The whole of Moçambique is a malaria area and recommended prophylaxis should be taken. Your doctor can advise you on the best type for the area of travel and your personal requirements. However, taking prophylaxis will not guarantee that you will not contract malaria! The best way to avoid malaria is to avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes that carry the parasite. Only the females of one species of mosquito (Anopheles) carry the tiny parasite, and the greatest incidence of malaria is in areas of high population where there are many people for the mosquito to bite and pass the parasite between.
Mosquitoes usually bite between sunset and sunrise, so make sure that you are covered up during this time! Wear loose fitting, long sleeved shirts and trousers, use a good insect repellent and sleep underneath a mosquito net or in a tent/ room sealed with netting. If you do develop flu-like symptoms, or feel at all unwell, during your holiday or after your return home, you must make sure that your doctor knows that you have recently travelled in a malaria area. Malaria is not a serious problem provided people take adequate precautions and seek advice and treatment immediately if they feel unwell.
Hospital facilities are generally poor in Mozambique, especially in the north of the country. In cases of serious illness or injury, medical evacuation to South Africa may be necessary. For this reason you must make sure that comprehensive travel insurance is taken out before you travel, this insurance should cover any medical expenses, air evacuation and repatriation if necessary.
There are few published reliable data on water and sanitation service quality in Mozambique. Many water systems provide water intermittently. However, four cities - Beira, Pemba, Quelimane and Nampula – have achieved continuous or almost continuous water supply as a result of private sector participation, increasing the hours of water supply per day from 9 hours (Beira and Quelimane) and 17 hours (Nampula and Pemba) in 2002 to 22–24 hours in 2007. Water supply in Maputo remains intermittent, increasing only slightly from 12 to 14 hours. Plenty of water must be drunk to prevent dehydration. We recommend 2-3 litres minimum, excluding beverages such as tea, coffee, juice and alcohol. Dehydration can cause very serious problems, it is totally avoidable, so don't let this spoil your holiday!
Rainy season: November to April. Rainfall does not usually occur every day, and generally takes place in the afternoon with mornings being fairly clear.
Summer: October to March with a high of 34 ° C and a low of 29 ° C.
Winter: June to October with a high of 22° C and a low of 19 ° C.
There is no "best time" to visit Moçambique as the different seasons all offer completely different experiences! However, you may like to consider the following when planning your trip and it is advisable to avoid the height of the rainy season around January and February:
Pros: Quieter tourism period (except Christmas), lush green inland landscape, beautiful sunsets and stunning views of electrical storms.
Cons: Very warm temperatures, activities may be interrupted by rain, increased mosquitoes, Christmas is usually busy.
Pros: Cooler, clear skies, fewer mosquitoes.
Cons: Busier tourism period, cooler mornings and evenings.
Our personal preference would be for either May or early November as these times are neither too hot nor too cool. At these times, rain should not be a problem and the heat is not excessive. The coast is always beautiful!
Bring plenty of memory cards and a spare camera battery as these items may not be available in some of the more remote areas of Zambia. A good zoom lens (minimum 200 mm) is essential for wildlife photography.
Photography of government offices, airports, military establishments, residences and the police or officials is illegal without special permission from the Ministry of Information. If in doubt, do not take pictures. Laws are enforced.
Light, cotton clothing is the most comfortable and visitors should be respectful to local culture by covering up and wearing long skirts, trousers or sarongs for women and a shirt and shorts for men when away from the beaches. Army camouflage uniforms or army hats are not recommended.
Light, casual clothing (shorts/shirts) for everyday wear, stout shoes for walking, light waterproof jacket for summer, warm jumper/ fleece for winter, warm long trousers for winter, two sets of good casual clothes for evening dining where appropriate, towel, broad brimmed hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, plenty of film & spare battery, binoculars, reliable torch, sleeping bag if camping. Evening wear should be light coloured and loose fitting to discourage mosquitoes. Socks should also be worn at night as ankles are a favourite spot for insect bites!
It is also worth noting that if you are travelling by light aircraft you should carry no more than 10-15kg of luggage in a soft bag for ease of packing.
The unit of currency is the metical (MT, plural meticais). Coins are generally not used at all. US$ can be exchanged at banks or Bureaux de Change, as can Euro and pounds sterling. Traveller’s cheques can also be changed in banks and most upmarket lodges accept credit cards, mainly Visa or Mastercard, although this should be checked before arrival.
You can purchase a single entry border visa at major border crossings and international airports (valid for 30 days, non-renewable). New visa fees came into effect from 24 December 2010. The border visa now costs 2085 Meticais (also payable in US Dollars or South African Rand). Ensure you have sufficient cash as credit cards are not accepted.
Some travellers have reported problems with this service (visas unavailable or taking a long time to be issued) and it is subject to change, often with no notice. Apply for a visa at your nearest Mozambican Embassy or High Commission, where all types of visa are available, prior to your journey and well in advance of your planned visit.
Destination:Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana
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