Dates: 1st September 2009 to 23rd September 2009
Mozambique miles = 1923 miles (3088 kms)
Trip miles = 16737 miles (26780 kms)
Mozambique at 802,000 km2 (UK 243,000 km2) is slightly smaller than France and Italy together. It has a population of 22,900,000 (UK 62,000,000) and a population density of per 28.7 km2 (UK 255 per km2).
Bordered by Tanzania for 756 kms; Malawi for 1569 kms; Zambia for 419 kms; Zimbabwe for 1231 kms; South Africa for 491 kms; and Swaziland for 105 kms. Has a coastal length of approx. 2500 kms with the Indian Ocean. Formerly Portuguese East Africa.
Low point = sea level: High point = 2,436 Monte Binga near Tanzanian border near Lake Malawi (Nyasa)
Capital - Maputo
Official language - Portuguese and other tribal languages. English reasonably wildly spoken.
Entry issues: Passports with 6 months remaining after departure date. Visas required by UK Nationals, 30 day single entry stay costs US$25 + US$2 for the form + US$3 processing fee. Situation regarding visas not at all clear with conflicting advice in guide books and no information as such on Foreign Office site nor Mozambique Government site - most of the advice suggests getting a visa in advance of visit: not much help for flexible travelling. We chose a busier crossing, the Mwanza/Zobue border post with its 8 km wide no-mans-land, in the hope they would have the forms and means to issue a visa and as it happens we entered relatively easily. Make sure your Dollars are virginal - the ones with biro on them were rejected!
Very relaxed border crossing as it happens
Vehicle issues: Carnet de Passage required. Photo driving licence or international licence required.
Drive on left. Insurance, third party, for 30 days = US$23 issued by agent in border post.
2 warning triangles; fire extinguisher and reflective jacket required.
Keep all documents to hand, but secure, for occasional police checks: switch on hazard warning lights when stopped by police.
Police checks not as frequent as some countries and all very friendly and with the exception of one incident, not the extent of police corruption anticipated (apart from one attempt to fine me for speeding, unsuccessfully). Few, if any, campsites had electricity or hot water. Not many tourists with the exception of South Africans, most of whom head for the sea.
Some confusion regarding requirement to display yellow on blue triangle on front off-side bumper. The police officer I spoke to didn’t know; the South Africa AA say one is required but I couldn’t get one until in South Africa but displayed it anyway as a trophy! Believed only required if towing a trailer when should be displayed front of vehicle and rear of trailer.
Petrol and Diesel widely available at most towns and large villages. All garages are cash only, all attended and usually with a screen washer – small tip usual. As with all of Africa, will squeeze as much in as possible, usually leading to spills!
Average cost of diesel = £0.58
Banks; ATMs; Credit Cards
ATMs could be very challenging, mainly available in the larger towns but even these were a problem. Credit cards accepted in the larger supermarkets in the larger towns but these were very few and very far between.
Telephones: International dialling code +258. Fairly good mobile coverage in towns and along major routes. We used Zain. Cheap SIMs and top up cards widely available from street sellers.
Time (UTC = Coordinated Universal Time, equal to GMT) = UTC+02
UK£ rate at time of visit
Metical Novo Mtn
£1 = 50Mtn: 100 Meticais Novo = £2.00