Volunteer Vacations has been invited to partner up with an organization dedicated to marine conservation in Mozambique monitoring the decline in the local megafauna. The volunteers will help photograph and video and monitor the whale sharks, manta ray and other fish populations and promote marine conservation locally. Numbers have declined significantly over the last two decades. Scuba diving and snorkelling are useful skills but if you have not done these before, you can spend your first week learning to dive before getting fully involved in the project.
Getting a visa in the UK
Getting my Mozambique visa, was relatively easy in the UK.
I went online to find out the score:
Then downloaded the form:
Printed off the form, as a I was departing in just under a week, went up to London to the Mozambique High Commission at:
21 Fitzroy Square,
and took with me the following documents:
- the printed application form which I had printed off and filled in
- two passport size photos
- a copy of my return airline tickets
- a copy of my bank account (which they just glanced at and gave straight back to me)
- a copy of a letter from the Lodge where I would be staying confirming that I was booked in
- a photocopy of the first page of my passport – the one with the photo showing passport no, issue date, expiry date, nationality, etc.
- a credit card to pay for the visa
- passport – make sure you have at least 6 months before expiry from date you enter country and also have 3 blank consecutive pages
I went for the express service which costs £60 and your visa is ready the same day in 90 minutes! It all worked like clockwork, having got there nice and early and I went off to look at Tottenham Court
Road while I waited. It really was a very positive experience!
However, my fellow travel companion – “Thelma” who lives in Lisbon in Portugal – did not have the same success! She went to the Mozambique High Commission allowing 7 days before she travelled and they said that her visa would take 10 days! This was ridiculous as she was departing before the visa would be ready. We think the reason for these extended checks is that, due to the unemployment in Portugal, a lot of Portuguese are going to Mozambique in search of work.
Visa on arrival
We were reassured by our partners that she could get her visa on arrival at Inhambane airport and, sure enough, she did this. She brought all the documents with her, they took her photo and finger print and she paid for the visa cash in euros there on the spot! Dead easy! She paid 75 cash (no credit cards accepted). They also accept UK£ and US$. This option is probably the easiest.
If you are staying longer than 30 days, visas can be extended locally with a half day trip to the Immigration Office in Maxixe but this extension may cost you anything from £12 upwards there does not seem to be a definite scale! Our partners will take you to Inhambane where you get on a boat across the estuary (25 mins) to Maxixe. You then walk through the streets to the Immigration Office where it can be relatively quick to get your extension. You will be accompanied so don’t worry about getting lost!
Once back in Inhambane, do take time to walk around this old Portuguese colonial town and take in the Art Deco Cine Theatre, church and market.
If you are interested in knowing more about volunteering in marine conservation in Mozambique, then drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a ring on 07833 208 158 / 01483 203405 (eves) or check out our website www.volunteervacations.co.uk
(We do have many other projects in other countries, so please do take a look at our website!)