Mozambique borders Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland. The country has one of the longest coastlines in Africa with over 2,000km (1,250 miles) with exquisite beaches, coral reefs and islands. Inland the landscape rapidly changes to coastal plains, swamps, plateaus, alluvial valleys, mountain ranges and Miombo Woodland and because of the differences in latitude and the Indian Ocean, Mozambique has a varied climate. Coastal areas are considered warm during all months with a surge in temperature from October to March and the climate varies from sub-tropical to tropical, with the inland being cooler than the coast.
Mozambique's rainfall varies greatly with a tendency to be higher in the northern part of the country than in the south. These rains are known as the monsoons and are characterized by bouts of heavy down pours, at times resulting in flash floods. The hottest and wettest time is from December to March while April to November it is mainly dry and the maximum temperature is sometimes as high as 40ºC while minimums seldom drop below 15ºC. The official language throughout the country is Portuguese with Swahili widely spoken in the northern provinces and English. Mozambique is a high-risk malaria area and Tsetse flies can be a nuisance, especially in the North. The country has been cleared of landmines over the past 20 years and it is politically stable.