Program & Schedule
This program is an essential tool for you to understand Mozambique culture while giving you an opportunity to learn about the country’s rich history. Not only will it make your trip more enjoyable, it will make your stay more comfortable and help you to appreciate your stay if you are participating in further programs.
The Culture Week is the perfect way to learn more about Mozambique people, culture, customs, language and so much more. During this week, you will visit numerous highlights of the city of Xai Xai, capital of the Gaza Province in southern Mozambique.
The Culture Week will kick off with an introduction to Mozambique customs, do’s and dont’s and Portuguese language classes. Later on, you can expect to visit the coast, downtown Xai Xai, the Manjacaze township, museums and monuments. Further in the week you will have the opportunity to participate in Mozambican cooking classes, walks around the village, picnics and sightseeing in the outdoors, and more!
During the day trip to Manjacaze you will have the opportunity to experience the town where the first president of Mozambique was born, as well as having ample time to go sightseeing in the downtown area.
Aims & Objectives
- Offer you an introduction to Mozambican customs and culture
- Give you a decent understanding of the culture which will help you to settle into the local lifestyle
- Provide you with invaluable experience of local Mozambique
- Culture introduction and language class
- Visit Xai Xai downtown, shopping center, bus station, monument, central park, cultural center.
- Welcome dinner in town
- Back to center
- Walk around the village
- Visit the local market and monument
- Sightseeing and relaxation at Xai Xai Beach
- Lunch outside
- Relaxing and swimming
- Back to center
- Cooking lesson
- Dinner (cooking lesson)
- Visit Manjacaze town where the first president of Mozambique was born as well as sightseeing downtown
- Lunch outside
- Visit museums and monument
- Back to center
- Handicraft making
- Project discussion and activities
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
Participant Criteria & Requirements
Minimum age: -
Maximum age: -
Minimum English level: Basic
CRB required: On Signup
Passport copy required: No
Resume copy required: No
Required qualification: None
There are no further requirements for this program.
Living & Location
You will be staying in Fidel Castro Village located just outside Xai Xai, the capital of the Gaza Province. Being only 30 minutes away from downtown Xai Xai, you’ll have access to many local shops, banks, grocery stores, cafes as well as surrounding beaches and towns including Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique.
You will be staying in our program center. The accommodation is shared between 12 people with 4-8 people per room and shared bathrooms.
All participants are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. Your rooms will be cleaned daily by staff but please try to clean up after yourself, and help play your part to keep the accommodation neat and organized.
Meals are inspired by the local cuisine which is rich in fish, cassava, nuts, paozinho, spices, seasoning, maize, millet, potatoes, rice, sorghum, fruits, and sugarcane. We provide 3 meals during weekdays (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and 2 meals (breakfast and dinner) in the weekend at the program center.
Local transport modes include buses, minibuses and taxis which can take you to around the local area and out to surrounding towns. Banks and ATMs with VISA and MasterCard are available. Our center has access to nearby ATMs, restaurants and local shops which are within walking distance.
Activities & Events
No scheduled activities outside the program.
Sights & Surroundings
Some places to visit nearby are:
Xai Xai Beach
30 minutes away from our center. Many water sport activities are available in Xai Xai and surrounding beaches, these beaches are also a great place to relax.
Wenela Tidal Pool
2 kilometres south of Xai Xai which has a natural tunnel and blow hole linking the pool to the Indian Ocean, or maybe you may go snorkelling along the coral reef which runs parallel to the Praia Do Xai-Xai beach.
From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.
Name: Republic of Mozambique
Population: 28 million
Currency: Metical (MZN)
Time zone: CAT (UTC +2)
Mozambique is a country with a 1,000km long coastline adjacent to the Indian Ocean in Southeastern Africa. It is bordered by South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
In 1500, the Portuguese established posts up and down the coast, starting with present day Ilha de Mozambique, where the Portuguese operated spice and slave routes from Mozambique up until 1891.
Following the end of World War 1, Portuguese investment in commercial, industrial, agricultural, educational, transportation, and health care infrastructure for the indigenous population started providing for better social and economic possibilities. This continued up to the country’s independence in 1975. The country is generally a low-lying plateau broken up by 25 rivers flowing into the Indian Ocean. The largest is the Zambezi, which provides access to central Africa. Mountain chains in the country’s interior form the backbone of the country.
Almost all of Mozambique falls within the tropics resulting in a warm, mostly tropical climate along the coast and higher temperature and rainfall in the interior. Evenings are rarely cold, except for a few nights in June and July and the rainfall isn't too high. In summer, temperatures and humidity can soar with temperatures being typically higher in the north, around Pemba and the Zambezi. The mountainous regions generally remain cool throughout the year.
Mozambique has two seasons, a wet season from October to March and a dry season from April to September. Climatic conditions vary depending on altitude. There is an average of 590 mm (23.2 in) of precipitation annually with cyclones being common during the wet season. Average temperature ranges in Maputo are from 13-14°C (55.4-75.2°F) in July to 22-31°C (71.6-87.8°F) in February.
The culture of Mozambique is rich with the arts, cuisine, and entertainment and is derived from its history of Bantu, Swahili, and Portuguese rule. The main ethnic groups in Mozambique are Makua, Tonga, Makonde, Shangaan, Shona, Sena, and Ndau.
Local dances and rituals vary from tribe to tribe and include singing, music, and the wearing of carved wooden masks. These dances are usually intricate, highly developed traditions throughout the history of Mozambique.
Many groups believe in an all-powerful God and practice traditional animist beliefs, where the spirits of ancestors can affect the lives of the living. The Ujamaa are totem-type carvings which illustrate lifelike faces of people and various figures. These sculptures are usually referred to as “family trees” because they tell stories of many generations.
Mozambique has a mixture of religions. Around a third of Mozambicans are Christian, a quarter are Muslims, mainly in the northern regions. Other religious groups include Buddhists (mostly Mahayana and Chinese), and Hindus (virtually Indian and Pakistani) which are also important.
Mozambican cuisine is rich and varied, including flavourful spicy stews eaten with rice or steamed cornmeal dough, fish is also a key part of the national diet and can be incorporated into a number of dishes, fresh, smoked or dried. Like its African neighbors, Mozambique is also blessed with a wide variety of fruits, including citrus, bananas, mangoes and coconuts.
Staples and crops include cassava, cashew nuts, and pãozinho. The use of spices and seasonings such as bay leaves, chili peppers, fresh coriander, garlic, onions, paprika, red sweet peppers, and wine were introduced by the Portuguese, as were maize, millet, potatoes, rice, sorghum, and sugarcane.