The time to visit Mozambique is now. Students will find themselves meandering past colonial-era buildings, swimming through crystal-clear waters and, if you’re brave enough, adventuring on a safari. No matter what your interests are, you’ll find something, or everything, for you in vibrant Mozambique.
Mozambique is best for students who are interested in wildlife, nature, volunteering, experiencing a unique culture in a yet-to-be-discovered area.Photo credit: Jeroen Looyé.
Students interested in studying in Mozambique can choose from:
- A community volunteer program
- A wildlife volunteer program
Community Volunteer Program
Since the 1992 civil war, Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, which means there are plenty of volunteer programs available. High schoolers can provide support in community-building, educating people about health and environmental practices, or teaching youth. Promoting awareness about diseases is one of the first ways to help prevent the spread of the disease. Teaching children in under-privileged areas empowers Mozambique youth and open doors for better jobs in the future.
Wildlife Volunteer Program
Whether you prefer to spend time on land or in the sea, Mozambique has several wildlife and conservation programs for students to participate in. Those interested in volunteering with marine life can work with dolphin and sea turtle populations off the Mozambique coast. If keeping the land beneath your feet is more your style, you can work with local lion populations.
Volunteers can feed and maintain the habitat of cheetahs, lions, meerkats, and hyenas. If you’d rather not decide between land and sea, there are some organizations with programs that span both the marine parks in Mozambique and wildlife safaris in South Africa.
It is highly recommended you obtain a Mozambique visa before arriving in the country. A few nationalities are able to obtain one upon arrival, but it is safer to have everything set up in advance. In general, to obtain a Mozambique tourist visa you need to provide: a passport valid for six months with several blank pages remaining, two passport photos, proof of return flight, and information about your accommodation.
Travelers who have visited a country where Yellow Fever is present will need to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival. Be sure to check the Mozambique embassy’s visa regulations for your country online. Most of the time, volunteer organizations will assist students with their visa applications.
Homestays are frequently provided as a housing options for volunteers. Depending on the remoteness of a location, sometimes students are given a bed in a shared living area with other volunteer and staff.
If you’re flying from North America to Mozambique, flights can cost around $1,200 USD, while students traveling from Europe can pay between $1,000 to $1,200.
Mozambique is relatively inexpensive compared to Western European and North American countries. Living in larger cities is more costly than staying in smaller towns and villages. Students budgeting for transportation, food, nights out and additional expenses can estimate spending around $30 USD a day in the larger cities and even less elsewhere.
Program costs in Mozambique vary depending on type of housing, length of stay and what amenities are included. A week-long volunteer program can cost $750 USD per week, but the longer you stay, the cheaper programs cost per week. For example, a six month volunteer program will only cost $7,800.
Culture and Etiquette
Under Mozambique law, men and women are constitutionally equal, but societal norms still maintain that women stay at home to perform domestic tasks. Female students should dress conservatively, since the Western style of dress is still slowly making its way to the larger cities.
If you love sun and heat then you’ll agree that Mozambique has consistently wonderful weather. The year-round average temperature is 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius). As Mozambique is in the southern hemisphere, summer lasts from October to April with hotter, humid weather, while winter runs from June through October and is both dryer and cooler.
- UPF (sun resistant) clothing
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
- A hat
- Solid walking shoes for outdoor adventures
- A power and voltage converter
In the summer:
- A rain jacket
Before visiting Mozambique, it is recommended students receive vaccinations for tuberculosis, Hepatitis A and B, and typhoid, and obtain preventative medication for malaria. Wash your hands before all meals and only drink bottled water. Make sure to avoid ice in beverages, as it may be made from unclean water. Visitors to Mozambique should not walk barefoot or swim in fresh bodies of water like rivers or lakes due to possible parasitic infection. Meningitis, HIV/AIDS, and cases of cholera have been reported in substantial numbers, so take the necessary precautions beforehand. Medical facilities are quite basic and medicines are frequently not available. Cash payment upon assistance is standard, so invest in travelers’ insurance before visiting.
Students visiting Mozambique should maintain a heightened level of awareness to have a safe and fun time in the country. Violent crime such as carjacking and armed robbery are reported in Beira and Maputo. Students should avoid displays of wealth and be hyper-vigilant of their surroundings. Pickpocketing and robbery are common in Maputo, even during the daytime. It is not recommended for students to travel at night or alone. Always carry your passport and travel documentation close to your body, since police may ask for to see them at any time.