Mozambique stretches for 1,535 mi (2,470 km) along Africa's southeast coast. It is nearly twice the size of California. Tanzania is to the north; Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to the west; and South Africa and Swaziland to the south. The country is generally a low-lying plateau broken up by 25 sizable rivers that flow into the Indian Ocean. The largest is the Zambezi, which provides access to central Africa. In the interior, several chains of mountains form the backbone of the country.
Please click here for flight schedules from Johannesburg OR Tambo to Inhambane and Vilankulos with LAM.
Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (www.lam.co.mz) links Jo’burg (South Africa) with Inhambane, Maputo, Vilankulo and Beira; Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) with Pemba and Maputo; and Lisbon (Portugal) with Maputo.
Other connections include the following:
Kenya Airways Nairobi (Kenya) to Maputo.
There are at least eight border crossings:
For the Zóbuè crossing between Blantyre and Harare (Zimbabwe), vehicles depart Blantyre for the border via Mwanza (US$4), connecting in Mozambique with chapas to Tete. The Milange crossing is convenient for Quelimane and Ilha de Moçambique, with regular buses from Blantyre via Mulanje to the border. Once across, daily vehicles service Mocuba, then Quelimane and Nampula. Mandimba is convenient for Cuamba and northern Mozambique. There’s frequent transport on the Malawi side to Mangochi, where you can get minibuses to Namwera and Chiponde. Once in Mozambique, vehicles go daily from Mandimba to Cuamba and Lichinga.
From the Dedza border post, 85km southeast of Lilongwe, chapas run along the sealed route to Tete via Ulongwé. Otherwise, go in stages via Moatize. Arrange your Mozambique visa in advance.
Large ‘luxury’ buses go daily between Jo’burg and Maputo (US$30 to US$38, eight to nine hours) via busy Komatipoort/Ressano Garcia (6am-10pm). It is essential to organise your Mozambique visa in advance if you’re travelling by bus. Companies include the following:
Greyhound (in South Africa 011-276 8500; www.greyhound.co.za)
InterCape Mainliner (in South Africa 021-380 4400; www.intercape.co.za)
Panthera Azul (in South Africa 011-618 8811/3; www.pantherazul.co.za)
Translux (in South Africa 011-774 3333; www.translux.co.za)
You can travel by train, though it’s much slower. South Africa’s Komati line (in South Africa 011-774 4555; www.spoornet.co.za) serves Jo’burg and the Komatipoort border post daily (13 hours), from where you can continue to Maputo by rail, but it’s much faster to take a chapa.
There are bus connections three times weekly with Panthera Azul (in Durban 031-309 7798) between Durban and Maputo via Namaacha and Big Bend in Swaziland.
The Kosi Bay border post (8am-4pm) is 11km south of Mozambique’s Ponta d’Ouro. There’s no public transport on the Mozambique side, and you’ll need a 4WD. Coming from South Africa you can leave your vehicle at the border and arrange a pick up in advance from Ponta d’Ouro hotels. To/from Mapute there are direct chapas twice weekly between Ponta d’Ouro and Maputo’s Catembe ferry jetty.
There are daily minibuses to Maputo (US$5, 3½ hours from Manzini) via Lomahasha/Namaacha (7am-8pm). Bill’s Bus runs between Manzini, Maputo and Tofo; contact Grifters (www.grifterslodge.com) in Swaziland or Diversity Scuba, Tofo. Sobantu Guest Farm (www.swaziplace.com/sobantu) and Maputo Backpackers run similar services (US$23/55 to Maputo/Tofo). The quiet border at Goba/Mhlumeni (7am-6pm) is good for drivers.
Pickups depart Mtwara (Tanzania) daily at 6.30am to the Kilambo border post, and on to the Rovuma River, crossed – adventurously or dangerously, depending on your perspective and water levels – via dugout canoe. Once across, two pick-ups daily go to the Mozambique border post (4km further) and on to Moçimboa da Praia (US$10, four hours). A vehicle ferry (US$50 per vehicle) at Kilambo operates at high tide several times weekly.
The main crossing is at Cassacatiza, northwest of Tete. Chapas go daily from Tete to Matema, from where there’s sporadic transport to the border, and then daily vehicles to Katete (Zambia), and on to Lusaka or Chipata.
The main crossings are at Nyamapanda (which lies on the well-travelled route linking Harare with Blantyre via Tete), and at Machipanda on the Harare–Beira route. Chapas go from Tete to Changara (US$3, 1½ hours) and on to Nyamapanda, where there are vehicles to Harare. Through buses between Blantyre (Malawi) and Harare are another option.
From Chimoio chapas go to Manica and the border. Take a taxi to Mutare for Zimbabwe transport or the night train to Harare.