Tropical islands, succulent peri-peri prawns, marimba bands and more – there are so many reasons to go on holiday in Mozambique! But before you pack your bags and hit the road, there are a few important things you need to know. From the proper documentation to muddy roads and car troubles, we’ve got you covered with this handy how-to guide for your self-drive Mozambique holiday.
Skip the rainy season
Summer in Mozambique is not only super hot, it’s also pouring with rain. This means that the roads become muddy and troublesome – not ideal travel conditions. Stick to the winter season (from May to November) when the weather is cooler and drier for a smoother journey.
Sort out your paperwork
You might get stopped by traffic officers for a routine check on your journey. The best way to avoid delays is to have all your paperwork in order. Carry your car’s registration papers and valid driver’s licence with you. If you’re still paying your car off, you’ll need a letter of permission from the bank. South Africans don’t need a Visa but you’ll need a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months after your return. Be sure to get certified copies of all your paperwork before you go, so you have some spares if necessary.
Get proper cover
Third-party vehicle insurance is a must when travelling to Mozambique by car. Get this sorted before your trip, and make sure that your insurer covers travel in a foreign country and off-road travel. Just to be sure, get a letter from your insurance broker confirming that Mozambique is covered.
Reflective Vests and Two Red Triangles
It’s a strict law in Mozambique that everyone in the car must wear a reflective vest when stopping to fix or load a vehicle on the side of the road. Always carry enough vests for every passenger. You’ll also need two red triangles placed about 50m from the car (one in the front and one at the back). Your vests and triangles need to follow a few specific size and other regulations, take a look here for more details.
You’ll also need a ZA sticker on the back of your car, caravan or trailer before you cross the border. Make sure to stick it in a visible spot at least 150mm from your rear number plate.
Service and spares
This one’s a no-brainer. If you’re taking any long-haul road trip, a car service is a must. This is especially true for a trip to Mozambique, where the roads can be a bit rugged and it might be hard to find a repair shop. Even better, take a few spares such as a fan belt, fuses, a basic tool kit and jack. Make sure that the spare tire is ready for action too.
Stick to the rules of the road
Since you may be stopped along the way for some spot checks, it’s worthwhile getting to know a bit more about the best way to interact with traffic officials. First off, the official uniform for traffic officials is a white shirt and navy blue trousers. Only traffic officials are allowed to fine you for traffic violations. Regular police officers (wearing grey) aren't able to issue traffic fines but they can check your car for contraband (so keep everything above board!). If they find something, they have the right to take you to the nearest police station Always follow the traffic rules, stick to the speed limit, wear your safety belt, and be polite and friendly. Here’s a more detailed list of Mozambique officials and how it all works.
Check out the news
It’s not a bad idea to brush up on current affairs in Mozambique before you go. This way you’ll have a bit of a heads up if there's likely to be any unrest, road blocks or unpleasant weather.
Tourism Green Line (for help or advice):
+258 800 460 460
South African High Commission:
Maputo (office hours) +258 21 24 3000
Maputo (after hours) +258 84 304 4600
Take note and you’re good to go!