Going to Mozambique for the first time? Here’s a checklist of what you will need

Here’s a checklist if you’re planning to go to Mozambique for a holiday and you don’t know what you’re in for. A lot of people freak out about it because they hear all kinds of different stories from different people. After awhile you get so paranoid that you don’t know what to take and what not to take. We went camping in Mozambique for eleven days in December so I’ll tell you what not to worry about and what you need to worry about.

What to prepare when driving with your own car

1. Go to Outdoor Warehouse and get the following:

Two reflective vests
Two red triangles
The white ZA sticker
Third Party Insurance with Hollard which will cost you R150 per car.
A basic tool box (You never know what will go wrong)
Jumper cables

2. What papers will you need?

If your car is still financed, then you’ll need a letter from the bank giving you permission to take your car across the border and also a copy of the original papers. The letter will need to have the owners name on it and also the person/s who will and might be driving the car in Mozambique. You can also make one copy of your license card, ID and passport which is certified by the police. This for when you get pulled over in Mozambique. NEVER give your real license card because they take it and force you to pay a huge fine. They will find something to fine you for. Because it’s so damn hot in Mozambique, have a few cold cokes in the car. They will let you go if you can just offer them a cold drink.

The money (Meticals) situation

We took cash in rands with us but from my experience I won’t suggest that. Rather go to the bank in SA before you go and exchange your money there. If you take rands to Mozambique, they don’t exchange it at the correct exchange rate which is normally 3.3. They do it at 3. So you lose that 0.3 which can make a big difference when trying to get meticals. We swiped our card a lot. Most places don’t accept master card so if you want to use your card to pay for things, make sure you have a VISA.

Taking food across the border

Don’t be scared to take some meat and food across the border. Just remember that it must be vacuum packed and that you should keep and take the slip with you. Also a really good idea to keep it cold/frozen is to take dry ice with you in a cooler or in one of those portable fridges. Our meat stayed frozen for days while we were camping so dry ice did the trick.

The hype about Mosquito’s

We took extreme precaution before we went. We bought mosquito repellent incense sticks, few cans of Tabbard spry, mosquito nets, glycerine soap, thick socks for the evenings and Myfliam malaria pills. A lot of people are coming back from Mozambique with Malaria so better be safe than sorry and take all the necessary precautions I mentioned above.

What car to go with? Will my toasted Atos make it to Mozambique?

Yes your toaster will make it. We heard loads of stories that the road is really crappy and that you need a 4×4 to drive to Mozambique. Ok I know of you enter Mozambique at the bottom there where Kosi Bay is, you won’t be able to drive there with a normal car. But if you’re going to the top of Mozambique through Xai-Xai and Maputo etc. you can basically drive with any car. We went with a Ford Fiesta Ambiente and we had absolutely no problems. Other friends who went along with us went with Polo’s and a Corsa Bakkie.

But let me tell you this. I’d rather go with a bakkie because when you’re there you can see much more and go a lot further than what normal cars would go. For example we went on a kayak trip one day in Tofo and we had to drive there in a 4×4 truck/bakkie. A normal car would never have made it.

So that’s it for now. I can’t think of anything else now but when I do I’ll update this post. Feel free to leave comments below this post and I’ll try and answer your questions as best I can.


This article was written by Francois View Profile
Hi. I'm currently 31 years old and I'm a full time Front-End Web Developer. I love cats and I love life.... sometimes. I created this blog when I was figuring out how Wordpress works and it eventually started to get a whole lot of traffic. I'm now trying to help fellow South Africans with general how to stuff for example how to renew your car license disc and also reviews like restaurants etc. I haven't done much yet but I will soon start to do more and more. I will try to write as many blog posts as I can. I hope you enjoy this blog and don't forget to leave a comment. Oh and you're welcome to write a guest post or review. Just click on Write Guest Post on the top main menu.
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  1. Jolene February 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Love this – agree 😉

  2. johan July 31, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    thank you so much, i was scared shitless of cannibals and big pots! going there friday by car.. If I drive a company car that’s paid for, I;m sure a letter will do?

  3. Earnest December 12, 2012 at 5:57 am

    thank you. Your information really helped me for my trip to Mozambique

    1. Francdore May 30, 2013 at 8:43 am

      Hi. Cool it’s my pleasure.

  4. Lauren May 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Hi there,
    Thanks for all the info, just want to find out, if I get the third party
    Insurance from Hollard, do I present that at the border as I
    Have read that one can pay for that at the border too?
    Also those yellow triangles stickers, where do I stick them
    Specifically, what are they for and do I still need the red triangles
    Over and above those and the ones that come standard
    In my vehicle?
    Thanks very much
    Lauren Malan

    1. Francdore May 30, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Hi. You can either buy it beforehand at any Outdoor Warehouse or when we went there was small “containers” where you can buy 3rd party insurance. But I just feel safer to buy it beforehand. You don’t need to show it to them unless they ask for it.

      The yellow triangles needs to go on your cars front bumper. That’s only if you have a trailer hooked on the back of your car. More important, you need the ZA sticker/magnet on the back of your car.

      Yes you need to have one red triangle (the standard one is fine) in your car and also two yellow safety vests.

      Hope this helps.


  5. Malcolm Henry May 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks for the info but I think you need to amend your statement about malaria. You may have been lucky but there have been a number of tourists coming out of Tofu this month with malaria including one tourist death and 9 local deaths. Malaria kills over a million people a year in Sub-Saharan Africa and therefore prophylaxis for Mozambique all year round is highly recommended!! Contact SASTM (SA Society of Travel Medicine) for up to date advice, Regards Dr Malcolm Henry

    1. Francdore May 30, 2013 at 8:41 am

      Hey. Thanks for your comment. I have amended that part about Malaria. After I wrote this post, one of my friends got Malaria so you’re right. Please take all the necessary precautions when going to Mozambique.

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  7. John December 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    What documentation / insurance do I need for a trailer?

    I heard the latest scam is they don’t stamp yr passport then on your way out fleece you for no entry stamp.
    Make sure each person gets their own passport stamped.

  8. jaimey December 3, 2015 at 9:49 am

    hi can a person take things like cooldrink and sweets through must that also be vacum packed and can you use rands in Ponta Da ouro and is there Atms to draw money.

    1. Francois December 9, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      Hi. Yes you can take cooldrinks and sweets. They don’t really check your car or anything. Just don’t let anyone at the border offer you for help. Do everything yourself and don’t give anyone your passport.

  9. Ashlen January 8, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Hi, If I catch fish, will I be able to bring it back to South Africa?

    1. Francois January 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm


      Apparently there’s a posters on the walls at the border on the SA side saying: “You may not be in possession of any marine goods,fish,dried fish etc if you don’t have a permit for it.”

      “Travelers wanting to take fish home and transport it by vehicle are advised to Purchase a fishing permit irrespective. These can be purchased from the Fisheries Departments in the various Provinces. You will need to take your passport with you should you want to obtain a permit. The Fisheries officials like to sit at Xai-Xai and stop the Ski-Boaters and search them for fish. If you do not have a permit irrespective of the laws you are fines.”

  10. Ashlen January 8, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Thank You for that, it is my first time going so I rather be safe than sorry, any clue as to where I could possibly get the permits? Will I get it in South Africa or do I apply for the permit once in Mozam?

    1. Francois January 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      It sounds like you need to get it in Mozambique using your password.

  11. Dwayne Nelson October 5, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    I am planning on going to Mozambique BUT I want to hire a 4×4 in South Africa to do 4×4 trails and to see more etc… BUT all the 4×4 hire companies in South Africa charge at least R20,000 or over R15,000, is that how it is how can I get away with something cheaper ?

  12. Rakhi December 14, 2016 at 8:36 am

    I’m going to be driving down to maputo but am not sure are we allowed to take alcohol?

  13. Hannes van der Westhuizen March 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I have given a 7 day Holiday by Leisure Portfolio Association to go to MORRUMBENE BEACH RESORT what time of the year will be the best to go and will my ISUZU KB 300 D/C 4 X 2 with a differential lock be able to get me there.

    Can I take frozen meat with and how many?
    We will only be two people.

    What is the distance from Komatipoort to Maputo.
    And from Maputo to Inhambanne


  14. Tiaan April 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Hey man, great post. Appreciate the effort. This will make things a lot easier for me.

    How much money would you suggest taking (in rands)? I’m going for an 11 day stay in a lodge.

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