Mozambique has a low cost of living, and expats will find this makes living in the country cheaply relatively easy. That said, the low cost of living is matched by low salaries, and expats might find it difficult to save while living in Mozambique, especially when earning in the local currency. They will also find certain Western amenities are much costlier than they're used to and will have to pay a premium if they want to maintain their lifestyle.

Mozambique's capital, Maputo, is ranked 159th out of 227 cities in Mercer's 2023 Cost of Living Survey. This places the capital as pricier than Istanbul, Turkey and more affordable than Manila in the Philippines.

Cost of accommodation in Mozambique

Although houses and apartments tend to be quite spacious, even relatively modest expat accommodation is in short supply. Expats may struggle to find accommodation with the luxuries and utilities they are used to. They will also either have to adapt to living with sporadic water supply and quality, blackouts, brownouts and a certain level of petty theft, or pay a premium to buffer themselves from these factors.

Rent will be expensive, and expats should be aware that there are few laws in place to protect them from rent increases. If moving for work, expats should try to negotiate for accommodation to be included in their contract.

Cost of transport in Mozambique

Public transport in Mozambique is generally unreliable and uncomfortable. Aside from chapas, the local minibuses, there is not much in the way of public transport in the country.

Most expats choose to get around by car, and expats staying for the long term typically buy a car. Outside the major cities, dirt roads are the norm, and potholes are abundant across the country, so buying a car that can handle rougher terrain is advised. During the rainy season, some roads and bridges are entirely impassable, and expats should always exercise a high level of caution on the country's roads and near its drivers.

Cost of groceries in Mozambique

Groceries are very affordable, especially fresh fruit and vegetables and locally produced food, snacks and soft drinks. Imported products can carry a higher cost and are less likely to be available outside the major cities.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Mozambique

Eating out in Mozambique can be pricier, especially in establishments aimed at tourists. Outside tourist areas, the prices are naturally lower. Seasoned expats understand that the Mozambican approach to punctuality features in meal preparation as well, and they visit restaurants prepared for a long wait. That said, Mozambique's unique fusion of Portuguese, Arabic and African flavours is irresistibly delicious and a must-try.

Cost of healthcare in Mozambique

Expats moving to Mozambique must purchase a comprehensive health insurance policy, as the country's public healthcare system is largely inadequate. It's recommended that the insurance policy include medical evacuation to neighbouring South Africa in case of serious emergencies. 

The cost of health insurance policies will vary based on an expat's age, coverage level, and their health and lifestyle habits. Budget-conscious new arrivals should shop around for health insurance policies to potentially reduce their healthcare costs. 

Cost of education in Mozambique

The cost of private education in Mozambique is higher than expats might expect. Expats are unlikely to send their children to generally inadequate public schools. Expats and locals who can afford it will send their children to private schools, though these vary in terms of quality, price and language of tuition. International schools are world-class but are mainly associated with high costs.

Cost of Living in Mozambique chart 

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Maputo in August 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

MZN 122,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

MZN 77,000

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

MZN 65,000

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

MZN 15,475

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

MZN 122.56

Milk (1 litre)

MZN 96.67

Rice (1kg)

MZN 68.69

Loaf of white bread

MZN 72.97

Chicken breasts (1kg)

MZN 336

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

MZN 150

Eating out

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

MZN 3,900

Big Mac meal

MZN 350

Coca-Cola (330ml)

MZN 67


MZN 120

Bottle of beer (local)

MZN 75


Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and data

MZN 979

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

MZN 9,119

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

MZN 4,633


Taxi rate/km

MZN 250

City-centre public transport fare

MZN 16.50

Gasoline (per litre)

MZN 77.29

Expat Health Insurance

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