MOZAMBIQUE - Exercise a high degree of cautionThere is no nationwide advisory in effect for Mozambique. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to violent crime, including a recent significant increase in cases of kidnappings.
Regional Advisory for the provinces of Sofala and Nampula
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada advises against non-essential travel to the province of Sofala, (except for the capital city of Beira if reached by plane) and Nampula, due to recent violent incidents. Overland travel outside of urban centres should be avoided completely. Consult the Security tab for more information.
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 (see Advisory)
There has been an ongoing series of violent incidents between opposition forces (Renamo) and police/military since Spring 2013 in the province of Sofala, and more recently in the province of Nampula. 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. Overland travel outside of urban centres should be avoided completely.
Municipal elections were held throughout the country on November 20, 2013. Some clashes have been reported. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings and follow the advice of local authorities. Be particularly vigilant in Beira, Nacala, Quelimane and Maputo.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Communications are generally good in Maputo but poor in rural areas.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the Mozambican authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Mozambique, based in Washington, D.C. (USA), for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Mozambique, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from Mozambique. You will also need to have at least two blank pages remaining in your passport to obtain a visa. Amendment pages are not acceptable.
Canadians must also be in possession of a visa.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Residency/employment visa: Required
Transit visa: Required
Tourist visas can be purchased from the Embassy of Mozambique in Washington, D.C. (single- or multiple-entry). While they can also be purchased from any port of entry, including airports and border crossings (single-entry only), it is strongly recommended that you obtain a visa before arriving in Mozambique. There are reports of travellers being sent back upon entry for not having a visa when they are arriving from a country where there is a Mozambique diplomatic post.
Single- and multiple-entry visas are available ranging from 30 days to six months; however, even with a six-month multiple-entry visa, a stay cannot exceed 30 days during any one visit. It is possible to obtain consecutive single-entry visas upon departure and re-entry to Mozambique. You will receive a heavy fine for every day you overstay your visa or if you have the wrong type of visa for your stay in Mozambique.
Upon arrival, ensure that all your paperwork, such as visa and passport, has been properly dealt with and stamped before leaving the airport in order to avoid fines at a later date.
Lemombo/Ressano Garcia border crossing
It can take a long time to clear border formalities at the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border crossing with South Africa, especially during holiday periods and if you are travelling on public transport. Allow adequate time to arrive at your destination before nightfall.
Although same-sex marriages are legal in Canada, many countries or regions do not recognize them. Attempting to enter as a same-sex married couple may result in refusal by local officials. For more information, contact the foreign government office accredited to Canada.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. Please consult our Children page for more information.
Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination before allowing entry. Consult the World Health Organization’s country list to obtain information on this country’s requirements.
The Agency strongly recommends that you consult with a travel medicine clinic or health care provider preferably six weeks before departure.
The Agency publishes travel health advice for Mozambique.
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.
Laws & Culture
You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention FAQ 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.
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.
Natural Disasters & 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.
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