- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Mozambique.
We advise against travel by road in Sofala or Manica on the EN1 between the Save River (in the south) and the city of Caia (in the north); as well as travel on the EN6 between Beira and Chimoio.
We advise against non-essential travel to the province of Cabo Delgado, due to several armed attacks on local civilians and security forces since October 2017. The most recent incident at the end of May 2018, resulted in a number of civilian deaths in two rural villages near the town of Palma. In particular you are advised to avoid the districts of Mocímboa da Praia, Macomia, Palma, Nangade, Quissanga, Mueda and Muidumbe.
There are reports of an increased security presence in the region as a result of these attacks. If you are traveling to Cabo Delgado you are advised to pay close attention to both local and social media for updates, while also following the advice of local authorities and the security services on the ground.
Latest Travel Alert
Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall near the city of Beira on the evening of Thursday 14 March, resulting in the loss of life and causing extensive infrastructural damage. The provinces of Sofala, Manica, Zambezia, Tete and Inhambane have been subject to heavy rain falls, causing widespread flooding, with Sofala and Manica the most severely affected. Many areas are completely inaccessible due to flood waters and telecommunications infrastructure has also been severely impacted. Water levels are also expected to rise in the coming days in the Buzi and Pungoe River basins, bringing with it the risk of further flooding. Visitors are advised to avoid non-essential travel to the worst affected areas, while Irish citizens in the region should continue to monitor local and international weather updates and follow advice given by the local authorities.
Visitors are advised to exercise particular caution in city centre areas due to reported rises in petty crime, including pick-pocketing and theft of car-parts from parked vehicles. Driving on Avenida Acordos de Lusaka (Maputo) at night-time is not recommended, due to reports of car-jackings.
Irish citizens may, on entry into the country, be asked to show proof of Yellow Fever vaccination, especially when they are travelling from high risk transmission countries.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
If there is an emergency, or if you need help and advice, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Maputo.
If you phone outside of working hours, you should call the out of hours Emergency Consular Assistance number +258 82 3091430
Other EU embassies
You can also try contacting the Embassies or Consulates of other EU countries for emergency consular assistance, advice and support.
Our tips for safe travels
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
- Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Tensions are rising between government forces and opposition militia, particularly in the provinces of Manica, Sofala and Tete. There have been clashes and checkpoints could be set up on main roads.
Armed attacks on vehicles have resulted in casualties on the EN1 highway between Save and Muxungue and between Gorongosa and Caia. Avoid road travel on these portions of the EN1 highway and monitor the news if you are travelling to these provinces.
There have been a number shooting incidents recently in the Sofala and Manica Provinces which have involved the vehicles of government officials, civilians and of international organisations.
There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
If you’re a victim of crime you should contact the local police immediately and get a police report. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Maputo if you need help.
You should avoid walking on Avenida Friedrich Engels in Maputo City.
Mozambique doesn’t have as serious a crime problem as a number of other countries in the region. However, it’s a poor country with a high cost of living and those who are obviously better off may become targets. Street crime, such as pickpocketing or robbery with threats of violence, is a reality in Mozambique and, as anywhere, the risks increase after dark.
If you’re visiting this country, take local advice on areas to avoid and follow these basic, common-sense precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible
Street crime, such as pickpocketing or robbery with threats of violence, is a reality in Mozambique and, as anywhere, the risks increase after dark.
Car crime, including car-jacking, has been on the increase. Keep your car doors locked when driving and try to be aware if you’re being followed. Park your car in safe, open places. If somebody offers to watch your car for you, don’t react negatively. Be friendly and give the person some money when you return to your car. The appropriate price varies but would usually be around 5 meticais (about €0.15).
Gratuitous violence is not a feature of crime in Mozambique so if you are mugged or your car is hijacked, you should remain calm, offer no resistance and hand over your possessions without question.
Car crime has been on the increase. Keep your car doors locked when driving. Park your car in safe, open places. If somebody offers to watch your car for you, don’t react negatively. Be friendly and give the person some money when you return to your car. The appropriate price varies but would usually be around 5 meticais (about €0.10).
If you’re planning to drive in Mozambique, be extremely careful. Conditions are poor once you get off the major roads so make sure that you and your vehicle are capable of handling a road before setting off. There is inadequate lighting, even in urban areas, and vehicles are often badly maintained and driving standards are erratic. Be prepared for other road users to behave in unpredictable ways, including overtaking on blind bends and driving at night without lights.
Due to recent incidents, we recommend you get local advice before travelling on the EN1 road in Sofala province.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance. We also recommend you bring an International Driving Permit
- You must carry original identification documents and vehicle documents at all times (notarised copies are not acceptable) and you may be asked to produce them by the authorities. Always make sure that your documents are returned to you
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security.
If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Whilst violent crime does occur at times, most visits to Mozambique are trouble-free. There has been a recent significant increase in cases of criminal kidnappings so extra care should be taken.
Cases of kidnapping take place primarily in larger cities, especially Maputo and Matola. Individuals perceived as wealthy, including foreigners, tend to be preferred targets. 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.
Take note of the condition of the vehicle before you decide to use public transport and make other arrangements if you have any concerns.
Since 2011, the European Commission has put an operating ban on air carriers certified in Mozambique and we advise you to avoid flying with any carriers subject to this ban.
If your passport is stolen, make a police report immediately. You should also inform the local immigration authorities and show them a copy of your police report. If you contact the Irish Embassy they can arrange a replacement passport.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Carry original identity documents with you at all times (notarised copies are not acceptable). You may be asked to produce these by the authorities. Always make sure your documents are returned to you.
Homosexuality in Mozambique isn’t illegal but social attitudes, particularly outside larger cities, are less tolerant.
Mozambique is a relatively tolerant society where consensual same-sex relations are not criminalised and there is increasing space in public conversation regarding LGBT issues. There remains, however, some societal stigmatisation and room for progress in terms of full equal treatment, such as in the registration of LGBT groups.
The use, possession and trafficking of illicit drugs are treated very seriously and punishments can include long jail terms and heavy fines.
Common sense and discretion should be exercised in dress and behaviour. Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.
Abuse against women is relatively common in Mozambique including practices such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), sexual assault, and or domestic violence. Please take all necessary precautions to insure your safety.
There are restrictions on the right to photograph government offices, airports, military establishments, residences and the police or officials.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
The Mozambican climate has a dry season that runs from about April to October, and a rainy season, that runs approximately from late October to April, although there are variations from year to year. We advise you to monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation.
Serious flooding can happen during the rainy season. Pay attention to news reports and weather forecasts.
Coastal regions can be affected by cyclones during the rainy season, with very high winds and major rainfall.
Dry and rainy seasons
The Mozambican climate has a dry season that runs from about April to October, and a rainy season, that runs approximately from late October to April, although there are variations from year to year.
Serious flooding can happen around river basins during the rainy season. Pay attention to news reports and weather forecasts.
Coastal regions can be affected by cyclones during the rainy season, with very high winds and major rainfall. Again, you should pay attention to news reports and weather forecasts, including online forecasts.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish nationals need a visa to enter Mozambique. Travellers arriving from countries without Mozambican representation, such as Ireland, have been able to purchase single-entry visitors’ visas valid for 30 days at the airport or other points of entry.
However, the Embassy of Ireland strongly recommends that Irish citizens obtain visas in advance from the High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique, 21 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6EL, telephone: + 44 (0)20 7383 3800.
The currency of Mozambique is the metical (MZN).
You should ensure that you can access money in a variety of ways. Travellers’ cheques are not commonly accepted.
You should ensure that currency exchanges be done at authorised locations. The import or export of local currency is prohibited.
Euros, U.S. dollars and South African rand can be exchanged easily in banks or exchange bureaus. Credit cards are widely accepted in Maputo, but rarely accepted elsewhere.
You should tell your bank before using your card in Mozambique.
You should ensure that you take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
There are a number of serious health risks in Mozambique and medical facilities outside Maputo are generally poor. In cases of serious illness or injury, medical evacuation to South Africa or elsewhere may be necessary.
Make sure you check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see what vaccinations or other preventative measures (e.g. anti-malarial medication) you need before travelling to Mozambique.
If you’ve been in a country where yellow fever is endemic, you must have a yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Mozambique. The World Health Organisation maintains a list of such countries, which are mainly in Africa and Latin America. If you don’t hold a valid certificate, the authorities are entitled to insist on vaccination at your own expense before you enter the country.
Malaria is endemic throughout the country, including in Maputo. Before travelling, ask your doctor about suitable anti-malarial medication. And after arrival, take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using bed nets and repellents, and wearing closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers.
Cholera and other diseases caused by unsanitary conditions are common throughout Mozambique, particularly during the rainy season (approximately late October - April). You should drink bottled or boiled and filtered water and eat only where food has been thoroughly cooked and basic hygiene precautions have been taken.
Mozambique has a high HIV and AIDS infection rate. You should take appropriate precautions to limit the risk of transmission through blood or sexual contact. If you suspect that you have been exposed to possible infection, you should seek immediate medical attention.
A yellow fever vaccination certification is required from travellers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and travellers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Although Mozambique is not regarded as a yellow fever country, Ethiopia is. Many Irish citizens travelling to Malawi do so via Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airlines. The flight times are changing this summer, which will necessitate those transferring through Addis to spend a night there before their onward flight the next morning. It is therefore possible that immigration officials in Mozambique will ask for proof that you have been vaccinated against yellow fever. Failure to have proof of such a vaccination may cause problems at immigration in Mozambique. We recommend for those travelling this route to have made sure to have proof of a yellow fever vaccination.
For reference, please see the World Health Organisation’s list of countries with a risk of Yellow Fever transmission.
Please note that if you require assistance in the case of emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the Duty Officer at +258-82-3091430.
Embassy of Ireland
Avenida Julius Nyerere 3332
Monday to Thursday 08:00-16:30; Friday 08:00-13:00
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.