Thirteen main languages are spoken in Mozambique. Portuguese is the official language, and English is taught in secondary schools, but only spoken in the southern tourist areas.

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Mozambique’s official currency is the new metical, which breaks down into 100 centavos. The southern tourist parts of the country usually accept South African rand, US dollars and UK pounds for accommodations. The upscale hotels in Maputo sometimes accept credit cards, but it is rare everywhere else. You’ll need cash or traveler’s checks, which can be exchanged in banks. ATMs are hard to find and often unreliable.

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Mozambique’s international country code is 258. To call another country from Mozambique, dial 00 followed by the appropriate country code. You’ll have to use the operator, unless you’re calling South Africa. Maputo has some Internet cafes.

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It’s not customary to tip in Mozambique, but a 10 to 15 percent tip for good service in tourist areas is always appreciated.

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Never wander off well-traveled paths and roads in Mozambique. There are many unexploded landmines all over the country, and you would be wise to get local information before going off-road. Violent crime like car hijackings and armed robbery has increased, especially in Maputo. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in Maputo and other cities, where muggings, purse-snatching and pickpockets are common. Keep your valuables hidden and don’t walk around at night. You should always carry your identity documents with you.

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If you’re coming from an area infected with yellow fever, you’ll need to provide a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Malaria, some of which is reported resistant to chloroquine, is a risk everywhere, year-round. Consult your doctor about precautions against bilharzias, typhoid, hepatitis A and cholera. HIV/AIDS is widespread, and there are many unsanitary conditions throughout the country. The water is not safe to drink. Tuberculosis was declared a national emergency and is expected to be a major problem for years to come. Medical facilities are poor, as well as very limited outside of Maputo and Beira. Make sure you are covered by health insurance and bring any personal medication needed.

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Mozambique’s electrical current is 220 volts AC, 50Hz and uses round, three-pinned plugs.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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