Although direct international connections exist between Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Portugal, Qatar, Istanbul, and Addis Ababa, the majority of foreign flights come from South Africa.
Federal Air has daily direct flights to Vilanculos International Airport in Mozambique (http://www.fedair.com/mozambique-vilanculos-scheduled-flights). These, as well as other carriers like Airlink. Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Malawi Airlines, Kenya Airways, and TAP Portugal are some of the most well-known airlines in the world.
During the week, South African Airlink (SAA) and LAM operate numerous flights to Pemba in the north from Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, and Nairobi. If you book a ticket with LAM over the phone and don’t pay until check-in, you must reconfirm the flight 72 hours before departure or it will be canceled.
You must obtain a tax stamp on your boarding card after checking in. Internal flights are subject to a tax of 200 Mts, while international flights are subject to a tax of 500 Mts, which must be paid in cash.
There are three railway lines in the country: one links Nampula and Cuamba near the Malawian border; another connects Maputo and Chicualacuala near the Zimbabwean border; and the third connects Maputo and Pretoria. As a result, Maputo is a crucial station on the Tanzania-South Africa railway line.
Nampula and Cuamba are connected by this railway (near the Malawi border). The train, which transports people in first, second, and third class, is frequently crowded.
The train departs Nampula about 5-6 a.m., however you should come early to purchase tickets from the station’s booking office. Expect long lines since the region is densely filled with people on their way to Malawi. Once on board, the trip is lengthy and sluggish yet efficient, arriving at Cuamba in the mid-afternoon. Only freight trains utilize this section of the route, therefore chapas will get you to the border (Entre Lagos). Even the most seasoned African travelers will likely find this section of road to be very difficult, and anticipate it to take a long time.
The border procedures are situated inside the station building after you arrive in Entre Lagos (easy to find as the town is a typical small border town). Because this is a seldom utilized crossing, the procedure may take some time. It’s approximately a 1km walk to the Malawi side of the border from here. WARNING: The Malawi border shuts before the Mozambique border, however there is a hotel in case you get stuck. The quickest route to Liwonde is via train; if you sweet-talk the guards, they may let you share their cabin.
To enter Mozambique by automobile, you’ll need the original registration papers and, if the vehicle isn’t yours, a letter from the owner giving permission to bring it in. All foreign cars must have third-party insurance, which can be purchased for R150 at numerous border crossings, as well as pay road tax, which is now R26.50 Mts.
From South Africa
- Johannesburg (Lebombo/Ressano Garcia) (N4 towards Nelspruit, follow it until you reach the border just after Komatipoort). Open 6AM to 7PM (Occasionally open 24 hours during busy periods). Follow the EN4 for another 100 kilometers on the Mozambican side to reach Maputo. Two toll stations are located on the EN4 after the border, heading up to the border, and may be paid in USD, EUR, ZAR, or MZN. Mts are used to provide change.
- Kruger Park (Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park) (Enter Kruger Park from Phalaborwa Gate and follow the signs for 95km to the Giriyondo Border Post.). Open 08:00 to 15:00 from April to September and 08:00 to 16:00 from October to March. Only 4WD vehicles should be used. You will be charged a conservation fee for entering Parque Nacional do Limpopo when you enter Mozambique, which is now 200Mts/R67/USD10 per person and vehicle. Unless you leave the Parque Nacional do Limpopo, you will require third-party insurance, which can be bought at the park exit gate in Massingir.
- Kosi Bay (Follow the R22 from Kosi Bay to the Mozambique border (signed as Ponta d’Ouro) and then take the right road as you leave the border then keep left until Ponta d’Ouro). Open 7:30AM to 5:30PM. Only 4WD vehicles should be used. Because to the usage of seasonal dirt roads beyond the border, a GPS route supplied by someone who has recently made the trip is recommended. The only way to get to Maputo is to take the R45 boat from Catembe.
- Mhlumeni. Open 7AM – 6PM. Most of the time, it is empty, making it one among the quietest and simplest of all the Mozambique borders to cross over. Obtaining a visa and third-party insurance at this border may be difficult, so plan beforehand. If going from Johannesburg on a weekend or during South African holidays, transiting via Swaziland to this border will save you at least an hour compared to utilizing Ressano Garcia.
- Namaacha. Open 7AM – 8PM. The busiest of the two Swaziland/Mozambique border checkpoints, especially during weekends and holidays.
Malawi has a number of border crossings into and out of the country. Zóbuè is by far the simplest and most commonly used. The road is in great shape. Chapas run daily between Tete and the border, where you must walk approximately 300 meters to get Malawian transportation. This crossing is also used by daily through buses from Chimoio and Beira.
A border crossing to the north, at Dedza, may be more convenient for Lilongwe, although public transportation on both sides may be inconsistent.
Milange and Mandimba are the two crossings that allow you to leave/enter Malawi from the east. Milange is located in Malawi’s south-east corner, and getting there requires taking one of the daily buses that operate between Mocuba and Milange. It’s a two-kilometer walk from Milange to the border, then another one-kilometer walk to where Malawian transport departs.
Mandimba is located farther north and is mostly utilized to go to Malawi from Lichinga. Several cars travel between Lichinga and Mandimba every day, and then it’s another 7 kilometers to the border. Hittingchhiking is simple, or you may take a bicycle taxi for around $1.
You may also traverse the lake by boat.
From South Africa
From Johannesburg to Maputo, take the Intercape Mainliner, +27 861 287 287. These buses operate on a regular basis in both directions, one in the morning and the other overnight, and are both safe and cheap. Greyhound and Translux are two more airlines. If you plan on getting a visa at the border, you should only buy a ticket that gets you to the border; bus operators will not let you board with a ticket to Maputo if you don’t have a visa. If you ask the bus conductor, he or she will assist you in obtaining a visa at the border, allowing you to skip the often lengthy wait on the Mozambique side. Reboard the bus and pay the price to Maputo on board after you’ve cleared immigration, or take a minibus cab to Maputo from the border.
There are bus connections to and from Durban three times each week (via Big Bend, Swaziland). There is also a service to Maputo from Nelspruit and Komatipoort.
From 4 a.m. until 12 a.m., there are cheap “taxis” to and from every location in South Africa.
Around 11 a.m., Chapas depart from both Manzini and Mbabane for Maputo via Goba. They arrive at Baixa (and may drop you off at 24 de Julho), so both Fatima’s and Base are within walking distance. R80 is the fare.
The River Rovuma forms the boundary between Mozambique and Tanzania. Moçimboa da Praia is connected to Palma and Namiranga, the Mozambique border station, via daily pick-ups. The primary road connects Moçimboa da Praia (on the Mozambican side), Palma (on the Mozambican side), and Mtwara (on the Tanzanian side). Due to the poor condition of the roads in Mozambique and the low volume of traffic, it is advised that you spend two days to complete this journey. Lifts travel from Mtwara and Kilambo to the Rovuma river for visitors arriving from Tanzania. Kilambo is a tiny town with just one road, so finding a lift should be simple. Mtwara, on the other hand, is considerably bigger, so ask the locals where and when the lifts depart from. If you’re coming from Mozambique, your ride to the river will most likely begin at Palma or, if you’re lucky, Moçimboa da Praia, and end at Namiranga’s border post. It will usually wait for your passport to be stamped at the border post (a mud hut in Namiranga). During the rainy season, your lift will most likely go to the Rovuma’s banks. During the dry season, it will take you to the end of the road, where you may walk to the Rovuma river for between 1 and 2 kilometers (depending on the water level that day). Currently, there is an inconsistent ferry service that crosses the river. Typically, dugout canoes or somewhat bigger wooden motorboats are used to cross the river. The journey over the river shouldn’t cost more than $8 USD, but you’ll need Tanzanian shillings to pay for it. If you don’t have any, there are plenty of people who will give you “generous” exchange rates for your hard-earned Dollars and Meticais. If water levels are low on the Tanzanian side, you may have to wade to get to and from your boat, thus having a heavy-duty waterproof bag is a nice idea but not required. On the Tanzanian side, you’ll often be approached by individuals offering you transportation. Pickpocketing is prevalent on both sides of the river, so be cautious while looking for transportation to neighboring towns. A smart approach to avoid problems is to make friends with a local on the boat trip across; you’ll find that most of your fellow passengers are eager to assist you in some manner. After that, you’ll be transported to Kilambo, Tanzania’s border station, and then to Mtwara, the capital of Southern Tanzania. Go to “Russell’s Place” (also known as Cashew Camp) in Pemba for further information and up-to-date news about this crossing.
Other routes to Tanzania exist, but they all involve lengthy treks. Find out what’s going on in the area by asking around.
Cassacatiza, north-west of Tete, is the major crossing point. This border is in excellent shape, although it is seldom used. Between Tete and Matema, daily chapas operate, although public transportation is intermittent. Traveling from Mozambique to Zambia is best done through Malawi.
There are two crossings: Nyamapanda (west of Tete) and Machipanda (east of Tete) (west of Chimoio). Because of its position at the end of the Beira Corridor, Machipanda is particularly well-traveled.
It may be feasible to rent a dhow from Tanzania to Mozambique outside of the monsoon season, but this would be very costly. The Tanzanian ports of Mikindani, Mtwara, and Msimbati are all within striking distance of Mozambique and will be the greatest options for dhow transportation. On the Mozambique side, the ports of Moçimboa da Praia and Palma are the finest places to find a dhow to Tanzania.
The MV Ilala travels across Lake Malawi from Monkey Bay to Likoma Island through Chilumba, Nkhata Bay, and Nkhata Bay. It’s a 3km boat trip from Likoma Island to Cobue, Mozambique’s border.
Travel across Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi) is feasible, but foreign visitors must enter lawfully via a border post and have the proper paperwork (visas, etc. depending on nationality). Local transportation would need to be arranged once in Mozambique.
Taking the Ilala ferry is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s breathtaking to sleep on the top deck of this second-world-war boat and watch the dawn over the undulating hills of the Mozambican and Malawian coasts. The boat may be boarded from any of the ports where it arrives.
If you want to continue your journey to Malawi, you should board the boat in Metangula.