Travelling to Mozambique......


        To visit Mozambique you will need a valid passport.You will also need a visa which must be obtained prior to departure and cannot be obtained at the border.Visas can be obtained at the Mozambican embassies and consulates in Pretoria, Nelspruit and Durban. A single entry visa costs R75-00 and can be obtained in a day in Durban and over night in Pretoria.Multiple entry visas are available but are more expensive.

        If you donít have a carnet you will need a temporary import permit to take your vehicle into Mozambique.This is obtained at the border and costs approximately R97-00.It is difficult to understand what you are paying for as the whole process is conducted in Portuguese!The Customs official who dealt with us had never seen a Carnet so if you have one be prepared to tell them how to fill it in.


        We were also expected to pay R12-00 per person at the Immigration counter on arrival in Mozambique.As far as we could understand, this was some sort of handling fee or entry tax.Once again Ė the language makes it all quite difficult.


        The speed limit on open roads is 80kmís per hour and in towns is 50kmís per hour.In Tete however, the speed limit in town is 30kmís per hour.Make sure that you adhere scrupulously to the speed limits, as the Mozambican traffic police are notoriously bad.You will also be expected to pay any fines which you may incur before you are allowed to travel further.


        The Mozambican currency is the Metical (plural Meticash).At present one rand buys you between 2 200 and 2 400 Meticash.Make sure you take lots of cash with you if you intend to visit Mozambique.Credit card facilities are virtually non-existent and you will need to pay cash.Foreign exchange facilities are also virtually non-existent outside the major cities.Although you will be able to change cash rands or dollars you will not be able to exchange travellerís cheques, except perhaps at the odd hotel in Maputo.It also takes almost a day to draw money on your visa or MasterCard.The best place to change cash is the Banquo Commercial de Mozambique (BCM) which has branches in most cities.You can pay with rand in the southern parts of Mozambique.


        You can exchange 9 and 18 kilogram gas bottles at almost any BP garage in Mozambique.There is a chain of BP garages throughout Mozambique and so they are easy to find.


        Diesel, petrol and paraffin are widely available.We found diesel at every garage.We paid about 7000 meticash per litre for diesel in Maputo and Beira (about R3-50 per litre).Almost everywhere else we paid about 8000 meticash per litre for diesel (about R4-00).The diesel and petrol prices fluctuate almost daily however.


        Most places we visited claimed that the water was drinkable.We had our doubts however.We also did not see too much bottled water around so take a filter or water purifying tablets.


        In Mozambique, if you are towing a trailer, a boat, a vehicle or are being towed, the towing vehicle must display a blue and yellow triangle on front and the vehicle being towed must display such a triangle at the back.These triangles are available at the AA.We displayed our triangle in front despite the fact that we were not being towed to try and avoid being stopped by the police.


        You will also need red reflective triangles to be used should you break down.The police can ask you for these.


        Most of the garages we came across stocked vehicle spares, parts, oils and lubricants etc for most vehicles. The Mobils and BPs are especially good and sell specialised lubricants even for turbo diesel vehicles.


        Try not to go off road on paths that are not clearly defined or where it does not seem like a vehicle has gone before.There are reportedly 2 million unexploded land mines buried in Mozambique.No one seems to know where these mines are and they seem only to be discovered when someone sets them off.Most of the known mine fields are demarcated with a red sign bearing a skull and crossbones and are cordoned off with red and white tape.Some of these mine fields are reported to have moved however after the floods.The mines do not pose a huge threat if you stay on major routes but keep an eye out nonetheless.


        Donít drive at night if you can help it.There are literally hundreds of cows, goats, people and bicycles milling around on the roads and it would be really easy to hit something.We were told that if we hit a goat, cow, person we were not to stop but to drive to the next village and report the incident to the police.We were told that if you do stop you run the risk of being held captive by the locals while they try and extract suitable compensation.Once again, we cannot vouch for this; it may well be an urban legend.


        We had cellular phone reception outside Ponta DíOuro and as far north as Xai Xai.The best reception was however in Maputo and along the Maputo / Nelspruit road.Our service provider is MTN who is a roaming partner with Mcel, the Mozambican network.Further north there is no cellular phone reception however.


        We took antimalarial precautions and would advise it particularly after the floods as there is still a lot of water lying around that provides the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.


        We bought and ate fruit and veggies from the local markets (including lettuce) and did not get sick.If you are worried however, we would recommend that you wash all fresh veggies and fruit in Miltons.There is loads of fruit and veggies available at really good prices and it is mostly of excellent quality.


        There are two types of beer brewed in Mozambique.2M is brewed in Maputo and is available for about 110 000 meticash for a case if you have bottles to use as a deposit (otherwise it is about 145 000 meticash).Much nicer is Manica beer which is available in the north and is brewed in Beira.


        Bread costs about 1000 meticash (R0.50) per loaf and is divine.Always fresh and available every where.


        The official language in Mozambique is Portuguese.Very few people speak English.


Some basic PortugueseÖ.

 

Good morning

Bom dia

Good afternoon

Boa tarde

Good evening

Bom noite

Excuse me please

Faz favor

How are you?

Como esta

I am fine, thank you

Muito bem, obrigada

Thank you

Obrigada

Where is the campsite, please?

Onde parque de campismo, por favor?

How much (does this cost)?

Quanto custa

When?

Quando?

Do you have a room?

Tem um quarto?

Toilet/bathroom

Casa de banho

Beach

Praia

Market

Mercado

Menu

Cardapio

The bill

Quanto

Beer

Cerveja

Water

Aqua

Bread

Pao


We absolutely loved Mozambique and would recommend a visit there.In fact, we are planning our next trip there already.