Take a Gap Year to Mozambique
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- Destination Guide
- Programmes / Trips
- Tours / Excursions
- Photo Gallery
- Travel Advice
You are based at Zavora Beach in southern Mozambique, approximately 1.5 hours south of Inhambane town and 9 hours north of the South Africa-Mozambique border. A remote destination with the closest town (Inharrime) around 30km away.
With the exception of mid-December to mid-January, which is the busiest tourist season, Zavora is very quiet and peaceful. It is an excellent place for people who enjoy being close to nature, and who enjoys the thrills of exploring untouched reefs.
Programmes and Trips
- A world-class opportunity for science students to assist with marine research and conservation. The internship offers a great chance for dedicated students to engage in real world research and meaningfully…
- Trip Duration: 1 month or 2 months
- Suitability: Qualified Advanced Diver with 30+ dives
- From £1875 for 1 month
Optional Tours / Excursions
The following tours are available to add-on to your gap year diving experience. Tours can generally be done either before or after a programme, but in some cases they can be done during the programme.
Sorry, but we do not appear to have any tours listed at present. Please check back again. Alternatively, please call us to learn more about tours / trip extensions and we can discuss possible options.
Climate / Weather
The waters of southern Mozambique have visibility ranging from 5-30 metres, with an average of 12- 15 metres. Offshore reefs usually have better visibility than inshore reefs as wave action is not such a factor. Poor visibility can be the result of bad weather and big waves stirring up the bottom or can be caused by the upwelling of cold nutrient rich water from the Mozambique Channel. This upwelling water usually causes a chain of events, starting with a bloom in Phytoplankton, tiny plants trapping the suns energy by photosynthesis. This tends to turn the water greener. This plant life then supports a bloom in Zooplankton, small animals and jelly fish, this then turns the water a slightly milky blue colour as they grow and eat the Phytoplankton. Then the animals that divers want to see, the mantas and whale sharks, get involved to complete the cycle by eating the Zooplankton. So, without some days of poorer visibility, Mozambique would not have the charismatic mega fauna that makes it such a fantastic place to dive.
Best time of year to come.
It is difficult to recommend a ‘best time’ here in Zavora as all times of year have positive attributes. From 15th December to the 15th January and Easter are the busiest seasons due to South African school holidays. All other months are quieter. November to March have warmer water and usually better visibility with mating manta ray events, but with December to March being cyclone season, we can miss some days diving due to storms we are unlucky, although this is seldom the case. The temperature on land can get up to 40 degrees C in January and February, whilst it can get as low as 15-20 degrees C in June-August.
June to October is colder and the visibility is lower but the mantas appear to love the green, planktonfilled water. In 2009 summer was the best time for seeing mantas, however in 2010 and 2011 the winter months had higher numbers. June to October is the humpback whale season and we can see these magnificent animals daily from the shore, from the boat and even on SCUBA.
The Algulas current runs through the Mozambique Channel from North to South and as such we usually have a mild current on our offshore reefs, predominantly at the surface, although anything from zero to strong can occur. We are lucky enough to have over 7 km of inshore reef lying parallel to the shore, so on the days when the current is strong, drift diving is the order of the day.
Official Name: The Republic of Mozambique
Location: South East Africa
Population: 23.9 million (via UN, 2011)
Languages: Portuguese (official), Makua-Lomwe, Swahili, other indigenous languages
Religion: Christianity, indigenous beliefs, Islam
FCO Travel Advice Link: Mozambique Information
Visas / Entry Requirements
Upon entering Mozambique, you will be issued with a 30 day VISA (around US$80: it can vary), which is extendable for another 30 days. If you wish to stay longer you will need to extend it in Maxixe (100 North from Zavora) or do a trip to the border at your own costs. If you plan to stay longer we recommend applying to the Mozambiquan Embassy in your home country and request a 3 months visa with single entry, as a multiple entry means you will have to renew your visa at the border every 30 days. When you apply please highlight in the application form that you will be far from the border and therefore you would prefer a single entry rather than a multiple entry. A single entry can sometimes be difficult to get, as multiple entry is the norm, it just depends on your persuasion skills and your luck! For interns who buy a one way flight we recommend to consult your airline and the Mozambican Embassy in your home country to ensure that you can get your visa at the border.
Zavora is located in a malaria zone, some interns prefer to use prophylactic medication, while others prefer to protect themself using repellents and a mosquito net. It is up to you. Recommended medicines are: Malarone (side effects: damages liver so it is advisable to drink alcohol in small quantities or, even better, avoid it), or Doxycycline (side effects: short periods of increased photosensitivity, thus recommended to be taken around dinner with food). Malaria tests and treatment are also available on site. Bear in mind that SCUBA diving whilst using some prophylactic medications (such as Larium or Mefloquine) is not recommended – your choice of medication should be made accordingly. In any case it is recommended to bring mosquito repellents to be used mostly during dusk and dawn periods. Please consult your doctor for any other recommended vaccinations.
Please visit www.netdoctor.co.uk for more information or consult with your local GP for professional advice.
Flight times / routes
The best way to get to Zavora is undoubtably by plane. You should easily be able to find a flight from your home country to Johannesburg and then from Johannesburg to Inhambane Airport. A few airlines also fly directly in to Maputo, but this is usually a more costly option. At the moment LAM is the only company that flies to Inhambane. You can buy your ticket on-line at www.lam.co.mz. Always consider a few extra hours in Maputo or Johannesburg for your returning flight as LAM rarely runs on schedule.