Flights & getting there
Airports & Airlines
Airports in Mozambique:
- Maputo International Airport Mozambique’s main airport.
- Vilankulo Regional flights.
- Beira Regional flights.
- Nampula Airport Regional flights.
- Moçimboa da Praia Regional charter flights.
- Pemba Airport Regional flights.
Airlines servicing Mozambique:
- Coastal Aviation (email@example.com) Charter flights between Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Moçimboa da Praia, with connections to Pemba and the Quirimbas Archipelago.
- Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique The national airline. Offers flights connecting Johannesburg (South Africa) with Maputo, Vilankulo and Beira; and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) with Pemba, Nampula and Maputo.
- Kenya Airways (www.kenya-airways.com) Nairobi (Kenya) to Pemba and Maputo.
- SAAirlink Johannesburg (South Africa) to Vilankulo, Beira, Nampula, Tete and Pemba; and Durban (South Africa) to Maputo.
- South African Airways (www.flysaa.com) Johannesburg (South Africa) to Maputo and Vilankulo.
- TAP Air Portugal (www.flytap.com) Lisbon (Portugal) to Maputo.
Departure tax is included in ticket prices.
The MV Chambo ferry (Mtc300, 6½ hours between Metangula and Likoma Island; Mtc40, 1½ hours between Cóbuè and Likoma Island; and Mtc500, 12 to 13 hours between Metangula and Nkhata Bay) connects Metangula and Cóbuè twice weekly with Likoma Island (Malawi) and weekly with Nkhata Bay (Malawi). A southern route connecting Metangula with Chipoka (Malawi, Mtc550, 11 to 12 hours) via Meponda is also running. Contact the Malawi Shipping Company for confirmation of prices and schedules.
The journey between Cóbuè and Likoma Island (Malawi) can also be done by local fishing boats (about US$7 one way), which wait each morning at both destinations for passengers.
There are immigration posts in Metangula and Cóbuè (and on Likoma Island and in Nkhata Bay, for Malawi). At the time of research, it was possible to get a Mozambique visa at Cóbuè (although this may soon change) but not at Metangula.
- Cóbuè On Lake Niassa.
- Dedza 85km southwest of Lilongwe.
- Entre Lagos Southwest of Cuamba.
- Mandimba Northwest of Cuamba.
- Metangula On Lake Niassa.
- Milange 120km southeast of Blantyre.
- Vila Nova da Fronteira At Malawi’s southern tip.
- Zóbuè On the Tete Corridor route linking Blantyre (Malawi) and Harare (Zimbabwe); this is the busiest crossing.
To & From Blantyre
- Via Zóbuè: vehicles go daily from Blantyre to the border via Mwanza. Once in Mozambique (the border posts are separated by about 5km of no-man’s land), chapas (converted passenger trucks or minivans) go daily to Tete (Mtc190, 1½ hours Zóbuè to Tete).
- Via Vila Nova da Fronteira: daily minibuses go from Blantyre to Nsanje and on to the border. Once across, there are chapas to Mutarara, and from there to Sena and on to Caia on the main north–south road.
- Via Melosa (about 2km from Milange town, and convenient for Quelimane and Gurúè): buses go from Blantyre via Mulanje to the border. Once across, several vehicles go daily to Mocuba (Mtc300), from where there is frequent transport south to Quelimane and north to Nampevo junction (for Gurúè) and Nampula.
- Entre Lagos (for Cuamba and northern Mozambique): possible with your own 4WD (allow about 1½ hours to cover the 80km from Entre Lagos to Cuamba), or by chapa (about 2½ hours between the border and Cuamba). On the Malawi side, minibuses go from the border to Liwonde. Another option is the weekly Malawi train between the border and Liwonde (currently Thursday morning from Liwonde to Nayuchi on the border, and from Nayuchi back to Liwonde that same afternoon). There is basic accommodation at Entre Lagos if you get stuck. The closest bank is in Mecanhelas (Mozambique), about 25km away.
- Via Mandimba: Malawian transport goes frequently to Mangochi, where you can get minibuses to Namwera, and on to the border at Chiponde. Once in Mozambique (moto-taxis bridge the approximately 1.5km of no-man’s land for Mtc50, and then vehicles take you to Mandimba town), several vehicles daily go from Mandimba to both Cuamba (three hours) and Lichinga (Mtc300).
To & From Lilongwe
The Dedza border is linked with the EN103 to/from Tete by a scenic tarmac road. From Tete, there’s at least one chapa daily to Ulongwé and on to Dedza. Otherwise, go in stages from Tete via Moatize and the junction about 15km southwest of Zóbuè. Once across, it’s easy to find transport for the final 85km to Lilongwe.
- Giriyondo (8am to 4pm October to March, to 3pm April to September) 75km west of Massingir town, 95km from Kruger National Park’s Phalaborwa Gate.
- Kosi Bay (8am to 5pm) 11km south of Ponta d’Ouro.
- Pafuri (8am to 4pm) 11km east of Pafuri Camp in Kruger National Park.
- Ressano Garcia–Lebombo (6am to midnight) Northwest of Maputo; very busy.
To & From Nelspruit & Johannesburg
Large ‘luxury’ buses do the route daily (US$25 to US$40 one way, nine to 10 hours between Maputo and Johannesburg's Park Station; US$13 to US$15 one way, four hours between Maputo and Nelspruit's Promenade Hotel). All lines also service Pretoria, with a change of buses at Park Station. It’s essential to organise your Mozambique visa in advance. Tickets should also be purchased one day in advance of travel.
Cheetah Express Daily between Maputo and Nelspruit (Mtc1300 return, no one-way tickets), departing Maputo at 6am from Avenida Eduardo Mondlane next to Mundo’s, and departing Nelspruit at 4pm from Mediclinic, Crossings and Riverside Mall.
Greyhound Daily from Johannesburg’s Park Station complex at 7.45am, and from Maputo at 7am and 7pm.
Luciano Luxury Coach Daily Monday to Saturday from Johannesburg (Hotel Oribi, 24 Bezuidenhout Ave, Troyville) at 5pm, and Sunday at 9.30am; and from Maputo daily except Saturday at 8.30pm.
Translux Operates jointly with City to City; the Translux service is generally the better of the two. Daily from Johannesburg's Park Station at 8.45am (at 7.50am for City to City); and from Maputo at 7.45am (at 7.20am for City to City).
To & From Kruger National Park
Neither the Pafuri nor the Giriyondo crossing is accessible via public transport. Visas should be arranged in advance. Officially you’re required to have a 4WD to cross both borders, and a 4WD is essential for the Pafuri border, which crosses the Limpopo River near Mapai (for which there is a makeshift ferry during the rains). Allow two days between Pafuri and Vilankulo. The basic Nhampfule Campsite at Limpopo National Park’s Mapai entry gate has hot-water showers.
Note that if you are entering/leaving South Africa via Giriyondo or Pafuri, you will be required to show proof of payment of one night’s lodging within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (ie either in Limpopo National Park or South Africa’s Kruger National Park) to fulfil SANParks’ requirement for one compulsory overnight within the transfrontier park for all visitors.
To & From Durban
Luciano Luxury Coach goes between Maputo and Durban via Namaacha and Big Bend in Swaziland (US$28, nine to 10 hours) departing Maputo at 6.30am Tuesday and Friday and Durban (Pavillion Hotel, North Beach) at 6.30am Wednesday and Sunday.
Goba–Mhlumeni (open 24 hours) Southwest of Maputo.
Lomahasha–Namaacha (7am-8pm) In Swaziland’s extreme northeastern corner.
To & From Manzini
There are at least one or two direct chapas daily between Maputo and Manzini (Mtc370). It's about the same price and sometimes faster to take a chapa between Maputo and Lomahasha–Namaacha (Mtc70, 1½ hours), walk across the border, and then get Swaziland transport on the other side (about US$5 and three hours from the border to Manzini).
For self-drivers, the Namaacha border is notoriously slow on holiday weekends; the quieter border at Goba (Goba Fronteira), reached via a scenic, winding road from Maputo, is a good alternative. The road from Swaziland’s Mananga border (open 7am to 6pm), connecting north to Ressano Garcia–Lebombo, is another option.
For all Mozambique–Tanzania crossings it is essential to arrange your Mozambique (or Tanzania) visa in advance.
- Kilambo 130km north of Moçimboa da Praia, and called Namiranga or Namoto on the Mozambique side.
- Moçimboa da Praia (Mozambique) Immigration and customs for those arriving by plane or dhow.
- Mtomoni Unity Bridge 2; 120km south of Songea (Tanzania).
- Negomano Unity Bridge.
- Palma (Mozambique) Immigration and customs for those arriving by dhow or charter flight.
To & From Mtwara
Vehicles go daily from 6am from Mtwara (Tanzania) to Kilambo (Tsh6000, one hour) and on to the Rovuma River, which is in theory crossed daily by the MV Kilambo ferry. The ferry, again in theory, takes half a dozen cars plus passengers (Tsh30,000/500 per vehicle/person). However, its passage depends on tides, rains and mechanical issues. If it is not operating, you'll need to negotiate a ride in a smaller boat or a dugout canoe (about Tsh5000, 10 minutes to over an hour, depending on water levels; dangerous during heavy rains). The border is a rough one, and it’s common for touts to demand up to 10 times the ‘real’ price for the boat crossing. Watch your belongings, especially when getting into and out of the boats, and keep up with the crowd.
Once you're in Mozambique, several pickups go daily to the Mozambique border crossing at Namiranga, 4km further on, and from there to Palma and Moçimboa da Praia (US$13, three hours). The road on the Mozambican side is poor at the border but improves closer to Palma.
To & From Masasi
The main vehicle crossing over the Rovuma is via the Unity Bridge at Negomano (7.30am to 4pm in Mozambique, 8.30am to 5pm in Tanzania), near the confluence of the Lugenda River. From Masasi, go 35km southwest along the Tunduru road to Nangomba village, from where a good 68km track leads down to Masuguru village. The bridge is 10km further at Mtambaswala. Once over, there is 160km on a bush track with fine, deep, red dust (mud during the rains, and often blocked by trucks). This track continues through low land bordering the Rovuma before climbing up to Ngapa (shown as Moçimboa do Rovuma on some maps), where there is a customs and immigration checkpoint, as well as stunning views down over the Rovuma River basin. From Ngapa to Mueda is 40km further on a reasonable dirt road (four to six hours from the bridge to Mueda, longer during the rains).
Via public transport, there’s a daily chapa from Masasi to Mtambaswala (Tsh6000) each morning. On the other side, a chapa leaves Negomano by about 1pm for Mueda (Mtc500). Going in the other direction, if you arrive at Mtambaswala after the chapa for Masasi has left (it doesn’t always coordinate with the vehicle arriving from Mueda), there are some basic guesthouses for sleeping.
To & From Songea
One or two vehicles daily depart from Majengo C area in Songea (Tsh12,000, three to four hours) to Mtomoni village and the Unity 2 bridge. Once across, take Mozambique transport to Lichinga (Tsh30,000, five hours). Pay in stages, rather than paying the entire Tsh40,000 Songea–Lichinga fare in Songea, as is sometimes requested.
- Cassacatiza (7am to 5pm) 290km northwest of Tete; main crossing.
- Zumbo (7am to 5pm) At the western end of Lake Cahora Bassa.
To & From Zambia
The Cassacatiza border is a seldom used but intriguing route between Mozambique and Zambia's South Luangwa National Park for those with their own vehicles. To cross the border via public transport: chapas go daily from Tete to Matema, from where there’s sporadic transport to the border (allow about three hours from Tete to the border). On the other side, there are several vehicles daily to Katete (Zambia), and then on to Lusaka or Chipata.
The border post at Zumbo is accessed with difficulty from Mozambique via Fíngoȩ and is of interest primarily to anglers and birdwatchers heading to the western reaches of Lake Cahora Bassa. Once at Zumbo, the only possibility for onward transport to Luangwa (Zambia) or Kanyemba (Zimbabwe) is via private charter boat. The government pontoon is not running as of this writing.
- Espungabera In the Chimanimani Mountains.
- Machipanda On the Beira Corridor linking Harare with the sea.
- Mukumbura (7am to 5pm) West of Tete.
- Nyamapanda On the Tete Corridor, linking Harare with Tete and Lilongwe (Malawi).
To & From Harare
From Tete there are frequent vehicles to Changara and on to the border at Nyamapanda, where you can get transport to Harare. Through buses between Blantyre and Harare are another option.
From Chimoio you can catch a direct chapa to the border at Machipanda (Mtc80, one hour), from where you’ll need to take a taxi 12km to Mutare, and then get Zimbabwean transport to Harare.
The seldom-used route via the orderly little border town of Espungabera is slow and scenic, and an interesting dry-season alternative for those with a 4WD.
Mukumbura (4WD only) is of interest mainly to anglers heading to Cahora Bassa Dam. There is no public transport on the Mozambique side.
There are no scheduled sailings for tourists in or out of Mozambique's Indian Ocean coast.