15 Unique Facts About Mozambique

Fishermen getting ready to head out to sea

1. Mozambique is located on the southeastern coast of the African continent and is exactly 10,499 miles from Los Angeles. To reach, it requires just under 22 hours by plane from LAX.

2. The local people are referred to as ‘Mozambicans’ and they are some of the kindest, most genuine people on the planet. They have an uncanny ability to remember names & faces as well so you might be surprised how quickly you can make friends.  HOT TIP: DO NOT by any means promise to buy something from a Mozambican if you don’t actually intend to. Mozambicans stay true to their word and expect visitors to do the same.

Stefan with all his buddies from Vilanculos, Mozambique

3. The most popular beer of Mozambique is Mac-Mahon but you’ll never hear it referred to by this name. “Dois-M” (pronounced doysh-emee) is its more common name, which translates to “2 M” in Portuguese. A single can of this local goodness will only set you back $0.90USD and can be purchased nearly everywhere.

2M : Cerveja Especial

4. Mozambique maintains a rather tropical weather year-round with an average temperature of 82°F and ocean water temps between 75°F and 85°F. Such tropical temperatures provides for some of the richest coral reefs in the world, containing over 1,200 species of fish. HOT TIP:  Book a snorkel tour or boat ride with a local on the beach. They usually will be willing to negotiate and always offer the best prices (unlike the hotels). This way you’re also supporting an individual and not a giant hotel.

2 Mile Reef on Bazaruto Island

5. Mozambique is about the size the the combined U.S. states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah and has a population of 31.2million, less than the state of California. 

6. Mozambique is famous for two very tasty things: Piri-Piri sauce and Matapa. Piri-Piri is a blended pepper hot sauce and can be put on EVERYTHING. Careful though, the heat can be slow to show and can sneak up on you…Matapa on the other hand is a non-spicy staple food for Mozambicans prepared with young cassava leaves, ground before being cooked with garlic, onion and coconut milk. Many “Matapa” dishes add cashew nuts, crab or shrimp and can be eaten with bread, rice, or just as is.  HOT TIP: Add Piri-Piri to your Matapa and you’ll have literal culinary perfection!

A local bottle of homemade Piri Piri Sauce (not gin)

7. Mozambique was under Portuguese rule until it gained independence in 1975. Although the official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, there are actually 43 languages spoken within the country.

Deserted beach of Tofinho Just south of the Capitol of Maputo

8. Mozambicans drive on the lefthand side of the road. This may not seem strange, except that the country was under Portuguese rule for 500 years, and Portuguese drive on the righthand side of the road…unsolved mystery we suppose.

9. Mozambique is home to a wide variety of exotic animals including 17 critically endangered specials of mammals such as the black and white rhino, cheetah, african lion, and african elephant; most of which became endangered after the 30 year civil war.

Swimming with Whale Sharks in Tofo, Mozambique

10. The Mozambican Metical is the official currency. Referred to as ‘meticais’, MT1 (one meticais) is equal to about $0.014USD (2020).

11. Half of the population in Mozambique is under the age of 17. No, that’s not a typo. Also interesting to learn that the average lifespan for Mozambicans is only 60.88 years (2020) which is actually an increase from 57 years in 2017.

Corner Market in Vilanculos, Mozambique

12. There are 122 airports in Mozambique. 22 have paved runways, the rest are dirt.

13. The Kapulana (also spelled Capulana) dominates the fashion industry in Mozambique. You can’t visit this country without noticing the colourful attire of the locals. This vibrant material is a type of a sarong, 2 metres by 1 metre in size, and can be used in every way imaginable: as a wrap-around skirt or dress, a baby carrier on the back, everyday casual-wear, or even careful tailored for special events. The beauty of this simple fabric is that it’s considered a complete piece of clothing in and of itself. HOT TIP: Instead of purchasing a pre-made garment, do as the locals do! Purchase your Kapulana from a local market (average cost USD$5-$10/fabric), then take it to a tailor to have a one-of-a-kind item custom just for you! The design, tailoring, and final fit will only set you back around $15USD, a real steal.

Women wearing Kapulanas, heading to the boats to pick up the fresh catch

14. Mozambique’s soil is extremely high in minerals. The country exported its first batch of coal in 2011 and aspires to become the world’s largest coal exporter.

Collecting the daily fresh catch to bring to market

15. Nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line and struggle to survive each and every day. Due to COVID-19, this number has continued to rise as the number 1 source of income, tourism, came to a screeching halt in March 2020 and is only just now (start of September 2020) beginning to reopen again.

>>If you’d like to help the people of this beautiful country, consider donating to our GoFundMe account. You can click the link here to read about our fundraiser and learn more about why your contribution would be worth so much to the people of Vilankulos, Mozambique.

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