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Mozambique Travel Checklist and Tips

This is published as an extract from the popular Outdoor Warehouse brochure and other published materials are used as references
Compulsory requirements and documentation
  • SPECIAL COMPULSORY 3RD PARTY INSURANCE for Mozambique – this covers the insured for any 3rd party liability in Mozambique caused by or in connection with the vehicle designated, including: (1) death or bodily injury to any 3rd party who is not a family member or employee of the insured; and 920 damage to 3rd party property. It is advisable to buy such insurance at retailers such as “Outdoor Warehouse”, the BP garage just before the Border Post at Komatipoort or at the Mozambique Border Post. Note – There are no facilities for buying 3rd party insurance at the South African side of the Komatipoort Border Post. If you have a trailer, you must specify this and pay an extra amount.
  • VEHICLE’S REGISTRATION PAPERS – (also for trailers). If your vehicle is under finance from a bank, you need a letter from the bank authorizing you to take it across the border. The bank will probably also still hold the actual registration certificate, so you will need a faxed or scanned copy from them. (Make photocopies of any faxes.) If you are in any other way, not the owner of the vehicle, you will need a certified letter from the owner authorizing you to take the vehicle across the border.
  • A LETTER FROM YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY – confirming that you vehicle is insured and for which countries.
  • TEMPORARY VEHICLE IMPORT PAPERS – (DA341 form, only available from SARS at the border.) Also declare items such as a generator, fridge/freezer, camping and fishing equipment, electronic equipment, quads, jet skis, boats etc.
  • VALID DRIVER’S LICENCE – (South African and International licences are recognized.) Keep your licence and vehicle papers on you at all times.
  • PASSPORTS – (which will not expire within 6 months of visit) for adults and children. Visas are not required by SA passport holders for tourism purposes for a stay of up to 30 days. On entry, you will have to pay a levy on your passports and a road tax levy in “meticais”. Another tariff table applies to entry through the Komatipoort gate. Travellers entering from Swaziland have to complete the necessary documentation.
  • MEDICAL AID – check they provide medical insurance in Mozambique. If necessary, obtain a temporary policy through a reliable agent in SA. Emergency air and/or road evacuation can be very costly.
  • STICKERS ON CARS AND TRAILERS – black and white ZA sticker to be displayed in plain sight on all vehicles. If towing a trailer, display a sticker with a yellow triangle on a square blue background, on both the front of the vehicle and the rear of the trailer. All trailers and caravans must display a full chevron or reflectors at the rear and yellow reflective tape on the sides.
  • EMERGENCY KIT – 2 red warning triangles, for use in case of breakdowns, must be kept in the vehicle. A reflective vest should be worn whenever you have to repair a vehicle at the roadside; when dealing with a road accident; when loading, unloading or clearing away cargo which has fallen onto the road or roadside.
Compulsory Vehicle equipment
  • 2 Red reflective Triangles
  • 1 Reflective Jacket
Essential Vehicle equipment
  • Good quality map.
  • GPS
  • Recovery kit/Straps/Shackles.
  • Tyre repair kit.
  • Tyre foam.
  • Tyre pressure gauge.
  • Tow strap.
  • Jump cables.
  • Fire extinguishers.
  • Water container.
Useful tips
  • DIESEL AND PETROL – having an extra can of diesel and petrol is advised. Fuel is more expensive in Mozambique. Credit cards and garage cards are not accepted for fuel. Avoid using very small garages as low pump rates can mean dirty fuel.
  • LIGHTS AND INDICATORS – ensure that your vehicle and trailer lights and indicators are all working.
  • ROAD CONDITIONS – main roads are mostly tarred, but the quality varies and there are potholes, particularly north of Xai Xai. More minor roads are almost only suitable for 4X4 driving.
  • TRAVELLING AT NIGHT – avoid this as it is very dangerous. There are vehicles without lights or reflectors and many pedestrians and cyclists beside/in the road. Broken down vehicles are left in the road, sometimes indicated by tree branches. If you have to drive after dark, drive slowly.
  • DRIVING ALONE – avoid this as breakdowns can be difficult to deal with, (no infrastructure or spare parts). Take basic spares along and a proper, quality tow-rope.
  • GENERAL DRIVING - keep your headlights off during the day and keep your safety belts on at all times for all passengers.
  • SPEED LIMITS – on open roads are currently 100km/h, but there are many speed limits around villages and crossings. (A 60km/h speed limit, becomes 50km/h if towing a trailer.) There are many speed traps so pay attention. Keep well within the speed limits, as authorities might use outdated and non-calibrated radar equipment. If you are stopped, traffic police will show you the alleged speed and you will need to produce your licence and vehicle registration papers. Officers may then be paid on the spot, in “meticais” for which they must give you a receipt on which is specified the traffic violation, the relevant part of the road ordinance and the monetary value of the fine. Alternatively, they will keep your licence while you go to the nearest police station, pay the fine and return with the receipt. By law, traffic officers are obliged to produce proof of identity and you have the right to request it. Make a note of the name of the official. If the officials want to fine you, or intimidate you in any way, while you know you have not committed an offence, ask to be taken to a police station where you can present your case to a more senior authority. The maximum allowable fine, is the equivalent of R300.00.
  • THE ‘ASINHOS’ ORGANISATION – this organisation protect tourists and international investors from corruption and help avoid red-tape problems in the Gaza Province. Roger Gomes can be contacted on +258 823 969890, or Frans Nel can be contacted on +258 826 778429 in case of any uncertainty or any problems.
  • SA EMBASSY and HIGH COMMISSION – contact them on +258 21 490059.
  • ACCESS TO BEACHES – is only allowed on existing roads. It’s illegal to drive on the beach unless launching a boat. Offenders could run the risk of having their vehicles impounded.
  • CELL PHONE COVERAGE – have roaming enabled (expensive calls) or don’t be network locked and install a local SIM card (MCEL has the best coverage in Resort region) and buy prepaid airtime.
  • LOCAL CURRENCY – is the “meticais” at worst 3,5Mt or best case 4,5Mt to the Rand. Exchange about R500.00 at the border. SA ATM cards are accepted at most Mozambique ATMs. Credit cards can be used in major hotels and shopping centres.
  • RECOMMENDED VACCINATIONS – for Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Meningitis.
Health and hygiene
  • Use effective Malaria prophylaxis before, during and after your stay. Completing the course is of utmost importance.
  • Bottled water and water –purifying tablets. Drink bottled, boiled or purified water if the source of running or standing water is uncertain.
  • Use effective Mosquito repellent.
  • Consider a Mosquito net.
  • Use effective Sunblock.
  • Use a Sunhat.
  • A good and stocked First Aid kit is of the utmost importance, especially in rural areas.
  • Take your own frozen meat.