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Mozambique 2015

overland mozambique

Route 2015

  • Days:  10 days
  • Period: Middle of March 2015 
  • Weather: Warm, mostly sunny weather and no rain. Near the coast it was more humid but less than in December. Officially it was the end of the wet season which meant high risk for malaria. We used some local profylaxe.

Mozambique 2007



  • Days: 5
  • Period: End of December 2007 / Beginning of January 2008
  • Weather: Warm and cloudy. Here and there some rain. On the coast is was hot, wet and very humid.

General information:

  • Currency: Mozambique Meticals (MZN)

  • Internet: Most places we stayed had Wi-Fi.  

  • ATM's: ATM's for Visa were available in the cities and villages. 

  • Creditcards: Accpeted in lodges but also some petrol stations and shops (not all)

  • Safety: During our stay we had no problems and never felt unsave. In 2008, the sunglases we left on the counter when crossing the border were honestly returned. In 2015, just before we visited Mozambique, there were some incidents with rebels (on the road Beira). When we drove this stretch we saw the remains of many burnt down cars but had no problems whatsoever. However Mozambique is a very poor country so always be careful. For safety reasons we skipped Maputo and never drove around in the dark. In case of new fightings with rebels always ask local advise on where to go.

Prices (per March 2015)

  • Value Money: €1 = around 36 Meticals

  • Fuel:  38,5 MZN per liter diesel (around €1,03). This is more expensive than in South Africa. So coming from South Africa better fill up here.

  • Camping: Between 500 - 600 MZN per night for 2 persons and a car (no electricity). In Vilanculos it was a bit cheaper. In 2008 all campsites had to be paid in Rand but in 2015 this was not the case anymore. Local currency was accepted everywhere.

  • Groceries: Good supermarkets are rare and if you find them shopping here is quite expensive.

Visa (info per March 2015)

  • For most nationalities a visa is needed. When entering from South Africa (Komatipoort) you can get it on the border. Price is 2135 Rand per person (can only be paid in cash in US$, Rand of Meticals). .

  • Visa was valid for 30 days, single entry. We have no information on obtaining a multiple entry visa here. .

Border crossing 

  • ENTRY: We've entered from South Africa at Ressano Garcia (Komatipoort). This is the most frequently used borderpost and it can be very crowded here especially during holidays. At this border it is possible to get your visa immediately. Just fill in a Visa application form, pay 2135 Rand per person and wait (about 1 hour). When entering Mozambique with your own car you have to fill in a temporary import permit, also needed when you have a carnet. As the police can be quite fussy it is also advisable to get an insurance. You can get it on the border. On this border there is also a Barclays ATM where you can get some Meticals. We used our Visa card here and it was no problem. To leave the border section you need a gate pass. This pass is provided (for free) when entering the border area and must be stamped at customs. Some men will try to ask money for the gate pass but just tell them no. 

  • Costs: Third Party Insurance: 150 Rand for one month.

  • EXIT 2015: We left Mozambique at the border post near Manica (border with Zimbabwe). Formalities were quick and no costs.
  • EXIT 2007: We left Mozambique at Giriyonda (border with South Africa). This is the new border that connects the Limpopo NP and Kruger NP which have been combined into a transfrontier NP. At the border, both on the Mozambique and on the South African side there is immigration and customs. The border is brand new and the officials are very quick and professional. Our passports and Carnet were stamped quickly and without costs.

  • NOTE: When you wish to enter Mozambique at this new border post between Kruger NP and Limpopo NP you must check in advance if you can also obtain your visa here. We do not know this, and it might be that you need to get it in advance.


Highlights or not

  • Camping at Barra (2015): Small stretch of land amongst groves and coconut trees. Camping here was the best. The white sandy beach unspoiled and all for ourselves. For swimming with whale sharks nearby Tofo is a better spot.
  • Vilankulo, boat trips to Bazaruto island (2015): As there were very little tourists in March 2015 (due to fightings with rebels) the trips to the islands were very expensive. We did not do it.
  • Limpopo NP (2007): Although Kruger NP in South Africa and Limpopo NP are combined and now form a transfrontier NP, you hardly see any animals on this side. However the road is nice. You will see some traditional local villages where children are waving friendly. 
  • Praia de Tofo (2007):  A very touristic beach village with a nice and relaxed atmosphere although not very special. We have seen better places on the beach.
  • Swimming with the whale sharks: If there will be one reason to go to Mozambique it will be this one. Mozambique is one of the few places in the world where you can see the whale sharks and the waters around Tofo seem to be the best spot. Some say the whale sharks do not migrate and are here the whole year around. Not sure it that is really the case as in March 2015 they were not there anymore. November to February seems to be the best season. Booking can be made at any of the diving schools and the boat trip will take you for about two hours. The price in 2008 was 350 Rand per person. Shirts, flippers, snorkels and masks included.



  • The sea in Tofo can be rough so if you are sensitive to sea sickness you better take some medicine in advance if you want to do the boat trip to the whale sharks.

  • Most diving schools sell underwater camera's in case you need one.

  • Malaria is very prevalent in Mozamique especially near the end of the rainy season. Local farmacies have very good medicine and/or profylaxe which are much cheaper than in Europe. We bought some medicine here and carried it with us, just in case. 
  • Mozambique is know for it's police checks. Sometimes they just want to know where you are going, but other times they do check your car. Make sure you wear your seatbelt, stand still for a few seconds when approaching a stop sign at a junction, watch your speed (the police like using their speed guns) and make sure your car is equipped with all the right safety items (fire extinguisher, hazard triangles, white reflector tape on the front, red reflector tape at the back and in case of towing a trailer you also need the blue and yellow triangle shaped stickers. It seems over the top, but they do check and if they find something missing you will be fined. Just do not give them any reason.


  • Lebombo border - Maputo (2015): Highway, good tarmac.

  • Maputo - Xai Xai (2015): good tarmac.

  • Xai Xai - Tofo (2015): Good tarmac to Inhambane. From the turn off to Inhambane and Tofo the road deteriorates again. Last stretch is tarmac with potholes. 

  • Vilankulo to Beira (2015): First 100 kms is full of potholes but then it gets better. This part of the county is known for incidents with rebels so always ask local advise when heading this way. 

  • Macia - Massingir Dam (2007): Tarmac with here and there a few potholes but they are easy to avoid.
  • Massingir Gate (Limpopo NP) - Giriyondo (border with SA) 2007: 70 km piste that runs through the NP and passes some small traditional villages. The piste is here and there a bit stoney, but all in all not too bad and can be done with a normal car.

Fees for Toll roads, briges, tunnels and ferries

  • The first part of the highway from Ressano Garcia border =  135 Meticals. This amount can be paid in US Dollars, Meticals or Rands. However when you pay in Rands or Dollars they do not accept coins. 

  • Around Maputo 25 MZN, only cash and in local currency.
  • Bridge near Save = 20 MZN, only cash and in local currency. 

GPS-waypoints 2015

Grid: Lat/Lon hddd°mm.mmm"

Download page for list of waypoints in Excel or Garmin format

MZ-CAMP01 - S25°35.019 E32°39.315
Marracuene, Casa Lisa lodge. Due to financial problems place is in a bad shape, but owner is very nice and really needs customers. Safe place to stay! 600 MZN per night for 2 persons and a car.

MZ-CAMP02 - S23°51.168 E35°32.642
Tofo Beach, Fatimas Nest. Famous backpackers spot right on the beach with a nice bar and free wifi. Camping is possible in the sands behind the lodge (not ideal). Price is 600 MZN per night for 2 persons and a car. 

MZ-CAMP03 - S23°47.007 E35°29.127
Barra, White Sands Campsite. Ablution is very bad. Do no go here but stay at the neighbours called Duna Brance (was once one company, not anymore now). Expensive Wi-Fi. Price is 510 MZN per night for 2 persons and a car.

MZ-CAMP04 - S23°47.019 E35°29.199
Barra, Duna Branca campsite. For us the best place in Mozambique. White sands, private shelter, electricity, Wi-Fi, good ablution, almost private beach and malaria free. Price 520 MZN per night for 2 persons and a car.

MZ-CAMP05 - S22°00.525 E35°19.309
Vilanculos, Baobab Beach Backpackers. Typical bacpackers place right on the beach. Offers boat trips to Bazaruto Islands (quite expensive). Nice bar and restaurant with free Wi-Fi. There is also a swimming pool. Best camping spot is right under the big Baobab. Many overlanders here. Price was 400 MZN per night for 2 persons and a car.

MZ-CAMP06 - S19°02.466 E33°03.949
Near Manica close to the Zimbabwe border, Casa Msika lodge. Hard to find but beautiful area. Place also has a swimming pool. Price: 600 MZN per night for 2 persons and a car.

MZ-FUEL - S20°23.322 E33°56.259
Muchungue, Sofala. Fuel station (can pay with Visa)

MZ-JCT - S18°59.959 E33°04.887
Junction to Msika lodge (Turn off was hard to find)

MZ-SUPER - S21°59.092 E35°19.154
Vilanculos, supermarket

GPS-waypoints 2007

Grid: Lat/Lon hddd°mm.mmm"


Marracuene S25.35.019 E032.39.315 Camping Casa Lisa Place is OK but nothing special. There is hot water and a restaurant.
Massingir S23.52.079 E032.08.706 Camping Limpopo NP New campsite close to the gate. As the campsite was still not finished yet camping was free. Toilet and hot shower were already available.
Massingir S23.52.480 E032.08.674 Place of interest Massingir Dam  
Macia S25.01.507 E033.06.095 Junction   Junction from Macia to Chokwe
Chokwe S24.25.531 E032.50.714 Junction   Junction from Chokwe to Massingir
Limpopo NP S25.51.756 E032.08.736 Place of interest Limpopo NP Gate
Limpopo NP S25.51.948 E032.08.694 Place of interest Limpopo NP Reception
Giriyonda S23.35.004 E031.39.643 Border   Border between Mozambique (Limpopo NP) and South Africa (Kruger NP)