There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
If you’re a victim of crime you should contact the local police immediately and get a police report. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Maputo if you need help. You should avoid walking on Avenida Friedrich Engels in Maputo City.
Mozambique doesn’t have as serious a crime problem as a number of other countries in the region. However, it’s a poor country with a high cost of living and those who are obviously better off may become targets. Street crime, such as pickpocketing or robbery with threats of violence, is a reality in Mozambique and, as anywhere, the risks increase after dark.
If you’re visiting this country, take local advice on areas to avoid and follow these basic, common-sense precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together – leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible
Street crime, such as pickpocketing or robbery with threats of violence, is a reality in Mozambique and, as anywhere, the risks increase after dark.
Car crime, including car-jacking, has been on the increase. Keep your car doors locked when driving and try to be aware if you’re being followed. Park your car in safe, open places. If somebody offers to watch your car for you, don’t react negatively. Be friendly and give the person some money when you return to your car. The appropriate price varies but would usually be around 5 meticais (about €0.15).
Gratuitous violence is not a feature of crime in Mozambique so if you are mugged or your car is hijacked, you should remain calm, offer no resistance and hand over your possessions without question.
Car crime has been on the increase. Keep your car doors locked when driving. Park your car in safe, open places. If somebody offers to watch your car for you, don’t react negatively. Be friendly and give the person some money when you return to your car. The appropriate price varies but would usually be around 5 meticais (about €0.10).
If you’re planning to drive in Mozambique, be extremely careful. Conditions are poor once you get off the major roads so make sure that you and your vehicle are capable of handling a road before setting off. There is inadequate lighting, even in urban areas, and vehicles are often badly maintained and driving standards are erratic. Be prepared for other road users to behave in unpredictable ways, including overtaking on blind bends and driving at night without lights.
Due to recent incidents, we recommend you get local advice before travelling on the EN1 road in Sofala province.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance. We also recommend you bring an International Driving Permit
- You must carry original identification documents and vehicle documents at all times (notarised copies are not acceptable) and you may be asked to produce them by the authorities. Always make sure that your documents are returned to you
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security.
If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Whilst violent crime does occur at times, most visits to Mozambique are trouble-free. There has been a recent significant increase in cases of criminal kidnappings so extra care should be taken.
Cases of kidnapping take place primarily in larger cities, especially Maputo and Matola. Individuals perceived as wealthy, including foreigners, tend to be preferred targets. Be extremely vigilant at all times, avoid displaying signs of affluence, consider regularly modifying your patterns of travel, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Take note of the condition of the vehicle before you decide to use public transport and make other arrangements if you have any concerns.
Since 2011, the European Commission has put an operating ban on air carriers certified in Mozambique and we advise you to avoid flying with any carriers subject to this ban.
If your passport is stolen, make a police report immediately. You should also inform the local immigration authorities and show them a copy of your police report. If you contact the Irish Embassy they can arrange a replacement passport.