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Known for island-style beaches and clear blue waters Mozambique is a must-visit African country. famous not only for its scenery and prawns, Mozambique also offers the visitor world heritage sites, colonial architecture and a colourful local culture. bustling markets sell exquisite carvings and basketware with the wood and ivory sculptures of the Makonde, recognized as one of africa's most sophisticated art forms. Mozambique has also produced talented painters such as Malangatana and the country's murals adorn many a wall, especially in Maputo. traditional music is in the form of Marrabenta music as well as marimba and calabash orchestras. Keeping with the rhythm of Africa, the ritualistic Nhau and Mapico initiation dances can be a frightening sight. Popular activities for travellers include diving, snorkelling, bird watching and fishing for marlin, sailfish or kingfish.

CAPITAL

Maputu

POPULATION

20 Million

CURRENCY

1 Mozambican Metical = 100 centavos.

USD or Pounds Sterling traveller's cheques are recommended. Change money at authorized institutions. Credit cards are not widely accepted. A large number of merchants prefer USD. Import and export of local currency is prohibited.

CUSTOMS

Duty Free Allowances
- 200 cigarettes or 250 g of tobacco
- 1 bottle of spirits
- A reasonable quantity of perfume (opened)

Prohibited Goods
- Narcotics
- Firearms without a permit

(NB! For full information, please contact the nearest Embassy of Mozambique.)

ELECTRICITY

220 volts, 50 Hz. Plugs are 2- and 3-pin round.

HEALTH

A yellow fever vaccination is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas. Visitors are advised to take pre-arrival precautions against malaria (risk exists throughout the year in the whole country), hepatitis A, polio, typhoid and meningitis depending on the area visited and time of year.

Other health concerns are rudimentary medical facilities, unavailable medicines, cholera (maintain strict food and water hygiene) and influenza (risk extends throughout year).

HOURS

Office Hours 7.30 am-12 noon & 2 pm-5 pm Mon-Fri
Shopping Hours 8.30 am-1 pm & 3 pm-6.30 pm Mon-Fri; 8 am-1.30 pm on Sat
Banking Hours 7.30 am-11.15 am Mon-Fri

LANGUAGE

The official language is Portuguese, but Makua and Tsonga are also spoken. English is not widely spoken but can be understood.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

New Years' Day (1 Jan); Heroes' Day (3 Feb); Women's Day (7 Apr); Labour Day (1 May); Independence Day (25 Jun); Victory Day (7 Sep); Armed Forces Day (25 Sep); Defunct Day (2 Nov); Christmas Day (25 Dec); Boxing Day (26 Dec)

SOCIAL CONVENTIONS

Religion is mainly Roman Catholic, but other faiths include Muslim, Hindu and traditional beliefs. Handshaking is the customary form of greeting. Portuguese customs e.g. modes of address (Senhor/Senhora) apply. Dress is casual and formal wear is seldom required. For business safari suits are acceptable in hot weather, while lightweight suits are advised for the rest of the year.

TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT +2

TIPPING

Ten percent is customary, but it's discouraged in hotels. Taxi drivers expect 10 percent.

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

There are many regional variations in Mozambique, but generally the dry season runs from April to September, when the average daily high tops out at 27°C (80°F) on the coast, cooler inland. The most of the rest of the year is rainy season. The average daily high hits 31°C (88°F).

GETTING THERE

Fly to Maputo or drive in an eastern direction from Pretoria on the N4.