moz from north to south
Uta created the topic: moz from north to south4 years 4 months ago
hello and thanks to all who can help in my very preliminary planning stage
i have been in mozambique several times on my own in the early nienties and once 5 years ago, around maputo and inhambane. now I am looking at doing a trip I have always wanted to do but could never manage: go down from up north moz to maputo. i have travelled a lot in southern africa, mostly organised on my own.
so here is the plan:
- start in lilongwe and take the ilala
- stop at manda wilderness lodge and stay for a few days (that is a definite must, even if it is totally out of way)
- then travel up north (as quickly as possible) to go south to maputo
- stops everywhere wehere worthwile on the coasts / islands (bazaruto eg)
- is Banhine NP woth a detour? or any other suggestions?
- end in maputo with a few days at the Polana
several questions: how far noth is worthwile seeing, taking into consideration the roads, mocimboa da praia? pemba? or only ilha do mozambique?
ideally I will be doing this on my own by rental car, and this seems to be maybe a bit risky and not very practical so I wondered if it might be a good option to hire a car with a driver in lilongwe. any advise about this? is that a safe option? how do i act about the driver, i suppose i pay for all his meals (normal) and accomodation, but does accomodation have to be in the same places where i stay? no offence, but manda is expensive enough for me alone....so let's not mention a second single room there! any ideas about what this should usually cost?
i will ask for a 2 month holiday in summer 2013, but i need to do some planning beforehand with my job to make sure i can get those. this includes shortening up my summer holidays 2012, and i would hate to do so if my 2013 plans are absolutely not feasible.
thanks in advance for any advice!
mozman replied the topic: Re: moz from north to south4 years 4 months ago
Welcome to mozguide. Two months is a good amount of time to be able to do this trip, but due to the fact that you need to make some tough decisions, I need to give hard answers.
Firstly this is one of those "I could write a book about it" questions, and on this forum I cannot manage that. So you could consider taking advantage of my custom plan service for which I charge ZAR800 or $100 or Euro 80. You get a completely personalized docier of advice, tips, contacts, suggested stop-overs, pitfalls, personal insights etc and access to my own wide range of contacts in the places you will go to. You will be able to correspond directly with me by email, and if necessary, by phone. Once you are in Mozambique, the service continues and I monitor what's going on in Moz and if it affects you in any way (good or bad) I will contact you, or your next stop-over immediately.
So something for you to mull over.
But in the meantime, note that, unless you are prepared and able to pay a huge premium to a tour company, you will not be able to hire a vehicle in Malawi and drop it off in Maputo. In northern Mozambique there are reliable rental companies in Nampula and Pemba, but they would charge quite a premium to allow a drop-off in Maputo, but still perhaps worth following up.
So here is a quick sketch of what I would do if in your position (I have done a similar trip quite a few times):
Take Illala to Likoma, it no longer stops of at Cobue so arrange a lift on one of the trading boats to Cobue where you can get a Moz visa issued on arrival for $80.
You could also stay a night or two at Kaya Mawa on Likoma and they would be happy to take you in one of their boats to Cobue, for a fee.
After your time at Nkwichi (Manda Wilderness), get a ride from Cobue or a boat, to metangula and then get the first chapa taxi to Lichinga where I recommend Pousada Lichinga next to the big, impersonal and overprice Girassol Lichinga Hotel.
And here is where it gets difficult. You could get transport quite easily to Marrupa and perhaps Luwire Game reserve or Lugenda Wilderness camp could pick you up from there so you can see Reserva do Niassa and kayak the Lugenda river. But getting from Marrupa to the coast could be an adventure. Marrupa to Montepuez is under construction so there should be a possibilty of a lift (ride) or three to Pemba.
If not keen to use public transport, contact Kaskazini in Pemba for boat or air transfers to Ibo, or hire a 4x4 and do the trip north your self - quite easy now to go all the way up to Quionga and the Rovuma and take it from there.
So much more to say but we are only a week into your trip and this is already beginning to look like a book.
Lots more permutations and possibilities...
Uta replied the topic: Re: moz from north to south4 years 4 months ago
thank you for the reply and advice. your offer sounds definitely like a good idea. i will try to check if a 2 month holiday would be something feasible at work and then start from there on with you.
i actually thought about hiring a car with driver in lilongwe and keep it all through, and then the driver should take the car back from maputo to lilongwe. i am not sure if travelling all alone is such a good idea, and getting from lake malawi to the coast is definitely a challenge. at least the north i would not dare to do alone. unfortunately my boyfriend would never come along, and neither would any of my friends.
mozman replied the topic: Re: moz from north to south4 years 4 months ago
I think that travelling on your own as a woman (or man) anywhere in Moz is not really dangerous, unless you look for trouble. I think it would probably be far safer than putting yourself in the hands of a stranger with a car who will probably not be familiar with the roads or driving habits in Mozambique, and in a vehicle that will not be suitable or sufficiently reliable.
The trick is not to be in a hurry and to try not have a fixed schedule. Most of my most memorable (yes not always comfortable) experiences travelling all over Africa, but especially in Mozambique, have been while on my own using public transport and whatever rides I can beg, buy or organize.
I do also offer my services for customized trips on Moz in my 4x4 Toyota Condor - the latest and longest being supporting Nick North who ran the length of Mozambique during June to October of 2011. We moved at a pace of about 40km per day and had absolutely no bad experiences whatsover - on the contrary it was a wonderful experience of great people, scenery and places.
Oh and if two months is beyond possibliltiy, 6 weeks for your trip would be good.
Uta replied the topic: Re: moz from north to south4 years 3 months ago
thanks for your advice. i have asked if a 2 months (or at least 6 week) holiday would be feasible, and i am wating for a reply.
i would like to stay in some lodges on my way (on bazaruto for instance, maybe in niassa national park and banhine or gorongosa), not sure if i can just call them and book for the nex day. this would also involve having either a lot of money with me (NO!!) or increasing my credit card limit condsiderably.
i will let you know once the work / holiday issue is cleared, and then use your services for some mor indepth pre planning
mozman replied the topic: Re: moz from north to south4 years 3 months ago
I can certainly recommend a few great lodges along your route, and many other contacts, diversions, special spots and people on a consultancy basis. Regarding money I do carry a credit card and a debit card when travelling in Mozambique. There are now ATM's and cellphone signal in almost all districts of Mozambique so I rely on Withdrawing cash to keep me going for a day or two, and can do EFT's via the internet if I need to pay a large amount to a lodge.
I also carry $1000 in cash in a flat money belt under my clothes for emergencies.