Mozambique is a country with a lot to offer travelers. From beautiful beaches to offshore marine parks, there’s something for everyone in this southern African nation.
While backpacking in Mozambique, it’s important to stay alert. There are terrorist threats in some areas, especially along the coast.
Mozambique’s long Indian Ocean coastline is dotted with popular beaches like Tofo and offshore marine parks that are home to rare coral reefs. The country’s islands are also home to mangrove forests and colonial ruins from Portuguese rule.
For those looking to get outside, scuba diving is a great way to explore the underwater world of Mozambique. The country’s offshore reefs are rich in fish and other sea creatures. If you’re more into nature, hiking is a great way to see the countryside.
Preparing for a Trip
A visit to Mozambique is an adventure that is worth adding to any travel bucket list. The country’s contrasting natural beauty, rich history and unique hospitality make it an unforgettable experience. But before you head there, it’s important to know what to expect and how to prepare for your trip.
Fortunately, Mozambique is a safe destination for visitors. Despite the fact that the country suffered a severe civil war in the 1980s, it has since been completely re-established as a peaceful and stable nation, and most travelers will find that their visit is trouble-free.
The best time to visit is during the cool, dry season between May and November. Temperatures remain pleasant, the ocean is blissfully warm and there are fewer tourists around than during the high season.
If you’re visiting in the rainy season, it’s a good idea to check on weather reports before you depart and have comprehensive travel insurance that covers natural disasters and cancellations. You should also ensure you have adequate vaccinations and medicines to avoid being exposed to diseases during your trip.
Rabies is common in Mozambique and travelers who are bitten by a dog or other mammal should consider getting rabies vaccination. This is especially important if you’re planning to do any outdoor activities like trekking, horseback riding, surfing, snorkeling or diving.
You should also consult your doctor or other medical professional for more information on vaccinations and medicines before traveling to Mozambique. The CDC recommends that travelers to countries with a risk of malaria should take a combination of prescription and over-the-counter antimalarial medications before, during and after their trip.
Depending on your health and the duration of your trip, you should also consider taking a preventive tetanus vaccine. Vaccinations should be given at least a month before travel.
A travel health clinic can give you the tetanus vaccine if you’re not able to get it at home. You can ask your travel health provider to help you locate a local medical facility that offers this vaccination, or refer to our Find a Clinic page for more information.
Finding a Place to Stay
If you’re going on a backpacking trip to Mozambique, it’s important to plan ahead. Not only will this ensure that you have a great time, but it can also help you save money.
Luckily, there are plenty of places to stay in Mozambique that are sure to meet your budget. For example, a night at Taka-Taka in Maputo will cost you just over half a dollar per night and you’ll be within easy reach of everything else you need to make the most out of your vacation.
In addition to being budget-friendly, Mozambique is also a great destination for those who want to take advantage of its tropical beaches and natural parks. For instance, there are plenty of safari lodges in Gorongosa National Park that offer tents right inside prime wildlife habitat.
There are also a lot of hotels in Pemba, a city just north of the country’s main island that is popular with visitors. Some of these hotels are quite luxurious, but most are incredibly affordable for travelers on a tight budget.
Some of the best places to stay in Mozambique are in small, picturesque towns and villages. For example, there are plenty of beachside options in Vilanculos and Tofo that are perfect for soaking up the sun on the sand or swimming in the ocean.
If you’re looking for a more unique accommodation option, check out traditional treehouses or glamping spots in rural areas. You can also arrange to stay with a local family for an authentic Mozambican experience.
Another way to get a feel for the local culture while on a trip is to participate in a volunteer program. There are a number of options for this, but the most common is to assist with education and other community development projects.
The main thing to remember when planning a backpacking trip to Mozambique is to respect the culture and the people. This is not an easy task, but it’s essential to make the most out of your time and create positive impressions that you can carry with you on your travels.
There are a lot of ways to get around Mozambique, but you will probably want to take your time and make sure that you have a plan in place. This is particularly important if you are planning to do some off-the-beaten-path travel as well as visiting remote locations, and a travel guide can help you find the best options for your trip.
Public transportation in Mozambique is fairly inexpensive and can be a great way to get around if you’re not able to drive your own vehicle. Buses and minibusses (chapas) ply most major routes but you will likely need to use one of the shared taxi services if you want to travel longer distances.
For example, if you’re heading to Beira, you may want to consider using a shared taxi service to get there as these services are more affordable than regular buses and will also allow you to travel at your own pace.
Alternatively, you could hire a car if you’re planning on exploring more off-the-beaten-path locations. This is a great option if you’re planning to spend some time in the country, as it will allow you to see more of the sights and attractions that are available throughout the country.
While Mozambique has been largely unaffected by the wars that have plagued neighboring countries in recent years, it is still vulnerable to attacks by Islamist extremism. This is especially true in the south of the country. It is recommended that you exercise caution in these areas and seek advice from local authorities before travelling.
Wildlife is a big draw for visitors to Mozambique, and while it’s still recovering from the decades of conflict that have seen animals wiped out, there are a few places where you can see them in their natural habitat. Gorongosa National Park and the Niassa Reserve are two of the best spots to visit, and both of them offer incredible game viewing and stunning scenery.
You can also explore the beautiful beaches and offshore marine parks in the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos. These islands are home to pristine coral reefs and some of the best diving in the world.