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Mozambique - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Mozambique due to violent crime and kidnappings.
Safety and security
Safety and security
On October 5 and 6, 2017, there were clashes between armed groups and police in the city and district of Mocímboa da Praia, in the northernmost area of Cabo Delgado province. Smaller clashes have since occurred.
Violent crime, such as armed robbery, armed carjacking and home burglary, occurs frequently.
Petty crime, such as muggings, purse snatchings and pickpocketing, is common throughout the country. It is particularly prevalent in Maputo. Pedestrians and joggers are frequent targets, even during daylight hours. Thieves also target vehicles parked outside shopping centres, resorts and transportation hubs. Do not leave valuables in cars.
Crime increases significantly during the Christmas holiday season.
Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Kidnapping occurs rarely and mostly in larger cities, especially Maputo and its largest suburb, Matola. Individuals perceived as wealthy, including foreigners, tend to be preferred targets.
- Be extremely vigilant
- Avoid displaying signs of affluence
- Change your travel patterns regularly
- Do not travel alone at night
- Be aware of your surroundings
Demonstrations occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Road conditions in urban areas are generally good, but subject to flash floods during the rainy season.
You may need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to travel outside cities and off major highways due to poor road conditions, especially during the rainy season.
Drivers do not obey the rules of the road. Traffic accidents are common and frequently involve pedestrians. Do not ride bicycles and motorbikes, due to poor road conditions and lack of respect by other drivers.
Travel in convoys.
Carjacking is common in Maputo and on roads to South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
Checkpoints are common and you should obey police when asked to stop. Only officers from Mozambique’s national police (Policia da República de Moçambique) and, particularly near border crossings, its customs authority (Autoridade Tributária de Moçambique) have the authority to establish checkpoints. If you spot a checkpoint, make sure there are four officers and a clearly visible vehicle. Police sometimes solicit bribes at checkpoints.
Travel on official roads and only during daylight hours.
Public transportation is very limited. Domestic rail service is overcrowded and slow.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General safety information
Fuel shortages occur occasionally.
- Never let your tank go lower than half-full
- Keep fuel supplies on hand
- Carefully plan all road travel
Tourist facilities are limited outside of Maputo. Check the level of security provided at the hotel or accommodation you are contemplating before making reservations.
Telecommunications are generally good in Maputo but poor in rural areas.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Mozambican authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Mozambique.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must have a visa.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Residency/employment visa: Required
Transit visa: Required
You can get a tourist visa on arrival at every international airport and at most international ports and land borders. You must pay visa fees in cash (in Mozambican metical or U.S. dollars). The visa validity period ranges from 30 days to six months. No single stay may exceed 30 consecutive days. 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.
Make sure customs officials properly inspect and stamp your passport and visa before leaving the country in order to avoid possible fines.
Children and travel
If you are transiting by road through South Africa with children under the age of 18, you may be subject to special entry requirements.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Posted: January 26, 2018
Risk of a Large Outbreak of Meningococcal Disease in Africa
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that countries in Africa's meningitis belt (see country list below) and neighbouring countries are at a high risk for a large outbreak of meningoccocal disease (commonly called meningitis).
There is a high risk of a large outbreak in the area because the strain of meningitis that is currently circulating is a new hyper-invasive strain of serogroup C and there is a shortage of meningitis C-containing vaccine.
If you plan to travel to any country in Africa's meningitis belt or a neighbouring country, it is recommended that you get vaccinated against meningococcal disease with a conjugate serogroup C-containing vaccine.
For more information, see the WHO Situation update on meningitis C epidemic risk.
Countries in Africa's meningitis belt include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, and United Republic of Tanzania
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
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 is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
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, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
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 by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected 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).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from 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.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* 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.
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 is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
For protection of cholera
All travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care provider the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Travellers at higher risk include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring.
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). 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 freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- 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 standards of hygiene and 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.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
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 fever, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- 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.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
- 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 the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- 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 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, ebola, and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
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).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
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
There are few medical facilities in Mozambique, and supplies of medicine are limited. Only basic medical care is locally available. Physicians and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for medical care. Any serious illness or injury requires medical evacuation to South Africa.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
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.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Illegal and restricted activities
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.Do not take pictures of government facilities without permission.
There are certain areas in Maputo where you are not allowed to walk, such as roads surrounding presidential palaces and military installations.
You must carry photo identification. Police frequently ask visitors to produce ID and travel documents.
Traffic drives on the left. You must have third-party insurance, which you can obtain at any port of entry.
You must carry an international driving permit.
Dress and behaviour
To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- behave discreetly
- respect religious and social traditions
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Mozambique.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Mozambique, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
The currency is the metical (MZN).
Only use authorized currency exchanges.
The import or export of local currency is against the law. When entering Mozambique, declare the amount of foreign currency in your possession. This includes:
- bank notes
- traveller’s cheques
The U.S. dollar and South African rand are the easiest currencies to exchange in banks or exchange bureaus. You can only exchange U.S. traveller’s cheques in certain banks in Maputo, and they can only be changed into local currency. Credit cards are widely accepted in Maputo, but not elsewhere. Most businesses accept payment in meticals, U.S. dollars or South African rand. Hotel often only accept foreign currency.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The rainy season extends from November to March. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges, damaged. Cyclones may also occur along the coast.
- Follow the advice of local authorities
- Monitor local news and weather forecasts
- Avoid affected areas
There is no centralized number to reach emergency services. If you are in Maputo, dial:
- police: +258 21 325031 / +258 21 400159
- medical assistance: +258 21 325000 / +258 21 325009
- firefighters: +258 21 322222 / +258 21 322334
For all other areas, research and carry contact information for local police and medical facilities.
Maputo - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Maputo and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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