Mozambique travel advice
The Niassa Game Reserve and Quirimba and Bazaruto archipelagos are remote, but knowing them well we can arrange access with ease.
We will fly you from Johannesburg or Dar es Salaam to small airstrips, where we will either have charter aircraft to fly you to the reserve or small motorboats waiting to take you to the islands.
On the two archipelagos we have chosen lodges with pristine locations, friendly staff and outstanding food, while there is only one small lodge in the reserve.
The islands are perfect for a few days of relaxation after a safari in Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia or Zambia, or for a complete get-away-from-it-all break.
The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, however this is only spoken by about 25% of the population who have been to school. All of Mozambique's indigenous languages belong to the Bantu family. The root Bantu language is thought to have spread through eastern and southern Africa during the first half of the first millennium AD, since when it has diversified into many linguistic subfamilies and several hundred languages and related dialects.
Roughly 60 distinct languages and dialects are spoken in Mozambique. At all the lodges English is fluently spoken, although it never hurts to learn a few words of the local dialect.
Food and Drink
Along the coast the meals of choice are, naturally, seafood based. Choose from a variety of locally caught fish, calamari, crab and some of the finest lobster and prawns in the world.
Whatever the main ingredient of your meal, the likelihood is that it will be cooked using a spicy red-pepper sauce called piri-piri. If chicken is cooked in this way, it might be described as 'frango a calria': 'chicken, the African way'. Other traditional Mozambican dished to look out for include 'matapa', a clam and peanut stew made with pumpkin leaves, 'mu-kwane', a costal dish made from coconut mixed with the leaves of the cassava plant, and 'ncima' or 'posho', a maize porridge popular in the interior.
The Portuguese influence has also made its mark on Mozambican cuisine, and in the more upscale restaurants of major towns such as Maputo and Beira you will find dishes made with wines and Port. Hotels and restaurants that cater to overseas visitors will serve a very international fare. If you do have any dietary requirements please let your specialist know and we can arrange for the hotels to cater for your requirements.
Tipping is not compulsory but always enthusiastically received if you are happy with the service and would like to tip. We recommend that you tip your specialist guide direct at the end of your stay in camp; as a rough guideline you might tip US$5 per guest per day. It is also a nice gesture to give general camp/lodge staff tip's; we would recommend a tip of around US$3 per guest per day. This should be placed in the communal tipping box. With regards to tipping porters, here we recommend about US$1. Obviously this is very much a rough guide and you are completely free to give whatever you feel appropriate.
The currency of Mozambique is the metical. The current exchange rate is approximately £1 = 37,000MZM. You can buy Metical on arrival in Mozambique and it is useful for buying curious and items from local shops. All hotels & lodges accept and prefer payment in US dollars. Credit cards are usually accepted only at the more upmarket hotels.
Conservative casual wear is generally acceptable everywhere, but revealing clothes should be avoided since they may cause offence, particularly in towns and villages. Do not take pictures of people without asking permission. It is fine to wear swimsuits on the beaches near the lodges, however if you are walking into fishing villages please ensure you cover up. Note that in Swahili towns and villages in northern Mozambique you should always cover your knees and shoulders.
Our country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.
When to go to Mozambique
You'll find temperature and rainfall information, together with a month-by-month guide on visiting, on our guide for when to go to Mozambique.