Moving to Mozambique

Those moving to Mozambique can expect sun-drenched, tropical beaches, warm hospitality and a low cost of living. Having attained independence from Portugal as recently as 1975, the country still has strong cultural ties to Portugal. Yet Mozambique retains its own distinct character as a melting pot of different European, African and Asian influences. 

Since the global downturn, many Europeans (especially Portuguese) have sought out Mozambique, where their skills in a variety of areas are needed in a country still rebuilding itself after decades of war, which ravaged the country from before its independence until 1992. Thousands of native Portuguese expats now call the country home and work in a diverse range of industries, especially in construction, engineering, architecture and other jobs with technical skills which may be lacking among the local population. In addition, the country has excellent tourism attractions and had the fastest growing tourism industry in the world in the mid-2000s.The discovery of one of the largest gas fields in the world off the coast of Mozambique in 2012 has thrown this East African country into the limelight as global oil giants take notice.

Expats relocating to Mozambique should be aware that this developing country is still recovering from the devastating effects of war, including poor infrastructure and roads, corruption and a sporadic water supply. Many Portuguese expats arrive with unrealistic expectations that life will be as it was back home and don’t stay long. Yet for the expats who choose to stay and live in Mozambique, the country is a paradise despite its shortcomings.

Many expats relocate to Maputo, the capital and largest city in Mozambique, a lush city exuding old-world charm.

The cost of living is low, depending on one's tastes: local fruits are available in abundance, but imported goods from South Africa and Europe command higher prices. Expat-standard housing can also be expensive in the city. On the other hand, many expats can afford to hire full-time domestic help, a luxury not often seen in the West.

Expats from the UK and US will need to brush up on their Portuguese to get by, as few locals speak English. However, because of proximity to English-speaking South Africa, English media is available.

There are a few good private hospitals and clinics in Maputo, and plenty more a few hours’ drive away in South Africa.