Maputo Warnings Or Dangers Tips by georeiser Top 5 Page for this destination
Maputo Warnings and Dangers: 20 reviews and 27 photos
The police station in Baixa, Maputo
I have red some tips about the corrupt police who steel from foreigners in the street, and also comments which disagree on this statement.
I can confirm that the police are targeting tourists. The police is maybe the most corrupt police in the Southern part of Africa. Anyway, don't let this prevent you from traveling to Mozambique or lock yourself inside the hotel room when you are in the country. But be wise and don't be drunk or walk alone in the street, as I did.
I was checked by the police in Baixa 2 times in one night. The first time I was stopped by 3 police officers who asked for identification. I shoved them a copy of my passport and visa, and also the receipt I had for the visa fee. They let me go. Three hours hours later, when I was going back to my hotel at night, I was stopped by some other police officers. This time it was almost no people in the street (Avenida 25 de Setembro), and I was drunk. Very foolish of me to walk there and be drunk... The police asked me for identification, the same procedure as last time. But this time it was a big problem, they said. The stamp on my visa was not official. We were standing there for 10 minutes and I tried to explain, but it was obvious that they wanted money. Both the Policemen had AK-47 rifles. I tried to bribe them with 100 Metacais, but they said it was too little. Then they searched my pocket and took out all my money, 950 Metacais (aprox 40 USD). But they let me keep 200 Metacais for taxi back to the hotel.
I went down to the police station in Baixa to report it the next day, but the police officer at the station was not so interested in reporting his colleague. He looked disturbed and told me to come the next day to talk with the police chief. I didn't do that...
You can avoid getting exposed to some troubles:
- Take a copy of your passport and the visa, because you are obliged to carry both copies at all times. (I have heard that the police can hold back your passport and use it as a subject to get money. So don't carry the original passport).
- Before you use your camera, make sure the police are absent.
- Don't take photos of police stations or military installations.
- Never drive on your own or don't hire a car to/in Mozambique. Take local buses, chapas or taxis.
- Avoid streets or places with few people. If so, walk fast and look determined. (The police doesn't like to be observed by other people when they are commiting an illegality).
- Be careful when you are close to a police station because there are a lot of police around this area.
Don't take photo of the police
Don't take photo of the police! I had the unpleasant experience to take a photo and the police were standing in the background. It happened in Catembe, on the other side of the Maputo bay.
You can see the photo of the dusty street with the police standing 25 meters away (marked with red arrow). I turned around and took a photo, but I didn't see the police. They came towards me and asked why I took photos of them. The police was holding me back for more than 10 minutes, and they looked at all the recent photos in the camera. But I think they realized that the distance was too far away to claim I took photos of them. Fortunately a lot of people were standing around. I was lucky and kept my camera, and the police left without giving me a fine.
It is wise to be careful with your camera in front of police stations, military installations and government offices. And also houses where you can assume rich people are living. Because you don't know what kind of people you meet.
I experienced some denunciatory behaviour from the police and also by a man dressed in suit on the beach. To bad it is like this because the rest of the people are so modest and friendly. Mozambique is a oligarchy, and the local people have excessive respect for the Police and the political elite. I heard that FRELIMO agents even today may have influence on courts and the police. (FRELIMO ruled the communist system from 1975 to 1992).
I had no problem with the local people in Maputo. I felt more safe here than in the cities of Brazil.
Catembe. Livre do Hiv - Sida
This photo was taken in Catembe (Maputo), and shows something everybody should know about. Mozambique is not an exception when it comes to Hiv and Aids in Africa.
By the way, sida means aids in Portuguese.
Hole in the streets, Maputo
The streets and pavements in the centre of Maputo are dilapidated, and big holes are usual. Be careful where you put your feet.
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