Please note that the following information is only to be used as a guideline to assist with planning your visit to Mozambique. Kindly check all requirements directly with the relevant authorities. Villa Espanhola, its management and staff cannot be held responsible for the information below. Amounts and costs could change, and the exchange rate fluctuates.
Check in is available from 13:00 to 17:00, and check-out is by 10:30. Arrival or departure times outside these hours should be arranged in advance.
The climate is sub-tropical with warm temperatures, humidity and sunshine throughout the year. Summer is between October and March, and the winters are mild. Rains falls largely between January and March, but the temperatures remain high, reaching up to 30ºC. Average daily summer temperatures are from 20 – 35ºC. The best time to visit is between May and November, when rainfall and temperatures are at its lowest. It is a lso good to travel during the early part of the warm, rainy season from November to January, but be prepared for sweltering temperatures, especially during January. During the holiday season, i.e. Easter, Christmas, New Years and in August, Mozambique’s coastal resorts become overrun with visitors and travellers, so book in advance.
Please note that there are no credit card facilities at the lodge. The lodge operates strictly on a cash only basis. Please ensure you bring sufficient cash in either SA Rands, US $ or Meticais for the duration of your stay. Accommodation should be paid in full via electronic transfer before arrival date.
Electricity is supplied in the rooms and can cater for hairdryers, etc. South African (220V) style plugs with 2 circular metal pins above the large circular grounding pin is used in Mozambique without an adapter. South African 3 pin plugs (2 small circular metal pins above one large circular grounding pin) requires an adapter.
Gratuities are not added automatically or included on the reservation account. It is not compulsory to give gratuities as well; but any contributions would be highly appreciated and may be given to the manager directly or to the staff individually.
This is a malaria area. Please contact your doctor. There are no medical facilities at the lodge. Please bring a fully equipped first aid kid and include any prescription medication, anti-malaria prophylactics and anti histamines. Keep in mind the following medicine as well: For diarrhea, for constipation, for vomiting, for headaches and fever, cream for insect bites (“Stingose”, etc.), for sore throat, for musscle aches, for ear pain, for tummy cramps and eyedrops.
In the event of a medical emergency, there is a government clinic; however major medical emergencies will require evacuation. There is an airstrip just outside Bilene..
The bedrooms and lodge are serviced daily, and a laundry service is provided.
Bath towels are supplied, but kindly bring your own beach towels.
Safety – beach
All swimmers and beachgoers are for your own safety.
No lifeguards are available on the beach or lagoon
There are no telephones in the lodge’s bedrooms, but with international roaming activated your cellphone will be functional. Mozambique has a state owned cell phone provider, Mcel and the South African owned Vodacom Mozambique. Telephone facilities are available at the local post office in Bilene, open from 7am – 7pm, where international call can be made.
Water from the lodge comes from a borehole and is fine for washing and bathing. Bottled water is recommended for drinking and is on sale at the lodge.
Things to remember to bring along
• There is no need for an off road vehicle
• Any meat brought across the border should be vacuumed packed.
• Sun screen
• Beach towels
• Beach umbrella
• Insect repellents
• Camera, camcorder, binoculars and batteries.
• International adaptors
• Small medical kit, note Hydrogen peroxide is very effective for insect bites and scratches.
• Pen to complete border crossing papers
Specific To Beline
Normal business hours are between 08:00 – 12:00 and 14:00 – 17:30.
Boat, Jet ski and beach licenses can be obtained from Maritime, which is next to the garage in Bilene (compulsory), cost will depend on the watercraft (Standard motorboat cost ± R200 for one month, sea going boats will pay an additional R 120). Vessels are launched at the Public Slipway in town. Slipway fees are R15, also payable at the Marine Office.
Diesel and Petrol
Unleaded petrol and diesel is available in Bilene and Macia.
Regulations in Bilene to assist tourist
• 4 Wheelers are prohibited on roads from 18:00 to
08:00 the following day.
• Persons under the age of 16 years are prohibited from
riding motorbikes on public roads
• Do not litter
• Do not destroy or damage our natural environment in
Internet is available in town. The start-up language used in the software are Portuguese, but www.google.com should sort out any translation problems.
We recommended that you stock up with provisions before arrival. Shoprite in Matola is the last shop which offers a large variety of produce and products before Bilene. Basic products can be purchased in small shops and at the market.
TeTelephone facilities are available at the local post office
in Bilene, open from 7am – 7pm, where international call can be made. With international roaming activated your cellphone will be functional (Mcel and Vodacom Mozambique are the service providers).
General About Mozambique
The climate is sub-tropical with warm temperatures, humidity and sunshine throughout the year. Summer is between October and March, and the winters are mild. Rains falls largely between January and March, but the temperatures remain high, reaching up to 30ºC. Average daily summer temperatures are from 20 – 35ºC. The best time to visit is between May and November, when rainfall and temperatures are at its lowest. It is a lso good to travel during the early part of the warm, rainy season from November to January, but be prepared for sweltering temperatures, especially during January. Be aware that sometimes at the height of the rains, from February to March/April, many of the roads become impassable and flooding is common in the south and centre. During the holiday season, i.e. Easter, Christmas, New Years and in August, Mozambique’s coastal resorts become overrun with visitors and travellers, so book in advance.
Due to the climate and culture the dress code are very relaxed, with sarongs, shorts and T-shirts being quite acceptable at most places. Tropical lightweights such as light cotton tops and pants, with warmer clothing for evenings are also suitable. Rainwear is advisable all year round. Remember a hat and sunglasses. Lots of sunscreen is the most important!
Mozambique’s local currency is the Metical; however the US Dollar and the Rand are widely accepted. It is advisable to carry cash or Travellers cheques as credit cards are not widely accepted. Banks and Foreign Exchange Bureau will exchange any recognized currency, keep in mind they close between 12:00 and 14:00 for siesta. Most city banks have ATM machines from which local currency may be withdrawn at all hours. Rands can be exchanged for Meticais at the Maputo border BP shopping centre, where there is a foreign exchange office. Note that change in Mozambique is not always available.
Diesel and Petrol
Make sure you have enough fuel when coming through Maputo. Fueling stations along the road can be out of stock. There are a few stations on the highway from Matola before you get the tollgate. Unleaded petrol and diesel is available in Bilene and Macia.
Driving in Mozambique
• Driving is on the left hand side of the road.
• An international driving license is required. A Mozambican driver’s license is required if staying for
more than 6 months.
• Mozambican law requires that if you are towing a trailer, a boat, another vehicle or are being
towed, the towing vehicle must display a blue and yellow triangle on the front and the vehicle being
towed must display such a triangle at the back. The triangles are available in durable plastic and
can be applied to the front and the back of the vehicles by using the double sided “mirror tape”
provided. Self adhesive vinyl
triangles are also available.
• All South African registered vehicles must display a black and white ZA sticker.
• Vehicles are not allowed in areas where there are no existing roads, because of the risk of land
Please only keep on existing roads.
• Don’t travel at night. Try to drive during daytime hours when there is less chance of accidents.
• It is best to keep your tank filled, as the distances between filling stations can be great.
• The transit laws in Mozambique require that seat belts be worn at all times.
• All vehicles must have two emergency triangles, trailers as well.
• All vehicles must have two reflector vest in vehicle (should be used if stranded next to road)
• Don’t speed. The speed limit is 70Km/h on open roads and 40Km/h in cities and towns.
• Traffic laws should be followed at all times.
• Please request a receipt if a fine is levied for any transgression.
• Give way to the right at traffic circles or roundabouts; cars on the circle have priority.
• All documents and luggage can be inspected at checkpoints.
• The following will be needed when stopped by traffic police (keep these “papeis” on you at all
times). If you can, avoid giving these documents to officials:
– A valid driver license
– Vehicle registration papers
– If vehicle still under lease agreement, letter from bank giving you permission to take the
vehicle across the border, or, if you are not the owner, a permission letter from owner.
– Mozambique third party insurance (“serguro”)
– Customs import forms (DA341)
– Two red emergency triangles
– Trailer towing triangles (blue & yellow) – fixed to front of vehicle and back of trailer.
– Two reflector vests
• U – turns are forbidden some places, try to avoid making U-turns on public roads.
• Parked cars can be guarded by local boys for a small fee payable upon departure.
• In the event of an accident; contact the relevant insurance company immediately, and make a
statement at the nearest police station as soon as possible.
• If you do get stopped, be patient, friendly and polite. Some useful words are – Bon Dia –
Good morning – Boa Tarde – Good afternoon – Boa Noite – Good evening – Faz Favor –
Please – Obrigado – Thank you If you feel you are miss treated, take the policemen’s number
which is on a tag on his chest and lodge a formal complaint to the Anti Corruption
Unit – SA +27 800 002 870 and Mozambique +258 800 002 870.
• Remember when pulling off the road, use your indicators. When stopped, put on your Hazards.
When turning back onto the road, indicate.
If you are detained by the authorities or become destitute due to circumstances beyond
your control, contact:
The Consular Section of the SA High commission
41 Eduardo Mondlane Ave,Maputo
Tel (01) 490059 / 491614 / 490587 (office hours)
or 450031 / 33 (after hours)
Medical problems – Most major towns have a hospital or clinic. These places are fine to use for minor problems, for example if you need stitches. They are excellent for things like Malaria tests, the equipment is sterile and you get the result in 15 minutes. Medical Evacuation Insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. If you do not already have a policy covering the area of Mozambique, please contact
Travelinsure Travel Insurance
Tel: 0861 467873
This policy does NOT cover your actual medical bills, however it does cover the evacuation by plane or helicopter with a doctor and paramedic on board from the closest airstrip to your destination to a hospital of your choice in South Africa. A small price to pay in the event that anything should happen to you while visiting Mozambique.
Health and Immunization
This is a malaria area, please beware and take the appropriate precautions.
A course of anti-malaria tablets is strongly advised. Prophylaxis – Larium (Mefloquin) or a
Paludrine / Daramal combination is often used. Homeopathic equivalents can also be considered. Please contact your doctor for further information and advice. Insect repellents (citronella, Tabard, Mosquito coils, etc.) is good to take with.
Herbal – aqueous cream with a few drops of citronella, eucalyptus, and lemon grass essential oils make for a wonderful moisturizer and it wards off the insects too. Homeopaths also recommend taking a Vitamin B complex, which makes the blood sour, as well as garlic tablets. Vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio tetanus and typhoid are also recommended. A yellow fever certificate is required for those arriving from infected areas.
For medical problems most major towns have a hospital or clinic. These places are fine to use for minor problems, for example if you need stitches. They are excellent for things like Malaria tests – the equipment is sterile and you get the result in 15 minutes.
Medical Evacuation Insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. This policy does NOT cover you medical bills, only your evacuation. We recommend that you ensure this evacuation insurance is covered or added to your normal medical insurance (www.travelinsure.co.za).
New Year’s Day 1 Jan
Heroes’ Day 3 Feb
Women’s Day 7 Apr
Worker’s Day 1 May
Independence Day 25 Jun
Lusaka Agreement Day 7 Sep
Armed Forces Day 25 Sep
Peace Day 4 Oct
Family Day 25 Dec
Portuguese is the official and most widely spoken language of the nation. Arabs, Chinese, and Indians speak their own languages (Indians from Portuguese India speak any of the Portuguese Creoles of their origin) aside from Portuguese as their second language. Most educated Mozambicans can also speak English.
Safety – Maputo
Maputo is not a high crime city but, like all large cities, it’s best to be sensible and not to display expensive jewelry, cameras, etc. Beware of pickpockets in the countdown central market area.
Most supplies are available in the bigger towns such as Maputo, Xai-Xai, Inhambane and Vilanculos, but they tend to be more expensive than South Africa. We recommended that you stock up with provisions before arrival. Shoprite in Matola is the last shop which offers a large variety of produce and products before Bilene.
With international roaming activated your cellphone will be functional throughout most of Mozambique (Mcel and Vodacom Mozambique are the service providers).
Whether you travel for business or pleasure, international travel involves a degree of risk. You need to ensure that you are covered for events such as illness, accidents, theft, or unforeseen amendments to travel arrangements. The best way to ensure that your trip will be as problem-free as possible is to take out a Comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy. A good policy covers not only medical and accident, but assistance as well, be it from contacting your family in an emergency, to assisting with replacement of travel documents, or giving you legal advice.
Although many credit card companies do offer a degree of cover for your holiday arrangements, we strongly suggest that you check the full details before travel. Cover is also only offered if you purchase your International Airline Ticket by Credit Card. Many Travel Insurance Companies offer a top-up policy to the credit card cover. A minimum requirement is good medical cover, which will allow for a medical evacuation to hospital, treatment, and repatriation.
Your Travel Insurance Policy should be purchased as soon as you have made your final holiday arrangements, and is usually available through the agency which issues your International Ticket.
Medical Evacuation Insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. If you do not already have a policy covering the area of Mozambique, please contact Travelinsure Travel Insurance (0861 467873 – www.travelinsure.co.za). This policy does NOT cover your actual medical bills, however it does cover the evacuation by plane or helicopter with a doctor and paramedic on board from the closest airstrip to your destination to a hospital of your choice in South Africa. A small price to pay in the event that anything should happen to you while visiting Mozambique.
Time zone of Mozambique
Mozambique is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Daylight Saving Time is not applied.
The international customary 10% on restaurant bills is followed.