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MOZAMBIQUE - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Mozambique. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to violent crime and kidnappings.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Tensions continue between government forces and opposition militia, particularly in the provinces of Manica, Sofala, Tete, and Zambezia. Sporadic clashes have occurred, checkpoints are routinely set up on roads, and armed attacks on vehicles have resulted in casualties in the provinces of Manica, Sofala, and Zambezia. If you are travelling to these provinces, avoid road travel and monitor local news.
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.
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.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
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.
You should travel 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. 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.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Mozambican authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. 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.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
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
Visas can no longer be purchased at points of entry. You must obtain a single- or multiple-entry visa from a Mozambican diplomatic office before arriving in Mozambique. Travellers have been sent back upon arrival for not having a visa.
The visa validity period ranges from 30 days to six months; however, even with a six-month multiple-entry visa, 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 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.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
Consult the South Africa Travel Advice page if you are transiting by road through South Africa with children under the age of 18.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
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 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 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.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
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 bacterial disease that is most often spread by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated. It causes diarrhea and in severe cases it can lead to dehydration and even death.
Most travellers are at very low risk. Travellers at higher risk include those visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation, or to areas where outbreaks are occurring. Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care provider the benefits of getting vaccinated.
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 at high risk 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.
- 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 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
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.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention 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.
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.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Mozambique. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Mozambique citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Mozambique passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
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 and climate
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 avoid affected areas.
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.
There is no centralized number to reach emergency services outside of Maputo. If you are in Maputo dial:
- police: 258 213 25031 / 258 214 00159
- medical assistance: 258 213 25000 / 258 213 25009
- firefighters: 258 213 22222 / 258 213 22334.
For all other areas, research and carry contact information for local police and medical facilities.
Maputo - High Commission of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the Operations Centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885. You may also call the High Commission of Canada in Maputo and follow the instructions.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are 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 to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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