Castelo do Mar

Border Post Formalities

You must report to the immigration office with your passports and vehicle registration papers in hand. Find out more about drivers license requirements in Mozambique.

South African Side
On the South African side (Komatipoort): A Custom’s Official will give you a gate pass and this is to be taken to the immigration office. Fill in your vehicle / goods export form and then get your passport stamped. Hand in gate pass when driving out of South Africa.

Mozambique Side
Mozambique side (Ressano Garcia): As you go through the gate you will be handed another gate pass which is needed for Immigration, Customs – road permit and Customs Inspector. Get your passport stamped – You have to pay R12.00 per person; take out the compulsory 3rd party insurance (R 120.00 per vehicle); buy the compulsory temporary import permit for all vehicles – including boat trailers (payable in Meticais 30 000 (approx. R15.00). Proceed out of the office to a customs inspector who will then inspect your vehicle and contents. After signing the gate pass and if you have nothing to declare, on exiting the gate you hand the gate pass in.

Banks
There is a bank at the border should you not have Meticais or else there are always people selling meticais at the Border on the SA side – we have found it to be safe to buy from them. Just make sure that you get the right amount of money for what you are exchanging – ask them what exchange they are offering.

Past The Borders
The Maputo corridor is now complete, making it a good highway all the way from Gauteng. There is a total of toll fees of R 83.50 in South Africa and Mt 78.5 (about R 24.50) in Mozambique (each way). You can pay the toll fees in Mozambique with Rands, US dollars or Meticais.

The road going north from Maputo (EN 1 – National Road #1) is generally a good tar road – The road from Maputo to Inhambane is slightly potholed (nothing serious, but be careful).

Traveling after dark is not advisable, as there are no streetlights and sometimes the other vehicles on the road have inadequate lighting. If you do travel after dark, take it easy, especially when there are oncoming cars. Some resorts require 4 x 4, or at least a vehicle with good clearance such as a Toyota Venture or pickup truck (bakkie). These roads are thick sandy tracks, so a normal car could get bogged down.

Petrol costs around R 6.50 / litre. It gets more expensive the further north you go. It’s advisable to fill up at the garage just before the border. There are filling stations in Maputo, Macia, Xai-Xai, Quissico, Inhambane, Maxixe, Massinga, Vilanculos and Inhassoro. For those going to the resorts south of Maputo – fill up at Kosi Bay, as there is not always petrol at Ponta Do Ouro. Diesel is about the same price in Mozambique as it is in SA (sometimes even cheaper). We suggest you fill up at the BP in Xai-Xai as the filling station at Quissico is not always reliable. Do not get stuck without petrol.

Border Post Times
Komatipoort (Ressano Garcia) – open every day of the year between 06h00 – 22h00. During the busy December period (generally from 20 December to 03rd January) this border stays open 24-hours.
Namaacha/Lomaacha (Swaziland/Mozambique) – opens at 07h00, closes at 18h00.
Oshoek/Ngwenya (South Africa / Swaziland) – opens at 07h00, closes at 20h00.
Kosi Bay/Ponta d’ Ouro (Faranzela ) – opens at 08h00, closes at 17h00.

Driving Tips
Check whether your insurance covers you whilst driving in Mozambique. Always keep the following documents handy: passport, drivers license, original vehicle registration papers, third party insurance certificate and temporary import permits — you may be asked to present them at various control points.

It is obligatory to wear seat-belts at all times. Obey all the speed limits, normally 100 km/h on the EN1, 80 km/h on approaching villages and towns and down to 50 km/h or even 30 km/h as one drives through them. All motorists must carry a set of standard red emergency triangles. If you are towing, two triangles must be displayed, one on the front of the car and one on the rear of the trailer.

Traffic Police
Traffic police, who wear navy and white, will only stop you for traffic violations. The civil police, who wear grey and white, usually ask to inspect your documents. If you are stopped by the police remember that politeness and a little patience go a long way. Always ask for a receipt if you have to pay a fine, for any traffic offence. Be particularly careful for pedestrians, especially when approaching stopped buses or heavy vehicles. Avoid driving at night, when animals, unmarked road repairs and vehicles without lights, are added dangers. Petrol (gasolina) and diesel (gasoleo) are available in the main towns, but unleaded petrol is only sold in Maputo, Xai Xai and Maxixe. Petrol stations are generally open from about 06:00 to about 18:00.

Advice
Avoid asking for ‘petrol’ which could be mistaken for paraffin, known in Portuguese as petroleo. The basic spares for vehicles are extremely difficult to obtain. Inhambane has a spares shop around the corner from the main market, but make sure that your vehicle is 100 % roadworthy before departure. If you happen to be involved in an accident, you will be required to present your third party insurance, driver’s license and vehicle papers. You must contact the third party insurance company immediately and will also be required to make a statement at the nearest police station. Driving on the beaches and driving without a shirt on is illegal.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hazel, Published on:- October 30, 2014