MOZAMBIQUE

Over the last number of months there have been a number of kidnappings in Mozambique, particularly in the Maputo area. Most of these kidnappings have targeted specific communities. The Embassy monitors these kinds of events, and reminds Irish citizens to observe all necessary security measures.

Irish Citizens should refrain from displaying signs of affluence and be alert at all times, especially when walking to and from a vehicle. It is advised to change routine itineraries and ensure that  windows and doors are locked day and night.

Due to recent clashes in the centre of the country between Government of Mozambique forces and Renamo elements the Embassy is now recommending that Irish citizens avoid all travel to Chibabava, Gorongosa, Machanga andMaríngue districts in Sofala Province, Machaze district in Manica Province and along the road between Nampula and Malema in Nampula Province.

Please monitor the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, www.dfa.ie, for updated travel advice.  

Irish citizens travelling or living overseas, outside the Common Travel Area, (Ireland/Great Britain) are encouraged to register their contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs at http://www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=40332. Registration is voluntary but makes it easier for the Embassy to contact Irish citizens in case of an emergency.  

The Embassy of Ireland is located at Avenida Julius Nyerere 3630, the 24 hour Embassy contact telephone number is +258 82 309 1430. The Embassy email address is maputo@dfa.ie.

Summary

Mozambique is a generally safe destination. Visitors should, however, be aware of a number of potential risks, relating particularly to road safety, health and crime.

Both road conditions and driving standards are poor. It is not advisable to drive at night and if you are driving during the day, you should be alert to sudden deteriorations in road conditions and to unpredictable behaviour from other drivers.

There are a number of serious health risks in Mozambique and medical facilities outside Maputo have limited capacities. Visitors should seek advice before travelling on any vaccinations or other preventive measures (including malaria prophylaxis) that might be required. When in Mozambique, visitors should pay attention to hygiene standards, particularly if buying food.

Mozambique does not have as serious a crime problem as a number of other countries in the region. However, this is a poor country with a high cost of living and those who are obviously better off may become targets. Street crime, such as pick-pocketing or robbery with threats of violence, is a reality and, as anywhere, the risks increase after dark. Car-jackings are not common but the incidence has increased. Visitors should exercise caution, take advice locally on areas to avoid and use common sense.

Visitors should also be aware that Mozambique is vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and that severe flooding in particular is not uncommon.

An operating ban on air carriers certified in Mozambique has been put in place by the European Commission since April 2011. More information can be obtained on the following website:  http://air-ban.europa.eu. It is recommended that you avoid flying with carriers subject to the EU operating ban.

The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that comprehensive travel insurance, including personal medical insurance with provision for emergency evacuation, is obtained before travelling to Mozambique. Travellers should note that the Irish Government is not responsible for any personal expenses incurred by medical treatment abroad, emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.

Irish citizens travelling to Mozambique require a visa. It is strongly recommended that the appropriate visa be arranged though the Mozambican Embassy that covers the Irish citizen’s country of residence (London in the case of those resident in Ireland) in advance of travelling.

Safety and Security

  • Road Safety

With the exception of major arteries, road conditions in Mozambique are poor. Drivers should ensure that they and their vehicles are capable of handling a road before setting off. Lighting of roads, even in urban areas, is inadequate and driving at night is strongly ill-advised.

Vehicles are often badly maintained and both drivers and pedestrians should be aware that it is not uncommon for vehicles to travel at night without lights. If travelling by public transport, you should take note of the condition of the vehicle and make alternative arrangements if this is a cause for concern.

Driving standards are erratic and visitors driving in Mozambique should be prepared for other road users to behave in an unpredictable manner, including overtaking on blind bends, etc.

  • Crime

Mozambique is a relatively safe destination, particularly when compared to some other countries in the region. However, crime is a problem and anyone who is obviously carrying items of value on their person is at a degree of risk.

Street crime, sometimes involving armed assailants, is a potential risk. If possible, visitors should not carry valuable items on their person, both to avoid attracting attention and to reduce losses in the case of robbery. Gratuitous violence is not a feature of crime in Mozambique and non-resistance is the best course of action. Visitors should also use their common sense and avoid walking alone in deserted areas, particularly at night. Local advice on areas to avoid should be sought.

Car crime, including car-jacking, has been on the increase. Visitors should keep car doors locked when driving and try to be aware if they are being followed. Cars should be parked in safe, open places, preferably where there is someone to keep an eye on them. If somebody offers to watch your car for you, do not react negatively. Be friendly and give the person some money when you return to your car. The appropriate price varies but would usually be around 5 meticais (about €0.15).

If you are a victim of crime you should contact the local police immediately and obtain a police report. If your passport is stolen you should also inform the local immigration authorities and show them a copy of your police report. Contact the Irish Embassy to arrange a replacement passport.

Local Laws and Customs

Generally speaking, the visitor to Mozambique will not be surprised by local laws (i.e. there are no obvious cases of behaviours which are legal in Ireland and illegal in Mozambique), although there are restrictions on the right to photograph government offices, airports, military establishments, residences and the police or officials. Gay visitors should be aware that while Mozambique does not criminalise homosexuality, social attitudes, particularly outside larger cities, are less tolerant.

Visitors to Mozambique are obliged to have original identity documents and vehicle documents (if driving) on their person at all times (notarised copies are not acceptable) and may be asked to produce these by the authorities. You should always ensure that your documents are returned to you.

Regarding questions of etiquette, Mozambican culture is quite relaxed and the risk of causing offence unintentionally is not high.

Natural Disasters and Climate

The Mozambican climate is characterised by a dry season, running approximately from April to October, and a rainy season, running approximately from late October to April, although there are variations from year to year. Serious flooding can occur around river basins during the rainy season. Visitors are advised to pay attention to news reports and weather forecasts.

Coastal regions can be affected by cyclones during the rainy season, with very high winds and major rainfall. Again, visitors are advised to pay attention to news reports and weather forecasts, including online forecasts.

Additional Country Info

Malaria is endemic throughout the country, including in Maputo. Before travelling you should seek medical advice on suitable anti-malarial medication for the country and after arrival, take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Not being bitten if at all possible, through use of bed nets, repellents, closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers, is your best protection against malaria.

Diseases caused by unsanitary conditions are common throughout Mozambique. Cholera and other water-borne diseases are present particularly during the rainy season (approximately late October - April). You should drink bottled or boiled and filtered water and eat only where food has been thoroughly cooked and basic hygiene precautions have been taken.

There is a high level of HIV and AIDS in the country; you should be alert to the dangers of unprotected sex.

Hospital facilities outside Maputo are generally poor. In cases of serious illness or injury, medical evacuation to South Africa or elsewhere may be necessary.

It is obligatory to hold a yellow fever vaccination certificate if you have been in a country where yellow fever is endemic. The list of such countries, which are mainly in Africa and Latin America, is maintained by the World Health Organisation. If you do not hold a valid certificate, the authorities are entitled to insist on vaccination at your own expense before you enter Mozambique.

ASSISTANCE FOR IRISH CITZENS IN MOZAMBIQUE

The Embassy of Ireland to Mozambique is located in Maputo.

Please click here for the Embassy's contact details (Opens in a new window).

All Irish citizens intending to travel to Mozambique are strongly advised to register their details with the Department of Foreign Affairs. You can access the Travel Registration system here.

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We encourage citizens travelling to this destination to register their contact details here
 Mozambique

Security Status

  1. Take normal precautions
  2. Exercise caution
  3. Exercise extreme caution
  4. Avoid non-essential travel
  5. Do not travel