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By No owner — last modified Oct 30, 2017 10:04 AM

 Mozambique - Profile

Facts

  • The People's Republic of Mozambique is located on the southeast coast of Africa. It is bound by Swaziland to the south, South Africa to the southwest, Zimbabwe to the west, Zambia and Malawi to the northwest, Tanzania to the north and the Indian Ocean to the east. Mozambique lies between latitudes 10° and 27°S, and longitudes 30° and 41°E.
  • The total population of Mozambique is 29 Million composed overwhelmingly of Bantu people. The  official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, which is spoken mostly as a second language by about half the population. The other languages spoken are Swahili, Makhuwa, Sena, Ndau and Tsonga.
  • The currency is the Mozambican metical. For details see General Info.
  • Mozambique observes Central Africa Time all year. For specifics see General Info.
  • The climate is tropical, with a hot and rainy season from November to March, and a dry season from May to October, during which there is a cooler period from mid-May to mid-August. See Weather section below for more details.
  • The long Indian Ocean coastline is dotted with popular beaches, as well as offshore marine parks. and a 250km stretch of coral islands. The main cruising attractions of Mozambique are around Maputo and the island of Bazaruto which is a marine reserve. For full details see the Bazaruto Profile.
  • The corruption and mis-management in Mozambique since independence and freedom from colonial rule has escalated exponentially and unless you experience an emergency, it is recommended to choose carefully where you stop here. Although some places have had favourable reports from cruising boats they are the exception (Ilha de Mozambique being one). Most ports have been privatised giving the locals a license to do as they please more efficiently. For more details on yachting services see Yachting Essentials
  • Stopovers without clearing in are generally tolerated by the authorities who accept this as long as you are just sheltering from the weather. However, it's better to choose an anchorage removed from the authorities such as Bazaruto, Inhambane /Ponta Barra & Inhaca Island.

Security

It is advisable to read current travel advice from a state source such as the U.K's FCO website.

Overall Crime and Safety

Most visits to Mozambique are trouble-free, but street crime, sometimes involving knives and firearms, is common in Maputo and increasing in other cities and tourist destinations. There are some areas in cities which are more dangerous; seek local advice.

Specific areas of concern:

Regional districts: The districts of Palma, Mocimboa de Pria and Macomia in Cabo province should only be visited if it is essential to do so because of attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism. In addition there may be tensions in the Zambezia, Manica and Teta provinces.

Road Safety: Traffic accidents are common due primarily to the condition of the roads, poor driving and vehicle standards. 
Caution is advised if travelling inland as the presence of landmines laid during the war is a continuing hazard in spite of de-mining efforts.

Documentation: Certified copies of passports and other relevant documents should be carried at all times and in preference to the originals.

Criminal Activity: Street crime, sometimes involving knives and firearms, is common in Maputo and is increasing in other cities and tourist destinations. Bag-snatching, pick-pocketing and car-jacking are also problems.

Kidnapping: There have been reports of kidnappings, mainly in Maputo, and whilst most victims have been Mozambicans, foreigners have also been targeted.

Maritime issues:

Remain vigilant on beaches or offshore islands as they are not policed.

Lock up your valuables, in particular, your dinghy, outboard and loose items on deck.

Reported Incidents:

Bazaruto, 2016 : Outboard engine stolen from dinghy at night. The dinghy had been hauled up the side of the yacht which was art anchor.

General Emergency Numbers:

See General Info for more details.

Last updated:  December 2018

Weather

The climate is tropical and mostly hot and humid. The country is plagued by irregular rainfall, the rainy season being from November to March. The prevailing winds are SE to SW. Much of the coast is under the influence of sea breezes with stronger onshore winds in the afternoons. In the northern part of the coast, the SE trade winds blow during the winter months, February to June, while NE winds prevail in summer, from July to January.

Mozambique Weather Forecast

Cape Town Radio (SSB) on 4375 8740 13146Mhz USB at 1015 1330 1815 utc daily for forecasts and reports. Gives you barometer pressure and wind speed around the entire SA coast line.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 30, 2017 10:04 AM

Reported by Des Cason:
I have been involved in weather f/casting and route planning for yachts coming to SA via Madagascar/Reunion/Mauritius and so far have had 22 either safe in Richards bay or still en route, in addition the 15 ARC yachts en route from Reunion.

Having learnt from bitter experience to stay out of Mozambique I have consistently warned yachties about the corruption and crime with the recommendation to stay away. During the past 5-7 years the port operations were privatised which one would assume would be a good thing, but this just brought into play a more efficient ”mafia” to extort exorbitant fees etc. from defenceless yachties. Threats of attaching/impounding yachts and confiscation of passports were favorites.

The bright spot to this is a report received from SV PARMELIA (Italian registry) following a visit to Ilha D’Mozambique (14 59S 40 46E). He was advised that due to the negative effect corruption has had on tourism, the central government has clamped down with draconian measures and all of a sudden it is all happiness. The fees he was charged were reasonable and he had no hassle with officials who could not be more accommodating and helpful.

Whether this is a local anomaly or a sign of what we can expect at other ports (especially needed at Nacala which is a den of iniquity) we don’t know yet, but it is a bit of positive news out of Africa for a change. I will keep you posted on developments.

Regards,
Des

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