Best route: Mandimba to Pemba

toconnell created the topic: Best route: Mandimba to Pemba

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Hi Mike, thanks for having this site. I am overlanding with my own 4x4 and next week will travel from Malawi to Pemba. What is the best/fastest route? Via Lichinga/Marrupa or Cuamba/Nampula? I plan on 2 days from the border to Pemba so if you know any hotels/camps to break the trip up let me know.

Many thanks,
Terrance

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mozman replied the topic: Best route: Mandimba to Pemba

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Hi Terrance

Are you equipped to camp? I would go Mandimba - Cuamba - Nampula - Namialo - Pemba. A very long trip for just two days. From Mandimba to Cuamba the road is currently in very bad condition so expect 4 hrs. From Cuamba to Malema is perhaps 2 hrs on a poor road. From Malema to Nampula is a new tarmac road so expect 70kph average, so about 4hrs. If you depart Mandimba at 0600 I would aim for Complexo Montes Nairucu which is on your LHS about 15km before the centre of Nampula. Campsites, rooms and good restaurant.

Then next day a quite easy drive to Pemba.

If you are delayed departing Marrupa, you could overnight at complexo Malaya in Malema. Then a long day via Nampula to Pemba so depart 0500.


Go well and let us all know about it.

Mike

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toconnell replied the topic: Best route: Mandimba to Pemba

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Hey Mike,
Thanks for the reply, that's great info.
Yes, I am equipped for camping. I plan to overnight in Mangochi then cross the border first thing the next day. I will plan on making it to Complexo Malaya in Malema that day, then push on to Pemba the next day.
I'll definitely report back on how it went.

Thanks,
Terrance

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mozman replied the topic: Best route: Mandimba to Pemba

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Hi Terrance
Sounds like a good plan. If you end up having to stay at Cuamba then Quinta Timbwa is recommended. www.lonelyplanet.com/mozambique/cuamba/h...e71f4c7f42cd/1327985
Feedback and trip reports are always highly valued.
Mike.

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toconnell replied the topic: Best route: Mandimba to Pemba

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Hey Mike,
Thanks for that. Do you know if there's any decent places to stay in Mandimba?

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toconnell replied the topic: Best route: Mandimba to Pemba

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As i sit here in Pemba, i will report my findings....

Mangochi to border - 1hr
Border:
Zambia side took less than 15 minutes, hand TIP to guard and he will open the gate for you, then go inside to get stamped out. Done.
Moz said took a total of about 30 minutes. As you roll up to the gate the military guides will come and ask some pointless questions and an insurance salesmen will begin to hard-sell you insurance for the vehicle. They will eventually open the gate...drive up to the building.
Visa = $100 (I'm sure this is a too high but they were not relenting on this)
TIP = Free
Insurance = 3700MZN or $30 (they will take US$). You can buy the insurance from the officer who fills out the TIP for you.
Money changers are there and will start the bidding at 55MZN=1$. I got them up to 62MZN...which is still worse than the bank rate.

Mandimba = There is an ATM in town...make a left at the T junction and it will be on the left side. You can also get a SIM card from the guy in the middle of the street.

Mandimba to Cuamba - 4.5 hours
Road is an absolute disaster.

Cuamba = Stated at Quinta Timbwa as Mike suggested and it was really good for such a remote area. 2500MZN for a room with A/C and TV. Room was clean and comfortable...but the hot water set up in the shower might frighten some people. Restaurant was good too!!

Cuamba to Nampula = 5.5 hours
First 25km outside Cuamba is bad, then its 50km of brand new tar, then 15km more of bad stuff, then its good tar after Malema.

Nampula to Pemba = 5 hours

*Note on the driving times that i tent to drive fast :)

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