Dangers & Annoyances

Although most tourists visit Maputo without mishap, be vigilant and take precautions.

  • Avoid carrying a bag (thieves may think you have something valuable).
  • Avoid situations in which you are isolated.
  • At night, always take a taxi.
  • Avoid the stretches of Avenida Marginal between Praça Robert Mugabe and the Southern Sun hotel; the access roads leading down to the Marginal from Avenida Friedrich Engels; and the area below the escarpment south of Avenida Patrice Lumumba.
  • Areas off-limits to pedestrians (no photos) include the eastern footpath on Avenida Julius Nyerere in front of the president’s residence and the Ponta Vermelha zone in Maputo's southeastern corner.

Embassies & Consulates

Emergency & Important Numbers

Official emergency numbers rarely work. It’s better to seek help from your hotel or embassy. If you are the victim of a crime and need a police report for your insurance company, these can be obtained with time and patience at the police station nearest the site of the crime. Some insurance companies will accept crime reports from your embassy instead.

Useful police stations:

Entry & Exit Formalities

4° Cartário Notarial Notarises documents such as passport copies.

Visas

Visa Extensions

Immigration department Just downhill from Avenida Amilcar Cabral. Allow five to seven days for processing visa extensions.

LGBT Travellers

Maputo is the centre of Mozambique's small gay scene. Although traditionally quite discreet, things are slowly starting to open up. The main local organisation – also useful for discovering Maputo's frequently changing GLBT gathering points – is the quietly vocal and very helpful Lambda Mozambique (www.lambdamoz.org).

Internet Access

Internet cafes:

Maps

Direcção Nacional de Geografia e Cadastro Has detailed topographical maps.

Instituto Nacional de Hidrografia e Navegação Has coastal and maritime maps (cartas náuticas) and tide tables (tabelas de marés); at the capitania, behind the white Safmar building near the port.

Money

There are 24-hour ATMs all over town, including at the airport. Changing cash is easy. Travellers cheques are not accepted anywhere.

ATMs

All 24-hour ATMs accept Visa, and most also accept MasterCard as well as cards linked with Plus and Cirrus. Most dispense up to Mtc3000 per transaction, with multiple transactions permitted up to your bank's credit limit.

Standard Bank Headquarters; also has an ATM.

Standard Bank ATM.

Changing Money

Changing money is possible across the city, including at Cotacambios (at Polana Shopping Centre and the airport; the latter branch also does reverse exhanges) and at the row of exchange shops on the eastern end of Avenida Mao Tse Tung.

Opening Hours

Restaurants Breakfast 7am-11am, lunch noon-3pm, dinner 6.30pm-10.30pm

Cafes 7.30am-9pm

Bars 5pm-late

Shops 8am-noon and 2pm-6pm Monday to Friday, 8am-1pm Saturday

Banks 8am-3pm Monday to Friday

Exchange bureaus (casas de câmbio) 8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday, to noon Saturday

Government offices 7.30am-3.30pm Monday to Friday

Post

Both domestic and international mail service is relatively reliable and efficient, but don't send anything of value.

Main Post Office Sells a colourful array of stamps.

Travel Agencies

Dana Agency Domestic and international flight bookings.

Dana Tours Specialises in travel to the coast, and can also sort you out for destinations throughout Mozambique, plus Swaziland and South Africa. Midrange and up.

Mozaic Travel Excursions around the country, including to Limpopo National Park and Bazaruto Archipelago. Located in Bairro Triunfo, off Avenida Marginal.

Travel with Children

There’s a large lawn, a playground, arcade games and several eateries at Jardim dos Namorados. With the municipal gardens just next door, and overlooking the bay, it's a relaxing spot to while away some time. There are also an outdoor playground and giant chess set at the pleasant Jardim dos Professores.

The swimming pool at Montebelo Indy Congress Hotel has a grassy play area and sandpit, and large surrounding gardens.

Accessible Travel

Most of Maputo's upscale hotels have wheelchair access and/or lifts, and taxis and rental cars are readily available (though taxis don't have wheelchair access, and most are small). While many streets have pedestrian sidewalks, they are often bumpy and uneven, and they sometimes disappear without warning. There are no wheelchair ramps at sidewalk curbs, but Maputoans are generally very helpful in assisting with street crossings.