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Is Mozambique Safe?

Mozambique presents moderate safety risks for travelers. While petty crime is common, violent crime remains relatively low. However, the northern regions face an ongoing insurgency, posing risks of terrorism and civil unrest. Travelers should exercise caution, particularly in Cabo Delgado province, and follow government advisories. Adequate medical facilities are limited outside major cities, necessitating comprehensive travel insurance.

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Safety & Security

Mozambique is generally considered safe for travelers, but there are some risks to be aware of.

  • Petty Crime: Pickpocketing, bag snatching, and theft from vehicles are common, especially in major cities like Maputo and Beira. Remain vigilant and avoid carrying valuables or large amounts of cash.

  • Violent Crime: While rare, violent crimes such as armed robbery and carjacking do occur, particularly in isolated areas and at night. Avoid walking alone after dark and use trusted transportation services.

  • Civil Unrest: Political tensions and civil unrest have led to sporadic protests and demonstrations, which can turn violent. Monitor local news and avoid large gatherings or protests.

  • Terrorism: The risk of terrorism is low but present, especially in the northern Cabo Delgado province due to an ongoing insurgency. Avoid this region and follow the advice of local authorities.

  • Scams: Be wary of common scams targeting tourists, such as overcharging for goods or services, fake tour guides, and bogus police officers demanding bribes.

  • Natural Disasters: Mozambique is prone to cyclones, floods, and droughts, which can disrupt travel and infrastructure. Check weather advisories and have contingency plans in place.

While exercising caution, most visits to Mozambique are trouble-free. Registering with your embassy, purchasing travel insurance, and staying vigilant can help mitigate risks.

Health & Medical

Travelers to Mozambique should be aware of potential health risks and take necessary precautions. While the country has made progress in improving healthcare, medical facilities may be limited, especially in rural areas.

  • Vaccinations: Ensure routine vaccinations are up-to-date, and consider additional vaccines like hepatitis A, typhoid, and yellow fever, depending on your travel plans.
  • Malaria: Malaria is a serious risk in Mozambique. Consult a healthcare provider about antimalarial medication and preventive measures like insect repellent and mosquito nets.
  • HIV/AIDS: Mozambique has a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Avoid risky behaviors and take necessary precautions.
  • Water and Food Safety: Drink only bottled or purified water and avoid undercooked or raw foods to prevent waterborne and foodborne illnesses.
  • Insect-Borne Diseases: Diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus are present. Use insect repellent and wear protective clothing.
  • Medical Facilities: Major cities have decent medical facilities, but resources may be limited in rural areas. Consider travel health insurance and evacuation plans for emergencies.

Natural Disasters

Mozambique is prone to several natural disasters that travelers should be aware of. Cyclones and flooding are major concerns, particularly during the rainy season from November to April. The country's coastal regions are vulnerable to tropical cyclones, which can bring destructive winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surges. Inland areas are also at risk of flooding due to overflowing rivers and poor drainage systems.

  • Droughts are another recurring issue, especially in the southern regions, leading to water shortages and crop failures.
  • Earthquakes are relatively infrequent but can occur, as Mozambique is located along the East African Rift Valley.
  • Wildfires can also be a threat during dry periods, particularly in rural areas with limited firefighting resources.

It's advisable to monitor weather forecasts, follow local advisories, and have contingency plans in place during your visit. Travelers should also ensure they have comprehensive travel insurance that covers natural disasters.


Transportation in Mozambique can be challenging for travelers. While major cities have public transportation options like buses and minibus taxis, services are often unreliable and overcrowded. Road conditions, especially in rural areas, can be poor with potholes and lack of proper signage.

  • Road Safety is a significant concern due to reckless driving, poorly maintained vehicles, and a lack of enforcement of traffic laws. Travelers should exercise extreme caution when driving or riding in vehicles.

  • Public Transportation in cities like Maputo and Beira consists of buses and minibus taxis (known as "chapas"). However, these can be overcrowded, unsafe, and prone to delays or breakdowns.

  • For longer distances, trains and domestic flights are available but can be expensive and subject to cancellations or delays.

  • Self-Driving is generally not recommended for tourists due to poor road conditions, lack of signage, and the risks associated with driving in Mozambique. If renting a vehicle, use a reputable company and exercise extreme caution.

Cultural Norms

Mozambique is a culturally diverse nation with a rich blend of African, Portuguese, and Islamic influences. As a traveler, it's essential to respect local customs and traditions to ensure a smooth and enriching experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Greetings: Mozambicans value politeness and greetings. It's customary to greet people with a handshake, and it's considered rude to walk past someone without acknowledging them.

  • Dress Code: While casual clothing is generally acceptable, it's advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas. Avoid revealing clothing that may be seen as disrespectful.

  • Ramadan: During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims in Mozambique observe fasting and other religious practices. Respect their traditions by avoiding eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours.

  • Photography: Be mindful when taking photographs, especially of people or religious sites. Always ask for permission before taking pictures.

  • Haggling: Bargaining is a common practice in local markets, but it should be done respectfully and without aggression.

  • Hospitality: Mozambicans are known for their warm hospitality. Accepting offers of food or drinks is considered polite, even if you decline them later.

  • Public Displays of Affection: Public displays of affection between couples should be kept to a minimum, as they may be seen as inappropriate in some areas.

By respecting local customs and traditions, travelers can foster a deeper appreciation for Mozambique's rich cultural heritage and create lasting positive impressions.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in Mozambique are limited, especially outside major cities. While police and ambulance services exist, their response times can be slow and their capabilities may be lacking. Private clinics and hospitals in larger cities like Maputo offer better medical care, but facilities are still relatively basic compared to Western standards.

  • Medical Evacuation is often necessary for serious injuries or illnesses, as local facilities may not have adequate equipment or specialists. Travelers should ensure they have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical evacuation.

  • Private Security Companies are commonly used by expatriates and businesses to supplement limited public security resources. These can provide armed response services and secure transportation.

  • Tourist Police Units operate in some major tourist areas, but their coverage is limited. They can assist with reporting crimes and liaising with local authorities.

  • Embassies and Consulates can provide limited emergency assistance to their nationals, such as replacing lost travel documents or facilitating contact with local authorities. However, their ability to intervene in legal matters is restricted.

Overall, travelers should exercise caution, have contingency plans in place, and consider hiring private security or guides, especially when venturing outside urban areas or engaging in higher-risk activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is Mozambique safe for tourists?

Mozambique is generally safe for tourists, but caution is advised. Petty crime and civil unrest occur in some areas. Avoid traveling alone at night, and be vigilant in crowded places. Stick to well-traveled routes and tourist areas. Check travel advisories and register with your embassy.

Is Mozambique safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers should exercise caution in Mozambique. While many areas are safe, there is a risk of harassment and gender-based violence. Avoid isolated areas, dress conservatively, and don't travel alone at night. Arrange trusted transportation and accommodation in advance.

Is Mozambique safe for families?

Mozambique can be a suitable destination for families with children, but caution is advised. Ensure children are up-to-date on vaccinations and take precautions against malaria. Avoid remote areas and travel during the rainy season. Family-friendly resorts and activities are available in popular tourist areas.

Is Mozambique LGBTQ+ friendly?

Same-sex relationships are legal in Mozambique, but LGBTQ+ individuals may face discrimination and harassment. Public displays of affection should be avoided. Same-sex marriage is not recognized. Exercise caution and research LGBTQ+ travel resources for the latest information.

Do you need a visa to go to Mozambique?

Many nationalities, including citizens of the United States, Canada, and the European Union, can obtain a visa on arrival in Mozambique for tourism purposes. A valid passport is required, and the maximum stay varies from 30 to 90 days. Check with your embassy for specific visa requirements.

Can you drink tap water in Mozambique?

Tap water is not safe to drink in Mozambique. Waterborne diseases are a risk. Drink only bottled or purified water, and avoid ice cubes made from tap water. Boiling or using a water purification system is recommended for drinking and brushing teeth.

What is the currency in Mozambique?

The official currency in Mozambique is the Mozambican Metical (MZN). US dollars and major credit cards are accepted in some tourist areas and larger establishments, but cash in local currency is recommended for smaller transactions and rural areas.

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