Expats travelling to Mozambique are advised to exercise caution. The country is known to experience waves of crime and political tension. To make matters worse, the Mozambique Police Force (PRM) isn’t very trustworthy. It suffers from limited resources, staff shortages and widespread corruption. Expats should therefore keep up with current affairs in the country and remain vigilant.

Crime in Mozambique

Petty theft is common in Mozambique, especially in the capital, Maputo. Foreigners are often targets due to their perceived wealth. Most crimes against foreigners are non-violent crimes of opportunity. Pickpocketing, theft of unattended possessions and bag-snatching are common.

Thieves often attempt to distract victims by asking questions, begging for money, bumping against individuals or offering to sell items. This kind of distraction may give an accomplice the opportunity to take luggage or pick a victim’s pocket. People walking alone, especially at night, with bags or purses are typical targets. Expats should take precautions by keeping their valuables locked up at home. 

It's also important to be vigilant on the roads. Criminals will often impersonate police and pull motorists over, and then proceed to rob them of valuables.

In recent years, there has been a spike in kidnappings. The goal of kidnappers is to receive a ransom payment. Expats should avoid walking alone at night and be aware of their surroundings. 'Virtual kidnapping' has also become more prevalent. Text messages and phone calls from unknown numbers claiming to have kidnapped family members are common.

Terrorism and conflict in Mozambique

Mozambique has seen a worrying rise in terrorism. Loose security protocols, lack of capacity, and corruption-related issues in the police services also exacerbate terrorism threats. There have been violent extremist attacks in the northern province that borders Tanzania. 

In Maputo, there is a moderate risk of terrorism. That said, the regional and international terrorist threat is growing, especially in the northern parts of Mozambique. The expansion of Al-Shabab in eastern Africa, coupled with the recent rise of ISIS globally, is of growing concern. In recent years, Mozambique has experienced several reputedly Al-Shabaab related attacks, particularly in the north of the country. 

The risk of civil unrest in Maputo has declined since the signing of the 2016 ceasefire agreement. However, political tension does occasionally flair up in Mozambique. It is therefore important to stay informed and keep up-to-date with the news. Expats should avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, as they can turn violent. 

Road safety in Mozambique

One of the greatest personal safety threats in Mozambique is motor vehicles. Expats should exercise caution when near roads or cars. There is a lack of street lights, stop signs, traffic signals, sidewalks and guardrails. This, combined with potholes and unpaved road surfaces, increases the risk of injury or death on the roads. Local drivers may also have little consideration for pedestrians and other road users.

During the rainy season, mud, deep puddles and flooding add to the dangers of the roads. Roads and bridges frequently wash out during this time of year.

If there is an accident on the road, a large crowd may gather and could become hostile and aggressive. If this happens, expats are advised to get away from the scene and to contact local police or their embassy

Health safety in Mozambique

Mozambique is a malaria zone. Malarial prophylaxis is essential when travelling to the country. Expats should consult their doctor before visiting Mozambique. During summer, the threat of malaria is worse. Expats should therefore take the necessary precautions, such as preventative medicine and insect repellent.

All tap water is assumed to be unsafe to drink. This is especially true the further one goes from the capital. Tap water in Mozambique carries the threat of bilharzia and cholera. Expats should therefore only drink boiled, treated or bottled water.

The recommended vaccinations when travelling to Mozambique include typhoid and hepatitis A.

Emergency numbers in Mozambique

  • Police: 112 or 119

  • Ambulance: 117

  • Fire: 198

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global (10% off family health plans in June)

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!