Living in Matola as an expatriate

Caffeinate Your Matola Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today

Image of Matola

Matola, located in the heart of Maputo province, is more than just the administrative capital of Mozambique. Serving as a bustling commercial and educational hub, it attracts scores of expats seeking employment, adventure, and a taste of African culture. Matola's fertile land boasts plentiful indigenous vegetation and wildlife, providing a striking contrast to the city's modern infrastructure and skyline.

Tips for expats in Matola

Visa requirements

Citizens from various countries, such as Angola, South Africa, and India, can travel to Mozambique without a visa for stays of up to 30, 60, and 90 days, respectively. However, citizens from other countries, such as the UK, U.S., and Canada might need to acquire a visa beforehand, depending on the duration of stay. The process can be completed at the nearest Mozambican embassy, with application fees and processing times varying from nation to nation.

Language resources

Mastering the Portuguese dialect is vital for expats seeking employment or admission to local institutions. While English is spoken in some business environments and professions, such as finance and hospitality, Portuguese literacy is mandatory for job interviews, business proposals, and academic requirements. Some language courses and tutoring services, such as Centre Gold and Instituto Angon, provide affordable Portuguese classes, while public libraries, such as Biblioteca José Craveirinha in Matola, offer books and audio-visual materials to aid learning.

Cost of living for expats in Matola


Housing costs in Matola vary considerably depending on the accommodation type, neighborhood, and level of amenities. A comfortable and fully furnished shared room in a house can cost around 29,080 MZN (US$386) per month, while a smaller one bedroom apartment in an urban area might go for 74,523 MZN (US$952) per month. For larger apartments, such as a two bedroom house or a three plus bedroom house, the costs could go up to 131,587 MZN (US$1,663) and 169,650 MZN (US$2,129) per month, respectively.


The cost of groceries in Matola is a bit higher when compared to the average in other African countries, although prices are still quite reasonable when compared to European or North American countries. Food markets and supermarkets, such as Maxximo Discount Stores, provide fresh produce, meat, and other household items at affordable prices. Permanent expatriates can expect to spend around US$295 to US$475 per month for their grocery requirements, including cleaning products and other household essentials.


Regular and convenient public transportation, as well as ride-sharing services like Cabify, offer relatively affordable options for commuters in Matola. A Matola minibus journey typically costs around 3,000 MZN (US$40) for an intra-district trip, while a taxi ride starting from the suburbs and ending up in the central district of Matola might cost between 2,523 MZN (US$32) and 6,048 MZN (US$77) depending on the distance.

Climate in Matola

Matola's tropical climate offers pleasant environs throughout the year, with temperatures averaging 21-28°C (70-82°F) in both wet and dry seasons. April to November witnesses dry and sunny weather punctuated by cool and crisp evenings, whereas moisture-laden air invades December to March, leading to tropical downpours.

Job market in Matola

Matola's budding economy presents a multitude of opportunities for expats seeking employment. Government bodies, international corporations, non-governmental organizations, and educational institutions hold numerous vacancies in diverse fields, such as engineering, healthcare, finance, hospitality, and information and communications technology.

Healthcare in Matola

Matola offers a blend of public and private healthcare facilities, with the Centro de Saúde Familiar de Matola being the central health center within the district. Both locally and internationally accredited private clinics, such as Fonta Hospital and Adventist Hospital, provide comprehensive medical services. Several pharmacies and drugstores, such as MgM and Medicinal Apoio, also operate in the district.

Transport in Matola

Matola's public transportation system consists predominantly of minibuses and taxis, which ply frequent and reliable routes throughout the city and surrounding districts. The Matola bus rapid transit (BRT) system, which connects other central districts such as Maputo and Matola Bay, is a popular and efficient solution for commuters. Zoom Zoom Matola and Electricos Matola are two popular minibus services operating within the city ranks.

Safety in Matola

Generally, Matola enjoys a relatively low crime rate when compared to other major cities in Mozambique; however, visitors and residents are advised to exercise caution in the crowded and well-known districts of Polana and Quatro Cabanas. Although violent crimes are rare, common street-level offenses such as pickpocketing, theft, and fraud can happen, particularly in crowded places and on public transportation.

Neighborhoods in Matola

  1. Chirimba

    Chirimba, situated in the southern belt of Matola, is a culturally rich neighborhood comprised mostly of Xhosa, Shangaan, and Swati ethnic groups. It features lush green vegetation, scattered groves of fruit trees, and several eateries specializing in traditional African dishes such as isitshwe, isiqabo and nshima.

  2. Polana

    Polana, nestled in the upscale district of Polana, is a trendy neighborhood popular among expats seeking proximity to Maputo's central business district and notable attractions such as Avenida Julius Nyerere and Mercado Central. It features bustling commercial and residential zones, fashionable bars and restaurants, and exclusive hotels and resorts such as Polana Serena Hotel, Kololo Tented Camp, and Tropical Inns.

  3. KaMnandava

    KaMnandava, located between Matola and Maputo, offers a blend of commercial, residential, and industrial zones, catering to the diverse needs of its inhabitants. It features several large-scale supermarkets, hypermarkets, and malls, such as Pomê Tree Mall and Extreme Kart Race, that sell a wide range of products, including household essentials, electronics, and luxury goods.

  4. Quatro Cabanas

    Quatro Cabanas, tucked in the heart of Maputo province, houses several renowned academic institutions, such as Maputo Polytechnic and Universidade Pedagógica, as well as various public and private hospitals, such as Clinica Memorial de Maputo and Centro de Saúde Buzi. Its serene and tranquil environs provide a perfect learning and recuperative environment for students and patients, respectively.

  5. Highlands

    Highlands, soaring up from Polana's northern foothills, offers a scenic and elevated view of Maputo's urban landscape. It is popular among residents seeking fresh and healthy air amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. The Highlands West and Highlands East neighborhoods house various public amenities, such as parks, jogging tracks, and playgrounds, that promote outdoor activities and sporting events among local families and communities.

Attractions in Matola

  1. Maputo Central Train Station

    Maputo Central Train Station, located in the central district of Maputo, is a captivating masterpiece designed by Gustave Eiffel, the same architect behind Paris's Eiffel Tower. This historic landmark, now serving as a cultural and commercial hub of the city, showcases a fascinating blend of colonial-era and contemporary styles, featuring ornate façades, intricate friezes, and intriguing murals.

  2. Maputo Cable Tower

    Maputo Cable Tower, standing tall in the skyline of central Maputo, offers a panoramic and mesmerizing view of the Maputo Bay and its rich marine life. This steel tower, towering over 108 meters, features a 20-minute cable car ride that whirls visitors across the breathtaking cityscape, providing them with the perfect snapshot of Maputo's urban and coastal landscape.

  3. Maxaquene Market

    Maxaquene Market, nestled in the central district of Matola, is a bustling and vibrant marketplace that showcases the best of Mozambique's local produce and crafts. This colorful and congested marketplace, exhibiting spices, clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs, provides a unique and exhilarating experience for visitors and shoppers seeking to immerse themselves in Mozambique's rich cultural heritage.

  4. Maputo Municipal Market

    Maputo Municipal Market, sprawling across the central district of Maputo, is a mammoth and bustling marketplace that offers an array of local and international produce, goods, and services. This diverse and dynamic marketplace, comprising of both local and imported items, provides visitors with different options for food, drinks, and merchandise, with notable sections for fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish.

  5. Stadium Manuel Gago

    Stadium Manuel Gago, situated in the central district of Maputo, is an iconic and thriving sports and entertainment venue that hosts the country's major football matches, musical concerts, and cultural events. This state-of-the-art stadium, featuring 65,00 seating capacity, has recently hosted several international fixtures, including matches for the Africa Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

International Schools in Matola

  1. International School of Mozambique

    Central Maputo

    International School of Mozambique, nestled in the heart of central Maputo, is a renowned and accredited institution catering to students of various nationalities and age groups, from prekindy to secondary levels. This multidisciplinary and culturally diverse school boasts advanced teaching methods, modern facilities, and a variety of extracurricular activities, such as sports, arts, and club activities.

  2. St Anton's Academy for Girls

    Highlands, Matola

    St Anton's Academy for Girls, situated in the picturesque Highlands district of Matola, is a prominent and progressive institution specializing in holistic education and personal development for young girls. This inspirational and multidisciplinary school integrates academic, extracurricular, and religious programs, fostering a nurturing and supportive learning environment for its students.

Useful expat resources in Matola

Expat destinations in Mozambique