1- Always CARRY A PHOTOCOPY OF YOUR PASSPORT AND VISA – if you can get it notorised within Mozambique even better
2- Don't exacerbate the problem - NEVER PAY ANY BRIBES in Mozambique. If you have done nothing wrong be patient and politely demand to go to the nearest police station (“esquadra”) and the pesky officer will likely let you go. If you have done the crime, do the time, demand a proper fine with receipt (Often the official fine is much less than what police try to extort from travellers)
3- IF DRIVING DON'T SPEED, especially on the main highway dotted with its little towns and quick reductions from 120km/h to 60km/h
4- TAKE MALARIA MEDICATION
5- Learn to haggle a little, first rule is to NEVER ACCEPT THE FIRST PRICE. Whether you're catching a taxi, or buying a batique, first price can often be 10 times the going rate. Ask for a price and then politely decline and walk away. You may well see the next price shouted at you is considerably less
6- DON'T TAKE CHAPAS (small minibuses) OVER LONG DISTANCES unless you are really really broke
7- CHANGE MONEY AT EXCHANGE HOUSES (Casa de Cambio) and always ask for a better rate – and better to avoid banks and their poor rates. Be very careful of changing money at the border – best to do it with the sitting down ladies, never with the men who offer you “unbelievable” rates
8- AVOID WALKING AROUND MAPUTO AT NIGHT, especially alone, and especially around the Mundo’s, Museu area. As a general rule its best to avoid walking around any city/town at night
9- MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS, Mozambique is at the foot of UNDP’s development index and is growing after the decades of wars ended in the 1990s. The country has its magic but staff in restaurants and hotels often have limited experience and infrastructure countrywide in general is still lacking. Most everything is more expensive than travelling in neighbouring countries like South Africa and Malawi. In short, come with plenty of cash, and patience.
10- If you are a visitor from South Africa make sure you DRINK CHEAP MOZAMBICAN RUM WITH PINK STRAWBERRY SPARLETTA, they might not let you back home if you don’t (this will make more sense once you get to one of the beaches with many South African guests).
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