Best time to visit Mozambique

Best time to visit Mozambique


Temperature & Rainfall

Leave the rains to fill those vast rivers, and keep the wetlands, well, wet, between October and March. Rainfall is heaviest on the coast during this season, although the inland mountainous regions can get rain all year round. Both seasons bring serious heat, topping 30°C in the dry season but rarely dipping below the high 20s all year. The shoulder season of September and October is a great time, as you will catch less rain, have fewer people around, but you will also catch the humpback whales which visit between July and October.

Things to do in Mozambique


WHAT TO DO IN MOZAMBIQUE, & WHAT NOT TO

Things to do
in Mozambique


Very popular with South African divers, Mozambique is flying up the wishlist for other international travellers. Vilankulos is the go-to place, and gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago, where coral reefs and clear waters allow dive sites with visibility up to as much as 40m. Plus you aren’t looking through the legs of thousands of other divers, unlike some other famous dive spots, especially if you head even further north or out to some of the uninhabited islands. Wherever you go, you have the joys of dolphins, humpback whales, whale sharks, leatherback turtles, manta and spotted eagle rays.
Traditional dhows, mostly used by Mozambique’s Tsonga people to fish and trade for generations, are now becoming more prolific along this country’s long and – when you see the photos, much longed for – coastline. With many fishermen now offering sailing trips, island hopping from one divine dune to another, this is not only slow travel at its most elegant. It is to dhow for.
Mozambique is also paddling paradise, and the Quirimbas National Park’s archipelago is the place to indulge in sumptuous sea kayaking. Paddling out to uninhabited islands, camping overnight, exploring mangrove forests one day, eating seafood you have caught off a palm-fringed beach the next.

Things not to do
in Mozambique


Don’t think of Mozambique as simply an extension of South Africa. Mozambique has its own identity and, with so many islands, it has a laid back feel. Still very undeveloped, tarmac roads are few and far between except for the main one that follows the coast in and out of Maputo, the capital.
Mozambique has suffered from serious poverty since independence. Partly due to civil war, but also because the majority of people work in subsistence agriculture, even though only 7 percent of Mozambique’s land is arable. Diversification into tourism is at a delicate stage, so travel responsibly, spend money locally and let your hosts feel empowered by tourism rather than exploited.
Some of the coastal areas are cottoning on to the income potential of jet skiing, quad biking and bringing 4x4s onto the pristine beaches. Few are allowed by law, but rarely is it policed. So, please stay clear of such activities, and explain to your guide that not all tourists want to see their land and seascapes marred by such activities.
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Mozambique travel advice


TIPS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN MOZAMBIQUE

Cultural tips


Dirk Reiche from our Mozambique specialist operator Sunway Safaris:
“When visiting Mozambique for the first time be patient. Not a lot of the locals speak English and unless you speak some Portuguese you might have trouble communicating. Everything is on a go slow in Mozambique and you need to fit in.”

Money & visa tips


Sarah Ahern, from our supplier Exodus, shares her Mozambique travel advice:
“South African Rand are accepted in many areas of Mozambique – it is best to bring a mixture of South African rand, US dollars, and local currency.”
Laurenne Mansbridge at our supplier, Pioneer Expeditions:
“The official currency for Mozambique is Meticais, however the US dollar is widely accepted. So as long as you bring some small denomination notes you can get by without Meticais. Officially you can get a visa on arrival at most ports in Mozambique – however, we do not advise it. There have been a few cases where this has been denied so we now recommend you get this before you arrive.”

Packing tips


Sarah Ahern from our supplier Exodus:
“For any of the water based activities, a rash vest and board shorts are the most comfortable options. Also, Mozambique is a high risk malarial area: anti-malarials are strongly recommended.”

Itinerary tips


Laurenne Mansbridge from Pioneer Expeditions:
“The capital Maputo is surprisingly chilled and elegant (unlike the majority of Africa’s capitals) so is definitely worth a visit.”
Dirk Reiche from our Mozambique specialist operator Sunway Safaris:
“If you are a keen fisherman contact a fishing charter company before you head to this beautiful country and try your hand at landing some really amazing game fish. Try the local restaurants on the coast as they have a great Portuguese style of cooking and when it comes to fresh fish this is a must.”
Photo credits: [Ilha de Inhaca: Paulo Miranda] [Mahelane: Meraj Chhaya] [Sharing a meal: TimCowley ] [Bilene swimming: Meraj Chhaya] [Fishing: Stig Nygaard]
Written by Catherine Mack
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