This section suggests ways of avoiding the possible pitfalls and frustrations of travelling in a country where distances between places of interest are great, safe public transport is scarce and often unreliable, there is limited acceptance of credit cards by tourist resorts and travellers cheques are almost useless. Outside of Maputo and the main tourist areas, English is not widely spoken and you will have a richer and more fulfilling visit if you learn some Portuguese (the official language) or at least know how to great in Tsonga, Sena or Macua. Note that the risk of becoming addicted to a remote corner of a national park or a long stretch of secluded beach is high - even if all of the usual precautions are taken.

Frequently Asked Questions - Vehicles & Driving

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FAQs - Vehicles & Driving

Some Zimbabwe and many South Africa - based companies do allow their vehicles into Mozambique so inquire before booking. In South Africa (Johannesburg) contact Southern Off-road (  Hertz: tel. (011) 390 2066,, for Safari-equipped 4x4's  see also and in Zimbabwe (Harare) contact Cameron Harvey Safaris: tel. (04) 86 0978, e-mail: or Elite: tel. (04) 73 8325, fax (01) 72 0414.  Note that an "Across - border" fee of about $100 - $200 may apply and if you need the vehicle delivered from South Africa or Zimbabwe to an airport in Mozambique (and collected) a hefty ferry-fee will be charged.

No, but you will need the original vehicle registration papers (notarised or copies certified by a Commissioner of Oaths usually acceptable) and a letter of authorization from the registered owner and bank (with driver’s name and travel dates) if the vehicle is financed.

All land borders issue a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) at no charge.  Third Party (MVA) insurance is compulsory and is sold at MOST land borders (Pafuri, Entre Lagos, Vila Nova and Rovuma are exceptions) or can be purchased in advance at AA and Outdoor Warehouse, Sasol Service station near the border and online at 

Have your documents ready to hand as you may be asked for these by the white-shirted transit police.  For comprehensive cross-border vehicle insurance look up:

No.  South African and most other country’s driver’s licenses are accepted.  The (unofficial) guideline is that your license should have the Portuguese “carta de condução” written on it.  The official regulation is that your license must be valid and current in your own country.   It is however very useful to carry an International License.

If you have a cell phone (and reception) phone the nearest lodge (I assuming that you have a guidebook such as Globetrotter Guide to Mozambique or do a search using the internet).

If alone with no phone (it is advisable to travel together with other vehicles) take all valuables and immediately hitch or catch public transport to the nearest tourist facility and arrange a tow back. Once occupants and vehicle are safe, see if essential repairs can be done locally, but ask locally first for a reliable mechanic. 

Contact your insurance company to arrange for your vehicle to be repatriated to South Africa, or other country.   A very reliable and experienced independent mechanic and vehicle repatriation person is Henri Gouws, tel Mozambique +258 82 657 0169 or South Africa + 27 73 819 7735.

Diesel (gasoléo) and petrol (gasolina) are readily available in the provincial capitals as well as along the main routes. In remote areas diesel is far easier to find than petrol. Where there are no service stations, try at the roadside barracas (stalls) or at the 'mercado' (market) and/or speak to the transport and bus drivers. Fuel is cheapest in Maputo, Beira, Quelimane and Nacala and increases in price with distance from these ports. Diesel costs Mt40 (ZAR13, US$0.95), petrol Mt50 (ZAR15, US$1) per litre.

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