Money & Shopping

Money & Shopping

The currency of Mozambique is the new Metical (Meticais Nova Família, MZN), plural meticais (Mts, pronounced 'meta-caysh'), divided into 100 centavos.

Three zeroes were dropped from the currency in 2006. Old currency could be exchanged at banks up to the end of December 2012. People will occasionally still refer to the old currency, so if someone asks for "1 million", they generally mean one thousand new meticais.

Note that many businesses in the tourist centers are run by South Africans and prices are often quoted in Rand (for which the usual abbreviation is ZAR). In this guide prices are also quoted in Rand when applicable.

US$, ZAR, British pounds and Euros are freely convertible at commercial rates at any bank or exchange. Other currencies such as Canadian or Australian dollars or Japanese Yen, are not accepted anywhere, even at official banks and exchanges.

There is very little black market currency exchange, since the commercial exchanges offer the best market rate. You cannot exchange meticais outside Mozambique, but you can convert them back at exchanges prior to leaving the country. Also you cannot buy meticais outside Moçambique.

ATMs are present throughout the country; Standard Bank, Eco Bank, Millennium BIM are the brands you are most likely to run in to. Standard and Eco Bank accepts Visa & MasterCard, Millennium accepts all international cards including Maestro/Cirrus cards. ATMs have transaction limits on withdrawals, which vary with the bank. Millennium bank limits withdrawals to 3,000 Mts, and Standard Bank and Eco Bank to 10,000; you can always insert your card again to withdraw more money.

Everything in Mozambique that does not have a price attached can be bargained down to whatever you consider a reasonable price to be. Remember that while laughing when they give you an insane price is perfectly OK you should not get outwardly angry or hostile, you will be unlikely to get a reasonable price if you do. If in doubt about what a fair price is ask your hotel.

No one in Mozambique, including often backpacker lodges, have change. The 1000Mzn and 500Mzn are almost impossible to use day to day, so change them down in to more manageable notes in any bank. The one exception to this rule is chapa drivers, if you find yourself running low on small bills pay for your 15Mzn fare with a 100Mzn note.

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Mozambique - Travel guide