Mozambique Driving Guide
Mozambique is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit
With its stunning coasts and gorgeous wildlife, Mozambique is one of the best places to explore in southeast Africa. However, relatively lesser tourists visit, and many of its top places aren’t as well-known as other attractions in the rest of the continent. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t stop visitors from visiting as the place is deeply rich in culture and history.
So for curious travelers who want to discover one of Africa’s hidden gems and experience the unique blend of African and Portuguese culture, don’t hesitate in visiting the vast and relatively undiscovered lands of Mozambique.
How Can This Guide Help You?
Traveling in Mozambique won’t be easy for everyone, so if you want to have a smooth trip in the country, you need to know all about the rules you must observe, especially when it comes to driving. Driving abroad is certainly a challenge, especially if it’s your first time. So make sure to read this Mozambique driving advice or guide thoroughly to read about all the must-haves you’d need and all the rules to follow for a bumpless journey in Mozambique.
Measuring an estimated 800,000 sq. km., with a population of 31 million, Mozambique is a Southeastern African country known for its coastal areas. With its friendly locals and unique blend of culture, tourists from all over the world are bound to visit this gorgeous country. Before paying a visit, make sure to brush up on your facts and know a bit about Mozambique first.
Formerly known as Portuguese East Africa, Mozambique is a southeastern African country that borders Eswatini, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It has a long coastline fronting the Mozambique Channel, a channel of the Western Indian Ocean, which separates Mozambique on mainland Africa on the west from Madagascar on the east.
This feature allowed Mozambique to have some of the best natural harbors in Africa, as well as gorgeous white sand beaches that have become tourist attractions and draw many visitors to the country each year.
The official language spoken in Mozambique is Portuguese. However, roughly 50% of the population only speaks the language, particularly those living in urban areas and are well-educated.
Additionally, there are approximately 40 other languages spoken in the country, most of which are Bantu languages. Examples of these include Changana, Chwabo, Makhuwa, Ndau, Nyanja, Sena, and Tswa. Many native dialects also have loanwords of Portuguese origin.
Lastly, those who are part of the deaf community use Mozambique Sign Language, which is not found in Portuguese or American Sign Language. Furthermore, its origin has not yet been identified.
Mozambique’s total land area is around 799,380 sq. km., making it almost the same size as Turkey. In addition to this, Mozambique is rich in different minerals like coal, aluminum, titanium, and other various deposits, allowing the country to play a major role in the mineral industry globally.
The early settlements in Mozambique dated hundreds of years ago when the Bantu migrated to the area. The people were generally grouped into small chiefdoms according to lineages, and by 1505, Mozambique was colonized by Portugal. Five years later, all the former Arab sultanates found on the East African coast have also been colonized by the Portuguese and experienced a highly oppressive rule.
In the early 1960s, resistance against the Portuguese started to arise, and a ceasefire was signed in September 1974, finally ending the Portuguese regime of 470 years. On June 25, 1975, Mozambique finally became independent with Samora Moises Machel, the head of the National Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) as the first president.
Mozambique has a population of around 31.3 million and a democratic republic with a unicameral parliament. Its constitution became effective within June 25-25 of 1975. During the first few years, the President, who was also the chief of state, was the president of FRELIMO, as it was the sole legal party then. By 1986, the constitution was once again revised, and the position of the Prime Minister was created.
On November 30, 1990, the government formed a multi-party system, and the country’s name, the People’s Republic, was changed into the Republic of Mozambique. Under the revised constitution, it was stated that the president-elect will have a five-year term and can only be re-elected consecutively twice. Its top legislative body, the People’s Assembly, was also renamed the Assembly of the Republic, which has 250 deputies that serve for five years.
Compared to other southeastern countries in Africa except for Malawi, Mozambique has relatively fewer tourists each year. Nonetheless, the number is gradually growing, and in 2019, there were roughly two million arrivals recorded in the country.
Travelers who flock to Mozambique not only experience the country’s culture and traditions but are also in awe of the nation’s beaches, reserves, and national parks. So if you’re visiting Mozambique, make sure to immerse yourself in all aspects of the country.
Since the best way to travel in Mozambique is by car, you’d first need to bring some essentials before you can drive in the country. One of the things you need to carry to go driving on Mozambique’s road network is an International Driver's Permit or simply an IDP, a supplemental document to your license. So to avoid conflicts or misunderstandings, here is what you need to know about International Driver's Permits in Mozambique.
How Do You Get an IDP for Mozambique?
Most travelers typically get their International Driver's Permits (also called international driver’s licenses) from organizations that issue IDPs in their home country. However, you can get yours from us, the International Driver’s Association (IDA) as well. IDA issues IDPs accepted in 165 countries and translated into 12 languages.
Suppose you lose your IDP. Since you ordered one online from IDA, you can also request a replacement from customer service. Provide your name and IDP number, then pay the shipping fees to get your new IDP and resume driving in Mozambique. Your zip code or postal code must also be added to your address if you want to receive your replacement quickly.
Lastly, don’t mistake an IDP as a driver’s license. Foreigners still need their driving licence to drive in Mozambique, and an IDP is not an official document that allows you to drive. If you don’t have a license, you will be fined and suspended from driving. So if you’re driving in Mozambique, your vehicle requirements are your essentials for traveling in the country by car, and you must never lose them or leave them behind.
Can I Apply for an IDP for Mozambique Online?
Nowadays, many people process numerous documents online because it’s easier and more convenient. By applying for an IDP from us, not only are you ordering an IDP online, but you’re also saving time and effort instead of going to the nearest agency that issues IDPs in your area.
In order to receive your IDP so you can start driving in Mozambique, your zip codes must be found in your address as well. This is because you’re applying for an IDP online, and you want to ensure that your IDP gets shipped quickly.
How Much Does an IDP for Mozambique Cost?
Do you plan on ordering an International Driver's Permit? If you do, make sure to get yours from the us. We offer different bundles with various validities customers can choose from. Of course, this comes at different costs, so before you obtain your IDP, check out the different fees that can be found on the pricing page.
Renting a Car in Mozambique
Before you can enjoy road-tripping overseas, you also have to worry about the vehicle you’d use. In Mozambique, the best and safest way to get around is by car. And if you’re not driving into Mozambique from South Africa or if you’re flying into the country by plane, you’d most probably need a vehicle. So for a smooth and enjoyable trip, here’s what you need to know about rental cars in Mozambique.
Car Rental Companies
Driving through Mozambique is the best way to see the country. And choosing a good rental car company is key to having the ideal road trip experience. So although it might be pricey, it’s best to consider reputable and well-known companies, which include:
- keddy by Europcar
These rental car agencies allow their customers to book online or right after they’ve landed. You can even see some of these companies at the airport, so if you’re willing to spend a little extra, you can opt to rent a vehicle at the airport following your arrival in Mozambique.
Are you having a hard time booking a car? You can look for the best places to rent a car online, but note that some of these places are typically popular destinations like Maputo, Vilanculos, and Pemba.
Before you start driving in Mozambique, the requirements you need to supply to your rental company include your passport, driver’s license, IDP, and valid credit or debit card. Prior to booking a car or picking up your rental vehicle, these requirements must first be provided because if you fail to comply, you won’t be able to successfully rent a car.
Your IDP will be particularly handy if your license is not issued in English or doesn’t have any characters of the Roman alphabet. So if you don’t have an International Driver's Permit yet, you may get yours from the International Driver’s Association.
Some of the most popular rental cars in Mozambique are economy cars and minis. Before renting a car, always consider the vehicle’s models and its type if it best suits your planned activities during your stay in the country.
Ensure that your passengers and luggage would fit and that your car is appropriate for the travels and types of activities you’ll be doing. If you’re driving to the rougher areas of the country, 4x4s are recommended. Other vehicles you can also rent are vans, SUVs, and compact cars.
Car Rental Cost
There is usually no fixed price for a rental car, as the costs tend to fluctuate, especially during peak season. Additionally, you’re bound to spend more if you’re purchasing other accessories like GPS devices and child car seats. Nonetheless, these are the average rental car costs:
- Economy - $43 per day
- Compact - $65 per day
- Full-size - $207 per day
- Full-size SUV - $206 per day
- Mini - $51 per day
- Passenger van - $107 per day
- Premium SUV - $154 per day
- Compact SUV - $84 per day
- Standard SUV - $86 per day
- Intermediate SUV - $120 per day
- Luxury SUV - $155 per day
Don’t forget that you’ll be having additional expenses if you rent a car from the airport or have different pick-up and drop-off locations (this is called a one-way car hire or rental). Furthermore, if you don’t have enough driving experience, you will have to pay a Young Driver fee, causing you to shell out more money.
The minimum driving age in Mozambique is 18 years old. However, rental car companies require their customers to be at least 23 years old. Do note this may differ among rental agencies. Nonetheless, drivers are required to have driving experience, so if you’re below 25 or 26 years old, you must pay a Young Driver fee or surcharge.
Suppose you don’t have a vehicle in Mozambique, and you resort to renting a car. You must be prepared to pay this fee, especially if you don’t have enough driving experience. Make sure to include this in your budget, as this is mandatory in most rental car companies.
Car Insurance Cost
You can typically purchase car insurance from rental car companies. However, these costs may differ among companies and according to the insurance you’re purchasing. For example, Collision Damage Waiver may range from $20 to $30 per day, depending on the agency. So be sure to discuss this with the rental company, so you’d have an idea of how much you’ll be spending.
Collision Damage Waiver may range from $20 to $30 per day, depending on the agency. So be sure to discuss this with the rental company, so you’d have a good idea of how much you’ll be spending.
Car Insurance Policy
Rental car insurance is one of the must-haves if you’re driving abroad, particularly in countries with certain travel advisories. If you’re driving in Mozambique, it’s crucial to consider buying car insurance. But you must also be aware of what you're buying in case your travel insurance has covered it already. Some of the insurances you can purchase from rental car agencies or separate insurance companies are the following:
- Collision Damage Waiver
- Theft Waiver
- Third-party insurance
- Natural Disaster
- Personal Accident Insurance
Road Rules in Mozambique
Every country has road rules that all drivers must follow. If you’re traveling to Mozambique, it’s important to heed these drive rules to avoid violations and other complications. Here are some of the most important and relevant traffic regulations in Mozambique that every foreign driver must be aware of.
Do you plan to drive abroad? Particularly in Mozambique? If you do, note that the country has a set of important regulations to follow. Not only will it keep you safe, but it allows you to avoid all possibilities of bumps and complications during your trip. So if you want to fully enjoy your road trip to Mozambique, don’t forget to read this guide.
Mozambique’s drunk-driving laws are quite strict. The accepted Blood Alcohol Content for drivers is 0.06%. Additionally, passengers also aren’t allowed to consume alcohol while the vehicle is running, and all liquor must be sealed and stored properly (at the back seat or trunk if possible). Although this may seem sterner than other countries, this is just to ensure the safety of the people on the road. Note that if anyone is caught breaking this rule, they will be fined.
Be Prepared and Fully Equipped Before Driving
Before traveling in or driving to Mozambique, there are some requirements motorists must secure to have a smooth trip. Besides being in good condition, the car must be carrying the following vehicle requirements:
- Two reflective triangles
- Two reflective vest
- Two yellow triangle stickers
- A fire extinguisher kept on the floor at the back; must be within the driver’s reach
- Black and white sticker indicating the vehicle’s country of registration (if you’re centering Mozambique from another African country)
Drivers should also have their passport, driver’s license, IDP, car registration, and third-party insurance. Also, don’t forget to stay alert and have good road sense, since driving in Mozambique might be a challenge for first-timers. Furthermore, if you think you might get lost, bringing a GPS or a map while driving in Mozambique can be quite helpful. But don’t hesitate to approach locals if you’re already having a difficult time navigating the roads.
Before you leave your car, always remember to park it in a designated parking area. On paved roads, vehicles must only be parked in demarcated areas. If you see locals parking their cars on paved roads, this is not an invitation for you to follow them as you are a foreigner rules will be more strict for you.
If you’re on unpaved roads in rural areas, make sure to still be careful and cautious in parking your vehicle. Rural roads tend to be more narrow, so parking by the road may lead to traffic congestion. Additionally, there’s a possibility of your car getting damaged by vehicles driving by.
Once you’ve parked in an appropriate area, be sure to carry all your documents and other important belongings like money, gadgets, or even jewelry. This is to reduce the risk of having your items stolen since car theft is not uncommon.
Before you set off on your road trip, do know that Mozambique has a set of general standards for motorists. And some of these standards may be quite similar to other Southern African countries as well, especially those part of the SADC. So if you’re driving into Mozambique from South Africa, for example, you might notice some striking similarities in the road regulations.
Also, be careful when choosing the type of transmission of your vehicle. Always take into consideration if you’ll be driving on rugged terrains or merely in busy cities. If you’re not used to driving on the left side, and you’ll be staying in cities with insane traffic like Maputo, it’s best to rent an automatic car. However, if you have off-roading activities planned, renting a manual car would be best.
Speeding is not only illegal, but it may cause accidents as well. In order to avoid car crashes and other road mishaps, motorists must follow speed limits at all times. Speed limits keep the roads safe by letting drivers operate at uniform speeds, further reducing the possibility of vehicular collisions. These are the most important speed limits that drivers must follow:
- Urban areas - 60 KpH
- Rural areas - 80 KpH
- Highways - 120 KpH
Remember that violating speed limits may lead to paying fines. So to stay within the budget and avoid road accidents, make sure you’re following speed limits and all the other implemented road rules and regulations in Mozambique.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, seatbelts reduce major injuries and fatalities sustained in car accidents by nearly half. In Mozambique, both passengers and drivers must wear seat belts, especially since vehicular accidents are a rising problem in the country. Those who are caught not wearing their seatbelts, will be pulled over and fined by traffic enforcers.
Roundabouts can be quite intimidating, especially if you’re in a country that has a different driving side from what you’re used to. Most countries have right-hand traffic; however, Mozambique has the opposite. This would make it slightly confusing for motorists approaching a roundabout.
Before entering a roundabout, always remember that you must give way to vehicles inside. Additionally, don’t forget that it’s prohibited to stop or park at its central plazas with circular vehicle movement.
Lastly, if you plan to overtake, remember that the maneuver must be performed on the right since the driving side in Mozambique is on the left. Overtaking must only be done when safety for all road users is ensured, so if you’re not yet confident with driving on the left, it’s best not to attempt overtaking vehicles in the meantime.
Traffic Road Signs
Most member states of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) share similar road signs. These members signed the SADC-RTSM, a document that unifies many road rules, particularly traffic signs, in Southern African nations. So if you’re driving to Mozambique from Johannesburg, South Africa, don’t be surprised if you see some similarities in traffic signs.
Some of the basic signs SADC member countries share are as follows:
- Regulatory Signs
- Regulatory signs typically control or restrict the actions of drivers. Other signs under regulatory signs include the following:
- Control Signs
- Command Signs
- Prohibition Signs
- Reservation Signs
- Comprehensive Signs
- Secondary Message Signs
- De-Restriction Signs
- Warning Signs
- Warning signs indicate hazardous circumstances on the road. These signs are classified as:
- Advance Warning Signs
- Hazard Marker Signs
- Guidance Signs
- Guidance signs, previously classified as information signs, direct or guide motorists. These signs are further divided into:
- Location Signs
- Route Marker and Trailblazer Signs
- Direction Signs
- Freeway Direction Signs
- Tourism Signs
- Diagrammatic Signs
- Pedestrian Signs
- Information Signs
- Information signs are signs that don’t include directions or navigations
Additionally, road signs are either permanent or temporary. Permanent road signs usually indicate normal conditions and are used constantly. On the other hand, temporary signs are used to indicate a change in normal circumstances. This change may occur for a certain period, and temporary signs will only be applicable until then.
Right of Way
If road rules are unclear, this can lead to misunderstandings and possible confrontations among drivers. That’s why it’s also important to know the right of way if you’re driving abroad. In Mozambique, don’t forget that drivers must yield to the military. And that vehicles traveling on rails have the right of way at intersections, junctions, and roundabouts.
Legal Driving Age
The legal driving age depends on the type of driving licence you’re obtaining in Mozambique. However, for light vehicles, the legal driving age is 18 years. Note that you must typically be between 21 and 23 years old if you’re renting a car in the country. This minimum age requirement may differ among rental car companies, and a Young Driver surcharge will apply if you are below 25 years old or if you don't have enough driving experience.
Laws on Overtaking
Overtaking occurs when a vehicle from behind attempts to drive past the car in front of it. Furthermore, the maneuver takes place when both vehicles are on the same lane. Since the driving side in Mozambique is on the left, this means overtaking should be on the right. Here are a few rules foreign drivers must keep in mind when attempting to overtake a car ahead of them:
- A driver cannot overtake if the vehicle in front has signaled its intention to overtake the vehicle ahead of it
- A driver must not drive on the right side of a vehicle they plan to overtake without signaling their intention
- They should also ensure that turning to the left-hand side will not result in any accident
- Prior to turning left, they must signal again
As mentioned, overtaking is commonly done on the right. However, these rules permit motorists to overtake on the left:
- Drivers can overtake vehicles on rails if said vehicles are not occupying the left side of the carriageway and are not stopped to load or unload passengers
- Drivers may overtake vehicles or animals if the driver has signaled their intention to change direction to the right
- The far left of the carriageway must also be left free
Motorists must also remember that overtaking is prohibited on:
- Road slopes
- Bends with little visibility
- Level crossings
- Intersections and junctions
- Pedestrian crossings
- Stopping areas
- Narrow roads and other danger zones
The driving side in Mozambique is on the left. Mozambique observed many similar rules and characteristics as a Portuguese colony, one of them being a right-hand drive. However, in 1928, the Portuguese shifted to a left-hand drive, and most of its territories soon followed.
Meanwhile, Mozambique retained its left-hand traffic due to its neighboring countries driving on the left as well. For instance, you’re driving to Mozambique from Durban, South Africa. Traveling between these nations means that you won’t be changing driving sides at all. And this is helpful since you won’t have to adjust to a different driving side if you’re visiting a neighboring country.
The majority of the world drives in the right, so if you’re not used to driving on the left, here are some tips, so you can adjust quickly:
- Rent an automatic transmission
- Make sure to familiarize yourself with your car
- Take it easy and be careful— if you’re an aggressive driver, it’s best not to be one on the roads of Mozambique
- Don’t be in a rush— take your time while driving
- Avoid distractions and stay alert— if you have passengers, allow them to read the maps, use the radio, check road signs, or watch over the little kids
- Be careful before entering roundabouts since they may confuse you
- Be careful of pedestrians
- Take a breather whenever you encounter stop signs and red lights
- Learn from your mistakes— you’re bound to commit mistakes if you’ve never driven on the left side of the road; but if you do so, make sure to learn from them
Driving Etiquettes in Mozambique
Due to Mozambique’s roads, it’s expected that first-time or foreign drivers would experience some bumps along the way. That’s why it’s important to know what to do in case of road emergencies, whether they may be minor or major. So whether it be encountering car troubles or police, here are the things every driver must do when thrust into that situation.
Car troubles can be a huge nuisance in the middle of a trip, especially if you don’t know how to deal with them. According to the Road Traffic Code in Mozambique, here are the things drivers must remember in case of car troubles:
- Immediately park the car or remove it from the carriageway
- If the vehicle cannot be removed or properly parked, make sure to warn other oncoming drivers by the use of warning signals
- Car repairs on the road are prohibited
- People not involved in the parking, signaling, or repair of the vehicle are not allowed to stay on the carriageway
Note that the violation of the mentioned provisions may lead to fines. Additionally, always inform people of your plans and make sure to save contact numbers of roadside assistance just to be safe. Some important hotline numbers in Mozambique are:
- Police - 119
- Ambulance - 117
- Fire brigade - 998/999
*The emergency numbers in Mozambique don’t often work, so it’s best to inquire about emergency hotlines and other related issues to your accommodation or even personnel from airports
Please also remember in case you encounter a breakdown at night, keep your car doors locked and call for assistance instead of assessing it yourself.
You might see or encounter police as you’re driving in Mozambique’s provinces or cities. And if you don’t have basic knowledge about Mozambican police, you might end up attracting some corrupt officers who will get away with their scheme. Remember never to accept bribes, and if you think they’re harassing you, you may record a video of them (except the military).
Note that different police have different uniforms, so you must be aware of which police are allowed to fine you or not. Also, they must show identification if you ask for it. Here are some color-coded uniforms you should look out for:
- Blue trousers and white shirts - Traffic enforcers; allowed to fine you
- Dark blue trousers and light blue shirts - Police; not allowed to fine you if you break road rules, but they can take you to police stations if you committed other crimes
- Dark green - Rapid intervention police; also serve as riot police and are very aggressive
- Green trousers and light green shirts with red armbands - Taxi police; only allowed to check taxis and other modes of public transport
- Blue trousers and light blue shirt - Alfândega or Customs; may search vehicles for undeclared goods
- Camouflage- Military; permitted to search vehicles at roadblocks or border points
Foreigners are more likely to attract police than locals, especially if you’re driving to Mozambique from South Africa. So make sure you have all your necessary documents like your passport, driver’s license, IDP, car registration papers, and third-party insurance. For travelers coming from other African countries, your car registration papers are very important. Note that if the vehicle you’re driving is not yours, you must have some type of authorization letter.
Visiting Mozambique is a fantastic experience, as you get to immerse yourself in Mozambican culture, explore the country’s hidden gems, and befriend eager locals. However, suppose you’re going outside major cities. In that case, you might have difficulty communicating with the locals unless they work in the tourism industry, so you can always opt to use a map if you’re driving in Mozambique.
But do know that Mozambicans are generally hospitable and friendly people, so you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable asking help from them, especially maps don’t seem to do the job anymore. Before approaching locals, be sure to greet them and ask them about their well-being first. You can even shake their hand or give them a nod. Don’t forget that greeting people is customary in the country, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t know one another.
Lastly, note that only half of the total population can speak Portuguese. Nevertheless, it is their official language, and that's why it's important to learn some basic phrases, especially if you need locals’ help. Here are some Portuguese words and phrases that might come in handy during your stay in Mozambique:
- Hola - Hello
- Até logo - Goodbye
- Bom dia - Good morning
- Boa tarde - Good afternoon
- Boa noite - Good evening
- Obrigado - Thank you
- Como esta? - How are you?
- Quanto custa? - How much does it cost?
- Eu estou perdido - I am lost
- Não falo bem português - I can't speak Portuguese well
- Preciso da sua (tua) ajuda - I need your help
- Estou perdido(a) - I'm lost
- Como chego ao (à) … ? - How do I get to … ?
- Você pode me mostrar no mapa? - Can you show me on the map?
- Vire à esquerd - Turn left
- Vire à direita - Turn right
- Em frente - Straight ahead
Driving to Mozambique has many requirements. If you encounter a checkpoint, make sure that you’re carrying all the vehicle requirements like a reflective triangle, fire extinguisher, reflective vest, and other necessary items. However, besides those at border crossings, you can also find many checkpoints throughout the country.
Since Mozambican officials are strict, be sure to have your passport, driver’s license, IDP, third party insurance, and car registration, and other related papers. Mozambique is very particular with third-party insurance and car documents, so don’t forget to have them with you at all times.
Accidents are no doubt terrifying, especially if you get into one abroad. And since driving in Mozambique’s roads aren’t the safest, vehicular collisions aren’t uncommon. So if you want to be prepared and know how to act in the case of traffic accidents, be sure not to skip this guide.
In Case of Accidents
One of the things travelers fear when going abroad is getting into accidents, and it’s quite understandable since they’re in a foreign place. Before you get behind the wheel in Mozambique, it’s important to know the other basic things to do if you get into an accident.
According to Mozambique’s Road Traffic Code, motorists who find themselves involved in an accident have similar protocols with those who experience car breakdowns. And they are as follows:
- The driver must park their car or pull it over to the side of the road
- Given that the vehicle cannot be parked or removed properly, the driver shall use warning signals to warn other motorists about their current situation
- Other passengers uninvolved in signaling or vehicle removal must stay off of the carriageway
- The driver must provide their identification, as well as the identification of their vehicle’s owner and insurer, to all other parties involved
- If there are deaths on the scene, the driver must wait until the police arrive
Once again, don’t forget that anyone who violates the provisions above will be punished accordingly. Always keep these regulations in mind, so you’ll know how to act in case of accidents.
Driving Conditions in Mozambique
As a traveler, it’s crucial to know about the road conditions of the country you plan to drive in, especially if it’s your first time driving there. To know what you’ll be facing, be sure to read this guide, so you’ll have a good idea of Mozambican roads, so you can also ensure a safe and smooth trip in the country.
In 2018, WHO published data that stated 3.75% of the total deaths in Mozambique were caused by traffic accidents. Although death by vehicular collisions is supposedly declining, it still isn’t small enough.
Drunk-driving and speeding remain to be some of the major concerns regarding road accidents. However, overcrowding and the lack of streetlights, sidewalks, guardrails, and traffic signs also greatly increase the chances of car crashes and other related road accidents.
Aside from cars and motorcycles, one of the vehicles you may encounter in Mozambique is buses. This public transport system usually connects major towns. However, since towns usually don’t have stations, busses depart from company garages or at the start of the road, which drivers would take to a specific destination. Note that smaller busses are called chapas, while large busses are called machibombo.
Another mode of transport is the train. The sole passenger train that tourists regularly use is the train that connects Nampula and Cuamba. Vendors are also spotted at the stations, but it’s still advised to bring extra food and drinks. Even if taking the train can be a bit uncomfortable, this is also one of the best ways to see the landscapes of Mozambique.
Mozambique has two toll plazas on the N4 Toll Route; these are the Maputo and Moamba Plazas. If you are driving to Mozambique from South Africa, you may encounter these toll roads, which have benefited both countries, as well as other Southern African nations in trade and industry.
Once again, different fees are applied to vehicles of different classes, and drivers can pay in cash, TRAC Mozambique E-tag, or a prepaid TRAC debit card which TRAC only issues. Lastly, note that you won’t have to pay any road tolls if you’re not traveling across Southern Africa.
Mozambique’s road situation poses a huge risk in the country, and driving is deemed challenging and dangerous. Major cities like Maputo have better roads than those in rural areas, as urban roads tend to be paved. However, the streets remain to be narrow, and people also crowd the area. Gasoline stations outside of Maputo are very few, so if you’re traveling to small towns, it’s best to bring extra fuel.
Many objects, such as streetlights, traffic signs, and guardrails that are supposed to provide guidance and safety to the road users, are deeply lacking. Also, the roads can get dangerous during the rainy season, as mud, puddles, and even flooding occur. Visibility can also get impaired during both dry and rainy seasons, making it especially unsafe for inexperienced drivers to travel.
If you plan to drive in Mozambique, beware of many locals can be quite inconsiderate drivers. Aside from overspeeding, many locals show little care to follow or know Mozambique road rules. Drivers tend to forget about the right of way, and motorcycles and three-wheeled vehicles tend to be a nuisance as they weave in and out of traffic. So make sure to uphold good road sense and always be alert and careful when driving in Mozambique.
Suppose you’re road tripping in Africa, and let’s say you’ve been driving to Mozambique from Johannesburg; you might notice some similarities with their road conditions. However, first-time travelers or those that have never been to southeastern Africa might not know about other important details regarding Mozambican roads. So here is some additional information about Mozambique’s road conditions to ensure your own safety in the country.
Are They Using Kph or Mph?
Like most of the world and all the SADC states, Mozambique uses Kph. So if you’re driving to Mozambique from Durban or just road tripping in South Africa in general, then the use of Kph won’t be a problem, as it is retained in all member countries, too.
Now, if you’re from a country that uses Mph, know that Kph will display relatively higher values in your speedometer. Typically, speed limit signs are put up in different areas, but if there aren’t any, make sure to drive according to the local conditions instead. Thus, if there’s low visibility in a certain area or if the streets are slippery due to rain, you should be driving at a low speed.
Is it Safe to Drive at Night?
Driving through Mozambique may be the safest way to get around the country, but definitely not at night. One of the road hazards in Mozambique is its lack of streetlights, which makes driving at night dangerous. Pedestrians can be found roaming the dark roads, and irresponsible drivers still attempt to overtake vehicles. So to avoid causing any accidents, make sure to avoid driving at night.
Things To Do in Mozambique
Mozambique has a certain charm that draws foreigners into the country, and whether you’re driving in Mozambique’s provinces or its cities, you’ll always be faced with something new and exciting. So it won’t be a surprise if you also decide to move to the country. From applying for residency to looking for driving jobs in Mozambique, here are different things you can do in the country as a visitor or even as a future resident.
Drive as a Tourist
If you are driving to Mozambique from South Africa, know that the road rules for foreigners would be much stricter, especially for those traveling by car from other Southern African nations. Drivers must always carry vehicle requirements that Mozambican officials specify. These are:
- Two reflective triangles
- Two reflective vests
- Fire extinguisher
- Towing sticker if your vehicle is used for towing
- Country code sticker
- Third-party insurance
- Remember that third party insurance is mandatory in Mozambique, and foreigners can acquire these at the border crossing points
Aside from the vehicle requirements, drivers should also bring all the necessary documents, such as:
- Passport and visa
- Driver’s license
- Foreigners are essentially permitted to drive in Mozambique for 90 days
- An IDP is required in Mozambique, particularly from nationals who are not from any of the SADC member states
- Car registration
- If you are traveling from South Africa or from other African countries with a car that isn’t yours, you must have an authorization letter that allows you to use the vehicle
- Car insurance
- Third-party insurance is a must in Mozambique, so even if you’re going to rent a car in the country, make sure to purchase third party insurance as well
Work as a Driver
Are you interested in driving jobs in Mozambique? If you think you've gotten used to the country’s roads, you can choose to make a living out of driving, and you can start looking for driving jobs in Mozambique.
If you don’t want to work as a personal driver or as a taxi driver, do know there are different positions you could choose from, ranging from delivery jobs to truck driving jobs in Mozambique. However, you are only allowed to work as a driver if you possess the appropriate license.
Also, don’t forget about the road rules and safety measures to be practiced. If you’re particularly interested in applying for occupations such as truck driving jobs in Mozambique, note that these jobs can be quite dangerous depending on the route you’d take. So make sure to be careful to avoid accidents and the chances of your license getting revoked.
Work as a Travel Guide
Although it has much lower tourism statistics compared to its neighboring countries, Mozambique still receives more travelers each year; thus, contributing to the nation’s booming tourism.
If you think you’re proficient in Mozambican history and culture and wish to work as a tour guide, note that most applicants are Mozambican nationals. It’s also uncommon for foreigners to be travel guides in the country. Furthermore, tourist guides must usually have a degree in tourism or the appropriate experience to land the job.
Apply for Residency
The number of foreigners relocating to Mozambique is gradually increasing, so if you’re one of them, note that you must first apply for a Documento de Identificação e Residência para Estrangeiros (DIRE). It’s renewed annually at the Immigration Office, usually not more than ten days beyond its expiration, and its renewal typically lasts about a month.
Prior to obtaining your DIRE, you will first need to compile some specific requirements to reside in Mozambique legally, and these are the following:
- Application letter
- An original and a photocopy of your passport
- A photocopy of your residence visa
- Three passport-sized photos
- Proof of means of financial support
- Police report
- Tax certificate of discharge
- Business permit or alvará if you have a business
- Other specific documents asked from the applicants
Other Things to Do
Do you finally plan to reside in Mozambique? If you do, you’ll need to obtain other essential documents like driver’s licenses or work permits and learn about the country’s work opportunities. The former being crucial if you’re also interested in driving jobs in Mozambique. Make sure not to skip this guide to know about the other things you can do in the country.
How Do I Apply for a Driving Licence in Mozambique?
Driving in Mozambique is a complete challenge. However, it’s also the safest and most efficient way to get around the country. If you plan to apply for a driving licence in Mozambique, note that you’ll have to take a few driving courses and schedule some exams at a local driving school.
Also, applying for a local license is one way to become a driver, given that you’re interested in some driving jobs in Mozambique. Finding a decent job in the country may be quite difficult, but if you want to work as a driver, your best option is to apply in major cities. If you think Maputo is not for you, you can also try applying for driving jobs in Tete, Mozambique instead.
If you’re applying to a driving school, remember that the written driving exam is in Portuguese, so it’s best to learn the language before taking the exam. However, if you are enrolling in Escola de Condução International (International Driving School) in Maputo, you can take the test in English. Other requirements you’d also need are your current driver’s license, a medical exam, and a criminal record.
How Much are Driving Licence Fees in Mozambique?
Are you finally excited about driving long-term or worrying about finding driving jobs in major cities like Tete, Beira, or even Maputo, Mozambique? Remember that you’d first have to obtain a license, and with a license comes fees. So how much are driving licence fees in Mozambique?
Note that in 2018, there was a hike in the prices of driving tests and driver’s licenses; currently, driving tests are already priced at 2,185 meticais, and driver’s licenses now cost 2,500 meticais.
How Do I Get a Work Permit in Mozambique?
Work permits are obtained by foreigners who wish to work in Mozambique, given that the company they want to work for cannot find Mozambicans who are fit for the position. Also, a quota-based system for foreign nationals is practiced in Mozambique. So if you are within the quota of individuals allowed to acquire a work permit, you must first be able to submit these requirements:
- Two duly filled-in application forms
- Three copies of the employment contract
- A copy of your residence permit or passport
- An operating license
- A list of the companies employees for the previous year
- This document is official and must indicate the total number of employees as well as their positions and salaries
- Authorization of investment project (only if applicable)
- Statement from the tax authority declaring that the company is compliant with its taxes
- Statement from the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) that states the company’s compliance in its social security contributions
- Proof of payment of the application fee
If you fall outside the quota, you will have to submit additional requirements, which may include the following:
- Certificate of equivalence
- Opinion from the Labor Union Committee
- Certificate of your professional academic qualifications
- A record of your professional experience
What are the Other Work Opportunities in Mozambique?
Aside from driving jobs, Mozambique is greatly dependent on its natural resources, and many people can also find a career in this field. But besides agriculture and similar industries, there are other disciplines you can delve into, such as education and healthcare, since these sectors are in dire need of workers. But you must also ensure that you are being compensated well, especially if you plan to work in underdeveloped fields like these.
Also, note that foreigners who can speak Portuguese can find many opportunities in Mozambique. The country’s official language is Portuguese, so you instantly have leverage over the average foreign applicant if you can speak the dialect.
Top Destinations in Mozambique
Mozambique offers some of the most diverse tourist attractions to its visitors. So if you’re in the country, make sure to experience everything from its culture, history, beaches, and wildlife. No matter how long your stay in Mozambique would be, make sure to drop by some of these top tourist destinations.
Gorongosa National Park
What’s a better way to enjoy Africa other than a wildlife safari? Mozambique offers one of the most beautiful preserves located at the southern end of the Great East African Rift Valley. Gorongosa National Park spans a whopping 4,000 sq. km. and is home to many animals like elephants, lions, hippos, and other wildlife. Make sure to visit the national park, as it hosts many activities and caters to animal lovers and guests of all ages.
- From Inchope, drive straight through the intersection and continue on the EN1.
- Cross a bridge over the Pungwe River and continue driving until the sign for Gorongosa National Park can be seen.
- Turn right onto the dirt road and continue driving to the park’s entrance gate.
Things to Do
Gorongosa National Park is one of the top tourist attractions in the country, and every visitor, whether they’re a child or an adult, is bound to love this place. Here are some of the most fun activities the park offers to its guests.
1. Go on a Guided Safari Drive
One of the best ways to experience Gorongosa is by going on a guided safari. Roam around the park to see the diverse wildlife, as well as the stunning views for an unforgettable experience in Gorongosa National Park.
2. Visit the Gorongosa Mountain and Coffee Project
Do you want to try something relatively unique? Aside from dropping by the floodplain and reveling in the view of Gorongosa Mountain, you can also visit the farmers growing coffee to save the rainforest. This activity is seasonal, so make sure to come over between April to September.
3. Fly around the park
Riding a 4x4 isn’t the only way to see the park. You can go on an aerial tour via a helicopter or a plane to see the animals below and the lush scenery in Gorongosa National Park.
4. Discover the park via its waters
Aside from your safaris, you can also go on a boat or canoe safari. It’s a different experience from the usual walking or even biking safari. You get to see not only the parks’ grounds and terrestrial animals, but you can also explore the waters in the area and the wildlife residing there.
Found roughly 40 km offshore from Maputo, Inhaca Island, also known as Ilha de Inhaca, is an island that is a perfect tropical getaway and is also a marine research center. In 1976, parts of the area and its waters became a marine reserve, and roughly 300 bird species were recorded. Inhaca Island is the perfect place to visit for travelers who want a break from the bustling city and ocean enthusiasts who want to experience marine life In Southeastern Africa
- From Maputo International Airport, head straight, then turn right.
- Keep right to continue toward Av. Acordos De Lusaka.
- Make a slight right then a slight left to stay onto Av. Acordos De Lusaka.
- At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Av. Acordos De Lusaka.
- By the roundabout, continue straight onto Av. Guerra Popular.
- Turn left toward Av. Filipe Samuel Magaia.
- Turn right at the 1st cross street onto Av. Filipe Samuel Magaia.
- Make a left onto Av. Ho Chi Min.
- Turn right and at the roundabout, take the 5th exit.
- Keep right to continue toward Avenida Samora Machel, then keep right again to stay on the road.
- Turn left onto R. Ngungunhane then turn right.
- Continue straight. These directions lead to Catembe Ferry Pier, where you can take a ferry to reach Inhaca Island.
Things to Do
If you feel like having an island getaway, Inhaca is one of the best places to visit, especially since it isn’t one of the most popular beaches in Mozambique; thus making the site perfect for those who want an escape from the more crowded destinations like Bazaruto. So to enjoy your stay in Inhaca, here is a list of activities that you can do on the island.
1. Relax by the beach
Visit one of Mozambique’s top tourist destinations in Inhaca Village. The beach in the area is the perfect place for tourists to relax, sunbathe, or have a few drinks by the shore. If you don’t want a heavily outdoorsy trip, then this destination will suit you.
2. Go Whale Watching
If you’re an animal lover or an avid fan of aquatic wildlife, you can go watching for humpback whales in Inhaca Island. These magnificent creatures can be spotted between September and November, so make sure to book your stay on the island during these months.
Dive in the Waters and See
Of course, those who want to fully immerse themselves in marine life can dive at the outer reefs. Divers can see the various species of coral, as well as other aquatic animals in the area. If you want to take a break from exploring wildlife, you can even opt to swim around the diveable wrecks scattered around.
Watch Fishermen Compete in International Sailing Competitions
Are you not into outdoor adventures? Would you rather watch the people taking part in them instead? If so, you can attend the international sailing challenges that happen on the island. Go and choose between the Inhaca Race at Easter or the Vasco da Gama Race in July to watch the fishermen competing against each other.
Since Mozambique is known for its coasts, another place to visit for a weekend getaway is Macuti Beach in Beira. What makes the beach so special and unique is the remains of a shipwreck and an abandoned lighthouse.
At low tide, visitors can freely swim through the waters and explore the wreckage; they can also take photos and admire the lighthouse built in 1904. Nowadays, besides sunbathing or swimming, travelers visit the beach to relax and mingle with the locals or even have some drinks from the nearby bars
- From Beira International Airport, head west, then turn left.
- Turn left and continue straight before you turn left again onto Estr. Manga Aeroporto.
- Finally, you make another left. Your destination will be on the right.
Things to Do
Another tropical attraction to visit is Macuti Beach, especially since it also has some historical aspects to it, like the lighthouse and the shipwreck that makes it so famous. If you plan to visit Macuti, here are some things you can do within the area.
1. Take a dip in the beach
There’s no better way to enjoy Macuti Beach other than taking a dip in its waters and swimming around, particularly by the shipwreck which you can explore better when the tides are low. The waters are even more enticing during summer, when the days are longer and hotter, and the waters seem bluer and colder.
Capture photos of the lighthouse and the shipwreck
Before you leave, you should at least have some keepsakes and take some photos of the lighthouse and shipwreck in Macuti Beach. Not only do these attractions make the beach more popular and add some aesthetics to your shots, but it would feel as if you’re taking a bit of Mozambican history home with you as well, even if it’s only in the form of some pictures.
Have some drinks at the nearby bars
Hanging out by the beach all day can get kind of tiring and would definitely leave you parched. So if you want something to drink, head to the nearby bars to order a refreshing beverage and mingle with the other guests hanging around.
Maputo Special Reserve
Another reserve to add to your list of tourist attractions in Mozambique is the Maputo Special Reserve, formerly known as the Maputo Elephant Reserve. It was established in 1960 for the protection of elephants, and in 1969, it served to protect other animals as well.
Guests who’d visit the Maputo Special Reserve can enjoy the striking ocean while exploring the fields with animals such as giraffes, impalas, and zebras. So if you want to go on a safari with the views of the sea, be sure to drop by the Maputo Special Reserve.
- From Ponta Airport, head northeast, then turn left.
- Turn left and then make a right.
- Make a left turn and then do a slight right.
- Continue straight.
- Turn left. Your destination will be on the right.
Things to Do
For guests who want to go on a safari, another reserve to visit is the Maputo Special Reserve. It’s home to elephants, which is primarily protected before, and other animals. If you want to enjoy African wildlife by the beach, here is a list of activities to do in Maputo Special Reserve.
1. See the elephants in the reserve
Besides the other animals, make sure to revel in the beauty of one of the most gentle creatures on land, the elephants. Maputo Special Reserve used to be called Maputo Elephant Reserve, and your trip to the park would be incomplete if you don’t spot and observe the namesake of the reserve.
2. Camp out with the animals
If you want a unique experience with the surrounding wildlife, you can camp out in the Maputo Special Reserve. You can hear the noises of the animals like the hippos or stargaze as light pollution is absent, offering a perfect view of the night sky to anyone in the area.
3. Go bird watching
For bird enthusiasts, you can go bird watching in the Macuto Special Reserve. Watch out for over 300 bird species that roam in the area, including the Spotted Ground-Thrush, African Broadbill, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Rosy-throated Longclaw, Chestnut-banded Plover, and many more.
Africa, in general, is full of gorgeous landscapes and stunning sceneries, and another place to visit to appreciate the views, as well as the grazing animals, is Niassa National Reserve. It is located in northern Mozambique with Ruvuma River, its northern boundary, bordering Tanzania.
Visitors can engage in many ecotourism activities, and since Niassa Reserve isn’t popular worldwide, grab the opportunity to see this little piece of heaven while it’s still open to the public.
- From Aeroporto de Pemba, head north and make a slight right.
- Turn right at the 1st cross street.
- Continue straight.
- Make two slight rights.
- Continue driving straight then again, make a slight right.
- Continue straight.
- Make a sharp right, then drive straight. These directions lead to Mecula, where you can then continue driving to the reserve.
Things to Do
One of the lesser-known, but must-visit tourist destinations, is Niassa Reserve. It doesn’t get that much love and attention worldwide, especially with all the hardships the park has been through. Nevertheless, it’s still standing to this day, so for visitors who are curious enough to explore this hidden gem, here are some fun things you can enjoy doing in Niassa Reserve.
1. Go on a safari
Niassa Reserve is one of the least known reserves in the world. However, this shouldn’t stop you from exploring the grounds and seeing the different animals grazing in the park. You can spot elephants, lions, wild dogs, and other animals roaming around.
2. Try Out Sport Hunting
One of the things tourists can do in Niassa is sport hunting. This is a relatively controversial activity, but it’s also one way to manage the animals. Furthermore, this is permitted by management, so as long as you aren’t a poacher threatening the wildlife existence in the park, you’re good to go.
3. Mingle with the Locals
Aside from the animals, the people heavily make up the core of Niassa Reserve. Many locals live in the area, and their livelihood also lies within the reserve. So if you want to get to know Mozambican culture and people more, don’t hesitate to interact with the residents.
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