Sometimes I get calls from people asking for help and advice about crossing the Mozambican border. My first thought is that if you have booked through us, i will send you the details and maps once the booking is finalised.
The problem is that some of these travellers have booked though someone that does not have a clue of what is needed to go through the borders…
This blog is for our clients- and travellers- that have booked with companies that only want to make money out of the booking but won’t give you all the necessary details:
First thing to worry and think about are anti malaria tablets. Speak to your Doctor or visit a travel clinic as these are the best people to speak to about your health requirements during your travels.
Take travel insurance, it only costs approximately R750.00 for a family of 4 and gives you peace of mind. You can get this insurance through us or your travel agent.
Best place to get all the goodies you need to cross the border with are the AA shops. We bought 2 jackets, a ZA sticker for the back of your vehicle, 2 Blue and yellow warning stickers for the front of your vehicle (place it on the passenger side of the front bumper).
You can also buy the 3rd party insurance from the AA will save you time at the border.
Papers to get;
- I certified ALL my documents even our passports just in case
- You need a letter from your bank ( if you still paying off your vehicle) This letter needs to authorise you to take the car through the border. the letter needs to have your ID or passport number, full name of the owner of the car, where it also needs to state the dates.Your bank will know the details for this letter. Give your bank at least 3 working days to send it to you.
- Call your insurance company and ask them to send you a letter that states that your car is covered in Mozambique, this letter once again must have your details and dates.
- You need your vehicle licence certificate. The officials do want this document at the border; I had 2 certified copies of this document as well, just in case I misplaced one in Mozambique and would need it for the return.
- 3rd Party Insurance you can purchase it at the AA or at the Border.
The trip from Johannesburg to the border took approx 6 hours. We stopped for an hour break.
Once you arrive at the border on the South African side the SARS official will hand you a little slip which they have written your number plate and the amount of people in your car.
Park your car and go in the S.A office were you present your passports. On the serving windows it will say “each person must present their own passport at a counter”. When doing this the official will stamp the SARS receipt, then you’ll have to move to another window where they will stamp your SARS receipt once again so so this receipt will eventually have 2 authorised stamps.
I found the S.A border staff helpful and friendly and they were quick which helped clear out the short ques but bare in mind that we traveled on the 28 August: travelling in peak season and any school holidays will definitely take you a while longer to get there.
As you drive towards the Mozambique border you hand the little receipt to the SARS official and off you go.
In the Mozambique border they also hand you a receipt with the same details, then after we parked we became very surprised to see the Q extending outside the building we had to go to. So as we get out of the car, 2 determined guys approach us and were very intent on helping us, so they took our passports and we went to the Q with them and waited for our passports to be stamped. Make sure that on each side- both the SA side and Mozambican side- that they stamp your passport when the official hands you the passport back. Also make sure that each and every passport has a stamp. This stamp has the date, the name of the border and the image of a car as this is the way of transport you are using.
Then you stand in another Q for the officer to stamp your slip, he will then hand you a form to fill in, which was filled by our “helpers ” but the form basically asks for your full name, passport number, period of staying, etc.
Once you are done with the form, you hand it back to the officer who will then ask you for your documents. These documents include the 3rd party insurance, your SA insurance, bank letter and your licence certificate ( please read above on the document requirements ). After inspecting these documents he stamps the form and off you go, (keep this form, your 3rd party, your drivers licence and vehicle registration close as the police may ask you for this if you get stopped.) I had these documents on a travel wallet and each and every time they stopped me I give them everything.
So after this, we went to the car and drove through the border. After driving maybe 20 minutes a police officer stops me, “ok,” I thought, “the bribery will start.” But instead he just wanted all my documents which I happily have him as he was polite and friendly. I asked him how to get to Maputo then he directed me and off I went.
Another police officer stopped me in the middle of Maputo and he warned me that no one is allowed to drive on the round about as I did but here again he was polite and did not fine me.
The trip from the border seemed long as it took us us 2 hours, mostly because of the traffic near Maputo.
The return was very similar but quicker. As soon as I stopped the car, 3 guys came and were trying to take over again. I said, once again, that they could help but they didn’t take my passports, instead charged me R200.00 after they had helped.
The Mozambique officer stamps your passport and receipt once again, just make sure that all the stamps are there.
The Mozambican officials were also helpful and polite.
At the end of the day the border is not for the impatient or sissies, the Qs are long and it does take a while to go through but if you have all your documents, are patient and willing to wait then you will be fine.
Stay away from the toilets if you can otherwise you might be disgusted by the sight and smell of its contents.
There were no amount payable at any of the officials at the Border but a lot of the advising sites still state R15.00 Per person so do take some cash with you in small nominations.
The Mozambique toll Gates accept South African rands, USD and Meticais. Unfortunately they dont take any credit cards.
My experience at the border was easier than I expected but not a walk in the park either.
I would rate it 7 out of 10 on the South African side and 5 out of 10 on the Mozambique side.
The Officers were helpful on both sides but the ” helpers ” can be a bit intimidating and persistent as they immediately approach you and want everything at once. But in the end they did help us with the documents and by escaping that long Qs. But please, do not let them take your passports out of your sight as a safety precaution.
If you are driving take all your docs, keep under the speed limit, obey the rules of the road, be polite to the Police officers and they hopefully will be polite in return.
Have a safe journey and enjoy your holiday in this beautiful country that I have loved for the last 13 years.
The above was my experience we traveled on the 28 August and returned on the 31th. The necessary documents might change without notice. If or when you book through us, we will send you a traveller’s list indicating exactly what you need for the border.