Mozambique, a developing country in southern Africa, ended a 16-year civil war in 1992 with the signing of a peace agreement between the Government and the rival opposition group. Following Mozambique's first multiparty election in October 1994, the country has remained stable. Facilities for tourism in Maputo, the capital city, are improving but remain limited in other areas, as most of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries are not yet available.
A visa is required and must be obtained in advance. Travelers arriving without a visa are subject to a fine of US$ 518. Mozambican authorities impose a fine of US$ 100 per day for each day travelers overstay the period of validity of their visas. These fines can be paid in local currency based on the current exchange rates. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of Mozambique, Suite 570, 1990 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, telephone (202) 293-7146. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Mozambican embassy or consulate.
The security situation in Mozambique continues to demand caution. Although de-mining efforts continue, thousands of landmines, laid during the civil war, are still a problem for residents and visitors. Urban streets are patrolled by police who frequently carry automatic weapons. Police officers often require visitors to produce identity and travel documents; visitors are cautioned to carry their passport or resident permit at all times. Resident permits are for those individuals with diplomatic status or who have a work permit. Failure to produce the required documents may result in detention or a fine. Demonstrations or large crowds should be avoided. Security forces have used deadly force to disrupt demonstrations. The authority of the police or security services should not be challenged.Medical facilities are minimal and many medicines are unavailable. Maputo's Sommerschield Clinic, which requires payment in hard currency, can provide general, non-emergency services. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide for payment of medical services outside the United States.
Crime remains a serious concern for residents and visitors in Mozambique. Incidents of armed robberies, home invasions, and carjackings are common, and many criminals actively target foreigners. Individuals, including foreigners, have been injured and in some cases killed. With the exception of highway banditry and carjackings, crime is generally more common in urban areas than in rural areas. Traveling alone or at night is particularly risky. Pedestrians and joggers have been mugged and robbed during daylight hours. Visitors are encouraged to avoid walking alone or in isolated areas. In certain areas in the city of Maputo, pedestrian traffic is prohibited. Government facilities should not be photographed without permission. Responsibility for crime prevention rests with a national police force that is poorly trained, poorly paid, and inadequately equipped to prevent or respond to criminal acts.
Check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via its home page and autofax service.
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions which differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Mozambique is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Banditry along major highways continues to threaten the safety of road travelers. Periodically, the U.S. Embassy has restricted Embassy personnel from traveling on certain roads or has imposed certain restrictions on road travel. Due to the poor physical condition of roads, travel outside Maputo often requires four-wheel drive vehicles, which create an additional security risk since these vehicles are high-theft items. Public transportation is extremely limited. Travelers contemplating overland travel may wish to contact the U.S. Embassy for the most current information on road travel safety.
For specific information concerning Mozambican driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Embassy of Mozambique. For international driving permits contact AAA or the American Automobile Touring Alliance.
U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Maputo at 193 Avenida Kenneth Kaunda and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Mozambique. The Embassy's telephone number is (258-1) 49-27-97. The after hours telephone number for use in emergencies is (258-1) 49-07-23. The Embassy's fax number is (258-1) 49-01-14.
Local air carriers are reported to be unreliable and the quality of service is poor. Travelers may therefore wish to review all available options for air travel in, to, or through Mozambique.
As there is no direct commercial air service at present, or economic authority to operate such service, between the U.S. and Mozambique, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Mozambique's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Mozambique's air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.htm. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at 618-229-4801.