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Mozambique Facts

Political Climate
Republic of Mozambique.
Mozambique is a constitutional democracy with an estimated population of 20 million. President Armando Guebuza was elected in 2004 in what national and international observers judged to be generally free and fair elections, despite some irregularities. The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) has been the ruling political party since independence in 1975, heavily influencing both policymaking and implementation. While civilian authorities generally maintain effective control of the security forces, there have been some instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently. In 1994 the country held its first democratic elections. Joaquim Chissano was elected President with 53% of the vote, and a 250-member National Assembly was voted in with 129 FRELIMO deputies, 112 RENAMO deputies, and 9 representatives of three smaller parties that formed the Democratic Union (UD). By 1999, more than one-half (53%) of the legislation passed originated in the Assembly.


Geography
801,590 sq. km.; slightly less than twice the size of California.

Mozambique lies beside the Indian Ocean in southern Africa. On its borders lie South Africa and Zimbabwe in the south, and Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania in the north. About half the country is made up of flat coastal plain. Heading inland, the land rises and high plateaux and mountains run along the western and northern borders.

Many sizeable rivers, including the Zambezi and Limpopo, flow through Mozambique to the sea. Africa?s largest hydro-electric power dam, the Cabora Bassa, lies in the north-west. Although there?s plenty of water, drought is common in the south of the country.

Mozambique has vast areas of fertile land, which can produce enough food for the nation, as well as exports. Maize, sugar cane, tobacco, rice, tea, and citrus fruits are all grown. But the country?s natural wealth is not fully exploited. Mineral resources such as gold, gemstones and bauxite are still to be tapped. The 2,500km coastline produces marine products, especially prawns, which are the country?s largest single export.

Mozambique has a tropical climate, which is hot and humid. The wet season is from November to March, when about 80 per cent of annual rainfall falls.

Capital
Maputo

More Information: www.mozambiquetourism.co.za


Languages
The official language is Portuguese, although English is spoken in many tourist areas. 27 other African languages are spoken including Zulu and Swahili.

Currency
Currency in Mozambique: metical (MZM). The official currency is the New Metical (MZN), which is divided into 100 centavos. In the southern parts of the country, South African Rand, US Dollars and Pounds Sterling are also accepted to pay for accommodation. Credit cards are accepted in some upmarket hotels in Maputo, but facilities throughout the rest of the country are limited; it is advisable to carry cash or travelers? cheques. ATMs are limited and tend to be unreliable, but local banks have branches in most cities. Also note that Travelers? cheques are useless outside hotels.

Banks
Banks in Mozambique offer unique banking opportunities provided you understand the system along with how the regulations affect it. With varied regulatory environments that each country has, you'll have to immerse yourself in all aspects of the Mozambique banking system.
People & Population
The Population is 19,406,703. Mozambique"s major ethnic groups encompass numerous subgroups with diverse languages, dialects, cultures, and histories. Many are linked to similar ethnic groups living in neighboring countries. The north-central provinces of Zambezia and Nampula are the most populous, with about 45% of the population. The estimated 4 million Makhuwa are the dominant group in the northern part of the country. The Sena and Ndau are prominent in the Zambezi valley, and the Tsonga and Shangaan dominate in southern Mozambique.

Despite the influence of Islamic coastal traders and European colonizers, the people of Mozambique have largely retained an indigenous culture based on small-scale agriculture. The middle and upper classes continue to be heavily influenced by the Portuguese colonial and linguistic heritage.

Entry Requirements
A visa is required for entry into Mozambique. It is recommended that travelers acquire the appropriate visa prior to departing for Mozambique, although a one-entry visa can be obtained at country points of entry, including airports. The passports of all travelers who wish to enter Mozambique must be valid for six months upon arrival and must contain at least three clean (unstamped) visa pages each time entry is sought.

All travelers entering Mozambique, having previously visited a country where yellow fever is present, must present a valid certification of vaccination against yellow fever. Additionally, all travelers entering Mozambique must carry their yellow vaccination book.

Health
Malaria exists throughout the year in the whole country. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.
It is recommended that visitors take precautions against typhoid, bilharzia, hepatitis and cholera in particular.

AIDS/HIV is prevalent. Diseases caused by unsanitary conditions are common throughout the country, and untreated water should be considered unsafe to drink.

Communications
The telephone system is fair but not available generally the system consists of open-wire lines and trunk connection by microwave radio relay. The International country dialing code is: 258. There are a few satellite earth stations, Radio broadcast stations for AM/FM and shotwave, 1 Television broadcast station and internet is available in some locals.

Electricity
220V/50Hz (European Plug) Electricity in Mozambique is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Mozambique with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.

Climate and Best Time to Travel
Climate: Tropical to subtropical. The climate varies in the different regions of the country, but generally the inland areas are slightly cooler, although more humid than along the coast in the rainy season. Winter is the dry season lasting from April to September, and is the best time to visit the country. The southern parts of the country are generally drier and less tropical than the north, with temperatures along the coast averaging 80ºF (27ºC). The rainy season coincides with the heat and humidity from October to March, with average coastal temperatures of 88ºF (31ºC).