When planning a vacation of a lifetime, arriving fully prepared is the secret to enjoying your holiday!


All tourism lodges and self-catering establishments such as Tofo Beach Cottages are designated NO SMOKING areas. Therefore, please refrain from smoking inside the cottages as some of our guests recently had to pay hefty fines for transgressing the NON SMOKING regulations.


The climate is generally tropical and warm, so take lightweight clothing with a wind-breaker, jacket or jersey for the evenings. An umbrella could come in handy during thunderstorms and long-sleeved shirts and light trousers during the evenings. Take along a money belt, and your own toiletries, medication, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, swimwear, beach towel, small first aid kit, malaria prophylaxis and protective shoes to protect against razor clams, hot sand and sharp rocks. Don’t forget your fishing and diving gear and a hammock if you are in for some serious relaxing.


You will need a passport, valid for at least 3 months after your return from Mozambique.
Drivers must carry a valid South African drivers’ license, the original registration papers of the vehicle, and trailer registration papers (if applicable). Compulsory Mozambican third party insurance must be purchased at the border. A letter of permission is needed if driving a vehicle registered in someone else’s name (eg. your bank), and it helps to have this stamped at your local police station, before entering Mozambique. The law requires you to carry your passport at all times. Make at least one photocopy of your passport and all other important documents, and store them in a safe place, in case you lose the originals.


Visitors to Mozambique may import for personal use, free of duty and tax: 400 cigarettes, 1 litre of spirits, 3 bottles of wine and other goods (including groceries) to the value of US $ 200. Firearms are prohibited. If you take in expensive items, like a laptop computer and a camera, please declare it at the border post. Other goods might attract import duties, if it is thought that you wish to resell them in Mozambique.


Have all your documents stacked neatly in a folder ready for presentation. A calculator comes in handy when dealing with money matters and don’t forget your pen. Before you enter Mozambique, you must first obtain a temporary export permit for your vehicle (and trailer), have it stamped and then proceed to Mozambican immigration. After presenting your passport, go to the customs desk and exchange the temporary export permit, for a temporary import permit into Mozambique. Finally, purchase your third party insurance from the insurance desk. Fees will be payable for export and import permits, temporary third party insurance as well as for each individual who enters the country. Budget approximately R200 per vehicle for payment of the above at the border post.

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The airport at Inhambane is a recognised immigration point.
Vehicles may enter and exit the country at the following border posts between the times indicated:

Lebombo / Komatipoort / Kosi Bay / Ponta do Ouro
Kruger National Park / Swaziland
Lomahsha / Namaacha
06:00 – 18:00 (open 24hrs during peak periods)
08:00 – 17:00
07:00 – 17:00


The Mozambican unit of currency is the Metical, always used in the plural form of Meticais (pronounced Meti-ca-ish). Notes are available in denominations of
10 MT, 50 MT, 100 MT and 200 MT. In Southern Mozambique, including the province of Inhambane, one can pay for large items in US $ or South African Rands, but it is better to purchase fuel and small items in Meticais, so change some money at the bank / at the border post. Please present your passport when changing money at a bank. Banks in the main towns will also exchange Rands or Dollars and travellers’ cheques. You will be required to show the original purchase receipt (not a copy), if you wish to change a travellers’ cheque. Use of credit cards is extremely limited, although they can be used in ATM’s which support them, e.g. VISA / MasterCard. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 07:45 to 11:00 and from 13:00 to 15:00.


1 January New Year’s Day
3 February Heroes’ Day
7 April Women’s Day
I May Workers’ Day
25 June Independence Day
12 August Inhambane Day
7 September Victory Day
25 September Armed Forces’ Day
25 December Family/Christmas Day
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Check whether your insurance covers you whilst driving in Mozambique. Always keep the following documents handy: passport, drivers license, original vehicle registration papers, third party insurance certificate and temporary import permits — you may be asked to present them at various control points. It is obligatory to wear seat-belts at all times. Obey all the speed limits, normally 100 km/h on the EN1, 80 km/h on approaching villages and towns and down to 50 km/h or even 30 km/h as one drives through them.
All motorists must carry a set of standard red emergency triangles and a flourescent vest, which can be obtained from any AA outlet. If you are towing, two triangles must be displayed, one on the front of the car and one on the rear of the trailer.

Traffic police, who wear navy and white, will only stop you for traffic violations. The civil police, who wear grey and white, usually ask to inspect your documents. If you are stopped by the police remember that politeness and a little patience go a long way. Always ask for a receipt if you have to pay a fine, for any traffic offence. Be particularly careful for pedestrians, especially when approaching stopped buses or heavy vehicles. Avoid driving at night, when animals, unmarked road repairs and vehicles without lights, are added dangers.
Petrol (gasolina) and diesel (gasoleo) are freely available, but unleaded petrol is only sold in Maputo, Xai Xai, Maxixe and Inhambane. Petrol stations are generally open from about 06:00 to about 18:00.

Avoid asking for ‘petrol’ which could be mistaken for paraffin, known in Portuguese as petroleo. The basic spares for vehicles are extremely difficult to obtain. Make sure that your vehicle is 100 % roadworthy before departure. If you happen to be involved in an accident, you will be required to present your third party insurance, drivers’ license and vehicle papers. You must contact the third party insurance company immediately and will also be required to make a statement at the nearest police station. Driving on the beaches and driving without a shirt on, is illegal.


A good medical insurance policy, with an emergency air evacuation facility, is strongly advised as most medical facilities are poor. This can be obtained at any travel agency.

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The whole of Mozambique is a year-round, high-risk malaria area. It is essential that you consult your doctor for the most appropriate prophylaxis. Infants and young children (especially those under the age of five years) are particular at risk of severe malaria disease, since malaria can develop and progress very rapidly. Since anti-malarial drugs may cause side effects, the seriousness of any side effect should always be weighed up against the risk.

It is best to avoid being bitten, by sleeping under a mosquito net and to apply mosquito repellent.
Malaria is one of the most serious tropical diseases in the world. This disease can be fatal, if it is not diagnosed and treated at an early stage.The high risk malaria time is from October to May, especially during the rainy season in the summer.

Precautionary measures

  • If possible, remain indoors between dusk and dawn
  • Sleep under a mosquito net
  • Don’t wear dark clothing, especially at night
  • Wear clothing that covers most of the body after dark
  • Use repellent on exposed body parts after dark
  • Burn mosquito coils after dark
  • Avoid marshy areas
  • Protect your ankles; mosquitoes prefer that part of your body. Thick socks is not sufficient – use repellent also

The symptoms of malaria are similar to flu, e.g. headache, fever, muscular and joint pains, shivering attacks, sweating, diarrhea, nausea, and fatigue. Malaria can still be contracted while using preventative medicine. Any person returning from a malaria risk area, who develops fever and flu like symptoms, should immediately consult a doctor and be tested for malaria. Blood test should be taken while feverish. If not found initially, further specimens should be examined before the infection is excluded. False negatives may be found on initial examination and additional test should be done if the condition persists. Malaria symptoms can still occur up to six months after leaving a malaria risk area.

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Cholera is prominent in many areas in Mozambique, especially in highly populated slum areas found on the outskirts of the bigger towns.

Use water only from clean supplies. Water for drinking purposes can be boiled, or bottled mineral water can be bought.
By adding a teaspoon of chlorine or Milton to your water most harmful bacteria and organisms will be killed.

Don’t buy shellfish in areas were diseases such as cholera exist, as the shellfish accumulate the bacteria in their gills through their filtering system.


It is advisable to take a small, but well-stocked, medical kit. Items such as: anti-malaria tablets, malaria test kit, malaria treatment course, insect repellent, plasters, bandages, lint, drawing ointment, antiseptic ointment and wipes, sunscreen, sunburn cream, antifungal cream, antihistamine cream for stings, anti-diarrhea tablets, pain killers, analgesic ear drops, eye drops, oral dehydration powder, sterile syringes, cotton wool, tweezers, scissors, anti-inflammatory tablets, surgical spirits and Methiolate should be included.

Avoid getting stung by bluebottles or jellyfish which may be floating in the ocean or lying on the shore, particularly after or during strong onshore wind conditions.
If stung, apply vinigar, surgical spirits then antihistamine cream (or meat tenderiser) to the affected area, after gently removing any tentacles that remain on your skin. Immersing the affected area in hot water (be careful not to cause scalding) will also bring relief. Stings from sea creatures like the stonefish or lion fish, must also be treated by immersion (and re-immersion) in water, as hot as the patient can bear. This breaks down the protein poisons.
Wild vig leaves growing on the dunes can also be crushed and the juice is then applied to the affected area.

Mozambique is left with the tragic legacy of many land mines, due to the 17 year-long civil war. A massive and thorough mine-clearing operation has swept main tar and gravel roads clear. They are now concentrating on minor roads in remote areas. Follow sensible precautions, like sticking to well-used roads and trails, and do not walk off into the bush to answer the call of nature, and you will have no problems. Areas known to be mined are marked with a red and white ‘skull and crossbones’ sign, or may be cordoned off with red tape and zonas minades signs. Always consult with locals about the possibility of minas, before venturing off into unfamiliar territory.

Serious crime is less of a problem than in South Africa, but petty theft, a direct result of the extreme poverty of the local inhabitants, is something which one has to guard against. Be particularly careful in crowded places and don’t leave valuable items or money lying around, especially in your car.

You are advised to take all camera and film requirements with you. Refrain from taking pictures of uniformed officials or government buildings such as police stations and military installations. It is common courtesy to ask permission (Dd Iicenca – may I) before taking someone’s photograph and in many cases a small gift, will be expected, in return.

The power supply is 220/240 volts AC, but the supply is not consistent and frequent power spikes occur, which is harmful to appliances such as microwave ovens.

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Camping is only allowed in places allocated for the purpose and which is duly authorized by the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism.

No vegetation may be removed for any reason whatsoever. Fires may only be made in areas allocated for that purpose. Cigarette butts can only be deposited in appropriate places (dust bins) to avoid veld fires.

Vehicles are not allowed to travel on sand dunes, or on a beach, except in areas designated for that purpose. Speed limits of 15 km/h may not be exceeded in such areas.

Pets are not allowed in areas for tourism or concentration of tourists.


Dumping of rubbish on beaches is prohibited.

Cleaning or processing of fish on beaches is prohibited
Excessive noise is prohibited on beaches.
Fisherman must clean fish and discard rubbish in places set aside for that purpose.


A beach permit prior to launching must accompany all boats, and is obtainable from the local Maritime Office in Inhambane. Boats can only be launched in designated areas.
Dropping anchor in any coral zone is not allowed. Deep-sea fishing is not allowed, except for sporting purposes.
All boats shall abide by the safety regulations for small boats and are subject to regular inspection. Only licensed boats will be permitted to go out to sea. Skippers of boats shall have a valid skipper’s license.
Captured sports fish and game fish shall not have profitable purposes. Therefore it is not permitted to sell it, whether directly or indirectly.
A maximum of six kilograms of products resulting from sports and deep-sea fishing are allowed to cross the border.


Any diving in the Mozambican waters must be authorized. Oxygen bottles must only be filled in designated places. It is not allowed to remove any species of corals.
No anchor shall be dropped or diving take effect in breaking zones.
Whenever diving is taking place it is compulsory that all boats involved, raise the Alpha flag and the diver’s position marked with a red buoy.


It is only allowed to capture rock mussel measuring over 5 cm in diameter. Crab can only be captured if it measures over 10 cm. in diameter. It is only allowed to capture rock and coral lobster if the length from the eye to its tail shell measures over 5 cm. It is prohibited to capture any marine tartars and water mammals.

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The easiest access route to Inhambane is by the well-tarred main road, the EN1.
Follow the N4 from Johannesburg or Pretoria, through Nelspruit to Komatipoort, where you must cross the border. Keep on following the N4 on the Mozambique side of the border until you reach Maputo. Turn left at the robot onto the Swaziland / Maputo road into Maputo and follow the main access road into Maputo, through the toll gate. Turn left at the robot where the sign post indicates EN1 towards XaiXai / Maxixe / Beira. Follow the EN1 until the fork in the road at the village of Lindela, which is some 33 km from Inhambane. Take the right hand fork and follow the road into Inhambane. Turn right at the harbour into the main street and again right at the railway station circle. Follow the road, which leads to Tofo.

Always wear a seat belt and void traveling by night as there are some crazy drivers on the road. If you have to drive by night, drive slowly as some vehicle have no lights or reflectors. Broken down vehicles are left on the road and are sometimes indicated by tree branches left in the road. Hooting is acceptable in Mozambique, so use it to warn pedestrians that you are approaching.

Traffic police will probably stop you on occasions to check vehicles and “papeis” (papers). The following documents will be needed. Drivers license, import permit, “seguro” (third party insurance) and passports. When towing something a triangle needs to be fixed to the front of the towing vehicle.

The vehicle must be equipped with two safety triangles, and safety belts must be worn at all times. Some policemen might try to fine travelers for bogus offenses. Stand your ground if you have the necessary documentation. If you feel you are miss treated, take the policemen’s number which is on a tag on his chest and lodge a formal complaint at the Mozambique embassy on your return.
Original ownership papers for vehicles are needed to get through the border posts.
Ensure that your current vehicle insurance is valid in Mozambique.
Observe speed limits well within the stated limits since the authorities might use outdated and “uncalibrated” radar and other equipment.

An optional MRI (medical rescue institute) policy and Mozambique vehicle insurance can be taken out with various companies. Brokers at the border posts offer these services.

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South African High Commission in Maputo: 09258 1490059
Medical Rescue International: (011) 4037080
Police, Inhambane: 09258 199
Provincial Hospital, Inhambane: 09258 197


You can use Mozambique’s cellular networks mCel or Vodacom, to stay in touch in case of emergencies. Activate your international roaming or purchase a ‘giro’ prepaid starter kit with a mCel or Vodacom SIM-card to replace your existing card while you are in Mozambique. Starter kits and airtime vouchers are available at local supermarkets and wherever you see the ‘giro’ sign. Ask the shop assistant to set up the English language option for you.


good morning
bom dia
guest house
good afternoon
boa tarde
good evening
boa noite
hot water
água quente
how are you?
quanto custa?
how much?
quanto costa?
I am fine thank you
Muito bem obrigado
faz favor
what is you name?
coma se chama?
write it down please
escrever faz favor
atá logo, adeus, ciao
thank you
rate of exchange?
qual o cambio?
I do not understand
não compreendo
photographic film
fresh water
agua fresca
no way!
tudo bem!
no problem
noba faz mal
cashew nuts
castanha de caju
till tomorrw
ate amanhã
hot chips
batata frita
camp site
perigo / perigoso
the bill please
conta faz favor
mens toilet
ladies toilet
post office
where is…?
name of this town?
nome desta vila?
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