I bought a wooden guitar, beautifyully made. I thought about the time it must have taken to carve the wood. I am a softy and paid more than was asked.....only to discove later, on proper inspection.... "Made in China"...they forgot to remove the sticky label.
Allways be aware!
My own expierience and also i heard from other travellers and mozambiquans is to be carefully with your money. when you pay your bills in restaurants, hotels and fuell stations count your change what you get back. this people like to steal. on restaurants and bars sometimes you have food on your bill even you haven´t eat anything!
Mozambique roads: adhere strictly to rules!
There is a high probability that you will have to pay a fine when the police or traffic cops stop you. There is no use trying to argue with them, just pay them cash in dollars there and then. There is no way out. We had to cross over the white line to avoid a pothole. When the cops saw us they stopped us and they could hardly speak English. We had to pay $40 cash.
Unique Suggestions: Take approximately $40 or $50 with in cash as the probability of falling in this trap is very high. Also, when driving through villages adhere to the sighns: mostly one has to slow down to 60km/hr. This takes patience as there are many little villages.
Fun Alternatives: There aren't any alternatives really. Just try your best to stick to the speed limit and hope there aren't too many potholes in the road or that the traffic cops aren't working that day.
The Gas Station
I recommend hitching. If you can get a ride. But be careful- if they are drunk, it might seem fun, but better pass. I got two 3 rides at this gas station. Two were very good. The last one (the drunk one) however got a little weird. It started off fun, getting wasted and getting to know each other. Then the man and his wife started hitting each other, making out, hitting wach other, kissing, and then he threatened to kill me and didn't want to let me out of the car. No Joke.
Did someone say hot water?
Hot water would be great- but no - Lord Jim doesn't have hot water showers... or does he? Yes, he does. But it comes a few days after you've been there. He like guests to get used to the rough life before giving you luxury jaccuzzi rubs. Uh, no. I mean, you have to get lucky. I walked into the kitchen (my bedroom) one day and aked, What are you boiliing water for?
He said for the shower.
Hmmm. Strange, I don't have hot water for my showers! I said.
Lord Jim's toilet was huge.
Lord Jim's toilet was a big toursit trap. He always gets these tourists going in there to check it out. Like me. Boy, when you have to go you have to go and you'll squat if you have to. But Lord Jim fails to tell his guests that if you go to the jon just after sunset you're asking for a swarm of mosquitoes to fly out of the septic tank when you open the toliet cover- and they are merciless. Use the toilet before sunset. I know you told me 100 times a day Lord Jim, but I still broke the toilet cover- sorry about that!
Corrupt policeman will...
Corrupt policeman will threaten to arrest you for traffic offenses in order to get a bribe. Only a policeman dressed in white may do so. Those dressed in green are after the bribe and have no authority to arrest you for traffic violations. 2 boxes of smokes should make them happy.
Never, ever pay bribe money to...
Never, ever pay bribe money to the grey uniform policemen on foot patrol if they demand a fine from you for whatever reason, when you know you're not guilty of anything. At all times your documents must be in order. Talk yourself out of it, while treating them with respect. I have once appologised for not having enough money on me, took my cellphone and pretended to dial the SA embassy to come to my aid and help me with some money. They (police) in turn appologised for the inconvenience and let me go with smiles on their faces.
The traffic police in white shirt uniforms should be taken more seriously, but try to keep within traffic laws. Be aware of one way streets, no entrances.
Do not jog past the presidental residence in Av Julius Nyerere, and do not honk your hooter either. If you're looking for free accommodation in Maputo, then do it!
I cannot find a better...
I cannot find a better describtion for Mozambican policemen other than to refer to them as a bunch of cockroaches. Avoid those in the stark-grey uniforms (the white uniformed traffic officials seems to have a better attitude). They try to fine you for anything under the sun they can think of, like driving with too dark sunglasses and insisting on producing a doctor's prescribtion for wearing the sunglasses.
They give you the option of a ridiculously high fine accompanied by a receipt obtainable at the police office only (They have to travel with you and it can take hours), or you can pay half of it on the spot without getting a receipt for it. While negotiating you'll notice several locals doing dangerous traffic offences go by unnoticed by the police.
They kill well needed tourism
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