Mozambique is an East African third world country. We are based in a rural area which means most of the community we work with live below the poverty line. Although we have running water and electricity at our base camp, most people in the area do not. Mozambique is an ex-Portuguese colony so the widely spoken language across the country is Portuguese – the local dialect of our region is Bitonga. Mozambique has a 50% illiteracy rate, this rate is higher the region we operate in which is why our work in the schools is so important.
The rural location of our base means we’re part of a close knit community so you can expect to learn the names and recognise many of the people in our area. We’re in an incredibly friendly bay and it is considered impolite not to acknowledge (by waving or greeting) people you pass by. The atmosphere where we are is very positive due to the great work we do in our community and our reputation precedes us.
The climate is tropical, with two major seasons: the wet season, October – March and the dry season April – September. We’re based in the south of Mozambique and temperatures reach as high as 45°C in the wet season. In the dry season it can be cooler, particularly at night.
Try and arrive at Inhambane on the exact start date of your course that we’ve provided. This is usually a Sunday so you will have a day to settle in before we start training. If you can only arrive the day before, don’t fret, we’ll still pick you up! You’ll just need to book an extra night with us.
You need a return flight booked for your visa, so even if you think you’ll end up staying longer than originally planned, we suggest you book a preliminary return flight. You do not need to prove a LAM/South African return flight into Inhambane, a return flight from Johannesburg will be accepted by the embassy.
If you are departing from Inhambane (i.e. not doing Safari) then you can book a flight any time of the day (there is usually only one departing flight every day).
If you ARE participating in the Safari week, do not book a LAM return flight to Inhambane. You will travel overland on the safari from Mozambique to South Africa. You will need to book your flight home from Johannesburg airport no earlier than 8.30pm local time – the reason for this is your Safari transport link will not arrive into O. R. Tambo Airport (Johannesburg) before 6.30pm
We recommend looking first at return flights from your home airport to Johannesburg, and a separate flight with LAM from Johannesburg to Inhambane. We have found this to be the cheapest route. Your other option is to look at multi-destination tickets and fly from your home airport into Maputo (Mozambique) and then on to Inhambane, and from Johannesburg back to your home airport – many people have found this routing to be more expensive, but there are some bargains to be found!
We would also encourage you to think about offsetting your flight emissions. You can start by flying with the most carbon efficient airline or choosing travel agents that are eco-friendly. You can find information about doing that here. Then you can offset your carbon footprint using that airline’s offset program, or if they don’t have one you can use organisations such as Carbon Footprint. Just make sure whatever program you choose is verifiable, traceable, permanent and conforms to the Verified Carbon Standard or Clean Development Mechanism.
It’s up to you. The cost of flights varies with airline so going on a flight comparison site would be advised if you want the cheapest flight. We often use kayak, momondo or cheapflights.
LAM airline is the only airline that flies to Inhambane. You will have to book this flight separate to your other flight so make sure you have enough time to make your connection. You can book this online very easily on LAM’s website. Flights from Johannesburg tend to go via Maputo and/or Vilanculos.
You will travel with our trusted travel partners by private bus from Guinjata Bay to our partners in Balule Private Game Reserve. From there, you will then travel by bus with our travel partners to Johannesburg airport. These transfers are included in your safari price and have been risk assessed and safety checked to Love The Oceans’ standards.
We strongly recommend you carry your valuables (all electronics in particular e.g. laptops, phones, cameras and things like sunglasses, contact lenses etc..) in your hand luggage for the whole journey to be safe. Please bring a backpack as hand luggage as this will come in useful for field work.
MOZAMBIQUE: Talk to the Mozambique embassy in your country for the latest news regarding visas. Be sure to leave enough time to send your passport off to the embassy to get the relevant visa for the amount of time you are planning to spend in Mozambique. We strongly recommend applying for a 30 DAY SINGLE ENTRY TOURISTvisa. Do NOT get a multiple entry as this will cause significant immigration problems in the country. Please also do not rely on getting a visa at the border – this visa is not renewable in country which means after 30 days you must go to the border to buy a new one – a 12 hour bus ride. Budget approximately £75 for visa renewal in-country after 30 days.
SOUTH AFRICA: Many of you will transit through South Africa on the way to Mozambique. If this is the case British, American, Australian and some European passport holders are not required to obtain South African visas for visits of up to 90 days. Please check your individual visa requirements based on the passport you intend to travel with.
You are required to provide a copy of the following documentation along with the final payment for your program.
- Copy of your Travel Insurance (including Diving coverage/DAN cover)
- Copy of your Flight arrival/departure
- Emergency Contact details
- Copy of the photo page of your passport
- Proof of a clean criminal record
You will require a Confirmation of Stay letter in order to apply for your visa, this will be provided to you by email (PDF) upon receipt of the above documentation.
We’re partnered with Jay’s Pro Dive Centre in Jangamo. Our dive centre is full of experienced and qualified PADI staff who will guide you on some truly amazing dives! We’re partnered with Jay’s because they are an award-winning, PADI Gold Star dive centre with awesome ethical policies. They have great environmental awareness strategies and squeaky clean health and safety protocols.
All your dive equipment is provided by the dive centre and is included in the price of your volunteer fee minus a dive computer and dive knife. There is an area for you to store your own diving gear if you’d prefer to bring and use your own. We strongly recommend bringing a dive computer and a dive knife with you.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
We stay in rustic, sea view accommodation as part of Palm Resort, Mozambique. This means running water, hot water, electricity, mosquito nets and fully functioning bathrooms. You’ll be in dorm style accommodation, with bunk beds. Sexes will be separated.
All your meals are included in your program fee. You’ll have breakfast, a packed lunch and a cooked dinner every day apart from weekends when your lunch may not be a packed lunch as we’ll all be on site or at an organised activity. Our food is almost completely locally sourced, helping our community and the planet. Main dishes will consist of rice or cassava with coconut, matapa or beans. We can cater for vegans, vegetarians and most allergies.
Since you’re already on a catered package as part of your volunteer fee, extra spends are usually minimal. There’s a local shop close by that has a few western luxuries where you can buy chocolate, fruit and drinks etc. Other spends may include bar drinks (payable on card) and optional extras such as further diving qualifications (payable on card), or additional activities like the surf trip (approx. £30) or the boat trip (approx. £40).
Every couple of weeks we’ll make a trip into town and there is a cash point there. This will give you money in the local currency (Metical). You MUST advise your bank that you are travelling to Mozambique and South Africa otherwise it is highly likely that your card will be blocked.
Mozambique Metical (MZN) is the local currency which is taken everywhere. South African Rand (ZAR) is also commonly used and accepted most places. You cannot get Metical outside of Mozambique and we can take you to a cash point on arrival so don’t worry about bringing local currency with you.
Please seek guidance from your general practitioner, practice nurse or travel health clinic on this but here are few typical guidelines.
It is highly recommended that you take malaria medication. The area of Mozambique we are in has a low malaria rate and it is the least damaging strains since we are in a coastal location, but it is still recommended.
Since some of your time will be spent diving it is ESSENTIAL you make sure your malaria tablets are compatible with diving. The most common anti-malaria tablets used that are compatible with diving are Malarone (more expensive but less side effects) and Doxycycline (more side effects but significantly cheaper), you will need to discuss with you medical professional which medication is best for you.
Since Mozambique is not a yellow fever district it is not a requirement for the program that you have this jab (vaccination). Go to your doctor or a travel doctor and ask which jabs you need. You’ll need to know what jabs you’re up to date with and which ones you’ll need boosters on for them to make a decision. We’ve found the most common ones that people get are Hep A and Hep B, and that is usually just a booster/update jab. If you are participating in safari please get a rabies jab.
Bring enough prescription medication with you for the entire duration of your stay. Pack this in your HAND LUGGAGE. There is a medical unit close by and we have access to the pharmacy and hospital but it is strongly advised that you bring your medication with you. The language barrier can make it hard to communicate what you want, and if you are prone to something ( e.g. UTI, IBS, eczema) we have found it best if you bring a course of your usual treatment. We recommend bringing a basic first aid kit with headache tablets (e.g. paracetamol/ibuprofen), anti-histamines, rehydration sachets, blister plasters and some anti- block ear clearing liquid for between dives (easily available in your nearest pharmacy).
EMERGENCY CONTACT DETAILS
Please ensure you give a copy of these details to your emergency contact and you have submitted your emergency contact form to us.
Francesca Trotman — (0044)7881 795 062 (Whatsapp, preferable for 1st contact) — Managing Director and Founder
Andrea Biden —(0044)7766188251 (Whatsapp, preferable for 1st contact) — Executive Director
Jay Lamprecht —- (+258) 84 239 1100 (WhatsApp) —- Jay’s Pro Dive Centre Owner
Ronel Lamprecht —- (+258) 84 706 3978 (WhatsApp) —- Jay’s Pro Dive Centre Owner
Nina Labuschagne —- (+258) 84 735 3117 (WhatsApp) —- Resort Manager
There is no WIFI, but you can connect through your mobile device on 3G/4G data. You can easily purchase a local SIM at our nearby shop and run internet/data at your own cost ( data is quite cheap in Mozambique, 5GB costs around £6). Please ensure your phone is unlocked from your home network PRIOR to departure otherwise the local SIM will not work.
THINGS TO MAKE SURE YOU'VE DONE BEFORE YOU GO
ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST - THINGS TO BRING
We recommend the following items to bring with you:
We request that all our volunteers please bring out at least 5kg of donations each – this can include stationary for the local school (books, pens, paper, rulers etc.), useful items for the local fishermen (old clothes, sunglasses, and sunhats), old unlocked phones and old cameras (with chargers) or any useful scientific equipment (measuring tapes, clipboards etc.). Please see our wishlist for more ideas.
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