Mozambique is a country in Southeast Africa. Mozambique is located on the Indian Ocean between the 10th and 27th southern latitude. The state borders with Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Eswatini. The Mozambique Channel separates the island nation of Madagascar from mainland Africa. The capital is Maputo, other important cities in Mozambique are Matola, Beira and Nampula.

On June 25, 1975, Mozambique gained independence from Portugal. Due to the years of civil war that followed, it is still one of the poorest countries in the world. Mozambique has been a member of the Commonwealth of Nations since November 12, 1995. Since the discovery of large oil fields off the coast of Cabo Delgado province in the north in 2010/2011, the country has great potential for economic recovery. However, in recent years, the division between the numerous cultures and religions in the country has also increased. At the latest since the spread of the Islamist terrorist organization IS since 2015 (also in the province of Cabo Delgado), the state of Mozambique has been in danger of failing.



1 Beira. Beira used to be the much-visited seaside resort of white farmers from the British colony of Rhodesia (today: Zimbabwe). Makuti Beach is still the tourist center. Much of this infrastructure is being rebuilt and restored today, as are the downtown commercial streets.
2 Inhambane. This coastal town is known for its palm-fringed beaches, historic colonial-style buildings and proximity to some of Mozambique's best diving spots. Visitors can explore the downtown area with its charming architecture, visit nearby beaches such as Tofo, or go snorkeling and diving to discover the rich underwater world.
3 Maputo. The capital of Mozambique, located on the shores of the Indian Ocean, impresses with its lively atmosphere, colonial architecture, markets, museums and vibrant street markets. Visitors can explore the Railway Museum, the Natural History Museum or the famous FEIMA market and enjoy local cuisine in the numerous restaurants.
4 Pemba. The old town consists mostly of traditional wooden huts and is located in a forest of baobab trees. There is a souk with traditional silversmiths. In the new town there are buildings from the colonial era, including a very impressive palace. The remaining houses there are simple concrete buildings, as can be found in many places in Africa.
5 Xai-Xai
Ponta do Ouro


Other destinations

Tourism is not very developed. Accommodation is rare, and an expansion of the tourist infrastructure is planned.

Bazaruto Archipelago: This group of islands off the coast of Mozambique, including Bazaruto, Benguerra and Magaruque, is known for its pristine beaches, coral reefs and diverse marine fauna. Here visitors can enjoy water sports such as diving, snorkeling, sailing and deep-sea fishing.

Gorongosa National Park: Restored after years of civil war, this national park is a gem for nature lovers. It is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, lions, buffalo and an impressive variety of birds. Safari excursions allow visitors to experience the beauty of the African wilderness.

Quirimbas Archipelago: Another stunning island area known for its white sandy beaches, clear waters and exotic marine life. Here travelers can relax, snorkel, dive or take boat trips to explore the surrounding islands.

Niassa Reserve: This vast protected area in northern Mozambique is one of the largest and most remote game reserves in Africa. It offers wonderful scenery, from dense forests to vast savannahs, and is home to an abundance of wildlife such as elephants, lions, giraffes and antelopes.

The Zambezi: The Zambezi River forms the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe and offers spectacular scenery as well as the opportunity to take boat trips to the impressive Victoria Falls, considered one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.


Getting here

Entry requirements

Citizens of most EU countries before the eastward expansion, as well as Swiss, Russians and Ukrainians, no longer need a real visa to enter Mozambique. They are allowed to enter the country for 30 days (extendable to 60 days) provided they have proof of accommodation and a return flight, provided they pay a fee of Tk 650 upon arrival.
Austrians, Luxembourgers and Liechtensteiners are not covered by this relief introduced in May 2023. All other foreigners who do not come from the immediately neighboring countries require a valid visa.

Different categories of electronic visa are available.

When arriving by plane, a visa is available for citizens of almost all countries even after landing. However, these visas on arrival (VOA) are not available at all land border crossings (overview (as of 2018)). Given the high prices in Europe, if you are in Africa it might make sense to use the VOA, which only costs US$50. Hotel reservation and return flight certificate must be presented. Occasionally you have to explain why you didn't apply for the visa at home. When applying at Maputo Airport, you do not need to take a photo with you; a photo may be required when entering the country at smaller crossings. In Central Europe, the following representations issue visas, which usually entitle you to stay for 30 days 60 days after issue:



Consular Department of the Embassy, Stromstraße 47, 10551 Berlin. Tel.: (0)30 398 765 00, email: Responsible for all of Germany and Austria (see below). Open: Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (closed June 25th).
Honorary Consulate, Große Elbstraße 138, 22767 Hamburg. Tel.: (0)40 376 734 00, email: Responsibility: State of Hamburg. Open: Mon.-Fri. 09.00-12.30, 13.30-16.30.
Honorary Consulate, Merkur Bank, Königstraße 41, Stuttgart. Tel.: (0)711 870 309 22, email: Responsibility: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Open: Mon.-Fri. 09.00-12.00. Price: Tourists: €100 one way 30 days; € 200 multiple times, 90 days for 30 days each; (if necessary, express surcharges + €50).



Section consulaire de l'Ambassade, Chemin Camille-VIDART 17, 2ème étage, 1202 Genève. Tel.: (0)22 901 17 83.



Austrian General Honorary Consulate, Schottenring 12/16, 1010 Vienna (Börseviertel). Tel.: +43 664 8110 880, email: Open: Visa only by telephone appointment.

Extensions of stay up to a total of 90 days can be applied for at Migração in any provincial capital.


Yellow fever vaccination

Theoretically, Mozambique requires travelers from risk areas to present a vaccination certificate, which also included Angola and Zambia in 2014, although it is not clear how strictly this is monitored. At least when traveling on to South Africa, proof is essential for travelers who have visited the aforementioned countries.

Direct flights from Central Europe (cheap with Ethiopian, Ethiad, Air France, TAP, among others) to Maputo (MPM) are almost twice as expensive as flights to Johannesburg in South Africa. The connection to Maputo with one of the relatively comfortable buses from various companies is completely uncomplicated and takes around seven hours including a stop at the border.

Smaller land border crossings in particular are only open during the day - to Malawi usually between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., to Eswatini between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.



The Portuguese TAP offers direct flights to Maputo from Lisbon. The national airline LAM Mozambique Airlines also flies to Johannesburg, Durban, Nairobi, Harare and Dar es Salaam. From Central Europe we recommend a flight with Lufthansa or South African Airways via Johannesburg. Swazi Express Airways (via Manzini) operates between Maputo and Durban and Kenya Airways (from Nairobi) and Air Tanzania (from Dar-es-Salaam) also fly to Maputo.

The airport tax, which was previously due in cash upon departure, is now invoiced in the ticket price.



The trains are operated by Caminhos de Ferro do Moçambique (CFM). In 2015, the following passenger lines existed, separated by region:

North: from the port of Nacala, a comparatively new route of the partially privatized CDN connects with the Central East African Railway (CEAR) from Malawi. Passenger service was stopped on the Sena route.
Central region: Beira to Moatize and Beira to the border town of Machipanda. Contrary to descriptions to the contrary, the train connection towards Zimbabwe, Mutare-Beira, does not carry any passengers.
South: daily connections from the capital on the lines to Goba (border with Eswatini), Limpopo (towards Zimbabwe) and to the border crossing with South Africa at Ressano Garcia. From Johannesburg, 530 m away, you can take the night train via Komatipoort (2015: seat 170 rand, couchette 250 rand). The trains end at the border in Ressano Garcia. Minibuses take you from the train station to the border post, which is about 5km away. There you cross the border on foot. On the Mozambican side it is difficult not to find a minibus (chappa) to Maputo (88 km).

The Maputo-Durban line runs through Eswatini. The Maputo-Nelspruit connection has a connection to Barberton, which is close to the border with Eswatini.
From Zimbabwe's Somabhula (near Gweru) you can drive north via Harare and then enter Mozambique via the Mutare-Manica border crossing (Machipanda). From Bulawayo (departure on Wednesday lunchtime) to the border at Chicualacuala it is 500km, from there to Maputo (arrival early on Friday morning) another 534km. Trains also run from Maputo with connections on Wednesdays around midday. Alternatively, you can drive southeast to Chókwé from Maputo.



From Malawi: All border crossings between Malawi and Mozambique can be reached by bus or minibus; However, Dedza can be a little more difficult. From Blantyre you can take a minibus to the Mwanza – Zóbuè border crossing and then continue to Tete; or you drive via Nsanje to the border at Vila Nova da Fronteira and then take a bus to Vila de Sena and finally Caia. From Blantyre you can also drive via the Mulanje - Milange border crossing to Mocuba, from where you can continue to either Nampula or Quelimane. From Liwonde you can get to Cuamba by bus via the Nayuchi – Entre Lagos border crossing. The route Mangochi via Namwera to the border at Chiponde – Mandimba and then to Cuamba can also be done by bus.

From South Africa: Johannesburg and Pretoria via Nelspruit daily to Maputo. The journey from Johannesburg takes around seven hours and is completely uncomplicated or can be completed with several minibuses (with a change at the border at Ressano Garcia). Buses depart Johannesburg early, no later than 9 a.m. From Durban, buses run through Eswatini to Maputo.

From Eswatini: Minibuses run from both Maputo and Mbabane to the Lomahasha – Namaacha border crossing, from where you can connect to Maputo.

From Tanzania: The border crossing at Moçimboa do Rovuma can be reached from Newala by minibus. From there minibuses go to Mueda.

From Zambia: Traveling from Zambia to Mozambique by bus or minibus is rather difficult due to the irregular connections.

From Zimbabwe: From Harare, minibuses go to the Nyamapanda border crossing, from where you can get to Changara and finally Tete. If you want to go to Beira, you can take a minibus from Harare to the Mutare – Manica border post (Machipanda Borderpost) and from there continue to Chimoio. The Espungabera border crossing is rather difficult to reach without your own vehicle.

Maputo - Beira: with Pantera Azul. Travels via Maxixe (Tofo) and Vilanculos. Buying partial routes is possible. Be sure to book in advance. The South African Intercape (RSA) has also been serving the route since 2012.



In Mozambique, traffic drives on the left. Foreigners need an international driver's license. (In Germany, this can only be issued if you already have an EU driving license.) A Carnet de passages is not necessary, but is required by most neighboring countries.

If you want to drive into Mozambique with a vehicle registered abroad, you have to pay for a temporary import permit (TIP) and partial comprehensive insurance at the border. Many South African car rental companies exclude trips to Mozambique; It is best to clarify this with the respective landlord before signing the contract. You should never leave your car unattended.



Maputo is visited by some cruise ships.

A wonderful boat trip with the Ilala to Mozambique is across Lake Malawi from Nkhata Bay via Likoma Island to Cobué, although it is not guaranteed that there will be means of transport in Cobué for the onward journey. The crossing is possible once a week and departs every Monday from Nkhata Bay. We recommend spending a few nights in Likoma and then taking a local fishing boat to Cobué. There are few accommodation options in Cobué itself, but there is the Nkwichi Lodge in the immediate vicinity. After Cobué, the Ilala docks in Metangula, also Mozambique, and from there there are options to get to Lichinga by minibus. There is also a lodge very close to Metangula: Mbuna Bay.


Local transport

Bus: Traveling by public transport is still relatively difficult. The minibuses depart from each destination between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. So you have to get up early to get to the next town. Short distances are still served by buses during the day. As is generally the case in Africa, you pay for a seat but only get 1/3 of it - Mozambique is no exception. The journey remains exciting until the last meter.

Airplane: The LAM offers a good network within Mozambique, mainly from Maputo. STA is a smaller company that flies from Maputo to Nampula, Bazaruto, Chimoio and Inhaca.



The national currency is the new Mozambican Metical (pl. Meticais) at 100 centavos. The exchange rate at the beginning of September 2022 was €1 = 63 MT (bank code: MZN). All banknotes show the portrait of the country's founder, Samora Moisés Machel, in an oval on the front and big game on the back.

ATMs for foreign cards almost only accept Visa. The exchange rates are freed, so a profitable black market no longer exists. South African rands and US dollars can be easily exchanged anywhere.

In Maputo there are stands of northern Mozambican wood carvers who offer wood carvings of exquisite quality far beyond the so-called “airport art”.



Fish market in Maputo: A must for every fish and seafood lover. It's a lot of fun when several people go together. Buy fish, give it away and have it prepared in the restaurant around the corner. The whole thing is dirt cheap.

On many beaches you can buy fish and seafood directly from the fishermen (or their middlemen) in the morning. In the markets you can find a limited selection of vegetables (mostly potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, eggplant and lettuce) and fruit. You only have a larger selection at the markets in Maputo and the provincial capitals.



In addition to hotels, there are simple, sometimes very rudimentary pensões. There are numerous campsites, especially along the southern coast, wild camping is prohibited and not recommended due to the generally poor security situation (and in some cases landmines still lying around).

Nacala: Fim do Mundo Safaris, Bay Diving. Farther outside. Very nice owners. Padi and Naui courses on offer.
Cobué: Nkwichi Lodge - worth seeing and very individual.
Nkholongue (Lake Malawi): Mbuna Bay Colongue Retreat -
Tofo: Bamboozi Backpackers. Too expensive and too unfriendly. Located far outside the village.
Tofo: Fatima's Backpackers. A little outside, next to Bamboozi, very friendly and inexpensive.
Tofo: Turtle Cove. Also a little outside, but very friendly and inexpensive.
Vilanculo: Baobab Beach. Very friendly and price-performance ratio is right.
Nampula: Hotel Lúrio. Slightly neglected hotel in the center of the city. Very friendly. Double room approx. 25 U$
Cuamba: Pensão São Miguel. Very friendly hotel/restaurant. Room about 16 U$
Chimoio: Pink Papaya Backpacker Hostel. Family atmosphere, central, with lots of information about travel options to Zimbabwe, Malawi, northern Mozambique.



Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, and European travelers should always be aware of this. Pickpocketing is commonplace - no different than at any European train station. However, open violence is very rare. Those who adhere to basic rules of conduct, do not show large sums of money openly, and carry valuables on their person in locked pockets are less likely to get into problems.

Driving after dark should definitely be avoided. Cars should not be left unattended.

When planning hikes and mountain tours in the national parks, you should keep in mind that the nearest health center or hospital is usually many hours, if not days, away. There is de facto no rescue service in Mozambique.

Snakes: Black Mamba



Before traveling to Mozambique you should check your vaccination protection. Hepatitis A and B vaccination is recommended but not mandatory. Malaria prophylaxis is still recommended, although the risk of infection can be significantly minimized through consistent use of mosquito repellent and mosquito nets.

In many regions of Mozambique, up to 20% of the population is HIV positive.

Uncooked food should be consumed with caution in all tropical countries, as should unfiltered or unboiled water. Ice cream and ice cubes are a potential health risk because it cannot be assumed that the food has been continuously refrigerated. On the other hand, it is unnecessary to eat exclusively canned food while traveling in Mozambique, as many travel guides and family doctors recommend. Grilled and fried foods are generally safe, even in the tropics.


Climate and travel time

Mozambique is characterized by a subtropical climate with a pronounced rainy season from November to February. During this time the sun is at its zenith and temperatures are well above 30 degrees. Thunderstorms and heavy rain must be expected every day. Nevertheless, this time is the high season in many resorts in Inhambane, which is partly due to South Africans' willingness to travel. During the summer/Christmas holiday period from the beginning of December to mid-January, these are not only on tour in their own country. In March the temperatures slowly fall.

The dry season lasts from May to October. During this time there are moderate temperatures comparable to southern European summer time. Many smaller roads are only passable in the dry season.


Post and telecommunications

The postal company is called Correios de Moçambique. Shipping abroad is reliable, domestic deliveries are less reliable.

The international area code to Mozambique is +258, long-distance calls within the country do not use 0 in the area code. From South Africa you dial 09.

Landline telephones are operated by Telecommunication de Mozambique (TDM). Mobile service providers are MTN Group (formerly mCell) and the South African Vodacom.



Before the great exploration voyages of the Europeans, Arabs had ruled the coast of Africa for centuries. They traded between Africa, the Orient and India in gold, ivory and African slaves. In 1497, Pedro da Covilhã, who explored the sea route from Arabia to East Africa on behalf of the Portuguese king, was the first Portuguese to land in Sofala. In 1498 Vasco da Gama reached Mozambique on his way to India: On the island of Mozambique he met the Sheikh Moussa Ben Mbiki, from whom the name Mozambique derives. The Portuguese then took control of these trading centers and advanced inland along the Zambezi in search of gold. For centuries the Portuguese were content with trading slaves and did not care much about the population. Their rule lasted into the 20th century, and living conditions in the colonies deteriorated significantly due to forced labor, exploitative contracts and ruthless treatment. The city of Ilha de Moçambique was the country's capital until 1898. She also gave the country its name.

In 1890, Portugal had to give in to British pressure and forgo connecting Angola and Mozambique to a closed South African colonial empire. Instead, the influence of British capital increased significantly in the Portuguese colonies. Negotiations about a British-German alliance led to the Angola Treaty in 1898: In the event that Portugal needed money, Germany and Great Britain agreed on a joint loan, for which the Portuguese colonies were provided as collateral. In the event of Portugal's expected insolvency, Angola and northern Mozambique should fall to Germany and southern Mozambique to Great Britain. In return, Germany renounced support for the Boers in their fight against Great Britain. The agreement was concluded on August 30, 1898, but was never implemented and was undermined in 1899 by the extension of the British guarantee of protection (Windsor Treaty) for Portugal and all its possessions.

In 1913 a new treaty was concluded between Great Britain and the German Empire, in which Mozambique was divided. The area north of the Zambezi was awarded to Germany and the area south of it to Great Britain. On July 27, 1914, Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg London gave approval for the publication of the contract, which had been kept secret until then. Then the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 made its implementation impossible. Angola and Mozambique initially remained in Portugal's possession. During the war, however, South Africa declared the whole of Mozambique as a target for conquest in 1915, and from 1917 onwards the German colonial troops from German East Africa withdrew fighting to Mozambique and actually occupied large parts of the northern half until 1918. As compensation, Portuguese East Africa received the Kionga Triangle at the Peace of Versailles in 1919.

Before 1961, the right to vote in elections for the Portuguese Parliament and the various colonial legislative assemblies was limited: hardly any locals were allowed to vote. In 1961, all citizens of the colonies received Portuguese citizenship and could vote in local and city council elections. Nevertheless, Europeans still had more civil rights than the non-European population.

In 1962 the freedom movement FRELIMO was founded. The more the Portuguese clung to their colonial possessions, the more radical FRELIMO's willingness to resist became. In 1964 the resistance fighters went into armed struggle, which ended very successfully in the north. But it was only after the Carnation Revolution and the overthrow of the dictatorial regime in Portugal that Mozambique gained independence as the People's Republic of Mozambique on June 25, 1975, after almost 500 years as a colony. Samora Machel became the country's first president in 1975, but not through general elections. With independence, general active and passive voting rights were introduced on June 25, 1975. This also meant universal women's suffrage.

In 1986, the FRELIMO president died in a plane crash. The Marxist forces prevailed in FRELIMO. Since they had control of the state, all important positions were occupied by their men. They nationalized industry and founded agricultural production cooperatives. But the migration of European skilled workers severely weakened the country's economy. In the mid-1970s, a new resistance movement emerged, supported by South Africa and Rhodesia - RENAMO. In contrast e.g. to the Angolan UNITA, RENAMO, which only emerged after independence, had never fought against the Portuguese colonial power and therefore had little moral support in the Mozambican opposition.

In 1976, the country nevertheless descended into a 16-year civil war between FRELIMO and RENAMO, which led to complete economic collapse. Mozambique received support e.g.after 1980 by Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia), which sent 10,000 soldiers to secure the Beira Corridor. In 1983 there were also 750 military advisors and trainers from Cuba, 600 from the Soviet Union and 100 from the GDR in the country. But only after the signing of the peace treaty, the General Peace Agreement of Rome, and with the help of UN peacekeepers, was the country able to be stabilized and the first opposition party founded. Mozambique has been a member of the Commonwealth of Nations since 1995. Along with Togo, Gabon and Rwanda, Mozambique is one of the Commonwealth states that were not formerly a British colony. Large-scale white emigration, economic dependence on South Africa, a prolonged drought and the protracted civil war hampered the country's economic development. Since turning away from Marxism-Leninism and FRELIMO's one-party rule, Renamo has established itself as a political party and has been the parliamentary opposition in the country since 1994. The first democratic elections were held under the supervision of ONUMOZ in October 1994. This led to the consolidation of the old government, and RENAMO, after pressure from neighboring states, accepted the seats in parliament, thus forming the opposition.

The democratization of the country was the achievement of President Joaquim Alberto Chissano, who came to power after Samora Machel. Chissano's contributions to democracy, the drafting of a constitution with a multi-party system, the normalization of relations with neighboring South Africa and, in particular, the fact that after two terms in office he decided not to run again as president and paved the way for a successor, brought him in October In 2007, after the end of his presidency, he received the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Prize for Good Governance.

In February 2000, heavy rains led to a catastrophic flood that claimed numerous lives.

In October 2013, reports of increasing fighting between the former civil war parties fueled fears of an abandonment of the 1992 peace agreement - at least this was announced by a RENAMO spokesman as a possible consequence of the capture of the RENAMO headquarters near Gorongosa by government troops. On August 6, 2019, FRELIMO and RENAMO concluded a peace agreement.

Since 2017, a jihadist group allied with the Islamic State called al-Shabab has been spreading and carrying out a number of attacks, especially in Cabo Delgado province. In March 2021, the group took over the city of Palma for a few days, but was pushed back by the military. Palma is the economic center for the exploitation of the region's rich gas reserves, which are operated primarily by western companies such as ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies. The unequal distribution of profits from the extraction of energy resources can be interpreted as one of the reasons for the armed uprising by the al-Shabab militia.



Location and description

Along the 2800 km long coast there is a wide coastal lowland. It covers most of the south, but narrows northwards from the Zambezi estuary. Behind the coast, the land rises in stages up to the approximately 1000 m high plateau of the high field. The highest mountain is Monte Binga in Manica province (on the border with Zimbabwe) at 2436 m.

With a land area of 801,590 km², Mozambique ranks 34th in the world. 18% of the land area is forest and bush land, 4% arable land, 55% meadows and pastures.

The extent of the country is 2000 km north-south and 50 to 600 km west-east. The coast of the Indian Ocean is 2800 km long.

Mozambique has 4571 km of national borders, of which 756 km with Tanzania, 1569 km with Malawi, 419 km with Zambia, 1231 km with Zimbabwe, 491 km with South Africa and 105 km with Eswatini.



Savannah climate with a wet and a dry season prevails. Around 80% of the annual precipitation falls in the rainy season, which runs from November to April. Depending on the region, these vary between 700 and 1500 mm per year. While the temperatures during the rainy season are hot and humid (tropical), the dry season is mainly characterized by significantly cooler nights. Day temperatures are between 25 and 30 °C all year round, inland up to 35 °C. The nights are sometimes very humid at around 15 to 25 °C, especially on the coast.

In some years, around 2007/2008, there was unusually high rainfall, which claimed lives and threatened harvests. Overall, the country experiences high climate variability and frequent extreme weather events (particularly droughts, floods, tropical cyclones). Droughts are the most common disasters, occur about every three to four years and massively impede the country's development. Regarding the consequences of global warming, it is assumed that cyclones could occur less frequently, but their intensity and thus precipitation is likely to increase. In 2019, for example, Cyclones Idai and Kenneth were unusually intense and caused severe damage. These weather events can also lead to increased erosion in coastal areas. Since a large part of the population and especially many poor people in rural areas live from rainfed agriculture, they are particularly vulnerable to changes in precipitation patterns.


Bodies of water

The country's numerous rivers flow east from the highlands into the Mozambique Straits. The largest river is the Zambezi (2,574 km), which is dammed in western Mozambique by the Cahora Bassa Dam. Other large rivers are the Rovuma, the border river to Tanzania, as well as the Sava and the Limpopo. Lake Malawi forms part of the border with Malawi; its outflow is the Shire, which empties into the Zambezi. Together with the Lurio, the drainage basins of these rivers make up over half of the country. However, due to its geography, Mozambique only accounts for a comparatively small proportion of the catchment areas of international rivers. The national water authority Direcção Nacional de Águas is responsible for drinking water production and monitoring the water situation.



The dominant vegetation is dry savannah with dry grasslands and some dry forests. Some of the trees in the savannah shed their leaves during the dry season and turn green during the rainy season. Typical trees of the dry savannah are umbrella acacias and baobabs. The grass is brown and withers in the dry season but grows up to 2 meters high during the rainy season.



Ethnic groups

The majority of the total population belongs to Bantu peoples. The Makua make up the largest group with about 40% of the population, and the Tsonga are also an influential group with 21%. The Yao, who also live in Malawi, make up 12% of the population, and the Makonde in the north-east are also a strong minority at 11%. The East African Swahili ethnic group lives in the coastal area and makes up 7% of the population. In addition, the Chewa still live in the country with a share of 4% of the population - their main settlement area is Malawi. The smaller 3% Shona minority in the West, in turn, forms the majority population in Zimbabwe.

In 2017, 0.8% of the population was foreign-born. Furthermore, many people with a migration background (Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese), Europeans (mainly Portuguese) and South Africans live in Mozambique. The return of almost five million internally displaced persons to their home towns and the return of 1.7 million refugees from neighboring countries after the end of the Mozambican civil war as well as around 15,000 Mozambicans from the former German Democratic Republic, so-called Madgermanes, pose major challenges for the country.

Mozambique has a significant diaspora in South Africa. In 2017, around 680,000 people from Mozambique lived there. Other countries with many Mozambicans living abroad are Zimbabwe (90,000) and Portugal (70,000).



Altogether more than 40 languages are spoken in the country. The native national languages belong to the language group of the Bantu languages. According to the 2007 census, Portuguese, the only official language, is now spoken by about 12% (mainly in cities) of the total population as a mother tongue, but in Maputo it is spoken by about 25%. A good 50% speak Portuguese as a second language in addition to their native language. Most Mozambicans speak more than one native language. In addition to the official language Portuguese, the most important languages include (sorted according to the proportion of speakers):
Makua, also eMakhuwa - the most important language in northern Mozambique is spoken by 25.3% of the population according to the 2007 census. 40% of the residents are considered ethnic Makua. These speak different variants within an eMakua dialect continuum or "Makhuwa languages" - according to Ethnologue nine in Mozambique -, of which the "central Makhuwa" - 2006 with 3.09 million speakers - also simply as "eMakhuwa" or "eMakua".
Changana – spoken by 10.7% of the population in the South West in Maputo Province and Gaza Province, also called Ronga in Maputo City; however, the ethnic Tsonga population is 21%
Sena – in Sofala province by 7.5% of the population
Chilomwe - 7% of the population (closely related to eMakhua)
Chuwabo - 5.1% of the population
Swahili – in the north (border with Tanzania)
ChiMakonde – in the northeast (province of Cabo Delgado)
Chichewa – also called Nyanja; to the west (Tete Province), the area borders Zambia and Malawi, where this language is also spoken.
Shona - Spoken by the Shona people
Ndau - Spoken in Sofala Province, related to the Shona language
Tswa – in the South East (Inhambane Province)
Among foreign languages, those spoken by Chinese, Indian and Pakistani immigrants stand out.



During the colonial period, the Roman Catholic Church was by far the most important Christian denomination. Since independence, however, evangelical movements have become increasingly important. Of particular importance is the popular TV station TV Miramar, which is owned by the Brazilian faith healer sect Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus, which also broadcasts Christian fundamentalist content in addition to well-known Brazilian telenovelas.

According to a survey from 2007, a total of 28.4% of the inhabitants are Roman Catholic (mainly in the south and south-west) and 17.9% are Muslim (mainly Sunni, especially in the north and in the coastal regions). 15.5% are Zionist Christians. Protestants make up 12.2% of the population, of which 10.9% are Pentecostals and 1.3% Anglicans. 6.7% belong to other religions, mostly traditional religions. 18.7% do not belong to any religion and 0.7% are not recorded.



Political system

The then ruling FRELIMO government officially broke away from Marxism in 1989. The constitution drawn up the following year guarantees free elections in a multi-party system and a free market economy. According to this constitution, Mozambique is a presidential republic. The president is head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. In the latter function, he is advised by the Council for National Defense and Security, which is elected by Parliament on a party-by-party basis. The president also has the task of appointing the prime minister.

The president is directly elected for five years and can be re-elected once. In the 2014 presidential election, former Defense Minister Filipe Nyusi (FRELIMO) was elected president. He appointed Carlos Agostinho do Rosário as Prime Minister of Mozambique in January 2015. Presidential elections were held again in 2019, in which, according to the electoral commission, Nyusi won with around 73% of the vote.

The legislature consists of a unicameral parliament. The Assembly of the Republic (Portuguese Assembleia da República) has 250 members who are elected for a five-year term using proportional representation. In the last parliamentary elections in 2019, which took place at the same time as the presidential elections, FRELIMO won 184 (2014: 144) of the 250 seats and thus has a majority that can change the constitution. RENAMO received 60 (2014: 89) mandates, the MDM 6 (2014: 17). The elections were marred by violence, targeted killings, irregularities and allegations of fraud. The opposition criticizes the elections as neither free nor fair. The elections were the most undemocratic since the introduction of the multi-party system.


Justice system

The prison conditions are extremely harsh and have already led to several deaths. The courts are understaffed and the inadequately trained judges work inefficiently and are influenced by the ruling party. According to Amnesty International, the police used excessive force during demonstrations and when arresting crime suspects. 13 prisoners suffocated to death in police custody in an overcrowded prison cell. Two police officers had to appear in court in this connection. A high-ranking police officer was convicted of murder for an extrajudicial killing in 2007.


Human rights

Cases of serious human rights violations were also reported in 2009: freedom of the press is severely restricted and independent media are hindered. Societal problems such as domestic violence, discrimination against women, abuse, exploitation, forced child labor, and discrimination against sexual minorities and people with HIV/AIDS remain widespread, as documented in annual U.S. Department of State human rights reports. There are also repeated attacks, discrimination and acts of violence based on people's sexual orientation. Homosexuality has no longer been considered a criminal offense since 2015.

In 2016, there were reports of human rights violations in renewed fighting between government troops and RENAMO. The spread of an offshoot of the Islamic State terrorist group since 2015 has further worsened the human rights situation in the north of the country.


Foreign policy

Of rapidly growing importance for Mozambique are relations with India (Mozambique has an economically important Indian diaspora), Brazil (due to linguistic and cultural similarities) and the People's Republic of China, which is investing heavily in infrastructure and the development of the country's raw material reserves. Due to its location on the Indian Ocean, growing economy and raw material reserves, it is increasingly becoming the destination of large international companies. Relations with the states of the European Union and the United States are good and are being intensified by both sides. The relationship with the former colonial power Portugal is close and friendly, but not always free of tension.

Important multilateral organizations of which Mozambique is a member include: the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries. Mozambique is actively involved in these organizations. For example, Mozambique was able to B. successfully mediated in a border dispute between Tanzania and Malawi within the framework of SADC.



Mozambique spent almost 3.1 percent of its economic output, or $103 million, on its armed forces in 2017.