Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Housing In Mozambique

(A Special Note for the Peace Corps Applicant-

According to the Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook, housing in Mozambique can be described in the following manner:

In the country of Mozambique, Education and Health Volunteers live in provincial capitals, district capitals or in rural areas.  Most houses in large cities have electricity but, in rural areas, electricity may or may not be available. Volunteer houses will be located within a reasonable distance to a general market where basic goods (bread, vegetables, spaghetti, etc) will be available.  All Volunteers have access to nearby pumps or boreholes, so water for washing is readily available. Drinking water requires boiling and Peace Corps provides every Volunteer with a water filter.

Volunteers may live in new government housing made of cement, reed houses with cement walls and floors and tin roofs, or old cement houses that need repairs. The toilet, bath, and cooking facilities may be indoors or outdoors. Some Volunteers have electricity and/or running water, but many do not.

Unfortunately, this official description still leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

"What do these houses actually look like?"  You might wonder.  "How much space will I have?  Can I plant a garden?  Can I paint my walls?  Will my house be safe?"

Fear not, young Peace Corps Applicant.  I have a listing of several Peace Corps houses in south and central Mozambique, along with description of their perks, downsides, and amenities.  Hopefully, the following advertisements will be enough to make you want to move to Mozambique for the next two years of your life.  Good luck with your application process, and see you soon!)

Mozambique, Africa
Variety and Color

Mozambique, Africa conjures up visions of beautiful beaches, sweeping mountain ranges, and a lifestyle suited for the adventurous, world-traveler.  If you have always wanted to live in a tropical climate, love monkeys and fresh fruit, and are seeking to return to a simpler time, look no farther.  Home is in Mozambique.  Below you will find a listing of seven properties in Mozambique, starting with Angonia, in northern Tete Province, and continuing until Inharrime, in southern Inhambane.

Map of Mozambique

Listing of Property in Mozambique:

Angonia, Tete
Secure Housing in a Gated Community

This Peace Corps house, available in December 2012, can comfortably accommodate two same-sex volunteers.  Located within a gated community at a teacher training college, this house is large, secure, and well-maintained.  Amenities include:  Indoor bathroom, Two bedrooms, Separate Kitchen/Dining Room/Pantry, Electric Stove, Toaster Oven, and Full-Size Refrigerator.  

The Perks:  Angonia is one of the most fertile provinces in Mozambique, so vegetables are available in quantity and quality.  The area is covered in green, rolling mountains cut with streams and small family farms.  Angonia has a large, busy market every Saturday and another, smaller market available seven days a week.

The Downside:  Because this house in located in the mountains, the weather can be harsh.  Temperatures drop to nearly 0 degrees Celsius in the wintertime.  This house's high ceilings, while beautiful, make for one very drafty dining room.

Electricity:  Yes
Running Water:  No
Accessibility:  Rated 4 out of 10.  The nearest city is Tete, 4 hours away.

Peace Corps Angonia
*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Zobue, Tete
Cozy, Comfortable Home in Dense, Friendly Neighborhood

This Peace Corps house, available in December 2013, is located at the heart of a loving, tight-knit community.  If you have always wanted to immerse yourself into small-town Mozambican life, this is the site for you.  A love of children is a must!  The Zobue house is located just three minutes away from the school and ten minutes away from the daily market.  In Zobue, there is never a shortage of helpful hands, sticky fingers, or smiling faces!

Amenities include:  One Bedroom/Kitchen Combo, Outdoor Pit Latrine, Three Small Storage Rooms, Dining Room/Living Room Combo, Spacious Veranda.

The Perks:  Zobue is one of the most beautiful areas in Central Mozambique.  Located amongst green fields at the foot of the Angonian Plateau, the region is home to endless miles of beautiful terrain.  Hiking opportunities abound.

The Downside:  The Zobue house offers little privacy.  The front yard is a main thoroughfare and a popular place for kids to congregate throughout the day.

Electricity:  Yes
Running Water:  No
Accessibility:  Rated 8 out of 10.  Zobue is located along a main route between Blantyre, Malawi, and Tete, Mozambique.  The nearest city is Tete, 2 hours away.

Peace Corps Zobue
*     *     *     *     *     *

Catandica, Manica
Crisp New House in Professional Community

This Peace Corps Duplex, available in December 2013, was built by the World Bank in 2005.  The school itself is located on an adjoining properties and boasts electricity and a large, community well.  The Catandica house is large and secure, complete with locked gates and a seasoned guard dog.  The neighbors are all professors at the Armando Guebuza Secondary School.

Amenities include:  Two Bedrooms, Indoor Bathroom, Living Room, Kitchen, Large Gated Yard (Front and Back), Large Cement Veranda (Front and Back), Well-Maintained Garden, and Paved Driveway.

The Perks:  Catandica is gorgeous and green-- a fantasic launching point for exploring the nearby mountains. The secondary school is large, clean, and well-stocked with supplies.

The Downsides:  Mosquitos love Catandica.

Electricity:  Yes
Running Water:  Yes (Sometimes)
Accessibility:  Rated 8 out of 10.  Catandica is located along a main route, between Chimoio and Tete, Mozambique.  The nearest city is Chimoio, 2 hours away.

Peace Corps Catandica Duplex (Volunteers on the left)

Peace Corps Catandica:  The house, drawing water at the community well, and a view of the secondary school
*     *     *     *     *     *

Chimoio, Manica
Luxury Accomodations

Located in the Governor's Bairro in Chimoio, Manica Province, this Peace Corps house offers all the comforts of America paired with the beauty of impeccable interior design.  Hand-selected by the current volunteer, the Peace Corps Chimoio (Education) house boasts indoor plumbing, a gas/electric stove, and a full-sized refrigerator.  The house also includes a gated veranda, walled garden, and two rented guard dogs (free of charge).

The Perks:  Less than five minutes away from the Peace Corps office, the bus terminal, and downtown Chimoio.  Fast Internet, hot showers, and Indian food are all readily available.

The Downside:  The city is not safe after 7PM.

Electricity:  Yes
Running Water:  Yes (Hot and Cold)
Accessibility:  Rated 10 out of 10.  Chimoio is the capital of Manica Province, and the fifth-largest city in Mozambique.

Peace Corps Chimoio
City Living in Mozambique
*     *     *     *     *     *

Sussundenga, Manica
Friendship and Ecological Diversity

Located at the foot of the dramatic Chimanimani Highlands, Sussundenga can be accessed by way of a single, unpaved road that stretches from large, bustling Chimoio to small, remote Dombe in the south of the province.  This Peace Corps House is small and compact, located on nearly half-an-acre of farmable land.  The house itself is adjacent to the high school and a twenty-minute walk to the nearest consistent market.  Friendly neighbors and sweeping vistas make this site a must-have for locals and volunteers alike!

Amenities Include:  A Two-Burner Stove, Mini-Fridge, Outdoor Pit Latrine, Separate Kitchen, and Locking Shutters.

The Perks:  The Sussundenga region is ecologically diverse, home to more than 1,000 species of plants, 250 species of birds, and a growing population of mammals, including the elusive forest elephant.

The Downside:  The dust.  During the dry season, Sussundenga dust coats everything with a layer of gritty, red silt.

Electricity:  Yes
Running Water:  No, but there is a tap in the front yard
Accessibility:  Rated 7 out of 10.  While Sussundenga is only 45 minutes outside of Chimoio, the access road is unpaved and bumpy.  Sussundenga is not located along a main route.

Peace Corps Sussundenga:  The locking shutters offer added privacy and security
*     *     *     *     *     *

Buzi, Sofala
Fruit Bats and Golden Sunsets

This Peace Corps House (one space available in December 2012) is located along the river Buzi, in the District of Buzi, Sofala.  Home to eight generations of volunteers, this site is one of the oldest and most established in all of Mozambique.  Bustling bars, buzzing mosquitos, and beautiful sunsets give this site a natural, tropical feel.  The house itself is located across from the elementary school and a sandy, twenty-minute walk from the secondary school.

Amenities include:  Half-sized Refrigerator, Indoor and Outdoor Bathroom, Two Bedrooms, Two-Burner Stove, Paved Veranda (front and back), Spacious Yard

The Perks:  The Buzi River docks are home to the common mudskipper.  The mudskipper, a small, inter-tidal fish, uses its pectoral fins to walk on land.

The Downside:  The Buzi house is located in a somewhat "marginal area" and has been the target of some recent security incidents.  Peace Corps Mozambique has taken action to protect the current volunteer and to provide reliable safety and security.

Electricity:  Yes
Running Water:  No
Accessibility:  Rated 3 out of 10.  Buzi is located only three hours from the city of Beira, but along a lengthy and pitted unpaved road.

Peace Corps Buzi:  Beautiful, compact cement house.  Recent security incidents have been handled by the Peace Corps offices in Maputo and Chimoio.
*     *     *     *     *     *

Inharrime, Inhambane
Sunny, Sandy Wonderland

These two Peace Corps Houses (Health and Education) are available in December 2012 and August 2013. Located along the EN-1 and less than 2 hours away from beautiful Tofo beach, these site is coveted and extremely accessible.  Sandy paths, swaying palms, and a gorgeous, sky-blue lagoon make these houses a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for two lucky volunteers!

PC Education House Amenities:  Indoor bathroom, Two Bedrooms, Living Room, Kitchen, Paved Veranda (Front and Back).

PC Health House Amenities:  Outdoor bathroom, Two Bedrooms, Living Room, Kitchen, Large Yard with Fence and Garden

Perks:  Inharrime is beautiful and accessible.  The town itself boasts plenty of bars, restaurants, and places to swim.

Downsides:  Inharrime is not actually a beach town, in and of itself.  The nearest beaches are in Quissico (30 minutes south) or Inhambane City (75 minutes north).

Electricity:  Yes
Running Water:  No
Accessibility:  Rated 9 out of 10.  Inharrime is located along a main route, between Maputo and all points north along the EN-1.  The nearest city is Maxixe, 1 hour away.

Peace Corps Inharrime:  Health

Peace Corps Inharrime:  Education
*     *     *     *     *     *


  1. Fantastic taste of Peace Corps housing; love how you presented the options for future applicants ~ realistic but fun!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this!