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Before you leave

  • Ensure that all passports are valid for at least six months.

  • South African citizens do not need a Visa to visit Mozambique.

  • Non-South African citizens can buy a Visa from the border – phone the consulate offices (Johannesburg: 011 372 5712 / Cape Town: 021 426 2944 / Durban: 031 304 0200) for more information. The approximate price for a Visa is R500,00 (December 2010).

  • You will need your original vehicle registration papers. If your vehicle is being financed, you will need to get a letter from the bank stating that you have permission to take the vehicle across the border.

  • Make certified copies of all your important papers, including your passport, and keep these in a separate place to the originals.

  • Ensure that your vehicle license discs are current and visible.

  • Make sure that you have 2 red triangles packed in your vehicle’s boot.

  • It is compulsory to have two reflective vest/jacket and wear it/them when you stop at the side of the road for any reason.

  • Stickers: if you are towing a trailer, boat or caravan you need to stick a yellow-and-blue triangle sticker on the front of your vehicle and another on the back of the trailer. A ZA sticker is not compulsory, but get one and stick it anywhere on the back of the vehicle.

  • Driver’s license: anyone with a valid South African driver’s license can legally drive in Mozambique – keep your driver’s license on you.

  • Spare wheel and jack: potholes can be lethal! Check your tyre pressure and keep the spare wheel and jack handy, in case it is needed

Border Formalities

  • Check the exchange rate before leaving home. Change Rands at the BP Service Station just before the Lebombo Border Post. There are also a few Bureau de Change kiosks at the Ressano Garcia Border Post (the Mozambique side).

  • Buy third party insurance – it is compulsory. You can do this at the border and it is valid for 30 days. The cost is R150,00 for a vehicle and, if you are towing, it will cost an additional R80,00 (prices correct as at January 2011). You will be given a form – keep it safe as you may be asked to produce it by border officials or traffic police.

  • Check your paperwork: get all your documents together.

Make sure you have:

  • Passport

  • Driver’s license

  • Vehicle registration papers (plus papers for trailers, boats, etc.) and the letter from the bank, if vehicles are financed.

  • Third Party Insurance form

  • A pen

At the Border (On the SA Size):

  •  Collect your gate pass from the border official and park your vehicle.

  • At the Customs Desk, fill in a form and declare any expensive goods like cameras, fridges, etc. (The Mozambican authorities will stamp this form on your way in and you must be able to show these goods upon your return to South Africa.)

  • Go to the Vehicle Registration Desk, produce your gate pass, and get your passport stamped.

  • Return to your car, hand your gate pass to the border official and drive to the Mozambique side.

At the Border (On the Mozambique Side):

  •  Get a gate pass and park your vehicle.

  • Report to the Immigration Desk and present the DA341 Form, the car papers and the insurance form. Your gate pass and the DA341 will be stamped. You will be charged R10,00 for a Temporary Import Permit for the goods in your vehicle. If you do not receive a copy of the permit, ask for one.

  • Return to your car, ask one of the officials (in uniform) to inspect the car and sign your gate pass.

  • Drive on, hand your gate pass to an official who will be waiting for it – you are through!

Border Times:

  • Lebombo/Ressano Garcia (SA/Mozambique) (Sometimes open 24 hours a day during peak holiday periods over Easter and Christmas)    6:00 am – 10:00 pm

  • Namaacha/Lomaacha (Swaziland/Mozambique)               6:00 am – 8:00 pm

  • Kosi Bay/Ponto do Ouro (SA/Mozambique)         6:30 am – 5:30 pm

  • Pafuri (SA/Mozambique)             6:00 am – 5:30 pm

  • Giriyondo (SA/Mozambique)     8:30 am – 4:00 pm in Summer and 8:00 am – 3:00 pm in the Winter

  • Sitehi/Goba (Swaziland/Mozambique)  24 hours a day

Driving Tips

The EN1, Mozambique’s main tar road leading north from Maputo, is in a good condition. It is 80 kilometres from the Ressano Garcia Border Post to Maputo, and from there Xai Xai is 220 kilometres away. The 15-kilometre road from Xai Xai’s main town to the beach town is tarred and the last 2 kilometres leading to Reef Resort is on a sandy beach road, which is fine for a regular car. A 4×4 is not necessary, unless you are planning to explore the area. Some roads are very sandy and a 4×4 will come in handy then!

It is imperative to adhere to the speed limits in Mozambique. Speed limits are generally 100 to 120 kilometres per hour on the open roads (100 kilometres if you are towing a boat or trailer) and 60 to 80 kilometres per hour in built up areas (50 kilometres if you are towing). Always be on the lookout for the road signs.

There are regular traffic police checks and a speed fine could cost you between 1000 and 3000 Meticais. This would have to be paid on the spot and it is certainly not a pleasant way to start your holiday. So buckle up and drive safely and slowly where necessary.

Always be on the lookout for pedestrians, stray dogs, cattle and un-roadworthy vehicles.

If you are Stopped

Be polite. Original copies of documents are required by law, but try a certified copy first. If you have broken the law (by speeding) you will be fined and you can either pay on the spot – get an official receipt – and if you do not have cash to pay the fine, your driver’s license will be confiscated and you will have to drive to the nearest town to pay. Not all the towns have ATM’s. So, you may have to drive back later to pay the fine and collect your license.

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