Katembe Bridge and new Tar Road Now Connecting Maputo To Natal

Drive from South Africa to Mozambique in a matter of hours these days with the grand completion of the innovative Maputo-Katembe Suspension Bridge and tar road now connecting Maputo to Natal. Find the bridge on the Mozambique border and the new South Africa to Maputo tar road follows. Travelling to Mozambique from South Africa has never been easier! These Mozambique travel developments have revolutionized road travel into Southern Mozambique from the KwaZulu-Natal border at Kosi Bay and the northern border at Komatipoort. 

Officially opened in 2018, the vast four-lane suspension Maputo bridge spans 700 m across, is 3 km long and reaches a height of 60 m to allow ships to continue to pass into the Maputo harbour. This engineering feat was an agreement between the Mozambican government and the China Roads and Bridges Corporation and it cost a whopping R11.3 billion! People can now reach the delights of Maputo in an instant instead of taking all day to get there. 

Visitors to Mozambique can now drive to Maputo from KwaZulu-Natal Kosi Bay in just two hours! There is now bridge between South Africa and Mozambique for 2 wheel drive vehicles to get you to Maputo in a few hours! Set off for your holidays to Mozambique on an adventure to see regal elephants in Maputo Special Reserve and the beautiful beaches of Ponta do Ouro before sampling the vibrant nightlife of Maputo, the capital city. The construction of the longest suspension bridge in Africa over Maputo Bay plus the new tar road from Maputo to Ponto do Ouro and Kosi Bay has slashed travelling times by 3 hours!  

Mozambique has so much to offer and now her treasures are open to all. Business travellers can book their modern hotel suites and seal their deals in a jiffy while honeymoon couples can explore the idyllic coastlines from Maputo to Tofo, Vilanculos and Beira. Adventure inland at Sofala to experience the safari of a lifetime in the rejuvenated Gorongosa National Park and take a drive to Lake Niassa’s shores for an island vacation with a difference. It’s all so much easier now from Natal to Ponta do Ouro, then Maputo and further afield!

The Katembe bridge from Maputo to KZN

Easy Travel On Tarmac To Maputo, Ponta Mamoli And Ponta Do Ouro

Easy travel on the tarmac to Maputo, Ponta Mamoil and Ponta do Ouro has made life so much easier for leisure and business travellers on bush beach combo package holiday trips between South Africa and Mozambique. Enter Mozambique in the south at the Kosi Bay border or self-drive from Limpopo and cross the famous Katembe suspension bridge to Maputo. It is easier to access Ponta do Ouro accommodation from Natal Kosi Bay but do take note that the new tar road does end within the boundaries of Ponto do Ouro and the roads then become potholed and very sandy. This requires a 4×4 vehicle if you want to travel to Ponta Mamoli and Ponta Malangane further up the coast. A new park and ride development is on the cards at the end of the tar for travellers needing shuttles to their accommodations. Leave your car at the border post for a fee of R50 a day and a transfer fee of R200 to your chosen lodge or resort. 

When you self-drive from Maputo, take in the sights of the awe-inspiring Maputo Special Reserve en route to the exquisite White Pearl Resorts in the deep south. Rare herds of elephants, buffalo, hippo and antelope fill your vision as you revel in this unique Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area (Peace Park) and contribute to the conservation of this globally recognised biodiversity hotspot. The journey to Maputo from Durban is a mere 2 hours now on the new roads which is a tourism highlight for Mozambique. 

For something a bit more upmarket, stay at the chic White Pearl Resorts when you self-drive to Ponta do Ouro from Natal or Kruger. You get a free 4×4 transfer to the resort when you book a package deal with us and find yourself in seventh heaven. Luxury sea-view suites offer private decks with plunge pools and personal butlers!  Spend time scuba diving, snorkelling with dolphins, horse riding and deep sea fishing or watching turtles lay eggs in the sands. 

Facts About the Maputo Katembe Bridge and New Tar Road to Kosi Bay

  • There is now a bridge from Durban to Mozambique allowing easy access to Maputo
  • The 3041 m, four-lane Katembe-Maputo suspension bridge spans Maputo Bay, hanging 60 m above the Indian Ocean. 
  • Construction started in 2014 and ended in 2018, costing US$785 million, on loan from China.
  • The bridge has opened doors to a booming bush-beach tourism industry in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique.  
  • The bridge has been called a socio-economic game changer for business and tourism travellers who used to go via Swaziland to get to Maputo. 
  • It is much safer than the ferries which often met with accidents while crossing the bay. 
  • The Katembe-Maputo bridge has stolen the prize of longest suspension bridge in Africa from the Matadi Bridge in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Travel between Kruger National Park and Ponta Mamoli with super easy access to the coast via the Mozambique capital city of Maputo on new tar roads and Maputo Bridge. Safari beach holidays within Mozambique include tours to Ponta do Ouro and the Maputo Special Reserve or to Bazaruto from Vilanculos and Gorongosa National Park.  

Now tourists can plan a 3D DIY trip into Africa taking in the sights of South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique – all in the comfort and safety of their own transport. Cut costs when you avoid expensive helicopter and road transfers because you can self-drive and see the beauty around you on modern tarred roads and access the capital by the Maputo Katembe Bridge . 

These are the documents you will need to enter Mozambique when driving:

  • Valid passport: Valid for at least 6 months after your date of return. (SA Residents do not require visas. All other nationalities requires visas.)
  • Very Important: An unabridged birth certificate for all minors travelling with you.
  • Valid driver’s license. All drivers must be in possession of a valid driver’s license. (S.A. driver’s license is accepted).
  • Original vehicle registration papers, or a SAPS-certified copy, not older than 3 months.
  • Is the vehicle still under a lease or instalment agreement with a financial institution? You then require a letter from the financial institution giving you permission to take the vehicle into Mozambique.
  • Compulsory third party liability insurance certificate. If you buy your Hollard certificate online please print the certificate before you enter Mozambique.
  • All official temporary import/export documents are available at the border posts only. Ask an official which form/s needs to be completed.

All drivers need the original ownership papers for vehicles to get through the border posts. If your vehicle is still under a lease agreement, get a letter from the bank, giving you permission to take the vehicle across the border.  Ensure that your current comprehensive vehicle insurance is valid in Mozambique. Observe speed limits well within the stated limits since the authorities might use outdated, uncalibrated radar and other equipment. If the speed limit is 60Kph drive at 55Kph to be on the safe side.

Maputo Bridge linking Mozambique and South Africa

Visit Maputo Special Reserve Easily From Natal 

Visit the inspiring Maputo Special Reserve easily from Natal on good tar roads until you reach its gates. Pass by the popular beaches of Ponto do Ouro and find solitude in nature. Enter a wild place, only accessible by 4x4s with high clearance to travel on bumpy dirt roads, many of which have rarely been used.

Maputo Special Reserve, or Maputo National Park is a beautiful game reserve in southern Mozambique where herds of regal elephants roam, and elegant kudus show off their ornate horns. Zebras, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, and diverse birds also show their true colours in a wilderness that has to be seen to be appreciated. Find this sanctuary only 80 km from Maputo city in Matutuine, stretching an awesome 1 700 square km, a haven of splendid sandy forests, mangroves, swamps and dunes covered in indigenous vegetation. 

Since 1960, the Maputo National Park environment has been conserved by people who care, so much so that it is now recognised as one of the earth’s richest destinations in terms of biodiversity, and home to some of the most endangered ecoregions ever. Peace Parks manages the park in conjunction with the partners of the Usuthu-Tembe-Futi Transfrontier Conservation Area – which also includes the Ponto do Ouro-Kosi Bay TFCA which then links to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa! 

Amazing work, a huge green lung to benefit sustainable tourism goals and look after people and the planet! It is important to have a 4×4 vehicle to traverse the park as most of the tracks are thick sand and no noisy quad bikes, jet skis or motorbikes are allowed in the park. Go on holiday to Maputo National Park and do a bit of beach bumming at the same time on one of our amazing bush beach packages. 

FAQ – Maputo-Katembe Suspension Bridge and New Tar Road 

  • What is the new bridge from KZN to Mozambique?

Mozambique opened the Maputo–Catembe bridge in 2018. It measures 3 041 m as the longest suspension bridge in Africa. The bridge connects the Mozambican capital of Maputo on the northern bank with Katembe on the southern bank and aims to ease the social and economic lives of South Africans and Mozambicans travelling between the two countries.

  • Is there a bridge between Maputo and South Africa?

Yes. The new bridge linking South Africa and Mozambique was opened in 2018 and was developed to create jobs and boost trade between the countries. The bridge has reduced the travel time between Maputo to Kosi Bay (on the KZN border) from six hours to 90 minutes.  

  • Where is the new bridge in Mozambique? 

The bridge starts in Maputo and ends in the town of Catembe. The Maputo-Katembe bridge measures 3 km in length and links travellers between South Africa and Mozambique in record time. The Chinese funded the huge cost of R11 billion to construct the bridge. 

  • Is the road from Kosi Bay to Ponta do Ouro tarred?

The new tarred road running down from Maputo to Kosi Bay border and linking with Ponta do Ouro was completed in 2018. The best way to get to Ponta do Ouro is via the Kosi Bay border. The border is about 630 km from Johannesburg and 460 km from Durban and is open 7 days a week (08h00 to 17h00). However, the tar road ends at the beginning of Ponta do Ouro town. From that point on the roads are in poor condition and a 4×4 vehicle is required. 

  • What do I need to cross the border into Mozambique?

These documents are needed to cross the border into Mozambique:

  1. A passport valid for at least 6 months after your date of return. SA Residents do not require visas but there is a waiver on visas for 29 countries introduced recently. Most other nationalities require visas.
  2. An unabridged birth certificate for all minors travelling with you.
  3. Valid driver’s license. The SA driver’s license is accepted.
  4. Original vehicle registration papers, or a SAPS-certified copy, not older than 3 months.
  5. If the vehicle is still under a lease or instalment agreement with a financial institution, you then require a letter from the financial institution giving you permission to take the vehicle into Mozambique.
  6. Compulsory third-party liability insurance certificate. If you buy your Hollard certificate online please print the certificate before you enter Mozambique.
  7. All official temporary import/export documents are available at the border posts only. Ask an official which form/s needs to be completed.
  • What are the border times at Kosi Bay and Farazela?

Border times at Kosi Bay and Farazela are strictly 08:00 to 17:00 on most days of the year. Special times are posted for expected peak days due to holiday traffic. These can be changed and are normally posted at the border itself. While this is informative it does not help the people who cannot see the list. 

  • What documents and stickers do I need to drive a SA vehicle into Mozambique?

All drivers need these documents and stickers when driving a SA vehicle into Mozambique:

  1. Valid passport of the driver.
  2. Certified copy of vehicle registration papers in the name of the driver.
  3. Letter of authority from the registered owner if the vehicle is not owned by the driver.
  4. If vehicle is still being financed, carry a letter of authority from the bank (must include dates of travel) together with the vehicle license papers.
  5. Valid driver’s license.
  6. Temporary Import Permit for vehicle: Compulsory – approximately R15 payable in Meticals.
  7. Third-Party Insurance: Compulsory – available at any AA Accredited Sales Agent store.
  8. Red Warning Triangles: 2 triangles required (does not need to be displayed on car).
  9. Reflective Jacket: If more than two people are travelling in the car, then two jackets will be required (to be used when changing a tyre, at an accident scene, or if loading).
  10. Immigration Fees: R17.50 per person.
  11. Declaration Form for Vehicle: Cost is approximately R50.
  12. Yellow and Blue Mozambique Warning Triangle: Two stickers are required if towing a trailer; one in the front of the vehicle (on the bumper) and one on the rear of the trailer.
  13. ZA Sticker: Available at any AA Accredited Sales Agent.
  14. International Driving Permit: Recommended.