Komatipoort to Massingir via Inhambane feedback

Leo317 created the topic: Komatipoort to Massingir via Inhambane feedback

  • Posts: 8

Hi Guys

We returned last Sunday from our 2 week trip. Below is a quick overview of road conditions we had:

First Leg: Ressano Garcia to Xai-Xai

Road: from Moambo to Xinavane via Sabie:
The roads were exceptionally good compared to what we expected. 50% of it was a hard surface, on some parts shallow sand, others gravel, nothing a normal sedan wouldn't be able to handle. between Sabie and Xinavane the road surface if the same but it seems rain caused some damage and there is the occasional ditch but nothing more than a feet deep and no deep sand, once again nothing a normal sedan cant handle. we were surprized that a big part of this road had a tar like liquid on it making it great to drive. Apparently, according to locals, its not tar but the local sugar factory pouring molasses onto the road to better protect it from heavy rain.

Once in Xinavane all the way to Xai-Xai its perfect tar roads. I found myself longing for the ruff potholes I experienced in Moz many years ago on our previous trip. Road conditions from Xai-Xai to Inhambane is similarly smooth sailing on tar roads.

Second leg: Inhambane to Massingir via Panda on the 417, Chibuto & Chokwe:
Roads from Inhambane to Chibuto via Panda on the 417 is in fair shape. At no point will you need a 4x4. We drove the entire way on 4x2 only, but one would need a high clearance vehicle. parts are hard corrugated gravel roads but for the most is sandy with a bunch of sand in between the tracks where low clearance vehicles wont make it.

From Chibuto you are back on tar but this is where the fun starts: After passing thru Chibuto and another village after that, we came to a point where the perfect tar road was washed away. All that was left was a 3m drop ahead and in the distance, about 100m (see pic attached), the remains of the tar road on the other side. We considered going off-road and getting back up on the tar on the other side as the riverbed was pretty hard and manageable, but plants growing hip height clearly showed that not one did that recently so its probably not a solution to the problem and we would most probably run out of road where the next river hit.
We turned around and in broken Portuguese got a hold of someone who was travelling to Chokwe that same night. We followed him to around 200m before the point where the road is washed away. he then lead us thru a maize of gravel roads getting onto the tar at points and then back off again where the tar road was washed away. If you pay attention, all the roads have little wooden signs directing you towards Giuja which is close to Choke. This gravel maize part is fairly sandy but once again no need for anything more than a high clearance vehicle and a co-pilot to look out for makeshift signs directing the way. Once in Chokwe you are back on perfectly tarred roads. DONT ATTEMPT THIS ROAD AT NIGHT, ITS FILLED WITH ANIMALS, CARS WITH NO LIGHTS, DRUNKEN PEOPLE WALKING THE ROADS OR EVEN PASSED OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS AND PURE CHAOS. If you do find yourself there at night unplanned like we did, drive SUPER SLOW and try to keep your high beams on as much as possible to be able to see in the distance.

Road conditions from Massingir to Giriyondo Border is fair hard gravel roads but heavily corrugated. once again something one can drive with a sedan buta high clearance vehicle would be best to handle the corrugated road.

Hope this helps guys, feel free to ask if you need more specific info but in general, a high clearance vehicle or SUV type would do fine on all these roads. the only time we had to engage the diff was once we were in Tofo and pub crawled up and down the dunes from place to place. On no official road was this a necessity.

Police on the above mentioned roads are almost unseen except for the part between Xai-Xai and Inhambane. Make sure you have certified copies of everything and all other requirements in terms of safety jackets, stickers etc. and you'll be fine. at no point did anyone attempt to extort us for a bribe.


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mozman replied the topic: Re: Komatipoort to Massingir via Inhambane feedback

  • Posts: 5216

Thanks Leo

great trip report. Just a note that I do not recommend driving gravel or same roads in normal car as we underestimate how low the clearance is and damage is common.


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