Mozambique, located in Eastern Africa, south of Tanzania is getting a much smaller share of visitors than their East African neighbors.
Mozambique has recently been ensnared in a debt crisis and the long-overvalued currency has come down in value compared to the dollar and euro. It’s now more affordable (but still not a cheap place to travel).
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Visa for Mozambique
TIMATIC (the database airlines use to determine entry requirements for a country) points out that most European & US citizens can get a visa on arrival for $66 at the Maputo airport.
However the US embassy in Maputo warns against arrival without a visa – unless you come off a flight that comes from a country without a Mozambique consulate.
The website of the US embassy in Washington D.C. is not maintained so it is rough to find out how much a visa will cost.
In all my travels in Africa I have NEVER been checked for a visa when boarding a plane. No airline has asked for a visa (incl. British Airways to Lagos, Nigeria isn’t an easy country to get a visa ever). It seems when traveling through a land border and from South Africa you will most likely asked for a visa (and it is easy to get in Malawi and South Africa apparently). If you arrive from Doha or Addis Abeba – you will most likely have no issues.
How to get to Mozambique
Maputo International Airport has recently been able to draw in more airlines than decrepit LAM Mozambique Airlines or about-to-bankrupt South African Airways.
Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Mauritius, Turkish Airlines and TAP Portugal are all solid airlines that can get you there safely.
The trouble is that Mozambiques best beach destinations are near Vilanculos and it is only served by LAM and Airlink (a South African Airways subsidiary). There is usually no award availability on this Airlink flight – ever!
Safety in Mozambique
I haven’t been to Mozambique but travelers describe crime as to be less violent compared to South Africa. There seems to be a good amount of opportunity crime and the ‘usual African precautions‘ should be taken.
What is a suggested Mozambique itinerary?
Maputo has a decent amount of sights to keep you busy and you can indulge in some Piri-Piri for a few days.
Decent 4-5 star hotels (not the town’s two major chain hotels though) can be had for under $100 almost every day now.
Vilanculos & Bazaruto Archipelago
Mozambique’s sea life is off the beaches around Vilankulos and around the sandy peninsula of Bazaruto.
Since it takes time (and money) to get out to Vilankulos it’s likely not something you can do in under a week – roundtrip.
Ilha de Mozambique
Ilha de Mozambique is Mozambique’s version of Stonetown, Zanzibar. It’s just so much less touristy. I’m psyched.
Cahora Bassa Dam
The Cahora Bassa Dam does look like the Hoover Dam a little, no? It is certainly off off-the-beaten path and requires a big trip overland – it is located in a sparsely populated area towards the Malawi border.
Readers – have you been to Mozambique? What was your experience?