Updated: Nov 19, 2020
If you or your clients are planning to pay a visit to Mozambique, this travel risk report can help you in trip preparation for this East African country, enabling you to mitigate travel risks. Mozambique is facing many sociopolitical and environmental issues impacting the country's stability. The overall security situation is unstable, affected by the heightened risk that includes threats of terrorism, civil unrest, crime, political violence, road accidents, infectious diseases, and natural disasters.
Mozambique is endowed with natural resources; most of them are yet to be explored. The fact of being rich in natural resources has caused more damage than good for Mozambique. Major foreign companies operating in the country's energy sector include Anadarko (it sold its assets to Total in 2019), ENI, Total, Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), and others. Considerable gas reserves were found off the coast of Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province in 2010; the province is now home to Africa's three largest liquid natural gas (LNG) projects: the Mozambique LNG Project (now Total, formerly Anadarko, worth $20bn), Coral FLNG Project (ENI and ExxonMobil, worth $4.7bn), and Rovuma LNG Project (ExxonMobil, ENI, and CNPC, worth $30bn); however, this province in northern Mozambique has been hit by the Islamist insurgency—an ongoing conflict between Islamist militants attempting to establish an Islamic state in the region and Mozambican security forces.
The security situation in Cabo Delgado has been deteriorated since 2019 due to the increased risk of terrorism. Various armed groups linked to transnational terrorist organizations are active in Mozambique, including the ISIS-inspired Ahlu-Sunnah Wal Jama’at (Al-Sunnah) group that has attacked communities across Cabo Delgado, killing over several hundred people, and injuring many; also, Al Shabaab (not connected with the Somali Al Shabaab) has claimed responsibility for some attacks. Decapitations, mass kidnappings, and destruction of entire villages have caused some 100,000 people to flee the province. Extremists burnt government property involving buildings, military assets, banks, and vehicles; as a result, the Mozambican government has deployed the military to Cabo Delgado. In 2019, the Russian private military company Wagner won a contract in Mozambique to provide security in the province and help fight the uprising. Anyway, none of these measures made the situation any safer; suspected terrorist attacks on villages in Cabo Delgado are likely to continue in the coming period.
There is a very high risk of civil riots in Mozambique since the rising costs of living, poverty, displacement, and unemployment. Political violence, protests, and clashes between the opposition party RENAMO and the ruler party FRELIMO can be triggered—especially during elections.
Crime is greater in urban areas, particularly in the capital Maputo. In major cities, there has been an elevated risk of pickpocketing, armed robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping.
Regarding the health risk in Mozambique, antimalarial medication is recommended to travelers visiting Mozambique; it should be taken before, during, and after your trip. Dengue and chikungunya are also present and can be prevented through the use of mosquito repellents and nettings. The public health system is poorly maintained and equipped in the country; there are few hospitals; supplies of medicine are limited; only basic medical care is locally available; serious medical conditions require MEDEVAC to South Africa. Bear in mind that immediate cash payments are required for medical services.
There is no risk of yellow fever in Mozambique; but, the yellow fever vaccination is required to enter the country if you are arriving from a country with a risk of yellow fever; likewise, the following immunizations are recommended: Hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, typhoid fever, cholera, and rabies. If traveling with kids, make sure that they have BCG and MMR shots.
Coronavirus in Mozambique
The local government has declared a national state of emergency due to COVID-19, which will remain active indefinitely; these measures have imposed national/international travel restrictions. Only Mozambican nationals and foreigners with a valid visa can enter the country; it is not possible to get a visa on arrival; all other visas issued before April 1, 2020, have been canceled. Those who enter the country must show proof of a negative PCR test on coronavirus, issued in their departure country 72 hours before travel; besides, you will have to self-isolate yourself in your own accommodation for 10 days upon arrival in Mozambique. Wearing face masks is mandatory in all public spaces, public transport, and hotels.
Road safety is a big concern in Mozambique because of road accidents caused by poor driving standards, bad road conditions, and violent crimes like hijackings and armed robbery; also, police patrols and checkpoints are common.
Public transportation is unreliable and dangerous.
There is a risk of piracy off the coast of Mozambique.
All Mozambican airlines, excluding LAM, are on the list of banned airlines by the EU.
Concerning the risk of natural disasters, there are possible threats of cyclones in coastal areas, and flash floods, and landslides in the Zambezi River basin.
Language: the official language in Mozambique is Portuguese;
Currency: the currency is the metical (MZN); the U.S. dollar and South African rand are the easiest currencies to exchange in banks or exchange offices;
Driving side: Mozambique is a left-side-driving country;
Internet: the internet is slow; local internet providers are expensive;
Water supply: water restriction is common in some areas;
Climate: the climate is tropical; the average temperature is ranging from 26 °C to 31 °C during the rainy season (November–March) and from 15 °C to 20 °C during the dry season (April–October);
Country code: +258;
Religion: 28% of the population is Roman Catholic, 18% Muslim (mostly Sunni), 15% Zionist Christian, 12% Protestant, and 7% other religions.
Travel Risk Management for Mozambique
With respect to traveling to Mozambique, you should plan your trip properly to prevent dangers affiliated with a journey to this country; take into account developing a contingency plan for emergencies. Nemesis Protection Global LLC is capable of providing services for reducing travel-related risks. Our personal security specialists will determine and minimize location-specific threats by implementing protective measures aligned with your threat profile. The service covers the following but not limited to.
Travel risk advisory, reports, and planning—collecting, analyzing, and providing actionable and accurate intel from all-source information, and detail risk, threat, and vulnerability assessments to identify, evaluate, and mitigate threats linked to visiting Mozambique;
Journey tracking—constant monitoring of your trip by our Global Operations Control Center to ensure rapid and timely response and adequate support in any adverse unforeseen event (such as natural hazards, political crisis, terrorist attacks, and serious medical injuries);
Travel security includes optimal protective measures (like close protection and secure transportation services) to safeguard you and maintain your personal security/safety in an unobtrusive, discreet, and professional manner;
Crisis response contains the emergency evacuation insurance (extraction and repatriation from a crisis-stricken place) and insurance against kidnapping (ensuring appropriate answer to kidnap-for-ransom situations—risk advisory, crisis negotiations, and the retrieval of kidnapped).
For all your security needs in Mozambique, contact our regional team at firstname.lastname@example.org.