Index


Introduction



In Mozambique, a country located in south-east Africa, very extended in latitude, the climate is tropical, with a hot and rainy season from November to March, and a dry season from May to October, during which there is a cooler period from mid-May to mid-August. In inland areas, especially in the north-central, there are highlands and mountain ranges, where the altitude tempers the climate, but in the lowlands, for example in the Zambezi Valley, the heat can be intense in the hot and rainy summer period, and even more so in the period preceding the rainy season (September to November). Being in the Southern Hemisphere, Mozambique has reversed seasons compared with Europe or North America.
During winter from May to August, the south-east trade winds bring a pleasant and sunny weather, however, owing to cool air masses coming from South Africa, in the southernmost provinces (Gaza, Maputo, Inhambane) the temperature can sometimes drop, so that it can be cold at night, especially in inland areas. From June to October, the rains are very rare almost everywhere, although some brief showers are possible along the central part of the coast, from Quelimane to Beira.
During summer, the north-west monsoon prevails, at least in the centre and north, which are affected by humid currents from the Democratic Republic of Congo, while in the south the trade winds still prevail. However, unlike in winter, in summer there are enough heat and humidity for the formation of thunderclouds, so the trade winds are able to bring rainfall, even though here these rains are less intense than in the centre-north.
The rains occur primarily in the form of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon, so even in the rainy season, the amount of sunshine is not low, except in northern mountainous areas, where the sky is often cloudy. However, the highest peak in the country is Mount Binga, 2,440 meters (8,004 feet) high, located in the west, on the border with Zimbabwe.
Mozambique offers many potential attractions which so far are little known and not explored by many tourists, therefore still pristine. In the Niassa National Reserve, located in the north on the border with Tanzania, there are elephants, zebras and other animals of the savanna. There are also coral islands and marine parks such as the Quirimbas National Park in the north, located in the Quirimbas archipelago, where the island of Matemo is found, and the Bazaruto National Park, in the southern Bazaruto archipelago. On the contrary, the Gorongosa Park was damaged during the civil war that ended in 1992, and is now undergoing redevelopment.

The north


North of Mozambique
In the north, the temperatures are fairly stable during the year; however, they decrease a bit from May to August, when especially in inland areas a bit of cool air can come from the south.

Pemba

Pemba, the capital of the Cabo Delgado province, and the starting point for the national parks located in the north of the country, such as the Quirimbas National Park, lies on the northeastern coast, and its position near the equator is evidenced by the fact that it remains warm even in winter: the average temperature goes from 27 °C (81 °F) in January, to 23 °C (73 °F) in July. Here are the average temperatures.
Pemba - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)242423232119192020222324
Max (°C)313231313029282930313132
Min (°F)757573737066666868727375
Max (°F)889088888684828486888890

The rainfall amounts to 870 mm (34 in) per year, including more than 100 mm (4 in) from December to April, and a maximum of 200 mm (8 in) in March.
Pemba - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)145155200120301510821040125860
Prec.(in)5.76.17.94.71.20.60.40.30.10.41.64.933.9
Days11101393221114865

In Pemba the sunniest period goes from September to November, ie at the end of the dry season, while the least sunny is the wettest, from January to March.
Pemba - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours666788789998

The sea temperature in this northern part of the coast is high enough for swimming all year round, however, it decreases to 25/26 °C (77/79 °F) from July to September.
Pemba - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)292929292827262526272828
Temp (°F)848484848281797779818282

North of Pemba we find the Quirimbas archipelago, while to the south, and near the town of Lumbo, we find the island of Mozambique.

Nampula

In the inland areas of the north the altitude increases; already in Nampula, located 140 km (85 mi) west of the coast and 360 meters (1,200 ft) above sea level, the daytime temperature drops to 25/27 °C (77/81 °F) from May to August. Here are the average temperatures.
Nampula - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)222221201816161617192021
Max (°C)303030292726252730323231
Min (°F)727270686461616163666870
Max (°F)868686848179778186909088

In Nampula, 1,050 mm (41 in) of rain fall per year, with abundant rains from December to March, and rare from May to October.

Lichinga

Further west, in the province of Niassa there is a plateau. The capital of the province, Lichinga, is located at 1,400 meters (4,600 feet) of altitude. Here the climate is mild or pleasantly warm during the day (but the sun is very strong), cool or even cold at night. From June to August, following the cold air outbreaks from the south, the night temperature can drop to around 5 °C (41 °F), while during the day the temperature can reach or exceed 30 °C (86 °F) from September to November. Here are the average temperatures.
Lichinga - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)16161615121091012151616
Max (°C)242524242321202225272725
Min (°F)616161595450485054596161
Max (°F)757775757370687277818177

In Lichinga the rains are abundant from December to March, while there is a long dry season from May to October. Here is the average rainfall.
Lichinga - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)22522520090253413201052351135
Prec.(in)8.98.97.93.510.10.200.10.84.19.344.7
Days1917181031101391899

To the west of Lichinga, a part of Lake Malawi (or Niassa) belongs to Mozambique. The banks are located about 500 meters (1,600 feet) above sea level, so the temperature returns to be high all year round, even though it decreases a little from May to August.

Tete

In the north-west, the Zambezi Valley, in the Province of Tete, is the hottest area, as well as one of the driest, of the country.
In Tete the heat is intense for many months of the year, and slightly decreases only from May to August; the temperature can reach 45 °C (113 °F) in October and November, while it can exceed 40 °C (104 °F) from December to April. Here are the average temperatures.
Tete - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)232323211816161720232424
Max (°C)343333333129293134363635
Min (°F)737373706461616368737575
Max (°F)939191918884848893979795

In Tete, 630 millimetres (25 inches) of rain fall per year. Here is the average precipitation.
Tete - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)1651409515643211045140630
Prec.(in)6.55.53.70.60.20.20.10.100.41.85.524.8
Days1197211100141048

In Tete, the sun shines more often in the dry season, from April to November, than in the rainy season, when in any case it does not shine rarely.
Tete - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours678888899987

North-west of Tete we find the artificial lake Cahora Bassa, where the climate is similar to that of Tete.

The center-south



Central-southern Mozambique
In the central-southern part of Mozambique, the temperatures from May to August decrease more clearly, becoming pleasantly warm during the day, but a little cool at night, and sometimes a bit cold, especially in the inland areas, but sometimes also on the coast.

The central part of the coast (see Quelimane, Beira) is one of the wettest areas, together with the north-west inland area, ie the mountainous areas south-east of Lake Malawi (or Niassa) and near Mount Chiperone and Mount Namuli: in both areas, precipitation is around 1,400/1,600 mm (55/63 in) per year, or even more.

Quelimane

In Quelimane, the capital of the province of Zambezia, located in the central part of the coast, the average temperature in July drops to 21 °C (69.5 °F). Here are the average temperatures.
Quelimane - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)232323221816161618202123
Max (°C)323231302927262830313232
Min (°F)737373726461616164687073
Max (°F)909088868481798286889090

Here is the average precipitation in Quelimane: as you can see, some rain is possible even in winter, especially in June and July.
Quelimane - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)240240240155805560302035902201460
Prec.(in)9.49.49.46.13.12.22.41.20.81.43.58.757.5
Days1113131088842351196

In Quelimane the sun shines for a good number of hours even in the rainy period, proving that the rains take place in the form of downpour and do not last long.
Quelimane - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours777887789898

Near Quelimane the sea is warm enough for swimming all year round, even though the water temperature drops to 24/25 °C from July to September.
Quelimane - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)292929282726252425262728
Temp (°F)848484828179777577798182

Beira

On the coast south of Quelimane, we find Beira, the fourth city of the country, and the capital of the Sofala province, which has a climate similar to that of Quelimane. Here are the average temperatures.
Beira - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)242423211816161718202223
Max (°C)313130292826252628293031
Min (°F)757573706461616364687273
Max (°F)888886848279777982848688

Here is the average precipitation in Beira.
Beira - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)2503002751408550454025401102301595
Prec.(in)9.811.810.85.53.321.81.611.64.39.162.8
Days111212877853571097

In Beira too, the sun shines for a good number of hours even in the rainy season.
Beira - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours888887888888

Near Beira the sea is warm enough for swimming all year round, even though the water temperature drops to 24/25 °C from June to October.
Beira - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)282929282625242424252728
Temp (°F)828484827977757575778182

North of Beira, and still in the Sofala province, we find the Gorongosa National Park. The park is covered by savannahs and grasslands, and includes lakes and marshes that widen considerably in the rainy season. The park is flat, but a short distance to the west we find Mount Gorongosa, 1,863 meters (6,112 feet) high, which in 2010 was added to the park of the same name.

On the coast to the south of Beira and to the east of the town of Vilanculos, we find the Bazaruto archipelago. Here too the weather is a bit cool in the winter months.

Inhambane

On the coast south of Bazaruto, in the province of Inhambane, we find beaches and coral reefs, and popular places such as Guinjata, Manta Reef, Tofo Beach and Gallaria.
Here are the average temperatures of Inhambane, the provincial capital, located on the coast.
Inhambane - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)232322201816161618192122
Max (°C)313130292726252626282930
Min (°F)737372686461616164667072
Max (°F)888886848179777979828486

From July to September, in the Mozambique Channel you can watch humpback whales, which come to breed before returning to colder seas.

Mozambique, beach

In the south-west, on the border with South Africa, beyond which the Kruger Park is located, we find the Limpopo National Park, where precipitation drops below 500 mm (20 in) per year, so it's the most arid area of the country, even more arid than the Zambezi valley.

Maputo

The capital Maputo is located in the far south, on the coast, and has an average temperature ranging from 26 °C (79 °F) in January, to 19 °C (67 °F) in July. Although the maximum temperature in January and February is on average around 30 °C (86 °F), sometimes it can get uncomfortably hot, reaching up to 40 °C (104 °F). Here is the average temperature.
Maputo - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)222222191714141517182021
Max (°C)303029282625242526272729
Min (°F)727272666357575963646870
Max (°F)868684827977757779818184

On average, 815 mm (32 in) of rain fall per year, most of which from November to March. The rainiest month is January. However, the rains are quite erratic and may be more abundant during some years. Here is the average precipitation.
Maputo - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)170130105553020201545558085815
Prec.(in)6.75.14.12.21.20.80.80.61.82.23.13.332.1
Days88743222368860

In Maputo the sun shines for a good number of hours even in the rainy season, from November to March.
Maputo - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours777888888777

The sea temperature in this southern part of the coast is high enough for swimming all year round, however, it decreases to 23 °C (73 °F) from July to September.
Maputo - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)272827272524232323242526
Temp (°F)818281817775737373757779

Near Maputo we find Matola, the most populated city in the country.

Tropical cyclones



Mozambique is located in the area affected by tropical cyclones, which hit the east coast, after passing over Madagascar. The official cyclone season in the south-west Indian Ocean runs from November to May 15, but the period when they are most likely runs from late December to mid-April. The most intense cyclones can be destructive, with their load of gale force winds and torrential rains.

When to go



The best time to go to Mozambique, for safaris and excursions or for visiting cities, goes from mid-May to August, in fact it's the coolest, the driest and the sunniest of the year. However, it is worth while to recall that in this period, in the interior it can get cold at night, and in the highest peaks, above 2,000 metres (6,500 feet), there may be slight frosts. In September and October, it's definitely hot in the inland areas located at low altitude (see Tete and the Zambezi Valley), while the rainy season, in addition to being hot and sultry, poses the risk of cyclones.
Those who don't like the heat can keep in mind that in inland areas the months of June and July are the coolest: from mid-August, the temperature starts to rise, and the first hot days may occur in the interior.
For a beach holiday, since from June to August the weather can get a little cool, in the center-south September and October are preferable, especially for those who suffer from the cold, while in the north you can go from mid-May to October inclusive.

What to pack



In winter (June to August): for the central and southern coast (Maputo, Inhambane, Bazaruto, Beira), spring/autumn clothes, light for the day, a sweater and light jacket for the evening; for the north coast (Pemba, Mozambique Island), light clothing, a sweatshirt for the evening, a scarf for the breeze. For the mountainous areas, spring/autumn clothes during the day, a sweater, a jacket and a hat for the evening.
When going to the reef, you can bring snorkeling equipment, including water shoes or rubber-soled shoes.

In summer (December to February): throughout the coast and the inland areas at lower altitudes (Zambezi valley, Limpopo National Park), tropics-friendly, loose fitting clothing, light shirts and pants of natural fibres (cotton, linen), a sun hat, a light sweatshirt for the evening, a light raincoat or umbrella. For the mountainous areas, spring/autumn clothes, a jacket, a raincoat, a sun hat, hiking shoes.
When going to the reef, you can bring snorkeling equipment, including water shoes or rubber-soled shoes.