Many first-time visitors to Mozambique are surprised with the costs they encounter here — whether traveling independently or with a package tour. We found that the cost of just about everything for travelers is quite a bit more than in neighboring South Africa or Tanzania and had to adjust our Mozambique budget accordingly.
Here’s our Mozambique budget report covering food, lodging, communication, and other travel expenses by location for one month. We’ve also included our itinerary as well as tips on tracking travel expenses and cutting costs in Mozambique.
Tracking Our Mozambique Budget Expenses
All of the following information comes as a result of tracking our expenses with the superb mobile app MoneyControl.
I paid for the full version of both the mobile and desktop apps, but have found that the mobile app is really all you need, as you can generate reports right on your phone and export them in a variety of ways.
Trail Wallet and other apps have been recommended to us (and I’ve tried them all) but have found that I prefer the ease of use, interface, and reports of MoneyControl.
The one advantage that Trail Wallet has over others is the ability to deal with a variety of currencies and conversions, but the functionality is currently limited.
For Lori and I, everything eventually gets converted back into USD anyway, as that is what we’re generally paid in and what our bank statements reflect, so I find it easiest to convert the amount to USD before entering it into the app.
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A huge advantage of this is that it gives you an immediate sense of how much you’re actually spending, as £4 (British Pounds) doesn’t seem all that bad for a large gourmet coffee (until you realize that that’s US$6.40!).
Our 1 Month Mozambique Itinerary
We spent 30 days total in Mozambique (as long as our visa would allow), traveling from Ressano Garcia (South Africa border) in the far south to Pemba in the far north.
We utilized a variety of transportation including chapas (shared minivan taxis), machibombos (large coach-style buses), Tanzanianos or China chapas (shared minibuses), dhows (traditional East African sailboats), motorized dhows, ferries, private taxis, canoe, and finally, jet airliner from Pemba onward to Tanzania.
And of course, we covered countless miles on foot.
Our 30-Day Mozambique Itinerary
|Date||Location||Stay||Travel Time (to)|
|30 Sep – 6 Oct||Maputo||6 nights||9 hrs via InterCape bus from Nelspruit, RSA|
|6 Oct – 8 Oct||Inhambane||2 nights||6.5 hrs via Post Bus + 0.5 hrs via ferry|
|8 Oct – 10 Oct||Linga Linga||2 nights||0.5 hrs via ferry + 0.5 hrs via chapa + 1.5 hrs via dhow|
|10 Oct – 13 Oct||Tofo Beach||3 nights||0.5 hrs via canoe + 0.5 hrs chapa + 0.5 hrs ferry + 1 hr chapa|
|13 Oct – 15 Oct||Beira||2 nights||10 hrs via Post Bus|
|13 Oct – 15 Oct||Quelimane||2 nights||8 hrs via Nagi Bus|
|15 Oct – 17 Oct||Nampula||1 night||6 hrs via Nagi Bus (usually takes 8-10)|
|18 Oct – 23 Oct||Mozambique Island||5 nights||4 hrs via “Tanzaniano” chapa|
|23 Oct – 29 Oct||Pemba area||7 nights||1.5 hrs via chapa + 5.5 hrs via bus|
We stayed in 11 different guesthouses, lodges, and backpackers hostels in Mozambique.
The average cost of accommodation per night for two people was $37 USD, with our most expensive lodging being $51 in Nampula for a fairly basic room (a big surprise!), and our cheapest being $23 for a thatch hut in Linga Linga.
The best value for the money was Pensão Ideal — Double room with AC and en suite bathroom in a clean and safe guesthouse is pretty hard to beat in Moz.
The most overpriced accommodation was Ruby Backpackers in Nampula, but all accommodation in Nampula seemed much more expensive than average.
Mozambique Lodging by Location
|Maputo (1)||Base Backpackers||US $39||double / shared bath|
|Maputo (2)||Base Backpackers||US $26||2x dorm beds / shared bath|
|Inhambane City||Pensao Machibombo||US $39||double / shared bath|
|Linga Linga||Funky Monkey / Lucio’s Place||US $23||double cabana / shared bath|
|Tofo Beach||Fatima’s Nest||US $44||double cabana / shared bath|
|Beira||Hotel Savoy||US $26||twin double / shared bath|
|Quelimane||Pensao Ideal||US $26||AC double / en suite bath|
|Nampula||Ruby Backpackers Nampula||US $51||double / shared bath|
|Ilha de Moambique||Mooxeleliya||US $32||double / en suite bath|
|Pemba (1)||Pemba Dive & Bush Camp||US $40||double “backpackers” / shared bath|
|Pemba (2)||Residencial Lys||US $42||AC double / en suite bath|
|Pemba (3)||Pensao Baia||US $26||double / shared bath|
Wifi was difficult to come by in Moz during our stay. The Base had a very slow computer to get online with (and Pemba Dive & Bush Camp also supposedly had one, but we never used it). Fatima’s Nest in Tofo and Ruby’s in Nampula both had wifi in common areas, but from 7pm to 7am only.
Internet cafes and restaurants/cafes with wifi were also hard to come by. The best options for free wifi were Caffettissimo in the top of the Polana Shopping Center in Maputo, Bistro Pescador near the pier in Inhambane City, and O Escondidinho in Ilha de Moçambique.
If you’re planning a stay of any length in Mozambique, need to stay connected, and have an unlocked GSM world band smart phone (like an unlocked AT&T or T-Mobile iPhone, if you live in the U.S.), it pays to get an mCel SIM card and add a data package.
SIM cards cost about US$1.50 and can be purchased from any mCel store or any number of vendors on the street. Top-up credit costs a few bucks and should give you enough data to last a few days to a week.
Mozambique Expenses by Location
The following is an overview of our costs (for TWO travelers — a husband/wife couple) in each location we visited.
The table below does not include transport (see transport section below) or communication costs or incidentals such as water, toilet paper, etc. — but should hopefully give you some idea of what your own Mozambique budget might look like as an independent traveler.
Average Expenses per Day by Location
|Maputo||US $94 /day||US $37 /day||US $56 /day||US $1 /day|
|Inhambane Province (I’bane, Tofo, Linga…)||$65||$28||$37||$0|
|Sofala & Zambezia Provinces (Beira, Quelimane…)||$52||$26||$26||$0|
|Nampula Province (Nampula, Ilha…)||$68||$30||$35||$3|
|Cabo Delgado Province (Pemba…)||$63||$30||$33||$0|
|OVERALL AVERAGES||$68 /day||$30 /day||$37 /day||$1 /day|
Overall, transportation ran us US$260 for two people to get from Maputo to Pemba and everywhere in between. Transport was almost always shared public transport, with the few rare exceptions of 3 am private-hire taxis to bus stations.
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Have you traveled to Mozambique?
Let us know how your own Mozambique Budget Report compares with ours in the comments below!