Road Conditions and Safety: The EN4 toll road between Maputo and South Africa is well-maintained. The road network connecting provincial capitals is in fair condition, but can be riddled with potholes and other obstacles. Vehicles on certain sections of the EN1 roadway in Sofala and Manica provinces and the EN6 between Beira and Chimoio have been shot at and the Government of Mozambique has instituted convoys on some stretches of the road. U.S. Embassy officials are restricted from traveling in Sofala or Manica on the EN1 between the Save River (in the south) and the city of Caia (in the north) and on the EN6 between Beira and Chimoio. Restrictions are also in place on the EN7 from Nova Vanduzi to Luenha.
- U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling outside cities after dark because of the increased risk of banditry, poor road conditions in some areas, poor maintenance of many vehicles in the country (e.g., no headlights or rear lights), as well as the threat imposed by livestock grazing on roadsides and intoxicated drivers.
- Travel outside Maputo often requires a four-wheel drive vehicle, which creates an additional security risk since these vehicles are high-theft items. Public transportation is limited and often has poor safety standards.
Accidents Serious traffic accidents are one of the greatest threats to U.S. citizens in Mozambique. Accidents involving drivers and pedestrians are common and sometimes fatal. The potential for accidents increases at night due to unseen holes and obstructions, poor lighting conditions, pedestrians on the highways, and other vehicles driving without headlights. If a serious accident occurs or if a driver hits a pedestrian, crowds quickly gather.
- Mozambican law requires parties to an accident to render assistance; however, you should exercise your best judgment. Render assistance if necessary and practical, but only if you feel you can do so without placing yourself at risk.
- Report the accident to the nearest police station and contact the U.S. Embassy immediately.
Traffic Laws: Drivers should obey police signals to stop at checkpoints, which are common throughout Mozambique. Foreigners visiting Mozambique for more than 90 days are required to have an International Driver?s License or to obtain a Mozambican driver?s license.
Public Transportation: The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens not to use ?chapas? (local minibuses) as a method of transportation due to frequent, often fatal accidents involving these vehicles.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Mozambique, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Mozambique?s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
Consult the CDC website for the Mozambique prior to travel.
Medical facilities are rudimentary, and most medical providers do not speak fluent English. Medications are not always available. Public and private medical facilities exist in the city of Maputo and most provincial capitals.
- All health care providers require payment at the time of or before providing service. Most do not accept credit cards.
- You are responsible for all medical costs. U.S. Medicare does not cover you overseas.
- Prescriptions Medications: Check with Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure the medication is legal to bring into the country. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor?s prescription.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to host country laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be deported, arrested or imprisoned. It?s very important to know what?s legal and what?s not wherever you go.
- Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in are severe. Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
- Some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
- Carry your passport with you at all times. You can be taken in for questioning if you cannot present your passport.
- Photography of some government buildings may be illegal. Ask before taking pictures.
- Driving under the influence can land you immediately in jail.
- Your U.S. passport will not help avoid arrest or prosecution.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State?s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: Mozambique is a very tolerant society. Consensual same-sex relations are not criminalized and there is increasing space in public conversation regarding LGBTI issues. There remains, however, some societal stigmatization and room for progress in terms of full equal treatment, such as in the registration of LGBTI groups. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Although the government legislatively mandates access to public buildings, transportation, and government services for persons with disabilities, few buildings are accessible.
- Restaurants, hotels, and residential buildings have stairs at the entrance without wheelchair ramps, except perhaps at a few major hotels and retail areas.
- Pedestrian paths and transportation are extremely difficult for persons with disabilities.
- Sidewalks are not commonplace and, if they exist, are poorly maintained and dangerous to walk on at night.
- Pedestrian crossings are infrequent and drivers seldom obey traffic signals.
- Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations for disabled persons.
- Rape: The law prohibits rape, including spousal rape, but it is not effectively enforced and is largely unknown in rural areas where the majority of rapes take place. Penalties range from two to eight years? imprisonment if the victim is 12 years of age or older and 20 to 24 years? imprisonment if the victim is under 12, according to the new penal code.
- Domestic Violence: The law prohibits violence against women. Domestic violence against women, particularly spousal rape and beatings, remain widespread. Abuse of a spouse or unmarried partner is punishable with one to two years in prison, or a greater penalty if in conjunction with another crime.
- See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Safety and Security
Road travel outside the city after dark is dangerous. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling outside the major cities after dark by car, and are encouraged not to travel outside the city alone. You should be vigilant when you travel in Mozambique and if you travel to/from South Africa, as both countries have high crime rates.
Crime: Street crimes, including mugging, purse-snatching, and pick-pocketing are common in Maputo and in secondary cities. Carjackings are rare, but still occur.
- Pedestrians have been mugged at all hours of the day. Avoid isolated areas and walking at night, even in well-known tourist areas.
- Avoid walking along the Marginal south of the Southern Sun Hotel and Avenida Friedrich Engels and Rua Caracol.
- Avoid walking along roads bordered by wooded areas, as criminals may hide there.
Johannesburg International Airport:
- Secure your bags. Use an airport plastic wrapping service.
- Avoid placing currency and high value items in checked luggage when transiting.
Landmines: Mozambique was declared free of all known landmines in 2015; however, there could remain unknown mines in very rural areas. Seek local information before going off-road outside major cities.
Information about specific safety and security issues can be found on the U.S. Embassy Maputo?s website under ?Messages for U.S. Citizen.?
Victims of Crime:
Report crimes to the local police and contact the U.S. Embassy at +258 21-49-0723. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help find appropriate medical care
- assist in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- help explain the local criminal justice process
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a lost/stolen passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Fraud: The U.S. Embassy in Maputo has received reports of scams which originate online, and involve promises of large inheritances that require international travel. Victims of this type of scam are asked to deliver suitcases from one location to another, and become unwitting narcotics traffickers. Be skeptical about financial promises made by an online contact, and never carry anything that you did not pack yourself.
See the Department of State page for more information on scams.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. There is some tourism infrastructure, often operated by expatriates, but the host government has limited capacity to regulate. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified, either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the relevant field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside major cities to provide urgent medical treatment, especially outside normal working hours. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Entry exit Requirementsh
- U.S. citizens are required to have a visa to enter Mozambique. U.S. citizens have been denied entry for not having obtained the proper type of visa in advance.
- Please pay attention to the authorized period of stay on your visa ("Autorizado a permane?er pelo per?odo de [number of days]"). This is the maximum number of days you may remain in the country before you must depart Mozambique. This is distinct from the validity of the visa which indicates when you may enter Mozambique.
- If you enter without a valid visa, or overstay, you will be fined for each day you were in Mozambique illegally.
- Your passport must be valid for at least six months after arrival and must contain at least three clean (unstamped) visa pages each time entry is sought. This does not include endorsement pages.
- Visit the Embassy of Mozambique at 1525 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 or call (202) 293-7146 between the hours of 3-5 p.m. for the most current visa information.
- Travel to Mozambique often requires transit through South Africa. If traveling with minors, please visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website for the most up-to-date requirements as the requirements are particularly stringent.
- A valid certification of vaccination for Yellow Fever is required if you are coming from a country where Yellow Fever is present.
- Border authorities can require all travelers to present a yellow vaccination books. See the CDC website for further information on suggested vaccinations for travel to Mozambique.
- If you cannot present a certificate at the port of entry, you will be vaccinated at your own expense.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Mozambique.
See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on Mozambique for information on U.S. – Mozambique relations.