Travel Tips for South Africa



 

 

TRAVEL TIPS AND GUIDES

Any traveller, to any country in the world, should be aware of the fact that there is always some element of danger involved. It would be naive to believe that one can just pack one's bags and take off into the "wild blue yonder"! Part of the lure and excitement of traveling to Africa, is the underlying primitive pulse of danger traditionally associated with Africa! However ... 
You do not actively wish harm to befall you! Whether you decide to travel with a reputable tour operator or tour guide, or if you are "going it alone" here are some hints on how to protect yourself in Africa.

IF Hiring a Vehicle:

  • Hire from a reputable company
  • Take full cover insurance
  • Plan your route beforehand and stick to the main highways. Try not to be forced to stop and ask passers-by for directions.
  • NEVER give any stranger a lift.
  • Make sure you have enough fuel to reach your destination. Do not travel to areas where you have not done research to see whether or not they are suitably safe. There are, as in any country, certain areas that even South African citizens would hesitate to enter. 

Health Precautions:

for more detailed information go to Health Tips
  • Be aware of the fact the AIDS and HIV(for more in-depth information, click this link) is rife in South Africa. NEVER have unprotected sex with anyone other than your own life partner.
  • Many areas in South Africa carry a Malaria risk. Ensure that you consult your local doctor some weeks before departure, to begin a course of prophylactics which he will prescribe.
  • Most water in South Africa is potable and it is not necessary to drink bottled water, except in rural areas where there is no treated water supply.
  • Never drink waters from rivers or dams, or swim in rivers or dams in South Africa, as there is a high incidence of Bilharzia in many of our rivers and dams. There is also the danger of contracting Cholera through drinking untreated water in rural areas.
  • There are extremely good medical services in South Africa. Should you require medical treatment, you will be treated at any of the private medical clinics here. The Public Hospitals, however, are very overcrowded, and although you will receive capable and thorough treatment, you will probably face an extremely long wait before receiving attention.
  • Please note that all hospitals and Doctors request payment "up front", so it would be wise to ensure that you are covered either by your own medical aid scheme, or by medical insurance. Most hospitals and doctors will not accept foreign currency.

Crime:
The crime rate is high in South Africa at the moment. However, most tourists who are victims of crime, have not followed the simple basic rules of safety that should be observed in any strange country one is visiting. While no-one can guarantee 100% safety, the following sensible advice should be followed:

  • Always keep the doors of your vehicle locked.
  • Do not drive with the windows open and with vauables such as cellular phones, briefcases, purses or handbags openly displayed on the seats. A common practice for thieves is for one of them to distract the driver while the other one smashes the window.
  • Do not venture into areas where you have neglected to ascertain from a reliable source whether these areas are considered "safe" to visit. e.g. no-one should visit any "Township" areas whatsoever, unless you are going on a guided tour with a reputable firm of tour operators.
  • Central Johannesburg is considered to be a high crime area at present and should be avoided.
  • Do not wear jewellery obviously displayed on your person.

Hijacking:
Hijacking of vehicles is on the increase in South Africa. Observe the following precautions. 

  • Remain alert when stopping at a traffic light or a stop street. Beware of strangers approaching the vehicle. 
  • Beware of other drivers indicating a problem with your vehicle and encouraging you to pull over to the side of the road. Rather travel slowly until you reach an area where you can stop in relative safety.
  • Also be alert when re-fuelling. Hijackers have been known to strike at the more isolated service stations.
  • Always leave sufficient space between you and the vehicle in front of you when stopping at a traffic light or stop street. This way you won't be "boxed in" by the vehicle behind you.
  • Avoid stopping at isolated "view sites" along the road, particularly in the late afternoon or evenings.
  • Avoid traveling at night.

TRAVELLING TO MOZAMBIQUE THROUGH LEBOMBO BORDER POST, KOMATIPOORT

IMPORTANT NOTICE (For more detailed information on Mozambique, go to www.mozambiquehappenings.co.za

 

BEFORE YOU GET TO MOZAMBIQUE

PASSPORT:-

You need a passport valid for at least 6 months after you intend leaving Mozambique. Visitors can be asked to provide proof of outgoing travel documents or sufficient funds to provide for their needs during their stay.

The law requires you to carry identification at all times and you may be asked to produce your documents by the police.Rather than carry original documents, make a copy of your passport and other important documents and have them NOTARISED and store your original documents safely.

VISAS:-

Citizens of all countries except Malawi, Mauritius and South Africa need an entry visa to visit Mozambique.
Visas must be obtained at Mozambican diplomatic embassies and missions spread around the world before entering the country.
Allow at least 7 days for this
Visas can be arranged at the Kosi Bay border, if necessary.
It is advisable to request a receipt , as a “visa” at the Kosi Bay border comes in the form of an entry stamp which is valid only
for Ponta do Ouro and surrounds (not for travel further North).

For contact details see Embassies & Consulates. Visas are obtainable at Ressano Garcia Border Post as well as Kosi Bay

VEHICE
REQUIREMENTS

If you are bringing in a vehicle :-
* A privately owned vehicle within the SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries must have the registration book or documents.
* If the driver is not the registered owner, then a letter from the Owner, authorising use of the vehicle is required.
* If you are driving a hired vehicle, then the rental company must give a letter of authorisation to the driver, to use the vehicle in Mozambique.
* Vehicles with a foreign registration must pay third party insurance and road tax.
* It is strongly advised to insure your vehicle comprehensively and make sure that cross-border travel is covered by your policy.
* Traffic in Mozambique, as in South Africa, drives on the left hand side of the road.
* Two emergency triangles per vehicle are required by law
* If you are towing a boat or trailer you must have the, yellow triangle on a blue background, towing sign on the front right of your vrhicle and on the back right of the boat or trailer.
* The wearing of seatbelts is law in Mozambique
* Make notarised copies of your drivers licence and passports and NEVER give your drivers licence to anybody, give a notarised copy instead.

 

 

There is no restriction on how much money can be brought into the country. If you bring in more than the equivalent of US$5000,00, then you must fill in a declaration form at the customs desk at the entry border. This is so that you will be allowed to leave with more than US$5000,00 at the end of your holiday. Money can be exchanged for meticais at banks and Bureau de Change branches. It is advisable to change your money before entering Mozambique.
Avoid using the private people at the border trying to tempt you to exchange with them, not only is it illegal, but you stand a very good chance of being ripped off.
Foreign currency can be used to settle transactions, in fact some vendors prefer this sort of transaction, but this is more applicable in the southern parts of Mozambique.

NB;PLEASE TAKE NOTE: When ordering foreign exchange, it is mandatory that clients also complete the attached travel declaration form.
Foreign currency will only be processed on production of a valid airticket, passport, and proof of residential address.

BORDER CROSSING POINTS

INTO MOZAMBIQUE FROM:-
MALAWI; Cobue, Interlagos, Mandimba, Zobue.
SOUTH AFRICA:- Komatipoort/Ressano Garcia, Ponta do Ouro.
SWAZILAND:- Namaacha/Lomahasha
ZAMBIA:- Chassacazita, Zumbo
ZIMBABWE:- Machipanda, Mukumbura, Nyama-panda.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

CLICK HERE

Innoculations (CLICK HERE)against disease like hepatitis, tetanus yellow fever etc are not required to enter Mozambique.

 

It is recommended however to consult your own doctor before your trip and it would be wise to take precautions against diseases such as hepatitis, malaria (very important), tetanus and also yellow fever.

 

If on your return home you do not feel well then notify your doctor that you have been in Mozambique with possible exposure to these diseases. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

MOZHELP
TRAVEL ASSISTANCE

Emergency medical assistance

Legal assistance

Security assistance

Business assistance

Motor vehicle breakdown assistance


 

WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE BORDER

AT THE BORDER

SOUTH AFRICAN SIDE
Enter the border building and complete a vehicle temporary export document and gate pass, have them both stamped Proceed to immigration, with your passports, where they will be stamped.
You will then be allowed through the South African side to the Mozambican side of the border crossing
MOZAMBIQUE SIDE
You will receive a gate pass on entering Mozambique, make sure that you obey the directions and signals of the border officers and that you stop or park where they show you. Proceed to the immigration building.
Do NOT to let the locals, help you, with the paperwork. Customs officials are not allowed to receive money, but helpers are, so they work together.
This means that together they will go through your belongings, to find something, to make you pay for, where as the customs officials on his own is less likely to go through your belongings.
All passengers plus the driver must personally go through passport control at the immigration desk on the right as you walk in. in order to be allowed to enter Mozambique. You will have to pay R12.00 per passport.
The driver will take the gate pass and temporary export permit to the customs deck across the room get them stamped and pay 27 000mts road tax (Rands not accepted).

Normal cameras and personal goods do not need to be declared, although if you are uncertain, ask.
If you are taking anything of high value or electronic equipment through. declare the items.
Items like laptops must be declared AND TAKE NOTE, fill in a seperate form for each person. I have had an experience where I entered Mozambique with a friend and we declared our two laptops on one form. I exited 3 days before my friend from Kosi Bay border post,with no problem and he exited from Ressano Garcia 3 days later. When he went through customs they asked him where the other laptop was and no amount of explanations sufficed.
They stated that he had sold the other laptop and was liable for R5000,00 duty. It cost him a bribe of R100,00 to avoid this blatant manipulation and threat.

Very important -make sure that you have your 3rd party insurance.
Exit the building and find a customs official, usually dressed in a blue uniform, with orange pull-over, he will check your vehicle to see that no forbidden goods or plants are being brought into Mozambique. He will sign your gate pass. This form you hand to the officer at the gate, who will then allow you through into Mozambique.

You are allowed to take through, 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 250 grams of tobacco, 1 litre of spirits, 2.25 litres of wine, 50 mls of perfume and goods not exceeding the equivalent of US$200,00.
No drugs, firearms, ammunition or explosives may be taken into Mozambique.
For fuel requirements click here

 

YOU ARE NOW IN MOZAMBIQUE

RESSANO GARCIA TO
MAPUTO

Maputo from Ressano Garcia is 120 km's on the freeway and has 2 toll gates before entering Maputo.
Be very careful to keep to the speed limits, as if you transgress the speed limits, you are liable to a fine, of roughly R500,00, for your failing to do so.
Do not cross solid white lines and wear your seat belts, front and back seats.

After 45Km you will come to the first toll gate, you will need to pay R25.00, you can pay in US$ or Meticais or SA Rands.
After another 35Kms you come to a set of traffic lights. Turn, LEFT.
After 10Kms you will come to the second tollgate, Pay R5.50.
After travelling about 3Kms, you will see a sign toXai-Xai, just before you cross over a large bridge. You go straight for Maputo or turn left for Xai Xai and the Lagoon Coast to Inhambane.

As you enter the outskirts of Maputo, the first time visitor, is confronted by the chaos and mayhem of Maputo traffic, let alone the "kamikazi" taxi drivers, who will push in front of you with no regard whether they bump you or not. They are a law unto themselves and you should do your best to ensure that you do not become involved in an accident.
The closer you get to Maputo itself the more you will have to keep your eyes peeled for traffic lights.
There is normally only one light per intersection and that is on the lefthand side of the intersection. If you go too far over the white line you won't see the traffic light as you would have gone too far past it.
You finally with much concentration enter Maputo after the big traffic circle on the AVENIDA 24 DE JULHO.
Give way to the right at traffic circles and traffic on the circle has the right of way.

At the end of Av 24 de Julho you turn left into AV. JULIUS NYERERE. After two blocks AV.EDUARDO MONDLANE will be on your left.
If you should choose to travel down this avenida do not do a "U" turn as it is forbidden and strongly enforced.
Four blocks further on on the right is the well known Polana Hotel on your right.
Beyond the Polana are the offices of the President of Mozambique, you are not allowed to photograph these buildings and if you are walking,
make sure that you are on the opposite side of the street to them.
Places to see:in Maputo.
History of Maputo

FROM KOSI BAY BORDER TO PONTA DO OURO AND PONTA MALONGANE AND MAMOLI

Kosi Border Time: 08h00 - 17h00
When you arrive at the border from Manguzi on the South African side, if you don't have a 4x4, you can arrange to have your motor car placed in secure parking, at the border post for the duration of your stay. The cost is.R20.00/R30.00 per vehicle per day and there is a 24 hour guard.
Make arrangements for a border shuttle pick up before hand if you are in a motor car.
You will need a 4x4 or at minimum a 2x4 diff lock.
Remember to let your tyres down for driving in soft sand. How much to deflate depends on the size of your tyre and the load you are carrying, there is no hard and fast rule. A rule of thumb is to deflate until you can see a discernable bulge (not too big) at the bottom of your tyres. Remember you can always deflate some more, but if you don't have a pump you cannot re-inflate.

Depending on your experience of driving in soft sand, it may be better to have at least 2 vehicles if you are not all that experienced at driving in soft sand. This is in case you get stuck and you need help. Take a towrope in case.
For fuel requirements click here

ROADS

There are an estimated 29,810km (18,631 miles) of roads in Mozambique.
Maputo with Beira are connected by tar (paved) road which is having upgrading works done.
Beira and Tete are also connected by tar road.
Road travel in southern Mozambique is much better now and possible by ordinary vehicle in a lot of places.

There are regular Bus services covering most of the country. Converted passenger trucks known as Chapas. provide the only passenger service in the more rural areas. Make sure you carry your own carry food and water on these and other long journeys. There are occasional controls on the roads to check papers, especially in the north and near the border with Zimbabwe.
Bus travel is reasonably reliable and by far the cheapest form of transport in the country, but is VERY ROUGH and is NOT for the squeemish traveller and DEFINITELY NOT for women travelling alone.
Taxis are rarely available outside large towns.
Cars can be hired from international and national agencies in Maputo and Beira. Only cash is accepted.

Landmines may make travel on the less well used roads outside of the main towns a risk, so up-to-date travel information should be obtained before going into remote areas
Driving after dark can be a high risk and dangerous because of poor road conditions in some areas, the poor maintenance of many vehicles in the country (e.g. no headlights or rear lights), as well as the threat imposed by livestock that graze on roadsides.
Hijacking is more probable after dark as well.

FUEL

Petrol gets more expensive the further north you go. It's advisable to fill up at the garage just before, the Komatipoort/ Ressano Garcia border, and at Manguzi before the Kosi Bay Border, as there is not always petrol at Ponta Do Ouro. Unleaded fuel is not always readily available north of Maputo.
There are reasonably reliable filling stations in Maputo, Macia, Xai-Xai, Inhambane, Maxixe, Massinga, Vilanculos and Inhassoro on the road to Beira.
A very wise precaution is to fill up at Xai-Xai, as the filling station at Quissico is not always reliable.
Diesel is about the same price in Mozambique as it is in SA (sometimes even cheaper).
Carry extra fuel so you don't get stuck without petrol!!

RAILWAYS

There is no railway connection between Maputo and Beira, however Beira and Tete are linked.
There is also a rail link between Lichinga and Nampula and further east at Monapo, there is a junction, with the northern line going to Nacala and the southeastern one stopping at Moçambique.
Trains also run from Maputo to Goba and Ressano Garcia.
Most trains have three classes. There is no airconditioning, very few sleeping coaches and no dining cars.
For seats it is necessary to book well in advance and train services are sporadic with many schedule disruptions.

USEFUL PHRASES

Good morning: Bom dia,
Good afternoon: Boa tarde,
Good evening: Boa noite,
See you later: Ate logo
Stay well: Fique bem
Excuse me: Faz favor
How are you: Como esta
How much: Quanto custa
Until next time: Ate a proxima
I don't understand: Nao compreendo
Thank you Obrigado (m) Obrigada (f)
I don't speak Portuguese:Nao falo Portues

No problem: Nao faz mal
No way: Nada
Goodbye: Adeus
Today: Hoje,
Tomorrow: Amanha,
Sorry: Desculpe
Please: Se faz favor
Okay: Tudo bem
Ladies: Senhoras
Gentlemen: Senhores
Restaurant bill: Qual e a contas
The bill: Conta

Money: Dinheiro
Receipt: Recibo
Breakfast: Matabicho
Lunch: Almoco
Dinner: Jantar
Bread: Pao
Prawns: Camarao
Beer: Cerveja
Wine: Vinho
Water: Agua
No; Nao
Yes: Sim


Coffee: Cafe
Tea: Cha
Square: Praca
Market: Mercado
Left: A esquerda
Right: A direita
Beach: Praia
Road: Rua
Car: Carro
Petrol: Gasolina
Diesel: Gasoleo
Where is?: Onde esta

EMBASSIES

ANGOLA;
Rua Amilcar Cabral 102
Caixa Postal 12117 Luanda
Tel 244 222 331 158
embamoc.ida@netangola.com

BELGIUM;
97 Boulevard Saint Michel
1040 Brussels
Tel 32 2 736 2564
embamoc.bru.be

BRAZIL;
SHIS QL 12 Conjunto 07
Casa 09, Lago Sul
71630 275 Brasilia DF
Tel 55 61 248 4222


CHINA;
1 71 Tayuan Office Building
San Lui Tun,L, 8th Floor
Beijng 100600
Tel 86 10 532 5323
embamoc@public.bta.net.cn

CUBA:
Ave.7a No.2203
Miramar Havana
Tel 53 7 204 2445
embamoc@cenial.inf.cu

ETHIOPIA;
Makamissa Road
P.O.Box 5671
Addis Ababa
Tel 251 1 712 588
embamocadd@telecom.net.et

FRANCE;
82 Rue Laugier
75016 Paris
Tel 33 1 4764 9132
embamocparis@compuserve.com

GERMANY;
Stromstr.47
10551 Berlin
Tel 49 30 3987 6500
emoz@aol.com
www.mosambik botschaft.de

INDIA;
B 3/24 Vasant Vihar
New Delhi 100057
Tel 91 11 261 5666
Fax 91 11 261 5666

INDONESIA;
Wisma GKBI 37 Floor Suite 3709
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman No.28
Jakarta 10210
Tel 62 21 574 0901
embamoc@cbn.net.id

ITALY;
14 Via Filippo Corridoni
00195 Rome
Tel 39 0637 514675
consolato@

ambasciatamozambico.it

JAPAN;
Shiba Amerex Bldg.6F
3-12-17 Mita Minato-ku
Tokyo 108 0073
Tel 81 3 5419 0973
mozambig@tkk.att.ne.jp

KENYA;
P.O.Box 66923
Bruo House, 3rd Floor
Standard Street
Nairobi
Tel 254 20 221 979
mozambig@

africaonline.co.ke

MALAWI;
P.O.Box 30579
Lilongwe 3
Tel 265 178 4100
mozambique@malawi.net

PORTUGAL;
Avenida de Berna, 7
1050 036 Lisbon
Tel 351 21797 1994
mail@cgmap.dgaccp.pt

RUSSIAN FEDERATION;
Ul.Gilyarovskovo 20
129090 Moscow
Tel & 495 284 4007
Fax 7 495 284 4319

SOUTH AFRICA;
529 Edmund Street
Pretoria
P.O.Box 57465, Arcadia 0007
Tel 27 (0)12 401 0300
highcomm@iafrica.com

SPAIN;
Calle Goya 67, 1st Floor
28046 Madrid
Tel 34 91577 3682
embamocmadrid@

worldonline.es

SWAZILAND;
Highlands View Princess Drive Road
P.O.Box 1212
Mbabane
Tel 268 404 3692
moz.high-swd@africaonline.co.sz

SWEDEN;
P.O.Box 5801
9508 Stockholm
Tel 46 8 666 0350
info@embassy

mozambique.se
www.embassy

mozambique.se

TANZANIA;
P.O.Box 9370
Garden Avenue No 25 25a
Dar es Salaam
Tel 255 22 211 6502
embamoc@africaonline>co.tz

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES;
Bin Ham Office Building
24 Trade Centre Road
P.O.Box 23767 Dubai
Tel 971 4 351 0488
ria.pt@yahoo.com

UNITED KINGDOM;
21 Fitzroy Square
London W1P 5HJ
Tel 44 20 7383 3800
olga@mozambiquehc.co.uk
www.mozambiquehc.co.uk

UNITED STATES;
1990 M.Street, NW,#570
Washington, DC 20036 3404
Tel 1 202 293 7146
embamoc@aol.com
www.embamoc-usa.org

ZAMBIA;
P.O.Box 34877
9592 Kacha Road
Northead Lusaka
Tel 260 1 220 333
mozhclsk@zamnet.zm

TOURISM BOARD;
Fundo Nacional do Turismo
Caixa Postal 4758
Avenida 25 de Septembro 1203
Maputo
Tel 258 21 307 320
futur@futur.org.mz

CUSTOMS;
Agencia Nacional de Despatcho
Caixa Postal 722
Rua de Mesquita 33
Maputo
Tel 258 21 326 252
adena@zebra.vem.mz

NOTARY OFFICES IN MAPUTO
Av. Vladimir Lenine, 1472; tel. 428421
Rua Bagamoyo, 48; tel. 428422
Av. Samora Machel, 11; tel. 428417
Av Eduardo Mondlane, 2885; tel. 400578

   
   
   

DISTANCES

 

Beira

Chimoio

198

Chim

Ilha de Mozambique

1201

1325

Il

d Moz

Inhambane

802

732

1929

Inhm

Lichinga

1676

1800

1287

2404

Lichn

Maputo

1205

1135

2332

469

2807

Mpto

Maxixe

740

670

1929

62

2342

465

Mxix

Nacala

1215

1339

118

1943

955

2346

1881

Nac

Namaacha

1282

1212

2423

546

2884

77

542

2423

Nmach

Nampula

1018

1142

183

1746

658

2149

1684

197

2226

Nmpl

Pemba

1447

1471

430

2175

1087

2578

2113

444

2655

438

Pmba

Ponta do Ouro

1322

1251

2448

585

2923

116

581

2462

193

2265

2694

Ouro

Quelimane

485

609

716

1213

1265

1616

1151

804

1693

607

1036

1732

Quel

Ressano Garcia

1324

1254

2451

558

2926

119

584

2465

58

2268

2697

235

1735

Rg

Tete

632

434

1759

1166

2234

1569

1104

1773

1646

1592

2005

1685

1043

1688

Tete

Vilanculos

465

427

1666

213

1403

918

740

1680

1511

1284

2191

790

700

 

827

Xai Xai

999

929

2126

263

2601

206

259

2140

283

1943

2372

322

1410

325

1363

 

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