Self Drive Mozambique – 10 Good Tips for a Safe Journey

self drive mozambique

Criss-crossing the dynamic landscapes of Mozambique takes some guts. Things change around every corner on a self-drive holiday through this awe-inspiring African destination. From untouched bushveld in game reserves to endless white beaches and violet oceans, Mozambique entices visitors to sample her treasures. If you self-drive, you can soak it all up in your own time.

The Perks of Driving Your Own Car Across Mozambique:

  • You get to explore corners of the country other travellers would never know existed.
  • You get to take things at your own pace – this is your custom made, tailor made holiday in paradise where you call the shots and decide when and where to eat and drink or sleep.
  • You meet people from all walks of life, locals and visitors – in border queues, country pubs, beach cafes and maybe a cultural show or live music gig
  • You pick your choice of accommodation ranging from camping and self-catering to friendly guest houses and villas to private chalets, five star hotels and pristine island lodges.
Not only is Mozambique famous for her islands, her beaches, her intact wilderness areas and her fantastic water sports, but so too is she valued for her awesome holiday accommodation in every town and province you may experience, planned or not.
Book ahead and drive there, along the 3000km shoreline or via the main artery roads leading to Maputo. If you self-drive from Johannesburg and want to head to Maputo, incorporate a few days in Kruger National Park – or start in the north of Mozambique when you take off from Malawi, Lilongwe.


Our Advice is to Take Heed of These Tips:

  • Always stay within the speed limits and respect the rules of the road. This is a busy country where bicycles, donkeys, carts, taxis, huge trucks and buses use the road at the same time. Even on the main EN1 highway, you must look out for goats and sheep, cattle and vendors at the sides of the road. When you approach a small town, slow down to 80kph, then 60kph as you enter the town. Traffic police will usually be waiting for people like you who don’t like to slow down. If you hit a speed trap, expect to pay a minimum fine of Mtn 1 000 but remember not to pay any bribes, even when you are in the wrong. Pay the due fine and ask for an official receipt.
  • Do not use your cell phone while driving.
  • Do not drive on the beaches. This is illegal and results in the wanton destruction of turtle nests and has been known to cause changes in dolphin behavior. Crabs, snails and other tiny creatures come out onto the beaches at night too.
  • Do not go off the main roads as many roads are unpassable. There may even be remnants of landmines since the civil war a few years ago.
  • Take your passport that is still valid for 6 months after your return date and make sure it has at least 2 blank pages before you set off. Make sure your driver’s license is real and up to date. South Africans do not need a Visa.
  • Ensure that you have third-party vehicle insurance so arrange this before your trip to save time and money. Make sure your insurance does cover Mozambique. Read the fine print.
  • Make certified color copies of all your legal, ID and travel documents and hide them in a separate place to your original documents. Laminate the copies to protect them.
  • You can take some things into the country with you but make sure you keep the slips from when you purchased them: alcohol (1 liter spirits or 2.25l of wine but NO beer); tobacco (200 Cigarettes or 100 Cigarillos or 50 Cigars); Perfumes (50ml of perfume or 250ml of Eau de Toilette; Pharmaceutical products (prescribed by a registered medical practitioner).
  • When loading or repairing your vehicle, or involved in an accident, by the side of the road, you are expected to wear reflective vests by law. You also need to carry 2 red triangles for breakdowns or accidents.
  • It is best to visit the country between May and October for the best weather and to avoid the heat and the South African school holidays. Travel out of season to escape the crowds.
  • It helps if you are a bit of a car mechanic as you may need to sort your car out in the middle of nowhere. Take along enough spares to get you to the nearest garage if need be: tires, jacks, fan belt, fuses, etc.

The Best Way to Self-Drive in Mozambique is the Chilled Way

Be polite to all and sundry, especially the police. Be organised – take a good guidebook and maps or GPS, taking time to explore off the beaten track. See the deserted beaches where no one else goes, camp here a while and imprint the golden sunrises on your mind forever. Sip cold Mozambique beers at local taverns and surf a wave at Tofo. Ride horses in Inhambane, dance the night away in Maputo. Take a boat to Inhaca for the day and spend a weekend tasting the decadent delights at an island lodge in the Bazaruto Archipelago.


Check out our self-drive packages here and choose the right accommodation for your exciting self-drive Mozambique road adventure today.

Benguerra Island’s Award-Winning Lodges

Azura Benguerra Island view from helicopter

It all started 25 000 years ago when a chunk of land broke away from the Mozambique mainland to create what we today know as the Bazaruto Archipelago. These 5 idyllic islands range in size from a few kilometres to a few meters large and hold the key to your holistic relaxation and getting back to nature. Benguerra Island is the second largest island and one of the most sought-after beach holiday destinations in the world.

Fly into Vilanculos and take a heavenly boat ride to the island. Be very surprised to find 2 world class lodges on the island, promoting wellness and water sports and an escape from daily routines. Azura Benguerra has recently added 2 brand new Royal Beach Villas to its accommodation treats, the ultimate in lavishness and size while &Beyond Benguerra Lodge has recently been upgraded and refurbished to compete with international luxury standards.

Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge

Azura’s Gym in a Bag Concept

One of the exciting new perks you will find in your boutique Villa at Azura is a new idea called Gym in a Bag. Spread out your yoga mat on your private deck at sunrise for a few sun salutations then stretch and use the small weights and resistant bands to warm up those muscles. Take a jog to the beach and dip into the ocean – your workout is complete!

Your beach villa is one of 17 such luxury abodes packed with exciting modern facilities including tea and coffee stations, mini bars, double showers and sunny decks with fantastic ocean and beach views. The VIP Presidential Villa offers a 16m swimming pool so add a few lengths to your exercise routine and you won’t feel so bad about tucking into all the sumptuous cooking daily.

Best Hotel in Africa

Just a little way down the beach and around the corner lies &Beyond Benguerra Lodge, another surprise waiting for potential holidaymakers who love solitude and attention to detail. Recently rated as the new best hotel in Africa by Conde Nast Traveller magazine, this getaway offers 10 elegant villas, 2 cabins and 3-bedroomed chalet making it ideal for families, honeymoon couples and even business delegates.

Catch some sun rays on beautiful white beaches while whales breach in the distance and don your snorkel to go and find dolphins in the break. Set off on a scuba diving expedition and find amazing sea creatures swimming all around you in untouched coral reefs. Inland lakes are covered with pink flamingos and pelicans and horses take you fast up the beach or along wild trails to the crocodiles at the lakes.

The Bazaruto Archipelago is one of the only places to see Dugongs in the world – large placid grey creatures which glide along the seabeds grazing seagrasses. Divers find new dive sites brimming with corals and seaweeds and awesome marine wildlife while whales pass by in season to have their babies.

Benguerra Island promises you the time of your life in a very peaceful destination with enough luxury to make you smile. Revel in the pristine beaches and excellent fishing opportunities, the kite surfing, horse riding and skiing. Set in a national park, the island consists of a patchwork of habitats, including forests, wetlands and three freshwater lakes inhabited by crocodiles.

To get there, take the SA Airlink and LAM direct flights from Johannesburg to Vilanculos, while LAM also runs flights between Maputo and Vilanculos. This is usually followed by a short helicopter transfer to the lodge of your choice.

Islands of Mozambique by Dhow

Mobile Island Hopping dhow


This tropical African destination is fast becoming a sailor’s dream because you can island hop, stopping to sleep when and where you like.

Yes, sailing on a traditional dhow is fun! And we offer scheduled sail safaris and packages or you can tailor make your own according to your honeymoon, family reunion or fun friend holiday needs.

Come and see the beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago and its several idyllic islands. Sailing on a traditional dhow around Benguerra Island is probably the best thing you will do all year! We also offer extraordinary yacht safaris for travellers like you who may prefer this kind of luxury hotel on the water.

Find your choice of world class beaches, luxury accommodation, dive sites, deep sea fishing activities – and of course the ultimate relaxation.

We can take you island hopping on board a dhow, kitted out with all your scuba diving and snorkelling gear. Jump on and off your sailboat and swim for hours, maybe with dolphins!

Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge

Then dock at one of the fancy lodges on the island for a night or two and a meal to satisfy all hunger cravings. We suggest Azura Benguerra – a unique accommodation venue where you are indulged by professional staff and where solitude is the name of the game.

Some enticing facts about Benguerra Island:

  • This is the second largest Island in Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago and less than one kilometre from Bazaruto Island
  • The island features high sand dunes, inland lakes and long beaches
  • Choose your luxurious Mozambique accommodation in beautiful beach villas, ideal for holistic rejuvenation
  • In July the weather is perfectly warm and dry, some come then and see the whales
  • It is wise to get anti-malarial medication before travelling to the Bazaruto Archipelago and yellow fever certificates may be required – check with local GPs before travelling!

This famous national park covers a huge expanse of ocean including the six islands making up the Bazaruto Archipelago. It was declared in 1971 to protect dugongs and marine turtles and their habitats. This includes the islands’ fauna and flora, coral reefs and marine birds. The biggest island is Bazaruto Island and the smallest, Pansy Shell Island.

This makes sailing on the traditional dhow even more attractive!

Book this special package with us today:

Stay for 5 nights in a Beach Villa on a fully inclusive basis and only pay for 4 for an affordable US$2,550 per person

And this special offer includes:

  • All your meals
  • Selected beverages
  • Mozambican Butler/Host Service
  • 15-minute refresher back and neck massage
  • Land Rover Island Drive
  • Sunset Dhow cruise

When you book your Mozambique holiday package for Benguerra Island, you will find yourself sailing into the sunset on your traditional dhow. Take a castaway beach picnic to a remote part of the island to watch the sunset and be totally alone in nature. Sip good wine and dip into a surprise basket of goodies prepared by your lodge.

Ahhhh, not to be missed! Click here now to chat to one of our consultants!

Barefoot Bliss on Powdery Sands at Benguerra Lodge

Benguerra Lodge

Book your next holiday to the Bazaruto Archipelago for several extraordinary days of barefoot bliss on powdery sands at Benguerra Lodge. Tropical weather, sun-drenched beaches, warm turquoise sea and breathtaking scenery, what more can one ask for in an island paradise? The second largest of the five atolls in the Archipelago, Benguerra Island welcomes discerning holidaymakers to a serene, yet sensational holiday experience filled with adventure watersports and land based activities. Host to only two small luxury beach resorts, guests are guaranteed an exclusive stay with access to high-end facilities.

Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge

As with all Bazaruto accommodation, Benguerra Lodge provides guests with a heavenly place from which to escape the pressures of everyday life, far removed from the crowds found in popular destinations such as Mauritius and Zanzibar. With only a few villas available at this lodge, guests are assured of personalised service and an intimate stay they cannot find in much bigger establishments. Each villa is elegantly decorated with nuances of Portuguese and African designs.

There are plenty of things to do on the island and the surrounding area, and it’s entirely up to the guest to decide on how best to utilise their time for optimum gratification. Some choose to lounge on the sun-kissed powdery sands at Benguerra Lodge, soaking up the soporific ambience of island life as they absorb the tropical rays. What could be more blissful than an indulgent spa massage after a day of adventure in the surf? Benguerra Island is located within the Bazaruto Marine National Park, which means the vast waters surrounding it are protected, resulting in a rich biodiversity of marine life and coral reefs that make diving and snorkelling a phenomenal experience.


  • Bar
  • Lounge/dining
  • Infinity swimming pool
  • Dive centre


  • Helicopter rides
  • Ocean Safaris
  • Deep sea fishing (catch and release)
  • Beach picnics
  • Diving
  • Horse riding

You too can enjoy barefoot bliss on powdery sands at Benguerra Lodge when you arrange your vacation with the experts in travelling Mozambique. We are the leading name in selling holiday packages to this beautiful country and offer excellent rates on all holiday accommodation across the country. Our team of friendly consultants is more than happy to help tailor unique itineraries to suit all your requirements. Contact us now!

Mozambican Dhow Safari Island Hopping

sailing mozambique

Benguerra Lodge on Benguerra Island in the Bazaruto Archipelago is among the finest Mozambique holiday accommodation. The island on which the lodge is located has an amazing topography with inland freshwater lakes, wetlands, forests and sublime golden sandy beaches. Visitors can enjoy a host of activities both on land and on the water including the famous Mozambican Dhow Safari Island Hopping. This is perhaps the best way to explore the marine national park as you get a chance to go from one island to the next on board a motorised dhow.

Mozambican dhow safari island hopping is full of adventure and fun, allowing you to enjoy diving and snorkelling off your support vessel. You can also throw in kayaking and fishing in the mix to achieve the most out of your holiday. These safaris are conducted by a pro guide and skipper plus a crew who will be looking after you during this expedition. You can enjoy meals prepared on board the dhow or drop anchor on a deserted island where your chef will conjure up fresh seafood dishes cooked over an open fire.

Back at Benguerra Lodge, barefoot luxury beckons in the lodge’s stylishly furnished rooms that are equipped with all the mod cons for enhanced comfort. You are guaranteed a memorable stay where you are treated to top class service by an attentive staff who will leave no stone unturned in ensuring you lack for nothing. The lodge has splendid facilities and inviting communal areas which include a massage sala where guests can enjoy pampering massages and beauty treatments.

Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge


  • Lounge/dining
  • Infinity swimming pool
  • Bar
  • Dive centre


  • Deep sea fishing (catch and release)
  • Ocean Safaris
  • Diving
  • Horse riding
  • Beach picnics
  • Helicopter rides

Book your holiday with the Mozambique Travel team for lower rates on your holiday accommodation. As the leading name in selling holiday packages to Mozambique, we guarantee excellent service and unbeaten quotes on all beach resorts, lodges and hotels. Contact us today and our expert advisers will help you tailor a package according to your exact requirements.

andBeyond Benguerra Lodge is Number One

Benguerra Lodge

First, you decide that a Mozambique island holiday is good enough for you, then you read TripAdvisor where you find out that Benguerra Lodge, now called andBeyondBenguerra is the number one lodge on Benguerra Island.

You also discover that this Bazaruto accommodation offers travellers like you irresistible packages. Mozambique Travel can give you all the expert advice you need for your holiday in this Bazaruto Archipelago beach resort because we are the Mozambique specialists. Make sure you read the TripAdvisor reviews about this luxury lodge on Benguerra Island.

The main attraction at andBeyondBenguerra as a speciality lodge in Mozambique is its hands-on service and world class facilities. The lodge is also committed to community upliftment and environmental conservation and staff work closely with the local community and do their best to conserve the marine wildlife around them.

TripAdvisor comments mention the 13 chalets, built for comfort in a rustic style, right on the beach where the warm clear ocean washes gently in and out. Dine out under the stars in romantic settings at night and take beach picnics with you when you go diving or snorkelling or fly fishing. Get expert advice about these activities when you contact the Mozambique specialists.

Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge

John C from Cape Town raved about the lodge which he visited during winter because the staff went out of their way to ensure he and his family had a fabulous time. “We thought that Benguerra Island is the most untouched destination we have ever seen! Seeing whales up close was unforgettable and snorkelling over the reefs revealed to us such a wealth of marine life we definitely need to come again,” he said.

You can also be one happy customer if you book the Benguerra Lodge 2015 Long Stay Special deal that ends on 30 June this year. Stay five nights or seven nights, starting at less than USD 2 500 per person sharing and you will get accommodation, meals, most drinks and all transfers to and from the lodge airstrip. Also included in this amazing special is sea kayaking, a sunset dhow cruise, laundry and emergency medical evacuation insurance plus VAT.

We love the décor at this Benguerra Island lodge which blends elegance and rustic themes so that you feel as if you are in a luxury hotel somewhere, not on a quiet desert island. We also love the beach bar where guests meet regularly for sundowners and to chat about their days’ activities. A must do is the Land Rover tour of the island to meet some local people!

Book your Bazaruto Archipelago accommodation with your Mozambique travel experts now.

“This unbeatable location is way beyond any expectations and we remain in awe of our holiday spent there recently. We fell in love with the palm trees, seeing local fishermen go about their daily fishing, the peace of being in nature – thank you,” said Gill Z from Tanzania.

Horse safaris at Benguerra Island

benguerra lodge

One of the greatest ways to spend your holiday in Mozambique is to adventure out on a horse safari at Benguerra Island. One of the most unforgettable activities you can enjoy in the Bazaruto Archipelago happens to be horse riding! Yes, sure, water sports are fun and popular in warm azure oceans but there is nothing quite like trotting a healthy horse up a deserted beach with the wind in your hair!

Choose one of the nine horses at Benguerra Lodge for your dreamy horse ride into the dune forests. Trot inland to see the huge red dunes and to find flamingos stalking the wetlands in their unique pinkness.

Horse riding safari packages are a big deal! We can organise one for you and all you have to do is get to Mozambique. Imagine spending a week on Benguerra Island, riding horses every day, grooming these gracious animals and feeding them? You will fall in love with your mount and with the island scenery around you.

Horse safaris at Benguerra Island go like this:

  • Land in Vilanculos and find your lodge presentative
  • Take a boat transfer out to Benguerra Island to meet your horse
  • Settle into your luxury villa, grab a drink and meet for your first outride
  • Find a horse that suits you and spend time getting familiar with that animal’s personality
  • Now, follow your guide, out onto a beautiful white beach for your first, slow ride
  • Rides also incorporate views of the pristine ecosystems for which Benguerra Island is famous – wander the cliff tops, watch the water birds and explore the mangrove swamps
  • End your ride with a delicious seafood dinner served outside on a deck with sea views

The fine accommodation at Benguerra Lodge has been made for families. Luxury beach villas allow the natural environment in and your relaxation is what counts! Choose a stone and thatch casita with a private plunge pool as your home for a few days. You will return to your suite after each outride on your horse, to rest and revitalise your body and soul.

We love the horse ride on Benguerra Island to see the great lakes inland. Your horse will take you past local villages in single file so pack your camera to capture the people on film. You can also snap away at the Eagles, herons, harriers, rollers, kingfishers and pelicans on the island in this watery habitat. When you get to the river, dismount and enjoy a fulfilling lunch. Your horse will eat and drink while you canoe up the river with your guide, spotting amazing island creatures and plants.

Experienced riders may want to do the three-hour island exploration ride on their chosen horse. This ride is partly on your horse and partly in the ocean where you will snorkel over beautiful coral reefs looking out for the rare Dugong and other colourful sea life.

Horse safaris at Benguerra Island

Horse safaris Benguerra Island

Benguerra Island Horse safaris

Other horse rides you may want to explore:

  • See the fishing village and eat traditional Mozambican food
  • See the red sand dunes on the northern point of Benguerra Island and climb them for wonderful ocean views

Other fantastic accommodation we can recommend is the villas at Azura Boutique Retreats Benguerra which are only a few steps from the shore. Enjoy those mod cons that are there to make your life easier and more relaxing – your private splash pool, mini bar, coffee making facilities and your own private butler to take care of all your needs!

Horse riders are welcome on Benguerra Island! Click here to view your perfect horse and book your perfect safari.

Benguerra Island Information

Benguerra Lodge

Benguerra Island is a legendary Mozambique destination and to find out more all you have to do is read our articles and information about this spectacular place. It features wonderful Bazaruto hotels and amazing ocean-related activities. Check out Mozambique Travel’s articles and information on Benguerra Island and you can then decide whether this tropical paradise in Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago is for you.  Luxury lodges and all the famous Bazaruto hotels can be booked through the Mozambique accommodation specialists!

For accommodation ideas read the articles about the amazing beach villas found down on the beach at Azura Retreats Benguerra – these ultra-luxurious and spacious air-conditioned chalets all have cool textured Egyptian cotton spreads over the king sized beds with mosquito nets, and massive en-suite bathrooms. Picture private plunge pools, free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and a spa! Find out more about Azura here.

Or journey on around the island to &Beyond Benguerra Lodge with its brand new, revamped villas, radiating a Portuguese-Arabian feel about them. Maybe you will sit on your private deck and cool off in your plunge pool or lounge under your thatched gazebo. Or relax in a large lounge and spread out on king size beds, thinking of the romance of the islands long ago. Look out for the rare dugong and hear tales of this mystical creature from the local people who still fish from traditional Dhows!

Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge

Mozambique Travel has all the information you need to decide where you are going to spend your holiday and how many activities you are going to indulge in. Read our articles about the lodges and how previous guests have enjoyed their stays…. you can almost taste the succulent crayfish and prawns that chefs conjure up in the kitchens! Click here to source our interesting information.

For deep sea diving and fishing, look no further than Benguerra Island. Fully equipped dive centres will sort out all your diving needs – the famous Two Mile Reef will show you the rich marine life of the Indian Ocean around the Bazaruto Archipelago. Maybe you will be lucky enough to spot the elusive, endangered dugong, grazing sea grasses on the seabed?

Azura Benguerra
Benguerra Beach Picnic

There is a large tidal difference on Benguerra Island and this affects most island life. Some activities are only possible during low tide and access to the ocean for swimming is much deeper at high tide. As the shoreline moves with the tides, it creates an incredibly beautiful and changing landscape. So go snorkelling to see underwater sights that take your breath away.

It is Bazaruto Hotels like these two that make your Mozambique holiday on Benguerra Island so worthwhile. Can you imagine waking every morning to a crimson sunrise, flat blue sea and pure silence? Contact one of our consultants to tailor make your holiday here, in accommodation that deserves writing about! Book your Mozambique package for 2019 with us.

Amazing Resorts on Idyllic Benguerra Island

benguerra lodge


Mozambique is a hidden jewel in the crown of African destinations; this gloriously friendly country occupies a prime spot on the East coast of the continent, with amazing white sand beaches and the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean as its shoreline. Furthermore, it also boasts two beautiful chains of islands – the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos – each of which offers exotic and tranquil resorts with superb luxury accommodation. As the acknowledged experts in Mozambique travel, we have been arranging packages to the islands for 20 years, and nobody can get you a better deal than we can.

Benguerra Island is the second largest of the Bazaruto Archipelago and is one of the most charming of all the islands off Mozambique. With wonderful resorts in some of the most beautiful spots on the island, you have a choice of traditional beach holidays with pretty white sand beaches to relax on. Accommodation comes in the form of a number of stunning lodges – Benguerra Lodge, for example, was the very fist on the island and offer excellent accommodation and wonderful levels of hospitality – and you cannot fail to enjoy your time on this genuinely tranquil and peaceful island.

Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge
Benguerra Lodge

While growing fast in popularity as a holiday destination Mozambique has yet to be spoilt by the crowds you will experience in similarly priced resorts in Zanzibar or Mauritius, and as we have excellent relationships with the resort owners we can offer the very best prices on the best resorts. In fact, you may save as much as 15% on the cover price by booking with us, and we endeavour to find our clients the best deal and the right package for their requirements and expectations. If you want a private and secluded holiday or a more lively action packed break we can find it for you.

With our team of expert travel consultants waiting to help you create the ideal package for an idyllic Benguerra Island holiday, you get the benefit of firsthand knowledge of the finest resorts. We can arrange a full package that, if you wish, includes a beach and bush deal so you experience the glory of the beach and the spectacle of a safari on the mainland, or you can choose to spend all your time on Benguerra Island. Why not get in touch right now, and one of our friendly and helpful team will call you back to book that dream holiday you know you deserve?