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Extending a Kruger trip into Mozambique

Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
946 posts
1,073 reviews
Extending a Kruger trip into Mozambique

I will be taking my wife and daughter to Kruger in late June and early July. Although we're Americans, we are very familiar with driving ourselves around South Africa. We're intrigued with the idea of continuing our trip into Mozambique, perhaps to a beach town like Tofo. We're trying to get an idea of just how much hassle this will be versus the enjoyment of the trip, and whether self-driving is "safe enough."

Driving to Mozambique seem very adventurous for foreigners, but I can tell many South Africans do this drive, so I'm assuming it's not as "scary" at it seems. The procedure itself feels complicated. Like I know I have to get approval and some sort of documentation from my rental car company, and that doesn't seem like the easiest thing to do when I book a reservation from overseas (I'm guessing I can send a email to the car company's South African headquarters, and somebody will write back with the correct procedure). I then how to get some sort of Mozambique car insurance. That's apparently available at most border crossings but, honestly, that's the last thing I "want" to be doing at a border crossing. Is there an easy way to do it in advance, or is it not as scary as it seems? And how much does this cost: is there a "per day" price and is it tricky if you have a rental car as opposed to your own vehicle? I've also read how there are touts and "helpers" at the border crossing, and that you want to avoid them. There even seem to be some "step by step" instructions on what to do at the border. So it seems possible, but still a bit scary. It seems like all foreigners repeatedly worry about getting visas at the border but, honestly, that seems like the least of our concerns (border visas now seem to be routine).

I'm also trying to figure out if I'm best crossing at a large border control station (like Lebombo) or whether it might be easier at a smaller crossing. And what about the impact of South African school holidays? The last thing I want is to be stuck for hours at an overcrowded border station.

Assuming I can get into Mozambique, what then? Is driving safe? You see all sorts of scary warnings and reports, but you also see them for South Africa, but everyone who drives around South Africa knows it's much safer than the "reports" would suggest. So what's the deal with Mozambique: dangerous or manageable? And what about the roads? Is there a good guide to which roads are tarred and in good shape, and which roads are mediocre and which are terrible? And if I want to cut some time off my drive by using a Kruger border crossing (at least, say, in one direction) which one do I want to use and which one would be best avoided?

And even if all these driving issues are manageable, is it still "worthwhile" to cross into Mozambique? Like is it worth the trouble? Other than the beach towns, is there anything particularly interesting about visiting the country (I know the food is good!), especially if we don't want an "urban experience"? And if we do go to a beach town, should we drive to Tofo or is there a better or easier beach destination?

So many questions, as you can see. Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thank you!

4 replies to this topic
Matola, Mozambique
Level Contributor
1,224 posts
5 reviews
1. Re: Extending a Kruger trip into Mozambique

Safe enough? It's MUCH safer in Mozambique than in South Africa, so forget this concern.

Border visas haven't been a problem....ever. And now the gov has confirmed this.

Renting a car from SA you do need to request a letter to take into Mozambique. SA companies are used to this and charge about $50 for this. It's nothign scary. very normal.

At the border buying the insurance is very easy. It's a set price. You could buy it in advance if you knew you car number plate etc. But just relax, it's easy.

Yes, ignore the runners at the border, don't talk to anyone who is not inside an office. Or who is not in a military or police looking uniform.

Driving in Mozambique is dangerous, see this web page with lots of good tips. The main one is to never drive at night. This page explains why

mozambicanhotels.com/tourist-information/dri…

If you want to go through Kruger the only easy one is Giriyondo, further north there are river crossings and complications.

I think most people who come think it's worth it. You need to be street smart, a lot of people who are offering help are sometimes trying to get something out of you. So be informed before coming. Join the Mozambique Tourism group on Facebook facebook.com/groups/MozambiqueTourismTurismo where there are thousands of Mozambicans who will give you advice.

Yes, Tofo is everyone's favourite, but try to get to special places like Morrungulo, and Pomene too.

Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
946 posts
1,073 reviews
2. Re: Extending a Kruger trip into Mozambique

Thank you for all the advice. We've realized our frequent flyer tickets to South Africa can also get us to Mauritius for free. Mauritius seems a lot less "scary" to my family than Mozambique. I'd kind of like to do both, however.

Matola, Mozambique
Level Contributor
1,224 posts
5 reviews
3. Re: Extending a Kruger trip into Mozambique

I see you are from US.

The US State Department just ranked Mozambique as one of the safest countries to travel in in Africa. ;)

The scariest part for most foreigners is the Portuguese :D

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
82 posts
19 reviews
4. Re: Extending a Kruger trip into Mozambique

Mozambique is probably one of my favorite places in the world. Helps that I spent a few months traveling around but it honestly has everything I could possibly want in a place. The seafood, peri peri chicken, and 2M beers are fantastic, the beaches especially up north are probably the best beaches in the world. People were ultra friendly and I felt safe at all times. I actually hitch-hiked my way through most of the country with nothing but a phone with Google Translate before they had voice control (meaning I can talk to them, but I couldn't understand anything they spoke back to me).

As you're traveling with a family, I would totally avoid driving into Maputo as the traffic is a complete shtshow but if you're keen to drive all the way to Tofo, it is beautiful there. Also, most South Africans just go to Ponto D'oro which is right across the border so that might be easier for you but I prefer the middle and north of the country much more.

Here is somethign I wrote up about my experiences in Moz!

https:/…

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