January: the wet season. Rain and humidity levels are very high.
Weather and climateWe're often asked "When is the best time to go to Mozambique?" , and the answer is sometimes complex. It depends on many things including your interests, exactly where you want to visit and why you're going. One person's best time can be another's worst!
However, often a concern about the weather underlies the question of 'the best time to go'.
So below is a broad guide to the climate of Mozambique. Please remember that this comes from records and our experience, not from a crystal ball. Weather patterns across Africa are becoming increasingly unpredictable, probably due to global warming; we're seeing downpours in the middle of deserts and damaging droughts when rains should be falling.
The Mozambique coastline stretches for almost 2,000km, covering latitudes from about 11° to 27° South, and has a tropical ocean current running north to south along its length for the whole year.
Despite this range of latitudes, the whole country broadly follows a southern African weather pattern, with the rains falling largely between December and March.
This does vary a little between the north and south of the country, with the rains lasting a few weeks longer in the north than the south, but the pattern is the same. Humidity can be uncomfortably high during this period.
Most of Mozambique's rain arrives on moist southeast trade winds, but glance at a map to see that it lies in the rainshadow of Madagascar. This gives Mozambique a relatively low annual rainfall – and a great deal of protection from the tropical storms and the occasional cyclone which head towards it during this period.
By around April or May the rains subside, the sun comes out and the humidity drops – better weather spreads gradually from the south to the north.
June to October is the dry season, with often perfect tropical weather: clear skies, plenty of sun and almost no rain. This is the best time for most people to visit Mozambique. Although still tropical, June, July and August are Mozambique's coolest months; you'll need a light duvet at night, even though the temperature reaches over 30°C by day. During September and October it remains dry as daytime temperatures climb, though it cools down a lot at night.
November is a less predictable month of transition. Sometimes the rains start, although many days remain sunny and hot. The rains generally start earlier in the north of the country.
Weather in other African countriesFor comparison, see similar climate charts and information for our other African destinations:
► Botswana climate – Similar weather pattern to that shown, but with a more clearly defined wet and dry seasons.
► Malawi climate – Very similar weather pattern, but a more clearly defined seasons.
► Namibia climate – Much drier than Mozambique, and more clearly defined wet and dry seasons.
► Rwanda climate – Very different from Mozambique’s climate.
► Seychelles climate – Completely different weather pattern from Mozambique.
► Cape of South Africa climate – Almost completely ‘opposite’ weather pattern to Mozambique’s.
► Tanzania climate –Different weather pattern to Southern Mozambique, shown here.
► Zambia climate – Slightly different weather pattern to Mozambique, with more clearly defined rains.
► Zanzibar climate – Slightly different weather pattern from Mozambique.
► Zimbabwe climate – Weather follows a similar pattern to Mozambique, but with a shorter, clearer rainy season.