4 x 4 hire in Cuamba
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Mar 22, 2013 11:49 PM Last Post By: RudiK
Mar 20, 2013 2:01 PM
4 x 4 hire in CuambaHello there, Im in the early stages of planning a month long trip around northern Mozambique in July with family (children 12 and 15) does anybody know if it is possible to hire a 4 x 4 in Cuamba and drop it off in Pemba, If so, who are the best companies to hire from? Also, I would really appreciate any other advice or tips that anybody might have on self drive trips in the country. Many thanks in advance.
Mar 20, 2013 2:41 PM
When you see Cuamba you will realise why I say that.
The best hotel in Cuamba is the Vision 2000 - and that is a grotty run-down dump that is grossly over-priced. You will have no alternative though.
You can take the train from Cuamba to Nampula. A 10 hour trip with the train leaving at about 05:00. With children try to get a 1st or 2nd class coach. A good place to stay in Nampula is the Espresso Pension/Hotel (try to book in advance).
In Nampula you might have a better chance (albeit still only a slim chance) of hiring a vehicle, but as to whether you could drop it off in Pemba is questionable.
From Nampula you could take a bus (or chappa) to Nacala or Ilha de Mozambique - we did not go further north - but I would imagine that there would be a bus (or chappa) to Pemba.
(Our trip across that route was in Nov 2009 - so things might have changed a little)
Mar 20, 2013 9:55 PM
2Rudik is right about Cuamba being a back water. To get a vehicle there from Pemba, or Nampula, would cost hundreds of dollars in drop-off fees. Catching the train is indeed a good idea....but you'll miss out on the great detour through Gurue.
Nampula is a big city with a few rental car companies. But once again, drop-off fees to Pemba will run into hundreds and hundreds of dollars but I'm sure they cold do it.
4x4 hire in Mozambique is generally over $200 per day
Mar 21, 2013 1:36 AM
Mar 21, 2013 6:12 AM
4Offie, this doesn't include tips specifically about self-drive but it's a great rap up of what you should know before travelling in Mozambique:
Mar 22, 2013 4:29 AM
5oops i dont think my last post posted.
Thanks everyone for you time and advice so far, I think I will forget the hire car idea! However, does anybody know if its possible then to continue by train from
Cuamba and Into Malawi, looking at the maps the train track continues into malawi at least. You see my intended route is from Nempula to Cuamba to lake Malawi then by boat to Likoma Island and then onto Niassa reserve and finishing off in Quirimbas....How does this sound and am I missing some essential stops offs here? thanks again.
Mar 22, 2013 7:47 AM
6Unless things have drastically changed the answer is no. The train stopped at Cuamba.
The connection from Balaka (in Malawi) via Liwonde to Nayuchi was in use once a week (I think on Thursdays, but that will need to be confirmed). The train then returned that same afternoon to Balaka for connections (?) to Blantyre and Lilongwe. One had to cross the border on foot and then from Entre Lagos one could take a chappa or get onto the back of a pick-up truck to Cuamba. The same would apply in reverse for the westbound leg.
We chose to travel from Blantyre ny shared taxi to Liwonde; on the back of a pick-up to the border (Malawian side); by bicycle taxi (one for me, one for my wife, and one for our luggage) to the Mozambican border post (2km) and on to the town of Mandimba (7km), by shared taxi to Cuamba.
On the return trip we chose to go from Nampula to Cuamba by train and from Cuamba we were offered a lift to Mandimba and on to the border. From the Mozambican border one can either walk the 2 km to the Malawian border post or one can use bicycle taxis. Then we got onto the back of a pick-up truck again to Mangochi. A shared taxi finally got us back to Blantyre.
I seem to recall a thread about a year ago that reported that the service had been improved and that there were better connections. I would suggest that you pose your questions on the specialist Mozambique forum, http://www.mozguide.com/. There you should get more up-ti-date information.
Mar 22, 2013 11:49 PM
7I di not mention the Niassa reserve that you refered to in your post. That is arguably one of the remotest areas in the southern African region and to travel there one would need a 4x4 and be fully equipped with everything including fuel. I would again refer you to Mozguide for information. To get from Likoma directly across to the Quirimbas would be a major undertaking of epic proportions.
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