Travel from Lilongwe (Malawi) to Tofo

decleene created the topic: Travel from Lilongwe (Malawi) to Tofo

  • decleene
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Hi Mike

We are just back from our 4x4 trip from Lilongwe to Tofo and thought you and others may like to hear about the roads and our recommendations. As before, we were traveling with our 2 small children (aged 7 and 5) but this time our Toyota Prado had a functioning 4x4 although it was never needed. We left Lilongwe on December 10th and arrived back on December 23rd:

LILONGWE TO DEDZA/CALOMUE BORDER - 95km, 1 hour, good road. Turn right at the BP garage just after the police barrier. Fill up here as fuel is cheaper than Mozambique at the moment and it is quite a way to the next place. Border is 2km from the BP garage and both borders are open till 9pm at night since December 1st to all but trucks with cargo. If coming from Mozambique, there is a good place to stop for a break/ have lunch in Dedza called Dedza Pottery. Take the road towards Lilongwe and after about 3kms take the turning to the right (there is a sign for the pottery but it is not that clear). Follow the track for about 2kms and the pottery is on the left.

CALOMUE TO TETE - about 2 hours 45 mins (approx.268 kms).Good road until T junction (about 162 kms). At T junction turn right (signed for Tete). (N.B on way back note you need to turn left and take the sign for N304 Angoria otherwise you end up at Zobwe border 16kms later which is best border for Blantyre but would add an extra hour to your journey if going to Lilongwe). After the T junction the road has potholes and after about 36kms at the Mutarare turnoff the bridge had almost collapsed from the recent rain. It was still passable when we were there on Dec 23rd but in a bad state. Coming into Tete, there is no toll on the bridge over the Zambezi either way. Immediately after the bridge take the first turn left to get onto the road to Chimoio. If you take the very first left again, the track leads to a motel with a swimming pool you can actually see from the bridge if you look off to the left. This is apparently a good place to have lunch and the prawns are great although we didn't get the chance. Fill up with fuel in Tete before heading out for Chimoio.

TETE TO CHIMOIO (approx. 380 kms, 4 hours). It's about 96 kms until the junction with the Chimoio/Harare road (50 mins). Road is OK. After Changara, road is noticably worse, bad potholes and very uneven tarmac over/before/after bridges so you need to slow right down for them even if there are no potholes. Road improves again somewhere after Guro (after about 95kms after Changara). There is a petrol station at Catandica (about 250kms from Tete). About 50kms after Catandica the road becomes a dirt track for 10kms and it is necessary to reduce your speed to about 40-60kph. 60kms after rejoining the tarmac, the road meets a T junction and you turn left for Chimoio which is only 20kms further on.

We spent the night here both ways. We had dinner in the excellent Mario's Place (tel. 0825942370) - menu includes a great prawn Thai curry and enchiladas that we can really recommend. It is also kid friendly for them to run off excess energy and has clean functioning toilets. To get there take the first exit off the roundabout as you come into Chimoio from Tete and go about 500 metres down a very unlikely looking dirt road and take the first left. Mario's is well lit up on the right and there is a guard to look after your car. We can also recommend the new flashy Hotel Residencial Castelo Branco which has immaculate rooms and en suite bathroom for Mts 1500 per twin room excluding breakfast. Breakfast is another Mts 300 per couple and is nothing very great but at least the coffee is OK. There is secure and guarded parking. To get there, take the second exit on the 1st roundabout as you come into Chimoio from Tete, cross over the railroad tracks and at the next roundabout take the first left and the hotel is there immediately on the left. Tel. +265 251 23 934/ +258 82 52 25 960, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There is a Shoprite the other sid


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mozman replied the topic: Travel from Lilongwe (Malawi) to Tofo

  • Posts: 5213

Hi again Anna and family

And thanks for the excellent trip report.

Best wishes for 2008.



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Ariel replied the topic: Re: Travel from Lilongwe (Malawi) to Tofo

  • Posts: 1

Hi there
any idea if the roads these days are better than in the past.
Is it possible to rent a car wither in Mozambique or Malawi and cross the border. If not, is it possible with public trasnportaion to travel from mozambique to Malawi / the opposite. Is it dirt roads or concrete roads ?



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