Talk to us first!
We love having visitors here in Mozambique! And since travel requires the investment of so much time and money for
you and for us, make sure that you communicate with us as far in advance as possible so we can plan together to make the best of your
Health & Immunizations
The CDC recommends several different
immunizations for international travelers (see www.CDC.gov), as well as much helpful advice to stay healthy while traveling; follow
the advice of the CDC and your health care provider. Northern Mozambique is not included in the Yellow Fever corridor; however we
do strongly recommend Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations, as well as boosters for DTP, polio, measles, and chicken pox. Recommendations
change and are updated periodically, so please inform your health care provider as soon as possible about your travel plans to decide
which vaccines are appropriate for you; the mission team nor the website administrator do not assume responsibility for your health
choices. Also, it is wise to start early, as some vaccines require a series of boosters over several months.
Again, www.CDC.gov has plenty of good information on malaria. We recommend all short-term
visitors to Africa take medication to prevent malaria, as your stay with us will be short enough that the benefits of preventing malaria
and being able to enjoy your time with us outweigh any risks to your health from taking the medication. Please see your health care
provider to learn which drug will be best for you, and feel free to contact us for our opinions and experience.
Be prepared also to
use bug spray, sleep under mosquito nets, light mosquito coils, and/or to stay indoors between dusk and dawn. And for your information,
remember that in the States you will not be allowed to donate blood for three years after visiting an African country because of malaria.
Malaria is a caused by a parasite that can show up long after you have visited a malaria area, sometimes
even if you took medication to prevent it. If you develop flu-like symptoms (severe headache, joint and muscle aches, cyclic fever
and chills) within a few weeks or months after returning from your travel, please see your health care provider immediately and notify
him or her that you visited a country where malaria is a risk.
Staying Healthy in Africa
American guts are
used to American germs and bugs; the normal germs and bugs are different here, so expect for your gastro-intestinal tract to experience
a little bit of culture shock as well. Some tips for staying healthy: Follow all the advice your health care provider in the States
gave you before you left.
Always wash your hands before and after eating, and before and after using the
The missionary family you will be visiting will be able to help you know what to eat and what not to eat.
surroundings, the rule of thumb for produce is don't eat it unless you wash it, peel it, or cook it yourself. Bottled water is safe
and available in many places. Also, most Westerners filter or boil their water (full rolling boil for 10 minutes). It is also important
that any ice you use be made from filtered or boiled water. Some people recommend at restaurants to watch the waiter open the bottled
water in front of you at the table to be sure it is a new bottle and not one that has been refilled from their tap.
If you do get
sick, do everything you can to stay hydrated. If you don't know much about an area you are in, it is unwise to walk around barefoot.
Much paperwork is required to come visit us, so get started as early as possible!
In the States, you may get an application, pay the fee, and send off the application for a passport at your local post office; you
may also download the application and learn which fees apply to you at www.usps.com/passport. At least two official passport photos
will be required, as well as mailing original birth certificates or marriage licenses. This can take around two months, though it
is possible to pay extra for express service. If you already have a passport, be sure that it DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF YOUR
VISA: You will need a visa to enter Mozambique, which you will get upon arrival at whichever
Mozambican airport you land in first. Depending on the exchange rate, the price for a 30-day tourist visa is now between $75-$100.
If you are staying longer than 30 days, you should apply for a longer visa through the Mozambican Embassy in Washington DC (or your
COPIES: In case of theft or an emergency, we recommend making and carrying copies of the following
documents: Passport, drivers' license, immunization records, credit cards, and extra passport-sized photos. Also, in case of theft,
write down important numbers and keep them in a separate place (emergency phone numbers, passport number, credit card numbers, bank
accounts, and related phone numbers).
Booking Your Itinerary
Many reliable travel agencies are available to assist you with your travel plans; it is worth it to shop around to compare prices,
including from travel websites like Orbitz (www.orbitz.com). We have also used and recommend Raptim. Raptim is the world's leading
travel supplier for non-profit organizations committed to church and social humanitarian issues worldwide; they function by purchasing
wholesale travel and sell it to Missionaries and Not-for-Profit Organizations at discounted rates. You may find them at www.raptimusa.com,
or you may contact Nikki at about:email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you use Raptim or another agency providing discount “missionary
airfare,” be aware that certain airlines require that you carry letters from your church certifying that your travel is for missions
purposes, and that faxes are not usually accepted. Also, remember that not all airlines participate in wholesale discount airfare,
so discounts may only apply to certain parts of your travel.
ROUTE: To arrive on the continent of Africa
from the United States, your itinerary may take you through Europe, through Dubai, or directly from the US to Johannesburg; you may
then arrive in Pemba (POL) three ways: directly from Johannesburg, via a multi-stop flight with Mozambique's airline LAM, or through
Nairobi and/or Dar-es-Salaam. Each route will vary greatly in price and luggage allowances; contact us to see if we have any specific
recommendations for your situation or travel dates.
AFRICAN AIRPORTS: Smaller African airports will be different
from other airports you have been to. Do not let anyone else help you with your bags, no matter how helpful they seem, and keep all
your bags in sight at all times, especially carry-ons, computers, and handbags which have your passports and other documents. Please
ask often for directions and instructions to clarify if you are in the right place at the right time to catch your connecting flight
as certain terminals/ check-in desks/ boarding areas may not be well labeled. The general rule is that you will have to go through
customs and immigration each time you land in a country for the first time and/or you are leaving the airport (for example, if you
are only catching another plane in Dar-es-Salaam and not exiting the airport, do not go through customs and immigration).
LAM: If you are flying LAM from Johannesburg to Pemba, please know that you will do customs and immigration in whichever Mozambican
city you land in first. Your flight may stop in several cities before Pemba (even if that's not written on your itinerary), and you
will likely be required to deplane/change planes each time, even if you've already done customs and immigration. Please clarify with
a flight attendant that you are in the correct terminal to get back on your correct flight after the brief 15-minute stop. Also, seating
may not be assigned.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE: We recommend you purchase travel insurance. Most important
is emergency medical evacuation coverage in case of a life-threatening illness or injury; the policy may or may not also cover expenses
incurred due to travel delays and/or cancellations. One company we have used in the past for short term travel insurance is IMG, please
see www.imglobal.com. Return to Top Packing & Travel Tips
LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE: Contact your airline(s)
to learn how much checked baggage you will be allowed throughout your entire itinerary; it may be wise to get this in writing as luggage
allowance varies between airlines and has changed significantly in recent years. If you think you may be overweight on luggage, check
with your airline about charges for extra weight/baggage. One kilogram (kg) equals 2.2 pounds.
It is unwise to bring weapons of any kind. Also, personal items of high value (a lot of expensive jewelry) are safest left at home,
along with any expensive clothing you do not want to wear out. Further, it is best in rural Africa to avoid wearing clothing made
of camouflage material or any other items with a military appearance.
PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN: sunscreen, bug
spray, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, toiletries, medications, wide-mouth water bottle, comfortable and sturdy shoes/sandals, 5-7 changes
of clothes, 7-10 changes of underwear, swimsuit, small bag/backpack for day trips, head lamp or flashlight, travel towel and pillow
(if you will be sleeping in the bush), Bible and journal, any batteries you may need, light jacket for evenings (especially May-August),
a book to read on the flight. If you are staying longer than two weeks and are a coffee drinker, it would be great if you could contribute
a pack of coarse-ground coffee. =)
ELECTRONICS: Your cell phone may or may not work here. Please bring your
own batteries/chargers for any electronics you bring with you. Some visitors choose to bring their own laptop computer. We have broadband/wireless
at our homes for you to connect to the internet; just know that it does occasionally go out! We have 110 and 220 volt capabilities
in our homes, just ask us where to plug something in. DO NOT bring any 110 appliance with a heating element (hair dryer, curling iron)
as they use more wattage than our transformers can handle.
WHAT TO WEAR: comfortable cotton clothes that
you don't mind getting dirty. Men may wear shorts, though there may be occasions where pants are more appropriate (meeting a village
chief, for example). Women may wear pants in the house and in Pemba, but in the yard, about town, and in villages women need to wear
skirts or dresses that are at least mid-calf length and that you can't see the outline of your legs through the skirt. Modest shorts
and swimsuits are fine on the beach in Pemba. Please be aware that you will be staying in our homes, so please dress for mixed company,
even at night.
PACKING INSTRUCTIONS: Any items of value or that may appear to have value (DVD's, cameras,
etc) should be packed in your carry-on as you may not always be present when your checked baggage is opened. Remove all original packaging
and sales tags from all items so customs officials don't think you're bringing something to sell. Pack interesting-looking items (m&m's)
underneath boring items (underwear).
LABEL IT AND LOCK IT UP: It is very common for luggage to be delayed
arriving in Pemba. Print slips of paper with your name, phone numbers, and flight numbers with destinations on it, and then tape them
to the inside and outside of all your trunks or suitcases. We strongly recommend purchasing TSA-approved locks for your luggage.
CUSTOMS: You will have to pass through customs when you arrive in Mozambique in whichever airport you land in. When you are asked
if you have anything to declare, the answer is “no,” unless you have brought something to sell. You may be required to open your baggage
anyway. This is normal - just comply with the airport personnel and answer their questions honestly. You may tell them you have “only
personal items.” Occasionally customs officials are looking for bribes and may ask you for money and imply that you and your things
might not be allowed through if you do not comply. Usually if you outwait them, they will send you through. However, if you are unsure
of what to do, you may ask for one of us to come in and help speak with them.
Try to be fully
rested before you even start your journey. Some people have difficulty sleeping on airplanes, which only adds to the jet lag of crossing
so many time zones so quickly. Many people recommend when you reach your destination to try to stay awake until evening to try to
reset your internal clock.
Be sure to confirm your itinerary about 48 hours ahead of departure and arrive
at the airport two hours early to check-in.
Be sure to ask the airline employee when you check in at what point(s) you will have to
pick up your luggage and re-check it. Please try VERY HARD to have your luggage checked ALL THE WAY TO PEMBA: airport code POL! And
even if you are told that your luggage is checked “all the way” pay attention to all on-board announcements about luggage and ask
airport personnel along the way if you have any doubts. It is always possible at international airports that they may ask you to pick
up your luggage and pass through customs and then re-check it.
Drink plenty of water. It is easy to accidentally become dehydrated
while traveling, so take every opportunity you have to drink water (bottled, boiled, or filtered, of course).
Many people like to use earplugs and eyemasks to block out extra noise and light during the flight to help them sleep. Also, doing
a few of your normal going-to-bed routines (taking off your shoes, brushing your teeth, washing your face) may help get your body
and mind in the mode for sleeping.
Bring enough books/toys for all those traveling with you to help pass
the time. Bring a couple extra snacks for children just in case they get hungry in between meals on the airplane.
Money in Mozambique
Do NOT bring travelers' checks - they do not work here.
For exchange in Mozambique we suggest you bring American
dollars in cash, preferably in large bills of $50 or $100. Only new (2006 or later), clean, crisp bills are accepted (not old, wrinkly,
You may wish to bring a couple of smaller bills ($20) to exchange in international airports
for food or drink while you are in the airport (Pounds while in the UK, Rand while in South Africa, for example), though many international
airports will accept US dollars, but know that your change will usually be given in the local currency.
may want to pack your money in several different safe locations in your carry-on luggage and on your person while you are in transit
(never pack cash in your checked luggage). A money belt under your clothes is still the safest for the bulk of your long-distance
When you arrive, we can help you exchange your US dollars for Mozambican Meticais (pronounced “meh-tee-cah-eesh”,
and abbreviated MZM, or “mets”). You can expect an exchange rate of between 25 and 35 Meticais for $1, and the smaller the bill, the
poorer the exchange. Regarding your credit and debit cards, know that Visa is much more widely accepted internationally than all other
cards. You may also want to call the 800 number on the back of your cards and notify their security departments that you will be traveling
in Africa and possibly using your cards while you travel. They can be handy while in international airports if you do not want to
exchange cash or while staying in South Africa, and debit cards are accepted at ATM's in the larger cities in Mozambique. You should
not depend on your debit card, however, as your only source of cash when in Mozambique, because the machines often are out of money
and the exchange rate is not as good. Keep in mind that, if stolen, it is often easier and quicker to cancel and minimize damage with
credit cards than with debit cards that directly access your account.
As a Western tourist/visitor,
you will stand out here! Mozambique does not necessarily have a higher percentage of people who are up to no good than other places,
but tourists often are easy targets in any country. Some suggestions to avoid becoming a victim of theft: Men should carry wallets
in their hip pockets, never in back pockets.
Try to minimize the advertisement of what might be available
to steal from you. Dress simply, avoid wearing lots of flashy jewelry, and only carry with you what you need. If you need to carry
a bag/purse, try to carry a small one that closes or zips shut, and wear it across the front of your body instead of only on one shoulder
or hanging from your hand. Be aware of strangers who are too eager to help. If you must carry cash into a very crowded place like
a market, carry it in your fist, in your hand in a pocket, or in a money pouch under your clothes. Better yet, don't carry money whenever
you can help it. It may be wise to lock your purse/wallet/money in the car while you choose what you want to buy, then go back and
get just enough currency to make your purchases.
South Africa has a high crime rate, so it pays to be very
vigilant. Do not take a taxi in South Africa if you can help it, and only stay in places you have been told are safe. Only use ATM
machines in well-lit public places, and make sure no one is watching you enter your pin number over your shoulder.
Never take pictures of government officials, government buildings, or airports. If in doubt, always ask permission before taking a
And last, please enjoy your stay in Mozambique!
MISSION AMONG THE MAKUA METTO
- Mozambique, Africa -