Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Mozambique, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Mozambique is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Serious traffic accidents, one of the greatest threats to U.S. citizens in Mozambique, occur regularly throughout the country. Accidents involving drivers and pedestrians are common, sometimes resulting in pedestrian casualty. Pedestrians often walk in the road and may not be visible to motorists, especially at night. If a serious accident occurs, or if a driver hits a pedestrian, crowds quickly gather. Some drivers involved in accidents of this nature have felt threatened by the crowds and fled the accident scene. We urge any driver involved in an accident to immediately report the accident to the nearest police station and to contact the Embassy.
Drivers should obey police signals to stop at checkpoints, which are common throughout Mozambique. Foreigners visiting Mozambique for more than 90 days are required to have an International Driver’s License or to obtain a Mozambican driver’s license.
The main north-south thoroughfare is passable north of Maputo until the city of Caia (Sofala province), where vehicle passengers must disembark and cross the Zambezi River by ferryboat. On the north side of the river, the road continues to the Northern provinces. The road network connecting provincial capitals is in fair condition, but can be riddled with potholes and other obstacles.
The EN4 toll road between Maputo and South Africa is well-maintained. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling outside cities after dark because of the increased risk of banditry, poor road conditions in some areas, poor maintenance of many vehicles in the country (e.g., no headlights or rear lights), as well as the threat imposed by livestock grazing on roadsides. Travel outside Maputo often requires a four-wheel drive vehicle, which creates an additional security risk since these vehicles are high-theft items. Public transportation is limited and often has poor safety standards.
The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens not to use “chapas” (local minibuses) as a method of transportation due to frequent, often fatal accidents involving these vehicles. Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. We also suggest that travelers visit the web site of the Mozambique’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.
You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.