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Mozambique anyone?


Dave Williams

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Dave Williams

Anyone hired a car in South Africa and driven in to Mozambique? I'm looking for add on options to a visit to South Kruger next October (ish) and seeing Mozambique is on the doorstep wondered if it was a good option.I see there are no trip reports here but someone might have experienced it.Hope you can help!

Dave

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Tdgraves

@Dave Williams I think that Mozambique may be one of the countries that the mainstream hire car companies will not allow you to travel into....

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Dave Williams

That would knock that on the head straight off! I'll make further enquiries. Would you happen to know if you can drive through Eswatini without incurring all sorts of problems too?

 

Edited by Dave Williams
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Seniortraveller

The Tuli Block, Botswana, might be an option.  Sanparcs has accommodation in Mapungubwe National Park, which could be visited enroute.

 

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Dave Williams

Thanks for the suggestion @Seniortraveller, I'm actually trying to look for ideas of places that might be attractive to my other half,Claire, who doesn't want to have another holiday based just on wildlife. I'm intending trying to fit in a Kgalagadi trip with Cape Town on a future visit. This time I was considering St Lucia and Richards Bay via Mozambique . If Mozambique isn't viable then drive the quickest route which is Eswatini. We would be spending around 4 weeks on the trip in total and I have a maximum 2 weeks of wildlife watching to keep her onside!!

If anyone has any ideas please let me know of places of interest to keep her happy!

 

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pedro maia

It may be difficult to take a hired car to Mozambique and it also seems that the police there is quite tough on foreigner drivers, but I never been there.

 

St Lucia is a very nice place and Hluhluwe Imfolozi is a very nice game park to visit, maybe @xelas post his TR fo Kwazulu Natal before next October and than you can get some ideas for your trip :D:D. 

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Tdgraves
3 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

That would knock that on the head straight off! I'll make further enquiries. Would you happen to know if you can drive through Eswatini without incurring all sorts of problems too?

 


Swaziland is fine afaik

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kittykat23uk

I didn't drive in Mozambique but I have been twice using a local diving company. It is excellent for viewing whales (from the shore and on/in the water) and whalesharks (snorkeling) plus dolphins, depending on the season and the weather. It's good for diving, especially manta rays etc again depending on the weather but you do need some experience especially in Tofo as most of the reefs are deep. 

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4 hours ago, pedro maia said:

maybe @xelas post his TR fo Kwazulu Natal before next October

 

You've asked for it, now you will have to read it :D

 

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Peter Connan

I have only been to Moz twice, but I have a friend who goes there almost every year, and another who currently runs a farm there.

 

I have no idea whether SA hire firms allow there vehicles there, but I can say that it is a much more difficult country to drive in than SA. My friend who goes there often reckons it's not really worth going to any place south of Xai-Xai. And that really doesn't fit with your proposed trip. Also, the roads are generally so bad (and the border post at Komatipoort so disorganised) that it would possibly take you longer to get to St Lucia through Moz than by going through Eswatini (which is a nice country to drive through, with none of the hassles of Moz) or just going around Eswatini via Pongola.

 

Note also that Moz traffic police have a reputation for being both difficult and corrupt. I have not experienced serious corruption myself (unless a traffic policeman asking for a cool drink is serious corruption), but speed traps and road blocks were frequent. There are many many places where the speed limit drops down to 60-80km/h (from Xai-xai south I reckon at least once every 10km), and there was a speed trap or road block at each and every one of them. Thus driving takes a long time, as your average speed is closer to 80km/h than to 100.

 

However, this very same friend could organise you a lovely self-catering stay in the vicinity of Inhambane for exceptionally reasonable prices out of tourist season. He has built a number of lodges in this area and has good connections with the owners of those lodges. He is currently there re-roofing one.

 

However, to get there you will definitely need a capable 4x4 and some training in sand driving, some of those roads are pretty tough!

 

My farmer friend is about 80km from the coast, basically level with Inhassoro/Vilanculos. From there to Pafuri (roughly 300-350km) takes somewhere around 11 hours in the dry season, and possibly much longer if it's muddy. So getting off the main EN1 north-south road is hard going!

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Peter Connan

On a more positive note, may I recommend Maphelane. It is the southern-most point of the greater St Lucia protected area, and is just across the river from the town itself. However, it is a hell of a long drive to the nearest bridge, and as a result, Maphelane is secluded and quiet. The beach is beautiful and almost deserted outside of school holidays, and the birdlife? Well, just go check out my 2014 big year...

 

Just one drawback: you can't really swim here. After entering the ocean, the river flows South, and is pretty muddy, making ideal conditions for sharks.

 

And on the way back, make sure you check out iMfolozi and Mkhuzi...

Edited by Peter Connan
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pedro maia
6 hours ago, xelas said:

 

You've asked for it, now you will have to read it :D

 

 

Better late than never :lol:.

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20 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

Anyone hired a car in South Africa and driven in to Mozambique?

 

I have only read the title, and would never linked it to you, Dave!  As mentioned above, while beaches in Mozambique are spectacular, they are also very very difficult to reach. Already northern part of South Africa coast like Kosi Bay is not an easy target. Plus, it is in the malaria area, while St.Lucia is not.

 

St.Lucia and the area south of it, towards Durban, is much more "civilised" option to add a week or so to Kruger. You could drive through eSwatini (ex Lesotho) or around it. with only 1 overnight between Kruger and St.Lucia. On the way you could have a brief stop at uMkhuze (no pools there but plenty of birds) and/or Hluhluwe/iMfolozi, or other private game reserves.

 

I have taken note of your plans and will add a few more informations (and photos) related to what we have seen in and around St.Lucia to our trip report (see announcement above).

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Dave Williams

Thanks all for your contributions, I have decided that Mozambique is probably more hassle than it's worth.

I think my route will look similar to yours Alex but I shall drive through Eswatini (formerly Swaziland!) It doesn't look to be too far to drive in one day from St Lucia to Kruger. 

I'm looking for some different things to do besides wildlife watching and Golden Gate Highlands NP looks as if it might be worth a stop for a couple of days. Anyone been?

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Peter Connan

Yip, couple of times.

 

Beautiful area, beautiful scenery, and it's quite likely Claire will enjoy browsing the many art, curio and sweet shops in Clarence. There are also many other accommodation options in the area.

 

There are also places close by that offer such experiences as horse-back riding, clay-pigeon shooting and so forth, if you are interested. The top end of the world's second-highest waterfall is also not that far away, and from this direction is not a tough climb as it is from Royal Natal's direction.

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5 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

It doesn't look to be too far to drive in one day from St Lucia to Kruger. 

 Don't underestimate driving time on rural roads! Main roads are decent but local roads are filled with potholes and speed bumps. Do yourself a favour, and overnight in eSwatini. Be sure to have proper vehicle papers for entering it. If you will decide to skip it, Piet Retief is almost half way.

Edited by xelas
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@Dave Williams I see that you probably decided to skip Moz this time. But if you change your mind I know that Bushlore allow their vehicles to enter Moz. If you like more information I can recommend www.4x4community.co.za . They are really into 4x4 adventures and there is a lot of useful info on the forum :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Dave Williams

My trip planning for next year is just about complete now, flights and car...Emirates and another "Avanza or similar' from Bidvest are booked. My decision was to fly to Durban and drive via St Lucia>Mkuze>Ndumo>Mbabane(Eswatini)>Malelane>Biyamiti> Komatipoort>Johanesburg>UK!

 

Thanks all for your input and help in making the right decisions for us. We have 9 nights of self catering in the parks, the rest spent outside seeking a higher level of comfort in the places we have chosen to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary! 

 

If anyone has had experience of taking a hire car through Eswatini, can you let me know of any needed paperwork, insurance etc etc.

Thanks

Dave

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Tdgraves

When we went through Swaziland all we needed was the car hire documents and driving licence, but it was a good few years ago...

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  • 4 weeks later...

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