up a minibus taxi to Maputo from the border.

Three times per week there are bus connections to and from Durban (via Big Bend, Swaziland). There is also a service from Nelspruit and Komatipoort to Maputo.

There are the "taxis" to and from any destination in South Africa at affordable prices, now from 4AM to 12AM.

From Swaziland

Chapas leave from both Manzini and Mbabane to Maputo via Goba typically around 11AM. Usefully they arrive in to Baixa (and can drop you at 24 de Julho) so you are within walking distance of both Fatima's and Base. The fare is R80.

From Tanzania

The border between Mozambique and Tanzania is formed by the River Rovuma. Daily pick-ups connect Moçimboa da Praia with Palma and Namiranga, the border post on the Mozambique side. The main route runs from Moçimboa da Praia (on the Mozambiquan side), via Palma (Mozambique), to Mtwara (on the Tanzanian side) and vice versa. It is recommended to take 2 days over this trip due to the low quality of the roads on the Mozambique side, and the low level of traffic. When coming from Tanzania, lifts depart from Mtwara and Kilambo to the Rovuma river. Kilambo is a small place with one road running through it, so lifts should be easy to find. Mtwara is much larger however, so ask the locals where and when lifts leave from. When coming from Mozambique, your lift to the river will normally start from either Palma (more likely), or - if you're lucky - Moçimboa da Praia and go to the border post at Namiranga. It will generally wait for you to have your passport stamped at the border post (a mud hut in Namiranga). During the wet season, your lift will then probably drive to the banks of the Rovuma. During the dry season it will drive you to the end of the road, from which there is a walk of between 1 and 2km (depending on the water level that day) to the Rovuma river. At the moment there is an unreliable ferry that goes across the river. Typically however, the crossing is done by dugout canoes or slightly larger wooden motorboats. The trip across the river shouldn't cost more than around 8USD, but can only normally be paid for using Tanzanian shillings, although if you find yourself without these, there are plenty of locals who will offer you "generous" exchange rates for your hard-earned Dollars and Meticais. If water levels are low you may have to wade to get to and from your boat on the Tanzanian side, so possessing a heavy-duty waterproof sack may be a good idea, but it is by no means essential. On the Tanzanian side you will often find yourself mobbed by people offering you transport. Pick-pocketing is common on both sides of the river, so care must be taken whilst finding transport to the nearby towns, a good method of reducing your trouble is to befriend a local on the boatride over, you will find most of your fellow travellers are willing to help you in one way or another. Transport then carries you on to the Tanzanian border post at Kilambo, and normally, further on to Mtwara, the capital of Southern Tanzania. For further information and up-to-date news on this crossing, go to "Russell's Place" (also known as Cashew Camp) in Pemba.

There are other crossings to Tanzania, but these all require long walks. Ask around for local information.

From Zambia

The main crossing is at Cassacatiza, north-west of Tete. This border is in good condition, but lightly traveled. Daily chapas run between Tete and Matema, from there the public transport is sporadic. The best way to travel from Mozambique to Zambia is to go via Malawi.

From Zimbabwe

There are two crossings - Nyamapanda (south-west of Tete), and Machipanda (west of Chimoio). Both are heavily traveled, especially Machipanda due to its location at the end of the Beira Corridor.

By boat

There is no scheduled sea travel to and from Mozambique.

Tanzania

Outside of monsoon season it may be possible to hire a dhow from Tanzania down to Mozambique but this will generally be extremely expensive. The Tanzanian ports of Mikindani, Mtwara and Msimbati are all within range of Mozambique and will be the best places to secure dhow transport. In reverse the ports of Moçimboa da Praia and Palma are the two best ports on the Mozambique side to find a dhow to Tanzania.

Malawi

The MV Ilala operates across Lake Malawi from Monkey Bay, Chilumba, Nkhata Bay to Likoma Island. From Likoma Island it is a 3km boat ride to the Mozambique border at Cobue.

It is possible to travel across Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi), though international travelers must legally enter through a border post and have the appropriate documentation (visas, etc. depending on nationality). Once on the Mozambique side, local transport would need to be arranged.

Taking the Ilala ferry is certainly a once in a lifetime experience. Sleeping on the upper deck of this second world war ferry and watching the sunrise over far rolling hills along the Mozambican and Malawian coast is breath taking. You can enter the ferry from any of the harbors where the ferry arrives.

IF you plan to travel on to Malawi, you should get on the ferry at the harbor in Metangula.

Get around

Road

The EN1 runs the length of the country generally staying close to the coast from Maputo up. Roads throughout the country are generally in poor condition, especially when compared to South Africa, although the stretch of the EN1 between Maputo and Inchope is in decent condition with the exception of the 120 km directly north of Vilankulo, which is still in decrepit condition and poses a serious challenge to any driver in a low clearance vehicle. The EN6 between the Machipanda border crossing with Zimbabwe and Inchope is in good condition, but deteriorates considerably between Inchope and Beira, becoming almost impassable at points. North of Vilankulo service stations are scarce - motorists may go 150 km between service stations so fill up at every opportunity.

Chapas and buses

Buses and chapas leave early in Mozambique - 4AM is not unusual, particularly as you go further north. Chapas take the form of both mini & midi buses but often pick up trucks and cargo trucks will offer a ride for the same fare as a chapa. Government and privately owned buses ply the same routes as Chapas but typically stop a great deal more often so are inadvisable for anything other than short journeys.

The chapas themselves, particularly on shorter routes, are generally in shockingly poor condition. Expect seats, doors and interiors falling apart. Having said that since 2007/2008 the Mozambican government has been regulating prices on key routes which means chapa travel in Mozambique is extremely good value. In larger cities this translates to signs with destinations and prices in chapa stations (EG - Junta in Maputo), these prices will not come down no matter how hard you negotiate but many an enterprising chapa conductor/navigator/bouncer will try to extort you if you are silly enough to ask what a price is. If in doubt ask at your hotel, a local or as a last resort simply hand them a large note; often they will assume you know the correct fare and give you the correct change.

Since about the beginning of 2011, there are now government registered chapas and unregistered chapas. While both are unsafe and are in many accidents each year, always take the government chapas. These can be recognized by being the large buses. These buses are newer and thus slightly safer. They cost slightly more (at the time this was written they were 10 mets a journey, and unregistered were 5). Unregsitered chapas though are extremely dangerous and overcrowded and should never be used if you can help it.

Taxis

Once only found in Maputo taxis can now be found in many cities throughout the country. They never have meters so you must negotiate regarding cost before your journey. Taxis are often in as perilous condition as chapas (from balding tires to someone sitting in the passenger seat holding a plastic gas can with the cars fuel line going in to it) and breakdowns should be considered likely. Never pay for your journey until you reach your destination. If you are female, never take a taxi alone, especially not one found on the side of the road. If you must, ask around for the number of a trusted taxi driver who will come pick you up and can usually be there in under half an hour depending on how far away they are. Always add ten minutes or more to how long they say they will take to collect you though.

In Maputo there is a flat rate of 200 MT for any journey in the city center. Longer journeys (EG to Junta) cost 400 MT and up. In the early morning they will often attempt to gouge you, doubling the price to 400 MT, as there are often very few taxis about at this time.

Chapas can also be rented as taxis but are typically more expensive and far less comfortable.

Air

Domestic flights are the fastest and most sane way to get around the country if you can afford it. Linhas Aereas de Moçambique flies between the major cities. A detailed timetable for domestic flights is available as a pdf file at [1] . The flights themselves are actually on extremely modern, clean and well maintained planes and are a stark contrast to the other transport options in the country. However, be warned that all airlines from the country including LAM are listed on the EU air safety list as of June 2015 and are therefore banned from operating in the European airspace.

LAM operate an old style booking system where you can reserve a flight over the telephone and then pay for it on check in. If you do use this facility ensure that you confirm your flight 72 hours before departure or your reservation will likely be canceled.

Alternatively all LAM offices in towns and airports can book and receive payment for flights throughout the country. It is not advisable to pay using credit card due to the level of corruption present in all state enterprises including LAM.

Rail

Trains aren't really very useful, considering there's only one and it's in the far north of the country traveling from Nampula to Cuamba near the Malawian border. See get in above for more details.

Mine clearance from the old coastal railway running the length of the country has been finished in many areas but with the costs involved and the level of corruption in the country it will be decades before any rail service with reasonable coverage arrives in the country.

Talk

The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, though many people speak English in the capital Maputo and in touristy areas. The further north you travel the less likely you are to encounter English speakers, and as you enter more rural areas even Portuguese is limited.

Swahili is useful in the far north of the country as you get close to Tanzania, especially along the coast, and Nyanja is spoken near the border with Malawi and Zambia. Some native words from the Shona language can be useful if you are traveling near Cabora Bassa.

See

  • Ilha de Mozambique, i.e. Mozambique Island is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mozambique. The island boasts colonial architecture including probably the oldest European building in the Southern Hemisphere and beaches.
  • The historic town of Inhambane.
  • Sites from the civil war all over the country and the Museum of Revolution in Maputo to learn more about recent events in the country's history
  • Wildlife and nature in Gorongosa National Park.

Do

  • Dive, see Diving in Mozambique for details.
  • Tours and Safaris, a number of tour operators can help you reach Mozambique's highlights. The most reputable as per guide books Lonely Planet and Bradt are Mozaic Travel [2] and Dana Tours in the south, and Kaskazini in the north.

Buy

Money

The currency of Mozambique is the new metical (plural meticais, pronounced 'meta-caysh'), denoted by the symbol "MT" (ISO code: MZN). It may also be called Meticais Nova Família. It is notionally divided into 100 centavos.

Three zeroes were dropped from the currency in 2006. Old currency could be exchanged at banks up to the end of December 2012. People will occasionally still refer to the old currency, so if someone asks for "1 million", they generally mean one thousand new meticais.

Many businesses in the tourist centers are run by South Africans and prices are often quoted in rand (for which the usual abbreviation is ZAR). In this guide prices are also quoted in rand when applicable.

US$, ZAR, British pounds and Euros are freely convertible at commercial rates at any bank or exchange. Other currencies such as Canadian or Australian dollars or Japanese Yen, are not accepted anywhere, even at official banks and exchanges.

There is very little black market currency exchange, since the commercial exchanges offer the best market rate. You cannot exchange meticais outside Mozambique, but you can convert them back at exchanges prior to leaving the country. Also you cannot buy meticais outside Moçambique.

ATMs are present throughout the country; Standard Bank, Eco Bank, Millennium BIM are the banks you are most likely to run in to. Standard and Eco Bank accepts Visa & MasterCard, Millennium accepts all international cards including Maestro/Cirrus cards. ATMs have transaction limits on withdrawals, which vary with the bank. Millennium bank limits withdrawals to 3,000 MT, and Standard Bank and Eco Bank to 10,000; you can always insert your card again to withdraw more money.

Shopping

Everything in Mozambique that does not have a price attached can be bargained down to whatever you consider a reasonable price to be. Remember that while laughing when they give you an insane price is perfectly OK you should not get outwardly angry or hostile, you will be unlikely to get a reasonable price if you do. If in doubt about what a fair price is ask your hotel.

No one in Mozambique, including often backpacker lodges, have change. The 1000 MT and 500 MT are almost impossible to use day to day, so change them down in to more manageable notes in any bank. The one exception to this rule is chapa drivers, if you find yourself running low on small bills pay for your 15 MT fare with a 100 MT note.

Eat

As a country the Portuguese occupation has a profound impact on local foods that has produced some of the most unique and interesting cuisine within Southern Africa. Towards the coast a great deal of seafood is used within even the most basic of dishes, however, in land the maize based partridges common throughout Africa becomes staple but with some Portuguese flair.

  • Piri-Piri, also known as the African bird's-eye chili this extremely strong chili is common is sauce form throughout the country.
  • Pãozinho , also known as Portuguese rolls or Prego(beef) no pãu and bifana (pork) . A floury and often semi-sweet bread roll, typically served with meat in the center.
  • Matapa, a seafood (clam, crab or prawn)stew made with Casave leaves and generally served over rice. This is one of the Mozambique staples.
  • Camarão National, are Mozambican prawns marinaded in a Piri-Piri, garlic, onion, lemon and vinegar.
  • Cray fish and other seafood. These are caught off the beach throughout the country and will generally be prepared with a piri-piri marinade, served with rice and matapa.
  • Kakana This is a bitter tasting local vegetable.

Drink

All tap water in Mozambique should be assumed to be unsafe to drink, even if it is not harmful it usually has some sediment that your stomach will not be used to. Most western oriented lodgings either provide a fresh water source or sell bottled water.

Beer

In Mozambique Cervejas de Mocambique which are owned by SABMiller have a virtual monopoly on beer brewing. The three most popular brands are 2M (remember to pronounce it doysh-em or you will end up with an extra beer), Laurentina Clara and Manica. Other local African beers such as Castle and Windhoek are reasonably widely available but are not as popular as in neighboring countries due to the high quality of the local brews.

Liquors

Locally produced spirits such as vodka and gin are relatively common throughout the country and are relatively inexpensive. The local drink is Cashu made of the peel from the cashew nut. According to the locals it's very good for a man's libido. It has a sour taste.

Sleep

Accommodation ranges from inexpensive guesthouses and backpacker orientated accommodation through to some of the most expensive resort accommodation in the region.

Hotels

Hotels in Mozambique are generally ungraded and, particularly in the less traveled parts of the country, have not been updated since independence. In some cases you can pay up to $50USD a night for a hotel room that should be in the $5 - $10 range based on facilities. On the other end of the scale Mozambique hosts some of the most incredible, and expensive, hotels and resorts in the world.

Backpacker lodges

Maputo, Tofo Beach, VilanculosChimoio and Pemba have backpacker lodges and are geared up for the budget traveler. There are some backpacker options elsewhere in the country but often the only option for a budget traveler will be transient labor guesthouses or cheap hotels.

Self catering

In most major tourist areas many self-catering options exist

If you do bring your own gas based cooking equipment keep in mind the typical backpacker lindal valve gas canisters are not available anywhere in the country.

Camping and caravaning

Dedicated camp sites with security are available in almost all coastal towns and you can often camp in rural areas with a village chief's blessing (If you do decide to use this option a small offering such as food, liquor or cigarettes can be very useful).

If taking a caravan keep in mind that a great deal of roads in Mozambique degenerate in to sandy paths that require 4WD, it is advisable to only stick to popular areas along the EN1.

Purchasing land or property

If someone offers to "sell" you land in Mozambique walk away immediately, it is a scam. Private ownership of land in Mozambique is impossible, all land is owned by the government and will only be provided for foreign use, under a 99 year lease, under very specific circumstances.

Learn

  • Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, [3] is the oldest and largest university in the country.

Work

  • You may be able to find work teaching at a school such as The American International School of Mozambique [4].
  • If you're a certified divemaster or instructor you could try helping out at one of the dive shops in Tofo Beach, Vilanculos or Ponta d'Ouro.

Stay safe

Risks are much the same as many other countries in Africa (and significantly less than some, including parts of South Africa). Nevertheless muggings, robberies, rape and murder do occur, so the normal precautions should be taken. Women absolutely should never walk alone on beaches, in recent years, attacks on women have grown in tourist areas. In particular it's worth checking with local hostels and other travelers as to where dangerous areas are.

But in general the Mozambican people are extremely warm and friendly and you will encounter far less hassle than in almost all of the countries surrounding it.

Police

In Mozambique the police do not exist to help you, only to try and extort money of you. Do not trust them under any circumstances.

Insisting to be taken to a police station is unlikely to improve your situation, with the exception of in Maputo, the police have been known to rob tourists blind and throw them in a cell. Instead mention contacting your embassy or the anti-corruption hot line to verify a fine and always ask for a receipt.

If you have cause to go to a police station (e.g., filing a police report for insurance purposes after a theft), do not take any valuables or excessive currency with you and try to always go with someone else.

Speed limits

In Mozambique the speed limit in town is 60km/h (unless contrary road signs) and 100km/h elsewhere. There are mobile speed traps on the EN1 which specifically target foreign visitors.

Bribery

When dealing with the Mozambican police never suggest a bribe, simply listen to whatever lecture they care to give and ask "What can we do about this?". Often they will simply let you go, if they do ask for a bribe the amount is entirely negotiable and can range from a bottle of coke (carrying no identification) through to several hundred USD (minor drug infractions).

Identification

By law you must carry a form of identification with you at all times and present it to the police on request. As a result you should always carry a notarized copy of your passport photo page, visa and entry stamp with you at all times. Ask your hotel where to locate a notary or contact your local embassy as soon as you enter the country. In Maputo, there is one on Av. Lenine, close to Mimmo's, and another on Av. Armando Tivane (one block west of Av. Nyerere) between Av. Mao Tse-Tung and Av. 24 de Julho. They are not particularly easy to find, ask around.

If you are asked for identification by the police and you do not have a notarized copy under no circumstances give them your passport, if you do then it will likely cost you a great deal of money to get it back, often simply talking to them a while will get them to go away.

Land mines

While most of the country has been cleared there is still an on-going risk in rural areas away from the EN1 in Sofala, Tete, Manica, Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo provinces. Only 2 or 3 incidents a year occur with landmines and they are all well outside the tourist trail.

Stay healthy

  • Malarial prophylaxis is essential in all parts of Mozambique. Chloroquine/Paludrine are now as ineffective as in other parts of east Africa, and it's worth going to see your doctor to get decent protection. If you are in country and suspect you have malaria there are clinics in every town that will administer a test for approximately 50 MT, the treatment also costs 50 MT if you have malaria.
  • Get all your vaccine shots before arriving Medical facilities in Mozambique are now generally reasonably stocked, but it is always worth getting a range of vaccinations before you leave. Prevention is better than cure. It is worth considering carrying some clean needles/sterile set if you are visiting out of the way areas, purely as remote medical facilities may have problems getting hold of them.
  • Mind what you eat. As common in most countries in the world, if you are concerned about the standards of hygiene in a place, don't eat there.
  • Do not have unprotected sex. As in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, there is a very high HIV incidence, at 12%(preliminary data from National HIV Survey, 2010)
  • Do not drink tap water or use any ice. South of the Zambezi river that divides the country, Mozambique is much more developed, especially around Maputo, tourist areas such as Inhambane and the industrial city of Beira. Here, especially in built-up areas, it is safe to drink the tap water, hence water in this area is marketed as "mineral water" and not "drinking water" and is sold at an inflated price as a semi-luxury item (sometimes for as much as 50 or 60 Meticais in backpackers lodges and restaurants). The infrastructure in the north of the country is much less developed and, as such, caution must be exercised, especially in rural areas and the area near Palma and bordering Tanzania. The tap water is usually safe to drink in the main cities such as Nampula and Pemba, and on Mozambique Island. If you are ever unsure about the quality of the tap water, water-purifying liquids (normally chlorine-based) are widely available and very cheap, costing around 40 cents for a large bottle - the most popular brand is "Certeza" and it is easy to find. You could also consider bringing puri-tabs if you are planning on going well off the "beaten track".
  • Private clinics. There are a few private health clinics in Maputo that will also arrange repatriation in emergencies. Clinica da Sommerschield (tel: 21 493924) Clinica Suedoise (tel: 21 492922).
  • Electric showers. In any accommodation, check the shower fitting. A rather dangerous type manufactured in Brazil is popular, which contains an unearthed 4kW electric heater. DO NOT touch the fitting when in use, they have been known to give severe electric shocks. Better still, switch the power off (there should be a nearby circuit breaker) and have a cold shower. Be similarly cautious with any other type of electrical shower heater.

Connect

Mobile phones

mCel is the state-owned provider, and as of yet the government has only licensed one other company, the South-African owned Vodacom Mozambique. Apparently a third is arriving shortly. GPRS (data and internet) are available on mCel, with 3G in Maputo and other main cities. The APN for Internet is isp.mcel.mz and for WAP it is wap.mcel.mz with an IP address 10.1.4.35. Vodacom have 3G in many towns and GPRS Edge elsewhere. The APN is internet. Check your phone manual for setting instructions. The mCel service is not entirely reliable, especially outside Maputo. Vodacom is generally very good. While it is OK to buy credit from the hundreds of vendors roaming the streets wearing mCel or Vodacom shirts you should never buy SIM cards and starter packs, in many cases they sell them at hugely inflated prices and often they will be from one of the many recalled batches that no longer work. Any mobile phone store can sell you a working starter pack for around 50 MT.

Internet

Internet is widely available in Maputo, with many internet cafes and all major hotels having internet access. Both mCel and Vodacom have introduced internet to cellphone and USB modems. See above for further information. Outside Maputo internet coverage is sporadic and mostly available in places frequented by tourists. Local Telecommunication de Mozambique (TDM) offices almost always have internet although speed and availability can be problematic.

Radio

There are many FM stations in Maputo, offering a variety of music and speech. Away from the capital, Radio Mozambique will be heard in many places and BBC World Service have their English/Portuguese service in the main cities. There are numerous small community radio stations serving smaller towns/villages.

A new radio station called LM Radio (Lifetime Music Radio), broadcasts in English on 87.8 FM in Maputo and Matola. The radio station offers a wide range of music from the 60s, 70s and 80s together with a blend of modern day music in the same style and flavor. The radio station also provides regular travel and safety tips for visitors to Mozambique.

Hear about travel to Mozambique as the Amateur Traveler talks to Simon Lewis from TarvelConceptSolution.com about this long thin country in Southeastern Africa.

Hello, 2017. You’re a sight for sore eyes.

You’re also, so far, a bit of a mystery. Since I started this blog, I’ve never kicked off a year with less travel on my plate. In a way, it’s thrilling — anything can happen! — and in another it’s a little scary. Can I really let a year pass by without ticking one of my dream trips off my list? For someone who often can’t fall asleep at night because they are so consumed by all the places in the world they still have yet to see, it’s kinda of a panic-inducing thought.

Travel Plans 2017

And yet I find myself quite content, settled back in Koh Tao with a bright and cheery little apartment, a faithful little motorbike and unpacked bag nestled in the corner of my closet. As I do weigh up options for the year, I’m torn as always between revisiting old favorites (oh hello, island I’ve been returning to for seven years and currently living on again) and big bucket list dream trips (oh hey there, diving in Mozambique, which I daydream about constantly yet have no plans to actually make a reality).

Anyway, last year’s post outlining my 2016 travels was fairly accurate — it will be fun to see how this one fares!

January-May // Asia

I state this with a pretty inordinate amount of pride for someone who makes a living as a travel blogger, but at the moment literally only like 14 out of the first 120 days of 2017 will be spent not in my bed here on Koh Tao. I need this for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being I am so backlogged on content here on Alex in Wanderland. I just need to lock myself away and furiously type until I’m caught up writing on all my trips! I’ve already nixed two opportunities to travel to new countries in the first quarter of this year, with this being one of my primary reasons.

So what will I be getting up to?

In January, I will spend just three nights off Koh Tao — a quick trip to Bangkok to see my sister off. (In fact, I’ve already come and gone!) I actually wasn’t planning to leave the island at all as I really just got here in December, but alas, I can’t say no to Olivia — nor can I turn down a weekend in one of my favorite cities in the world. In fact, what started as a fun fantasy over the years solidified on this quick jaunt into a very strong determination to rent an apartment in Bangkok for a month or two someday, and see what it’s like to experience one of my favorite places for longer than just a few days at a time. Maybe in the fall that will come to fruition.

Bangkok

I have some pretty exciting plans at home for the rest of the month, though, like a week-long aerial silks workshop with Flying Trapeze Adventures and all my favorite shows re-starting after their winter hiatuses (don’t judge).

In February, I’ll be taking my “big trip” of this Southeast Asia stretch. First, I’m cobbling together a big crew to take to Wonderfruit, a festival in the Pattaya countryside that I couldn’t be more excited about attending. Between the fanciful stages hosting musicians from around the world, the wonderfeasts by some of Thailand’s top chefs, and the workshops on everything from yoga to living a plastic-free life, I’m not even sure which aspect I’m looking forward to the most.

Wonderfruit(source)

After the festival, Ian and I are off to Penang, Malaysia — Ian has to go to process his Thai work permit, and I’m tagging along for fun (and to reactivate my own visa.) I’ve never been to Penang other than in transit and look forward to exploring the city of Georgetown and hiking in Penang National Park. I’m still fairly bitter that the direct flight to Penang from Koh Samui has been discontinued, but alas, I still want to go. Who knows, we might even tack on a few days in Bangkok in-between!

Penang(source 12, and 3)

In March, I currently have no plans to leave Koh Tao. Gasp! Now that you all convinced me to get PRK surgery I am considering blocking off a week to go to Bangkok and do it then, but I also might also put it off until the fall. Back on Koh Tao, there’s going to be a big new festival that I’m pretty excited about (if you haven’t sensed a theme for the year yet, you will soon!)

In April, I’ll pop over to Koh Samui for a few days to meet a friend and possibly attend Paradise Island Festival. Otherwise I’ll be on Koh Tao enjoying Songkran, Easter, and my last long stretch of stillness for a while.

In May, I have a one last little trip in the works before catching my flight to the US for the summer. It’s all in pencil now but it involves a river cruise, showing Ian around one of my favorite Thai cities, and (duh) more Bangkok. Fingers crossed it all works out!

Ayutthaya(source 12, and 3)

May-August // USA

I’ve fallen into a pattern of spending more and more time back in the US every year, however I have to be frank — our current political climate makes me want to spend less time there than ever before. I’m not being defiant or trying to make a statement. It’s just that my heart literally sinks out of my chest every time I think about home, and unless that starts to fade I don’t know how many consecutive months I can walk around with that heaviness. I’ve never felt more disconnected from the place that made me. I’m adrift. Here’s hoping some peace and clarity find me in this department in 2017.

That said, I have three confirmed weddings and one other up in the air, one confirmed festival and a few others on the back burner (wink wink, fellow playa fans!), and lots of family and friends I love dearly and need to catch up with, regardless of what else is happening around us. Here’s a peek:

In May, I’m flying to Florida for the wedding of one of one of my closest high school crew in Sarasota. I’ll also be visiting my girl Angie in Jacksonville, heading to Orlando for a bachelorette weekend I’m planning at Universal Orlando, and hanging with my two favorite aunts in Tampa. I’m obsessed with Florida and would be thrilled if time allowed for me to dip over to Miami to see my cousin Eric, do some diving, or maybe even take that road trip down to Key West I’ve been dreaming of… but allegedly there are only thirty days in this particular month, so we will have to see how flexible the time space continuum ends up being.

Florida(source 12, and 3)

In June, I’m going back to Bonnaroo. Even better? I’m bringing my mom and her boyfriend Miller! The two of them hit it off big time with blogger bestie Kristin this past summer, and we all vowed this would be our year for fulfilling Miller’s dream of making it to ‘Roo. A festival as a family affair? I can’t wait to try it.

In July, I’m going to Maine! This is actually the only new state and/or country I currently have on the docket for the year, which is kind of crazy pants. Another one of my dearest friends from high school is getting hitched in Harpswell, and I’m pining to turn it into an excuse for a full-blown road trip. At an absolute minimum I want to spend a few days in Portland and check out Kennebunkport — and if the calendar shakes out enough days for me, I’ll venture north to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, too!

Maine(source 1, 2, and 3)

In August, I’ll head to Chicago for my cousin Kirsten’s wedding (congratulations to the beautiful bride-to-be!).

Aside from those anchors, the summer is still fuzzy. Here are some maybes: I might be sticking around post-Bonnaroo for a bachelorette party in Nashville. I will most likely be in Martha’s Vineyard the first week of July for family time — and I’m also considering popping over to Nantucket for the Nantucket Yoga Festival! I may have another family wedding in Illinois before the year is out.

And then there’s Nevada. I may return to the playa — Burning Man is still very much on my radar. I may put into action the Nevada road trip I’ve had percolating for the last year or two (I need to see Britney’s revamped show, visit the Seven Magic Mountains art installation and camp in Valley of Fire National Park, stat) so if those came together it would be pretty perfect.

Nevada(source 12, and 3)

Also, some big changes are heading my way and while I’m not ready to discuss them publicly just yet, I might be popping down to Central America for a bit over the summer to let them percolate in private first. More details coming your way soon.

September-December // And beyond…

Nine months down the line is simply too far to predict with too much accuracy where I’ll be. This time last year, I could have never guessed I’d spend these months in the United Kingdom, Hawaii and Jamaica (content coming soon!)

In the last month, as I started to feel the pressure of writing this post and having basically nothing on the horizon — a lot of the above has come together in the last thirty days! — I started to think more about really prioritizing my dream trips rather than just waiting and seeing what the universe throws at me or what’s convenient, as I have fallen into a habit of doing. In fact, I recently started working on actually putting pen to paper and writing a comprehensive travel bucket list, which I may turn into a blog post soon.

So in that spirit, here is a sampling of some of my dream trips that feel feasible for 2017, which I may work on slotting in somewhere from June onward, en route back to my winter basecamp of Thailand.

• Uruguay: I just really want to go here. I don’t know why. I feel like Uruguay is usually an afterthought tacked on to trips to Argentina or Brazil but I’m completely captivated by this little country. Maybe it’s my obsession with tiny nations, maybe it’s my love for their famously humble ex-president, maybe I just like beaches and wine and yoga. Bonus! This would be a new country for me. However, Uruguay’s beach cities and towns have a fairly tiny window of action in December-March, and since I’m in Asia through May this would have to be a December trip.

Uruguay(source 12, and 3)

• Burma, Borneo and/or Brunei: It’s now been eight years since I first began traveling to Southeast Asia, and I regularly marvel that there is still so much I have yet to see. Including both the countries of Burma and Brunei (I still have Timor Leste still to visit as well, but I’m shelving that one for the moment) and the Malaysian state of Borneo. Eventually visiting every country in this region is important to me, and so I hope that either a trip to Burma or a joint trip to Borneo and Brunei is in order for late 2017.

• Jamaica:  I’ve had a Jamaica road trip on the noggin for a while now. My surprise trip here at the end of 2016 (more on that coming soon!) only made taking a big one feel more urgent. I want to rent a car, hit the open road, and explore the raw, soulful side of this island nation in a way that few get the opportunity to do. Unlike Uruguay, Jamaica is a place I’d be thrilled to travel in the low season, and so summer or fall might be the perfect fit.

Jamaica(source 12, and 3)

• Mexico: There’s a glaring un-scratched swath on my scratch-off travel map, and it’s Mexico. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to wait and really do justice to, but I’m starting to think I just need to start somewhere and dive in there and get hooked so I can keep coming back over and over again. It’s hardly unchartered territory, but The Yucatan Peninsula is calling me pretty loudly. Whale sharks of Holbox… here I come! And yup, this would be another new country to add to the list.

3-devide-lines

I have a lot of other dream trips rambling around in my mind — CONTINENT OF AFRICA HI I WANT TO BE IN YOU — but these are the ones that I feel I could realistically tackle right now given my current energy levels and priorities and desires, though clearly, a lot can happen in a year. I think I kind of need a lower-key year in order to get my house in order — lol JK I don’t have a house but it’s a thing people say right? — and get really whipped up into a travel frenzy again for some wild adventures in the future.

When I first began this post I fretted that you all might think it a bit boring. Now that I’ve put it together, I couldn’t be more excited about the year ahead! Festivals, weddings, and so many favorite old places to fall even further in love with.

Love 2017

Okay so now that I’ve dished… what are your travel plans for 2017? Which of these trips are you most excited to virtually come along on?

Looking forward to talking all things travel in the comments!

HERE ARE 35 places around the world to strap on your GoPro, do some underwater exploring, and come back with amazingly clear imagery.

1

Linapacan Island, Palawan, Philippines

MatadorU Photography faculty member Scott Sporleder shares this image from Palawan, the Philippines' most remote province and home to many beaches with super clear water.Photo: Scott Sporleder

2

The Maldives

The 26 atolls that make up the Maldives sit in the Indian Ocean about 400km southwest of the tip of the subcontinent. Abundant reef wildlife (including whale sharks) + incredibly clear waters bring in a lot of tourists. It's also one of Matador's 9 places to experience now before they literally vanish.Photo: Rishwan (Richy)

3

Dog Island, San Blas, Panama

Another from Scott Sporleder, here is a shot from one of Panama's San Blas Islands, the largest of the politically autonomous reservations of the Kuna Indians.Photo: Scott Sporleder

Intermission 181

35 places to swim in the world’s clearest water

by Hal Amen

25 places we’re dying to explore right now

by Matador Team
35

How to: Independently trek Nepal’s Annapurna sanctuary

by Matt Huntington
4

Cayo Coco, Cuba

A resort island on Cuba's north coast, Cayo Coco is linked to the mainland by a 27km causeway. The adjacent reef and clear waters have earned international recognition as a dive destination.Photo: O.Taillon

5

Cala Macarelleta, Menorca, Spain

At the south end of the Mediterranean island of Menorca, the beach at Cala Macarelleta can only be reached on foot or by boat -- probably one of the least-crowded beaches you'll find in Spain.Photo: visualpanic

6

Sua Trench, Samoa

We sent MatadorU student Abhimanyu Sabnis on a photojournalism assignment to Samoa. He came back with this insane gallery.Photo: Abhimanyu Sabnis

7

Crater Lake, Oregon

Visibility in Crater Lake has been measured at 43.3m -- among the highest in the world. Photographer Rhett Lawrence adds this note about swimming here: "[It's] allowed, but there's only one access point down to the lake -- a steep, mile-long trail (it's easy enough on the way down, but my then-4-year-old daughter did not appreciate the climb back up). Since that's the only access point, you've got to really want to jump in the lake to do it -- especially since it's so damn cold -- but it is permitted by the Park Service."Photo: Grant Montgomery

8

Bak Bak Beach, Borneo

A shot from the northern tip of Sabah, Malaysia, near Kudat Town. From the photographer: "It takes 3 to 3 1/2 hours' drive from Kota Kinabalu city. I wanted to shoot a longer exposure but I had a difficulty judging the light or maybe because I was lazy ? kidding. I had to go further the beach, thigh deep and very clear water. Stacked 2 Cokin GND filter P121s, manual exposure 0.25sec, F13."Photo: Nora Carol

9

Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan, China

In the north of Sichuan province, the Jiuzhaigou Valley is a national park, nature reserve, and UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to several crystal-clear lakes, it's a region of multi-tiered waterfalls and snowy mountains. Tourism arrived late but is growing strong, and while swimming isn't allowed...there's always night-time skinny dipping.Photo: Who is taking pictures?

Intermission 445

10 volunteer opportunities for free travel

by Matt Scott
10

Your top 20 bucket list trips

by Joshywashington
2

Banff and Lake Louise might be the most gorgeous places to ski on the planet. Here’s proof.

by Ailsa Ross
10

Sabah, Malaysia

Another one from the remote Malaysian state, which covers the northern portion of Borneo and is ringed by reef-rich islands. This photo was taken near Semporna, which is a hub for people who come to dive Malaysian Borneo.Photo: Zahriel

11

Jenny Lake, Wyoming

Jenny Lake sits right below the peak of Grand Teton and is a landmark for many hiking trails, backcountry trails, and climbing routes. Despite the fact that motorboats are allowed on the lake, its waters are still considered "pristine."Photo: Jeff Clow

12

Rio Sucuri, Brazil

Located in the Pantanal region of Brazil, Rio Sucuri is a spring-fed river that has some of the measurably clearest water on Earth. Multiple tour outfits run trips that let you snorkel the river.Photo: Luiz Felipe Sahd

13

Calanque de Sormiou, France

Calanques are steep-walled coves, and there's a series of them along the 20km stretch of coast between Marseille and Cassis. Sormiou is one of the largest of these, and it's popular for its nearby climbing routes as well as its beach.Photo: Paspog

14

Panari Island, Okinawa, Japan

Panari, also called Aragusuku, is one of the Yaeyama Islands, the most remote area of Japan. The photographer notes: "The islands are also known as one of the world's best diving destinations, having a number of coral species and marine lives as large as those in the Great Barrier Reef. (Over 400 types of corals, 5 types of sea turtles, manta rays, whale sharks and all kinds of tropical fish species all live around Okinawa.)"Photo: ippei + janine

15

Puerto Ayora, Galapagos

The most populous town in the Galapagos still sits right up next to some amazingly clear ocean water. Even here in Academy Bay, you can see pelicans, iguanas, sea lions, herons, rays, and other iconic wildlife.Photo: Bill Bouton

Intermission 1K+

20 awesomely untranslatable words from around the world

by Jason Wire
3

9 places to visit before they change forever

by Morgane Croissant
4

20 charming illustrations of Christmas traditions from around the world

by Ailsa Ross
16

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

The photo above was taken in the Bonsai Rock area, on the east shore of the lake, which apparently flies under the radar. Says the photographer: "30 years in Tahoe, and until this winter I'd never heard of it."Photo: SteveD.

17

Cayos Cochinos, Honduras

Rounding out the Sporleder collection, this one comes from the central Caribbean coast of Honduras. For more images, check out the full photo essay.Photo: Scott Sporleder

18

Primosten, Croatia

On the Adriatic Coast north of Split, Primosten is most famous for its vineyards, in addition to beaches that have been voted the best in the country.Photo: Mike Le Gray Photography. See more at his website.

19

St. George, Bermuda

The oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in the New World features many historic forts, like the small Gates Fort pictured above. Also: some damn clear water.Photo: JoshuaDavisPhotography

20

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii

Visit on a weekend during high season and you'll be surrounded by busloads. If you can get it on a slow day with clear conditions, though, it's some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii.Photo: ThomasOfNorway

21

Pupu Springs, New Zealand

At the very top of the South Island, on Golden Bay, the photographer says: "14000 liters of crystal clear water comes out of these springs per second!"Photo: pie4dan

22

Calanque d'En-Vau, France

Another calanque on the southern coast of France, d'En-Vau has a narrower, steeper channel than Sormiou, giving a real feeling of seclusion and emphasizing the clarity of the water in this cove.Photo: afer92 (on and off)

23

Rio Azul, Argentina

Put in to the Confluence section of the Rio Azul near El Bolsón, Patagonia, Argentina. Matador Senior Editor David Miller notes, "This was the first river I've ever paddled, played, and swam in where the water was clean enough to drink. The entire Rio Azul watershed is born in the glaciers and snowfields of the Andes and the water is incredibly clear and pure."Photo: David Miller

24

Corfu, Greece

Corfu sits in the Ionian Sea, off the northwest coast of Greece. Prior to the 1900s, most of the tourists that visited were European royalty. Today, its clear waters draw a lot of package-tour-style action.Photo: smlp.co.uk

25

Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Matador Co-Founder Ross Borden visited the Cook Islands for a week and came back with images and video of epicly clear water.Photo: Ross Borden

26

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Made famous when its smaller neighbor, Koh Phi Phi Leh, was used as the filming location for The Beach, the main island sees a lot of traffic from both backpackers and luxury travelers these days. Water like this is a big part of the draw.Photo: mynameisharsha

27

Playa Blanca, Colombia

This is a 45-minute boat ride from Cartagena and well worth the trip. In between swims in that crystal-clear blue water, be sure to snag some fresh ceviche from one of the vendors walking up and down the beach.Photo: Ross Borden

28

Blue Lake, New Zealand

One of many bodies of water in this list that someone or other has claimed has the clearest water in the world, Blue Lake is located in Nelson Lakes National Park, in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.Photo: Kathrin & Stefan

29

Königssee, Germany?

This one's made the rounds on the internet, but no one really seems to know where it was taken, or by whom. The best guess I found was the Königssee, a lake in southern Bavaria, near the border with Austria. If you have any info, clue us in.Photo: ??

30

Valle Verzasca, Switzerland

The clear waters of the Verzasca River run for 30km through this rocky valley in southern Switzerland. A dam of the same name, featured in the James Bond movie GoldenEye, blocks the river's flow and forms Lago di Vogorno. Just downstream from it, the river empties into Lake Maggiore.Photo: http://i.imgur.com/ukgxS.jpg

31

Tioman Island, Malaysia

This photo comes from the town of Kampung Genting on Tioman Island, off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. Away from its beaches, there's significant rainforest terrain in the interior, where you can see the endemic soft-shelled turtle and the Tioman walking catfish.Photo: Chang'r

32

Belo Sur Mer, Madagascar

Ross Borden explains: "I started in Moronvada, on the west coast of Madagascar and hired a boat and driver to take me down the coast to Belo Sur Mer, a super-isolated section of coastline known for diving, fishing and the fact that almost no one makes the trip down there. Belo Sur Mer is amazing on its own, but when the owner of the eco-lodge there told me about a string of uninhabited islands 80km off the coast, we jumped back in the boat and pointed it west, towards Mozambique and mainland Africa. What we found was four uninhabited gorgeous islands and one that had a tribe of "sea gypsies" living on it. These fascinating and hospitable people live off the rich fishing stocks of the Mozambique channel. We camped and lived with them for two days and they even took me along on an all-night fishing expedition in one of their sailboats in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It was one of the most amazing travel experiences of my life. During the day I would go snorkeling. Shoving off these tiny islands the water gets several hundreds of feet deep very quickly; I was out there with massive schools of deep ocean fish."Photo: Ross Borden

33

Lake Marjorie, California

From the photographer: "Lakes in the High Sierra come in a number of colors. Lake Marjorie, at 11,132' has an aquamarine "swimming pool" tint. Crater Mountain dominates the skyline, with Pinchot Pass to the south. I was happy to see clouds at dawn, but by noon a fast moving storm was spitting hail, thunder, and lightning as we cleared Mather Pass. Damn, this spot is gorgeous."Photo: SteveD.

34

Bodrum, Turkey

Along the southern coast of the peninsula of the same name, Bodrum has an ancient history and was the site of one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World (the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus). It also has some amazingly clear water. From the photographer: "[It's] so clear at certain places that boats appear to be floating in mid-air! It reminded me of Luke's Landspeeder from Star Wars."Photo: Oky - Space Ranger

35

Mystery spot

Another unidentified location. Anyone have an idea?Photo: Imgur

A minibus in El Alto, Bolivia. Image credit: Gwen Kash // CC BY-NC 2.0

Ask any group of women if they’ve ever felt unsafe on public transportation, and the stories will flow. In Mexico City, 64 percent of women reported having been groped or physically harassed while using public transit. As for New York’s subway system, 63 percent of women surveyed mentioned personal experiences of sexual harassment, while 10 percent reported sexual assault. There are disheartening statistics about women’s transportation safety around the world — it’s a borderless problem.

Unsafe transport not only causes women to change their modes of movement, it also reduces how many trips they make. This insecurity reduces household income, as inadequate transportation limits women from accessing their full educational and employment opportunities. Transit insecurity is damaging to the environment, too, as more privileged women who are afraid to walk, cycle, or take public transportation turn to polluting, private cars and taxis instead.

Of course, women can’t be treated as an undifferentiated group. Disability, class, race, age, sexuality, gender presentation, and other factors mean that not all women are equally vulnerable to crime or violence on public transportation. Men and boys can also be victimized, and it shouldn’t be assumed that every woman is a victim-in-waiting. But women around the world do share certain vulnerabilities as passengers that make it useful to analyze their needs as a group. As UCLA urban planning professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris has written, gender is the single most significant factor explaining transit-based fear and anxiety.

There are solutions, but many are controversial. A key concern when planning transportation safety improvements is making sure not to shift the burden onto vulnerable passengers. “Why should we put the onus on women?” Loukaitou-Sideris asks. Yet many well-intended safety measures do just that.

In the app world, there are private Uber-like services that allow women to choose female drivers. Safr, which is currently invite-only and Boston-based, pledges to pay its female drivers more than the industry standard. However, it faces legal challenges around the potentially discriminatory nature of only hiring women; such challenges have sunk similar apps.

There are also apps in India, Yemen, Lebanon, and other countries that crowdsource data on safe areas, including transport stations. These include Safecity, which collects and maps women’s reports of harassment and violence (its tagline is “Pin the Creeps”).

This problem isn’t just limited to apps. Notoriously, Mexico City has distributed rape whistles to female metro passengers. Overall, systems for reporting assault are time-consuming and onerous, particularly for low-income women who can’t afford to lose time and money visiting police stations.

Another commonly proposed but contentious solution is gender-segregated public transportation. Over a century ago, the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad experimented with women-only cars. Today, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Dubai are among the cities with women-only train compartments, buses, or taxis.

Port Moresby is another. The capital of Papua New Guinea has a high level of reported gender-based harassment and violence on its transportation services, ranging from verbal harassment to indecent exposure and robbery. “For women, getting on a bus in Port Moresby means an almost guaranteed experience of sexual harassment,” says Lizzette Soria, who manages the UN Women’s Safe Public Transport Programme for women and girls.

Soria adds of the three women-only buses in Port Moresby: “We know that this is just a short-term strategy, because of course our long-term [goal] is to make safer public transport for everyone. Some have suggested that women-only buses address the symptoms and not the problem, however, our first task is to make women and girls safe.” One advantage of Port Moresby’s gender-segregated buses has been their use as safe spaces to share information about women’s rights.

A women-only bus in Port Moresby. Image credit: UN Women/Marc Dozier

Measures that lead women to alter where and when they travel may be a means to an end, but they’re not nearly enough. It would be dangerous to reinforce the idea, spread by a culture of harassment, that public space isn’t fully women’s to occupy. Gwen Kash, a researcher based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who specializes in public transit reform in Bolivian and Colombian cities, points out that women-only transportation doesn’t address the needs of transgender or queer passengers who might be especially targeted but not welcomed onto gender-segregated vehicles.

The transportation safety measures that are most effective tend to be the ones favored by women themselves. You’d think this should be obvious, but in Kash’s work with transit planners she’s encountered skepticism that sexual assault on public transport is a problem, and the implication that women even enjoy the attention. Moving from acknowledging women’s experiences to actively soliciting their opinions is another big step.

Men and women often have different preferences for safety measures. One study from the U.K. Department of Transport showed that women preferred more staff on buses, while men favored CCTV. These findings have been replicated in other countries. In general, men tend toward technological solutions, while women feel more reassured by a human presence, in real time. One concern many women express about CCTV is that video-operated surveillance doesn’t help victims of crime at the time the incident is happening.

Along with more staff, women almost universally support one simple solution: lighting. The combination of better lighting and transit personnel, including officers riding on trains, is why leaders of women’s groups in Loukaitou-Sideris’ research gave the metro system in Washington, D.C., high marks for safety. Loukaitou-Sideris also praises Toronto and London for developing their transit policies with both men and women in mind.

Lighting around the Toronto coach terminal. Image credit: SimonP // CC BY-SA 3.0

In Canada in 1989, the Metropolitan Toronto Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC) pioneered women’s safety audits, where women walked with transportation planners to pinpoint areas where they felt unsafe. METRAC then pushed for legislative changes based on the findings. These kinds of safety audits have spread all over the world, strengthening relationships among communities, police, and urban planners. Safer Cities Dar es Salaam reported reduced crime levels following the auditing process, while the Safer Nairobi Initiative pointed to women’s increased use of public space.

These examples show, as Loukaitou-Sideris says, that “there needs to be the political will” to drive real change in transport safety. Yes, nonprofits and community movements like METRAC in Toronto, Jagori in Delhi, and Hollaback in London have helped to make women’s transportation needs a matter of public concern. But policymakers and planners must be onboard to make large-scale improvements to transit networks. Worldwide, the legislative, planning, and transport professions remain dominated by men, which can create an invisibility around gendered needs.

A tram conductor during World War II, Leeds, England. Image credit: Ministry of Information Photo Division

Adding to the issue, amassing broad-based political will is tough in cities whose transit systems are stratified. Take Los Angeles, a famously car-centric city. Loukaitou-Sideris notes of gendered harassment on L.A.’s buses: “You don’t see much pressure from the well-to-do areas of the city. This is affecting a subgroup of the city. Often they’re immigrant women … They don’t report it to the police,” she says. Without pressure from politically mobilized and powerful city residents, officials are less likely to take action.

Urban planning scholars like Loukaitou-Sideris promote measures with a firm foundation of environmental design, which looks at how infrastructure and physical factors affect behavior. Lighting that extends from bus stops to the surrounding streets, so people feel safe walking home once they’re off the bus, is an example of that. In Port Moresby, the Safe Public Transport Programme targeted gender-sensitive infrastructure in its campaigning, alongside regulation, planning, and behavior change.

Other campaigns aim at potential harassers, assaulters, and bystanders to avoid perpetuating the idea that women’s travel is the problem. A campaign called “Don’t Touch My Girlfriend” is one (somewhat poorly titled) case from Brussels. Soria says that physical measures are one thing, but “if we don’t change attitudes and beliefs, we will continue to have harassment.”

Then there are relationship-based initiatives, which involve local community groups and perhaps transport personnel. In Port Moresby, young people played key roles in developing and delivering messages around gender equality; also, bus drivers were trained in how to identify sexual harassment and how to address it onboard.

These kinds of driver-focused initiatives aren’t always helpful, especially when transportation is informal and poorly regulated. Kash says that in Bolivian cities, where informal minibuses are common and generally a low-paid livelihood, “it’s to the driver’s advantage not to intervene” in situations of harassment and assault. If they do, they risk lost income and often unwanted confrontation.

Rural women using public transport in Mozambique. Image credit: Ton Rulkens //CC BY-SA 2.0

In general, however, expanding the ranks of female transportation operators, security officers, and transport planners — and making it more convenient for passengers to report harassment and assault to them — helps to increase the gender sensitivity of transportation.

A key lesson from the Safe Public Transport Programme in Port Moresby has been the role of political leadership. “One of the success factors has been the critical relationship between UN Women and the government,” Soria says. She credits Port Moresby’s governor, who she says has been a strong advocate for combatting gender-based violence. His administration dedicated 2016 to making the city safer for women and girls, and the transport safety program built on that work, as well as an earlier UN Women’s program on safe markets.

Public transport suffers from limited funding. That’s one reason local officials give for embracing technological solutions like CCTV over expensive, more popular steps like increased staffing. Yet not all solutions that women favor need to be costly. Panic buttons on buses, trialed in New Delhi, are one example. Another is personal request stops, offered in Toronto and Montreal, where people are allowed to exit buses at places other than designated stops.

There are also ways to optimize the use of available funds. Loukaitou-Sideris’s research in L.A. has shown that a small proportion of bus stops are hotspots for gender-based crime. Focusing attention on these areas, she says, would be a cost-effective way of targeting resources.

Plus, the limited-funding argument has its weaknesses. The growth in security measures following high-profile cases of transportation-based terrorism shows that where the political will exists to prioritize safety, funds can be accessed. Yes, major terror incidents are dramatic and traumatic. But they’re also rare. Incidents of harassment and assault on transport are not.

“Safe transit for women is good for everybody,” Kash says. More frequent services reduce the overcrowding that facilitates groping; and less crowding, would be very popular among female and male users of the frequently packed buses in Bogotá, she adds. More information about bus and train times allows passengers to more efficiently plan their trips — and women report that reduced waiting times and greater certainty about transport options make them feel safer.

TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit stations in Bogotá and Soacha, Colombia. Image credit: Gwen Kash // CC BY-NC 2.0

There’s no magic checklist for reducing gendered transit fear, but there are commonalities in the best solutions. Have a variety of women identify their own transportation safety needs and preferred solutions. Make sure groups such as disabled or older women aren’t inadvertently excluded. Get leaders onboard. Make transport professions more gender-balanced. Don’t default to cheaper solutions like CCTV. Respect the power of human presence. Avoid placing financial burdens on low-income women who may need to prioritize other basic needs over their own safety. Remember that buses remain crucial to poorer women, all around the world. Use technology thoughtfully in conjunction with other measures.

Ultimately, though, the most important thing a transport planner can do to improve safety for women is to listen to women and girls. Asking them about their transportation needs and preferences is surprisingly rare—Loukaitou-Sideris refers to this as the “gender gap in mobility.” This neglect can lead to implementing solutions that officials think women want, like attention to safety on buses, when conversations with female passengers might reveal more concern about safety while waiting for buses.

So, first, last, and always: Just talk to women. This isn’t earth-shattering advice. But for women to feel more self-sufficient, and freer to move around their own cities, it’s the only option.

This piece was originally published at How We Get To Next and is reposted here with permission.

Some rights reserved Licence Creative Commons

MOZAMBIQUE Country Studies: A brief, comprehensive study of Mozambique

CIA

A brief yet detailed report on the country of Mozambique with updated information on the map, flag, history, people, economics, political conditions in government, foreign affairs, and U.S. relations.

Mozambique (Bradt Travel Guide)

Philip Briggs

The south coast of Mozambique is exceptionally beautiful – truly the archetype of palm-lined tropical beach nirvana – as well as boasting snorkelling, diving and game fishing to rank with the very best in the world' enthuses author Philip Briggs. This sixth edition of Mozambique leads intrepid travellers from the undiscovered north eastern provinces to the coral island of Ilha de Moçambique, with its imposing fortress. Relax on a dhow, experience a sailing safari, admire Portuguese colonial Beira or follow suggested walks around the capital Maputo. With in-depth coverage of wildlife, culture and history, and practical advice on accommodation for all budgets, the Bradt guide leads the way.

Mozambique Travel Map (Globetrotter Travel Map)

Globetrotter

The Globetrotter Travel Map of Mozambique caters specifically for the needs of tourists who are new to a destination. The town plans of the major centres pinpoint key buildings and places of interest as well as where to stay. Distance and climate charts enable travellers to plan their visits in advance

Mozambique (Bradt Travel Guide Mozambique)

Philip Briggs

This new seventh edition of Bradt's Mozambique remains the most established and only standalone guide to this alluring country. Complete with in-depth coverage of transport, wildlife, history, culture and accommodation, plus invaluable practical advice and maps, this honest handbook will help you plan the perfect visit. Particularly useful is the selection of reputable local tour operators. Mozambique is a country of two halves. The tourism-savvy south offers palm-lined tropical beaches, luxury lodges and diving to rank with the best in the world, plus the capital Maputo, a city oozing with Afro-Mediterranean flair. The undeveloped northern mainland, by contrast, is one of Africa's last frontiers, with thrillingly vast game reserves and stunning coastal panoramas that draw intrepid travelers to those hankering after barefoot luxury. With economy boosting oil and natural gas potential on the horizon, Mozambique is on its way to reclaiming its standing as one of Africa's top destinations. However, despite being one of Africa's fastest developing tourist countries, it still offers the opportunity to experience the ‘quintessential Africa'. Having once stood in the ranks with South Africa, over twenty years of post-civil war development and one of Africa's highest growth rates are drawing tourists back to its 2,500km of pristine, palm-fringed coastline. Best visited between May and October, Mozambique is dotted north to south with natural, historical, cultural, and architectural wonders remnant of its varied history of exploration, trade, and cultural fusion. Highlights include the UNESCO world heritage site, Ilha de Moçambique, a 16th century Arab and Portuguese trading post, ancient rock art at Chinhamapere Hill, tea plantations and an exploration of Mount Namuli, itself the subject of a documented expedition by American climber and filmmaker Majka Burhardt, who with a team of biologists and conservationists set off on an unconventional expedition into one of the world's least explored and most threatened habitats. Off the coast are some of the richest coral reefs in the world, home to over 1,200 species and five of seven endangered sea turtles.With in-depth coverage and practical advice for all budgets, the Bradt guide leads the way.

Lonely Planet Zambia, Mozambique & Malawi (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Zambia, Mozambique & Malawi is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Let Victoria Falls carry you to the ultimate bird's-eye view, wander along the cobbled streets of Mozambique Island, or canoe past swimming elephants; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet Zambia, Mozambique & Malawi Travel Guide:

Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries show you the simplest way to tailor your trip to your own personal needs and interests Insider tips save you time and money and help you get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - including hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, and prices Honest reviews for all budgets - including eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, and hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer and more rewarding travel experience - including customs, religion, history, literature, music, dance, politics, wildlife, and cuisine Over 51 local maps Useful features - including Top Experiences, Month-by-Month (annual festival calendar), and Walking Safaris Coverage of Lusaka, Lilongwe, Harare, Chingola, Kitwe, Ndola, the Copperbelt, Livingstone, MaputoBeira, Vilankulo, Bazaruto Archipelago,  InhambaneNampula, Blantyre, Limbe, Mzuzu, Karonga, Zomba, Mangochi, Monkey Bay, and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Zambia, Mozambique & Malawi, our most comprehensive guide to Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi, is perfect for those planning to both explore the top sights and take the road less travelled.

Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet's Southern Africa guide for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Mary Fitzpatrick, Michael Grosberg, Trent Holden, Kate Morgan, Nick Ray, and Richard Waters.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

Mozambique: Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling, Culture, History, Food and More!: Experience Everything Travel Guide Collection™

Experience Everything Publishing

Mozambique: Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling, Culture, History, Food and More!Experience Everything Travel Guide Collection™Thank you for reading this book from the Experience Everything Travel Guide Collection™! Inside you will find a ton of useful, informative and entertaining information on Mozambique and it is our desire that this book will provide you with the inspiration to explore!TABLE OF CONTENTSIntroductionChapter I: GeographyGeographical StructureThe Climate of MozambiqueChapter II: HistoryThe Brief History of the CountryThe First trade of the PortugueseAfter the Colonial Leadership of PortugalThe Frelimo for FreedomChapter III: CulturePeople and the Country’s CultureThe Difficulty of LanguageThe Country’s CustomsDancesMatrilineal or PatrilinealDifferences in ReligionsThe Show of EmotionsImportant Tips about Personal InformationChapter IV: Getting Around the CountryBy Road TravelBy Air TravelBy Rail TravelRoad RegulationsChapter V: Where to StayList of Hotels and Their FeaturesChapter VI: Must See Festivals and Events DisclaimerWhile this book contains a great deal of information, it does not have all of the information that is available on the Internet. It is written to inspire you about the destination rather than act as a full travel guide that you could use to get from point A to point B or to specific addresses/locations during your tour.

Mozambique Travel Journal: Perfect Size 100 Page Travel Notebook Diary

CreativeJournals

Lightweight and perfect for traveling, this soft cover notebook Mozambique travel journal is ideal for tucking into a full bag or suitcase. The cover is a glossy finish so that you can easily wipe it off (if it ends up covered in something delicious-tasting, or lands in a mud puddle ;) Keep your memories for longer by journalling them in your Mozambique travel journal. A nice affordable travel notebook designed with the traveler in mind. This would make a great gift for the traveler in your life. Bon voyage!

Six Years in Mozambique: Things I Haven't Told Mom

Amy Gillespie

With $150 and the belief that all children should be given the skills to keep themselves and their loved ones alive, Amy Gillespie set out for Mozambique to meet the Goliath who had whispered to her in the night, “Come find me.” She could not have imagined all that she would witness and experience on her journey… beauty, inspiration, humor; as well as corruption, unimaginable suffering, and shadowy threats from unlikely sources. Six Years in Mozambique explores one woman’s experience of the gritty reality of aid work, sexuality, and spirituality in Sub-Saharan Africa. It takes a raw look at what it’s like to be a single woman, on the edge of forty years of age, setting off to chase down Goliath, fully certain of success; and how that incredible journey led her to universal truths and surrender. With its sweeping honesty, "Six Years in Mozambique" is the portrayal of an every day life turned extraordinary when a purposeful heart overcomes. This is the story of change -- the change that happens to you and because of you. Feeling a pulse on every page, it is the heartbeat of determination that tells the story of where real life meets the world according to Africa.

Exercise a high degree of caution; see also regional advisories.

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

Provinces of Sofala and Nampula and Homoine district (see Advisory)

There has been an ongoing series of violent incidents between opposition forces (Renamo) and police/military since Spring 2013 in the provinces of Sofala and Nampula, and more recently in the Homoine district (Inhambane province). These attacks resulted in several deaths and injuries among military forces and civilians. Renamo has stated that it will be responding to any provocation with the same level violence. If you are in these provinces, be extremely vigilant, avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media. You could encounter roadblocks on main roads in the affected areas. Overland travel outside of urban centres should be avoided completely in the provinces of Sofala and Nampula.

Crime

Violent crime is the most significant threat to visitors. Frequent crimes include armed robbery, armed carjacking and home burglaries. Carjacking is common in Maputo and on roads to Mutare, in Zimbabwe, and to South Africa. In 2013, there have been several reported incidents of carjackings in Boane, and near border crossings with Swaziland, by individuals impersonating police officers. Be aware that only officers from the Policia de Republica de Moçambique have the authority to establish checkpoints. Official checkpoints are always staffed by four officers and a clearly visible vehicle. Take precautions when being flagged at checkpoints.

Petty crime, such as muggings, purse snatchings and pickpocketing, is particularly prevalent in Maputo and is on the rise in other urban and rural areas. Pedestrians and joggers have been frequently targeted, even during daylight hours.

Crime increases significantly during the Christmas and New Year season.

Kidnappings

In 2013, Maputo and Matola have experienced a significant wave of kidnappings, usually targeting individuals perceived as wealthy, including foreigners. Be extremely vigilant at all times, avoid displaying signs of affluence, consider regularly modifying your patterns of travel, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Demonstrations

Mozambique is generally peaceful. However, violent demonstrations occurred in a few large cities in February 2008 and September 2010. These violent events, strongly repressed by law enforcement, erupted in response to increases in bread, transportation and utilities prices. Spontaneous roadblocks and rioting paralyzed Maputo and other large cities for many days. Efforts to contain the demonstrations caused injuries and deaths because the authorities were unprepared and ill-equipped. If such unrest should recur, you should exercise caution, monitor local news reports and avoid large gatherings.

Road travel

Traffic drives on the left. Travel in convoy is recommended. Overland travel after dark is not recommended. Third-party insurance is required and may be obtained at ports of entry.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle may be required for travel outside cities and off major highways due to poor road conditions, especially during the rainy season (November to March). Carjackings have been reported in border areas and in rural regions, particularly on routes to Mutare, Zimbabwe, and to South Africa, especially in Moamba.

Checkpoints are common and you should obey police when asked to stop. Police have been known to solicit bribes.

Due to residual landmines, remain on official roads. Overland travel should be undertaken during daylight hours. Contact the High Commission of Canada in Maputo for the latest security and travel information.

Public transportation

Public transportation is very limited. Domestic rail service is overcrowded, slow and uncomfortable.

Consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

General safety information

Mozambique occasionally experiences fuel shortages. You should always keep stores of fuel on hand and plan all overland travel in advance.

Carry identity documents at all times and be aware of the rules governing your entry visas. Urban streets are patrolled by police who frequently carry automatic weapons and require visitors to produce identity and travel documents.

There are certain areas in the city of Maputo where pedestrian traffic is not tolerated, most notably in front of the presidential palaces.

Facilities for tourism are steadily improving in Maputo but remain limited in other areas. Check the level of security provided at the hotel or accommodation you are contemplating before making reservations.

Communications are generally good in Maputo but poor in rural areas.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Rabies

Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

There have been cases of cholera reported in this country in the last year. Cholera is a bacterial disease that typically causes diarrhea. In severe cases it can lead to dehydration and even death.

Most travellers are generally at low risk. Humanitarian workers and those visiting areas with limited access to safe food and water are at higher risk. Practise safe food and water precautions. Travellers at high risk should get vaccinated.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is caused by blood flukes (tiny worms) spread to humans through contaminated water. The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in contaminated water. There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue bite during the daytime. They breed in standing water and are often found in urban areas.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for dengue fever.

Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.

Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities and supplies of medicine are limited throughout the country. Only basic medical care is available locally and any serious condition necessitates an evacuation to South Africa. Physicians and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for medical care.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines

It is against the law to destroy Mozambican currency.

Government facilities should not be photographed without permission.

Homosexual activity is illegal.

An International Driving Permit is required.

Dress and behaviour

Common sense and discretion should be exercised in dress and behaviour. Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.

Money

The currency is the new metical (MZN). Currency should only be exchanged at locations authorized by the government.

The import or export of local currency is prohibited. You should state the amount of foreign currency in banknotes, cheques and traveller's cheques that you are bringing into the country. Only U.S. dollars and South African rand can be exchanged easily in banks or legal secondary exchange bureaus. U.S. dollar traveller’s cheques can be exchanged only in certain banks in Maputo and only for local currency (not U.S. dollars). Credit cards are widely accepted in Maputo, but rarely accepted elsewhere. Most businesses accept payment in meticals, U.S. dollars or South African rand. Hotel bills must often be paid in foreign currency.

Climate

The rainy season extends from November to March. During this period, rainfall is abundant and may result in local flash flooding. Roads may become impassable in flood-affected areas. Follow the advice of local authorities, monitor local news and weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

Cyclones may also occur along the coastal area. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly. You can contact the High Commission of Canada in Maputo for information and regular updates.