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Frequently Asked Questions: April 2000

What is the weather like in Vilanculos?
Winter months are the dry months in Mozambique - May, June, July and August. Temperatures are very mild - warm in the day and cool at night. Summer months can get quite hot and humid, but ideal for swimming, diving and lazy days on the beach.

What are the current exchange rates?
The Mozambican currency, the Metical, fluctuates with the strength of the US Dollar as does the SA Rand. The exchange rate varies daily, so it is difficult to predict a future rate. For example, the exchange rates at the end of March 2000 were as follows: R1.00 = 2000.00 Mt and $1.00 = 13 000.00 Mt.

What currencies can I use?
SA Rands, US Dollar and British Pounds are accepted in cash and travellers cheques. Visa and Mastercard accepted.

Do I need to take anything against malaria?
It is advisable to take precautions, as Mozambique is a malaria area. Consult your doctor on what prophylactics to take.

What are the current road conditions?
The road from Komatipoort to Vilanculos is fine besides the deviation around Xai-Xai. The road from Mutare to Vilanculos has about 50 Km under repair. No 4x4 is necessary on either route.

What should I do about fuel?
Petrol and diesel are generally always available. Engine oil is available at most fuel stations. The price increases as one travels further north out of Maputo or out of Mutare. In Vilanculos petrol is approximately R4.75/L and diesel R3.75/L.

Are there any road laws to look out for?
Please take note of the speed limits in all villages and towns. Some limits are as low as 30 Km per hour. The traffic police use radar. Traffic police are all uniformed and may request your vehicle papers and 3rd party insurance. 3rd party is compulsory in Mosambique - available at the borders. Please use your seat belts.

What are the border crossing operating hours?
Borders operate during certain hours which vary from winter to summer. To be safe assume the borders to be open from 07h00 to 17h00 daily. Consult your closest Mozambican Consulate for more information.

Do I need a visa for Mozambique?
Visas are required by all visitors and should be obtained before trying to cross the border. Visas are available from your closest Mozambican Consulate or through your travel agent. Cost per visa is approximately R80.00 at the Consulates. One can buy a visa at Vilanculos International airport when arriving by charter aircraft. The cost per visa at the airport on 30/6/2000 was R260.00. A tourist visa can be extended at Vilanculos at the department of immigration for 30 days at a cost of approximately R260.00.

Are there any bus services?
There is a daily express bus to and from Maputo, which leaves at 05h30 and arrives 16h30 on either end. The fare is inexpensive - +/- R90.00.

Can I take a taxi from Vilanculos?
There are no taxi's in Vilanculos, but the lodge can arrange trips to town or for sight seeing. There is an excellent taxi service in Maputo. Pop into any hotel and ask them to call a taxi. Always ask the price before starting your journey.

What is the cost of living?
Mozambique is a US Dollar economy. Imported goods are expensive.

Is there medical rescue?
Please arrange your own if you deem it necessary.

Can I get my diving cylinder refilled?
Yes, at the Vilanculos Dive Charters @ $7.00.

Do you have a laundry service?

Is there electricity at the lodge?
The lodge has 24 hour electricity supply from the town and has a generator as standby. The power is 220V/50Hz and each bedroom has a three prong plug point rated at 3 amps. Basically suited for a small hairdryer.

Is there a telephone?
The lodge has a satellite telephone and fax. The local telephone system is due to be up and running by Mid 2000.

What are the road conditions like after the recent floods?
The roads are accessable by all types of vehicles. There is currently a detour around Xai-Xai on the south route up. The road from the North (Beira/Mutare area) is open as normal. Both routes have several temporary repair areas which are quite safe for all vehicles.

What about cholera ?

There is no cholera in Vilanculos and surrounds at all.

What about malaria after the recent floods ?

Malaria has always been present and is no worse than before. Be aware that you are in a malaria area. We have not had one guest or expat contract malaria is the last year.

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