"CORRUPT AND DANGEROUS" Top 5 Page for this destination Mozambique by DAO
Mozambique Travel Guide: 810 reviews and 2,605 photos
So how was your visit to “Moz”? My friends and family asked me upon my return. Hmmm…..
Well, I was robbed twice in the first 2 days. On both occasions a gang surrounded my car and a gun was shown just to reinforce the idea that I should hand over what they wanted – NOW! I never reported either of these awful crimes to the police. Why not? Because it was the police who robbed me!
The guidebooks tell you that they may look for “bribes”. They don’t tell you what scary thugs they are. After paying 2 fees to get a car in from South Africa (you always pay twice in Moz) I was happily driving down the motorway enjoying the new scenery when criminal gang no. 1 stopped me. Was I speeding – NO. About 7 kilometres in I was waved down by 3 fat policemen. If they are fat officials in Moz then they are corrupt. My crime? I had RSA plates on the car. He asked for my licence. In order, but he kept it. Then my passport. In order, but he kept it. Asked for my import/insurance document. Kept that too. Then he tells me that the last paperwork is not printed on the correct paper. Fine: 1,500,000.00 (about $60). When I said no and asked for papers back…..yes I am shown a gun. My friend then proceeds to talk absolute gibberish to him about being friends, religion, etc. He manages to skilfully spend 20 minutes getting my papers back, avoiding arrest/shooting and settling for the man taking selected items from the car. The prize capture was a bag of ice.
I nave thought I would tell fellow travellers not to go to a country – but do not go. Mozambique is not ready for tourists. Well, they are in the way a fox is ready for chickens to come into their path. You have to pay a visa fee of 85 Rands before you leave South Africa. Then they charge you a new visa fee at the border! Like I said, you always pay twice. Car? Yes, you pay twice and the first one is 1000 Rands!
So, there I am back on the road shaken form my shake down by the “Police” when I come to one of the many Toll Road barriers. I pay in Rands and I am given local “Medicash” in change. The exchange rate is about 26,000 to $1, so I start thinking maybe they are dishonest too. I ask for a receipt, and guess what? I get more change back! Yes, thieves, thieves and more thieves. I have not even been here an hour and it has already cost me over 1200 Rands, a bag of ice and some food items that would have been my lunch. It is still lunch, just not mine anymore.
So who is charge of this vast and organised criminal empire? Well that would be President Armando Emílio Guebuza of Frelimo. These are the guys who fought with Uncle Bob (Zimbabwe) to make sure that ex-colonials couldn’t mess up their countries. Now they mess them up.
Moz is not a happy place. People do not wave back, there are still tens of thousands of live landmines and it is corrupt. I feel sorry for the local villagers, I really do. Try back in 10 years and maybe it will be a fun and safe place to travel. Any country with an AK-47 on the flag is not a place to take the family for an adventure.
Oh…The second time I got robbed was not by the police in Maputo (always have your passport on you – that is a fine!). It was the nice (fat!) police in Xai-Xai. They still have my driving licence. The replkacement was less than the fines they wanted for “speeding”. I wonder if my picture is on the Moz Most Wanted? Or just the dartboard back at the station.
If you see skinny police, do not worry. They do not stop you.
Visit Swaziland. Happy people, helpful police and better scenery! No landmines.
If you need to pee, I suggest that you pee in, on, or very near your car. No roadtrip is worth losing a leg or two.
I love travel. I thought I would never say “do not go here”, but I feel I have to. Driving into Moz is a huge mistake. Go if you dare, I hope you have a happy and safe time. I did meet some nice people and have some fun times, but I was scarred or angry more often. The 2 political parties ripped this country in half and it still has a lot of healing to do. The government still think Communism is they way to go. I watched people eating out of bins in cities and selling South African vegetables in the villages. The people do not have to live like this. Communism brings misery.
- Pros:Unspoilt beaches
- Cons:Bad police, landmines, Communists
- In a nutshell:BE PREPARED IF YOU DRIVE, OR TAKE A TOUR INSTEAD
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DAO's Related Pages
Mozambique Travel Guide
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- 81 Reviews
- 388 Photos
- 7 Forum posts
- 6 Cities
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