Mozambique Safari - Complete Travel Guide

Sun-kissed white beaches, whales and dolphins peaking from clear waters, and canoeing alongside splashing hippos – Mozambique is the ultimate marine life destination. From swimming with beautiful multicoloured fish, to camping in an unspoiled forest or capturing beautiful birds in flight, Mozambique will impress even the most cynical traveller.

  • Best Time To Go

    May – November

  • Average Safari Cost

    $50 – $200

  • Highlights

    Beautiful marine life (whales, dolphins, turtles, fish and more), stunning palm-fringed beaches with clear ocean water, diving, great wildlife and birdwatching.

Why Go On A Mozambique Safari

Mozambique is generally a marine destination, with dolphins, whales and the like. Diving is extremely popular here, due the abundance of marine life and the clear waters. Honestly, everyone in the world knows about Mozambique’s stunning beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters.

Friendly locals, gorgeous off-shore islands, numerous whales, dolphins and colourful fish and excellent bird watching, make Mozambique the perfect beach safari. Add in a visit to Gorongosa National Park or Niassa Reserve, to enjoy some wilderness and wildlife, and your safari will be complete!

Pros And Cons

A safari is an adventure, and prone to challenges. We are here to help you choose the best adventure.
  • Many whale and dolphin species
  • Beautiful beaches and islands
  • Diving is fantastic most of the year
  • Very friendly locals
  • Birdwatching is great
  • Roads become muddy and flooded from December to early-April
  • Not your typical Big Five safari – only lion and elephant are present in good numbers and frequently seen

Best Time To Go

Mozambique has a warm tropical climate, with a hot wet season, followed by a cooler dry season.

Wet season: Novemebr – April

Dry season: May – October

The weather is warm but extremely wet. Flooding and muddy roads are a common occurrence, and this will make getting around rather difficult. You will, however, have the advantage of lower accommodation rates, and a less crowded visit. The may still be some sunny days in-between, and the rain might help ease the heat of high temperatures.
The rain taper off in April, and stop completely by May. This is a beautiful time to travel to Mozambique, as everything will be lush, green and vibrantly full of life. April is prime month for birdwatching, while May is great for diving.
The weather throughout the country is cool and dry, but not altogether cold. It may reach a daytime temperature of 66,2°F (19°C), but it’s unlikely to get lower than that. By August, sightings of humpback whales are fairly common, and dolphin sightings also increase. Hotels are beginning to fill up by mid-August.
Weather conditions are still mild, dry and pleasant. This is a great time for wildlife viewing, diving and whale watching.
The heat builds from November, and early rains start in December. Bird watching is great now, and so is whale-shark sightings. The seas are mostly calm as well, ensuring optimal diving conditions.
Start your Namibia Adventure

Wildlife And Birds

Mozambique is primarily a marine and bird life destination, with most conservation focused on marine life. Whales and dolphins can be seen throughout the year, and there is a good sized population of the endangered dugong here. That is not to say that you can’t see game here – you can. Elephant and lion populations are on the rise, but there are large populations of antelope.
List of Animals
  • Lion
  • Elephant
  • Cheetah
  • Leopard
  • Hippo
  • Hyena
  • Black Rhino
  • White Rhino
  • Southern Right Whale
  • Wild Dog

Mozambique is popular for the number of dolphins and whales that seen year-round. Form orcas and dugongs to bottle-nosed and humped dolphins, the marine life is abundant. The wildlife population is large as well, with various species of antelope and smaller mammals present in large numbers. Lion and elephant populations are on the rise, but the leopard is as elusive as ever, and buffalo is scarce, while the rhino population is ever dwindling due to poaching.

Rarely Seen Animals:

  • Dugong, Southern right whale, Southern blue whale, Southern fin whale, Southern sei whale, Black rhino, White rhino, Caracal, Southern African wildcat, Serval, African civet, African palm civet, Aardwolf, Black-backed jackal, Side-stripped jackal, Cape wild dog, Cheetah, Bat-eared fox, African striped weasel, Speckle-throated otter, African clawless otter, Sitatunga, Roan antelope, Sable antelope

Occasionally Seen Animals:

  • Aardvark, Elephant, Bushbaby, Brown greater galago, Pygmy blue whale, Bryde’s whale, Antarctic minke whale, Humpback whale, Pygmy sperm whale, Dwarf sperm whale, Beaked whale (various), Rough-toothed dolphin, Indian humpback dolphin, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, Common bottlenose dolphin, Striped dolphin, Spinner dolphin, Fraser’s dolphin, Southern right whale dolphin, Fraser’s dolphin, Melon-headed whale, Pygmy killer whale, Short-finned pilot whale, Orca, Lion, Leopard, Brown hyena, Spotted hyena, Southern right elephant seal, Nyala, Greater kudu

Frequently Seen Animals:

  • Vervet monkey, Yellow baboon, Chacma baboon, Mongoose (various), Cape fur seal, Crawshay’s zebra, Selous’ zebra, Warthog, Bushpig, Hippo, South African giraffe, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, Blue wildebeest, Topi, Klipspringer, Oribi, Steenbok, Sharpe’s grysbok, Eland, Blue duiker, Red forest duiker, Common duiker, Impala, Waterbuck, Southern reedbuck, Mountain reedbuck


With over 760 species, birding in Mozambique is sure to be great. The Ducky lark, and the Gray-backed sparrow-lark are present, as well as the Secretarybird and Lilian’s lovebird. Being a coastal country, you can expect to see many water-based birds.

Endangered Birds:

  • African White-backed Vulture
  • African Black Oystercatcher
  • African Penguin
  • African Skimmer
  • Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross
  • Basra Reed Warbler
  • Black-browed Albatross
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Blue Swallow
  • Cape Cormorant
  • Cape Gannet
  • Cape Vulture
  • Chestnut-banded Plover
  • Corncrake
  • East Coast Akalat
  • Egyptian Vulture
  • Eurasian Curlew
  • Eurasian Peregrine Falcon
  • Gray Petrel
  • Great Snipe
  • Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross
  • Lappet-faced Vulture
  • Lesser Flamingo
  • Lesser Kestrel
  • Lilian’s Lovebird
  • Long-billed Apalis
  • Madagascar Pond-heron
  • Madagascar Pratincole
  • Namuli Apalis
  • Neergaard’s Sunbird
  • Olive-headed Weaver
  • Pallid Harrier
  • Plain-backed Sunbird
  • Slaty Egret
  • Southern Banded Snake-eagle
  • Southern Giant-petrel
  • Stierling’s Woodpecker
  • Swynnerton’s Forest Robin
  • Taita Falcon
  • Thyolo Alethe
  • Wandering Albatross
  • Wattled Crane
  • White-chinned Petrel
  • White-headed Vulture
  • White-winged Apalis

Endemic and Nearendemic Birds:

  • Light-mantled Albatross
  • Atlantic Petrel
  • Bulwer’s Petrel
  • Cory’s Shearwater
  • Flesh-footed Shearwater
  • Sooty Shearwater
  • White-bellied Storm-petrel
  • Black-bellied Storm-petrel
  • Leach’s Storm-petrel
  • Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel
  • Matsudaira’s Storm-petrel
  • Lesser Frigatebird
  • Brown Booby
  • Madagascar Pond-heron
  • Bearded Vulture
  • Egyptian Vulture
  • Rueppell’s Griffon
  • Grasshopper Buzzard
  • African Oystercatcher
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Red Knot
  • Broad-billed Sandpiper
  • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
  • Long-toed Stint
  • Red-necked Stint
  • Pectoral Sandpiper
  • Hartlaub’s Gull
  • Black-headed Gull
  • Brown Noddy
  • Gull-billed Tern
  • Black Tern
  • Black-napped Tern
  • Arctic Tern
  • Pallid Cuckoo
  • Northern Carmine Bee-eater
  • Eleonora’s Falcon
  • Red-tailed Shrike
  • Gray-backed Sparrow-lark
  • Greater Striped-swallow
  • Eurasian River Warbler
  • Eurasia Blackcap
  • Lark-like Bunting
  • Crimson-rumped Waxbill

Getting There And Safety

Please take a look at the following information concerning travel to and safety in Mozambique.

You can get to Mozambique by air or by land.

There are limited direct flights to Mozambique, and only for European countries. This is why the most popular way to reach Mozambique by air is by flying to Johannesburg (South Africa) first, and from there to Mozambique.

If you are travelling by land, it way be a bit more complicated. First, you will need a signed temporary export document. This document needs to be signed by the immigration authorities of the country that you are coming from. You will not be allowed to pass through the border without it. Second, you will need third-party car insurance ($15 for a car and $10 for a trailer if you have one). And, of course, don’t forget to bring your ID and passport.

For the flights to Mozambique, it is advised to check Skyscanner (for multiple destination flights), to see which airlines can take you to Namibia and their various ticket costs.

If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Mozambique.

If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Mozambique.


All foreign nationals require a passport that is valid for at least 6 months.

All South African nationals, and nationals from countries neighbouring Mozambique, do not require a visa. A 30-day free entry permit will be issued upon arrival. However, if you intend to stay longer than 30-days, you will need to get a single-entry visa (for how ever long you intend to stay), ahead of time. You cannot get your 30-day permit extended while inside Mozambique itself. Alternatively, you could leave the country before the 30-days expire, and then re-enter.

All other foreign nationals require a visa. A maximum of 90 days per year is allotted for individuals travelling on a tourist visa. A single-entry 30-day tourist visa (Mt2,000/$40 – local currency is preferred) is available for purchase upon arrival and most of the border crossings. It is important to note that you may be charged extra if you are buying the visa will foreign currency. The visa can be extended twice at and immigration office in the country.

Vaccinations and Malaria

The following information is a general guide and should not be used in place of a medical opinion. Please speak to your doctor or travel clinic concerning malaria and vaccinations for Mozambique.


There is a moderate to high risk of malaria in Mozambique, and it is recommended that you speak to your healthcare provider about anti-malaria medication that will be suitable for you and for the region in which you are visiting.

As a first line of defence against mosquitoes, it is a good idea to keep your arms and legs covered as much as possible, especially at night. A netting over your bed at night would very good at keeping the mosquitoes away. You should also buy a good insect repellent (30% DEET or more).


Before booking your flight, ensure that all your immunizations are up to date, particularly:

  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Diphtheria
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A

Other vaccinations that’s may be recommended:

  • Rabies
  • Hepatitis B
  • Cholera

As always, this information should be discussed with a professional healthcare provider.

Check your local travel health authority for more information:


Compared to parts of South Africa and Kenya, crime in Mozambique is low. Yes, there are muggings, bag-snatching and pickpocketing – but this is a problem all around the world. It is not as bad here as it is in other African countries, though, and you could walk around at night fairly safe. However, do not tempt fate by throwing away all caution. It may be best to approach Mozambique (and indeed all places) with the same cautious respect that you would your own country. Women travellers are honestly more at risk of harassment from other male tourists than from locals. Mozambican men may flirt and give an occasional direct proposition, but a definitive ‘no’ should be enough to dissuade them.

  • Avoid unlit, seemingly quiet streets, at night.

  • Don’t wonder around alone at night, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area.
  • Don’t wear flashy expensive jewellery, keep valuable out of sight, and don’t walk around with a lot of cash.
  • Try not to act like an obvious tourist – this will make you seem like an easier target
  • Most small time thieves operate in busy areas, where their action are likely to unnoticed. Keep a closer watch on you valuables in markets and bus stations.

Travel Insurance

Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Mozambique. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.

Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of your safari trip cover.

What To Pack

  • Passport, visa (if required) and ID
  • Camera, rechargeable batteries (and spares) and battery charger.
  • Spare cell phone charger
  • Sunscreen and a wide-brimmed sunhat
  • General clothing appropriate for the weather.
  • Swimming gear. This is Mozambique after all!
  • Any personal medication you may need.
  • Personal hygiene products. An important note for women travellers: tampons are not widely available, especially not in the smaller towns. You should be able to get them in Maputo and Beira, but it may be best to bring enough with you for your visit.
  • Good, sturdy hiking boots.
  • Trail/running shoes.

For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.

Drinking Water
Tap water in Mozambique is not always safe to drink, especially not in rural areas. Areas such as Beira, Inhambane and Maputo have safe drinking water. Bottled water is available but is a bit pricey, as they as seen as an indulgence or luxury item, and is sold as such.