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Driving from South Africa / Maputo

There are four border crossings between South Africa and Mozambique. The main border crossing is the Lebombo border (known as Ressano Garcia on the Mozambique side), on the N4 (SA) / EN4 (Mozambique) that links Johannesburg and Maputo. See more border information below.

  1. Lebombo Border to Maputo: From the main border crossing of Lebombo,drive 80 km on the EN4 – a high-quality tar road - to Maputo. You will cross two toll plazas between the border and Maputo. In Maputo, take the EN2 toward the EN1. There are plenty of gas stations and restaurants in Maputo if you need to refuel.
  2. Maputo to XaiXai: In Maputo, take the EN1 north and drive 220 km to XaiXai. In the town of XaiXai you’ll find several gas stations, restaurants, banks and a central market. If you’re looking to stop over for a night, the lovely XaiXai beach is only 12 km from town.
  3. XaiXai to Maxixe: Continue on EN1 north anddrive 255km to Maxixe. Maxixe is a bustling town with plenty of  small shops, restaurants, and outdoor markets. You can also find banks and gas stations here. If you’re looking to stop at the popular beach destination of Praia do Tofo, you will need to turn off the EN1 approximately 25 kilometers before Maxixe onto EN101 (Av. de Maguiguana) and continue 50 km toward Inhambane. In Inhambane, follow signs for Tofo Beach and the road will turn from tar to dirt/sand as you approach Tofo. Here you can enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving with whale sharks and other tropical marine life.
  4. Maxixe to Vilanculos: Continue on EN1 north and drive 244km to Vilanculos. If you would like to check out one of the most popular beach resorts in Mozambique, just turn off the EN1 when you see a prominent sign for Vilanculos. The beach is only 18km off the highway. Here you can stay in a variety of accommodations – from high-end beachfrontresorts to rustic backpacker hostels. You can do beach activities on the mainland or do day and overnight trips to the Bazaruto Archipelago.  This is a good place to stock up on fuel and other amenities as there may not be any reliable gas stations between here and Inchope. If you will be self-catering, this is the best place to do major grocery shopping, as there are only local markets near Gorongosa.
  5. Vilanculos to Inchope: Drive back to the EN1 and head north for 403km toward Inchope. The first major landmark you will cross is a large bridge over the Save River. The tar road to Inchope is not well maintained in some areas and you have to be very careful to drive slowly and avoid potholes. You will pass through the small town of Muxungue where vendors sell the fruit and vegetables that are in season. You will arrive at the town of Inchope where Mozambique’s major highways, the EN1 and the EN6, intersect. There are many fuel stations throughout central Mozambique, except for the road from Vilankulos to Inchope. The distance is approximately 400km with limited fuel stations.
  6. Inchope to Gorongosa National Park: Go straight through the intersection, continuing on the EN1 for 42km. About a kilometer down the road on the left side, there is a BP gas station where you can refuel. Be sure to fill your tank as there is no fuel for sale inside Gorongosa National Park. As you continue on the EN1, you will cross a bridgeover the Pungue River – the views are fantastic! Continue on until you see a large sign for Gorongosa National Park – turn right onto the dirt road. Continue on the graded dirt road for 11 km until you reach the park entrance gate.Now your safari begins! Continue on the road inside the park for 18km and watch for sable antelope, bushbuck, and baboons as you make your way to the reception desk at  Girassol Gorongosa Lodge and Safari where you will pay your park entrance fees and get information on the park.
More information: 
Border Information

If you are travelling via Ponta do Ouro beach resort in Southern Mozambique, you will cross the border at Kosi Bay on the R22. Please note that Ponta do Ouro is only accessible by a 4x4 vehicle.

 

There are also two border crossings that connect Kruger National Park (SA) and Limpopo National Park (Mozambique) – Pafuri border crossing on the S63 and Giriyondo border crossing on the H15.

 

At each border crossing, expect to show your passport, visa, car registration papers, and pay a border-crossing fee. Your vehicle may be inspected at the request of the border guards. You may be required to purchase temporary car insurance to cover your car while driving in Mozambique.

    In and Around Gorongosa
    • When you arrive in Chitengo for the first time, visit our reception desk and our staff will assist you with your accommodations and show you where to find the restaurant, gift shop, and other amenities
    • If you are planning to drive your vehicle on the game drive network to go on a self-drive safari, you must have a 4x4 vehicle with good clearance. The dirt roads in the park can get muddy and bumpy in many areas. Sedan-style cars are not recommended for use inside the game drive network. If you do not have an appropriate vehicle and you would like to go on safari, we offer morning and afternoon guided safaris in our raised safari vehicle. 
    • We ask that all park visitors abide by park rules for the safety of our guests and our wildlife. 
    • There is no fuel or supplies for sale inside Gorongosa National Park. The park has a restaurant that serves food and drinks from 6am – 9pm. At the restaurant you can buy bottled water, other beverages, alcohol, and bread to take away but all other food is sold as part of the restaurant menu. There is a small gift shop in the park that sells T-shirts and other park souvenirs. All other supplies must be purchased outside of the park.
    • The closest place to buy fuel and supplies is Vila Gorongosa, about a one hour drive from Chitengo north on the EN1. You can buy fuel at the gas station just north of town and there is an outdoor fruit and vegetable market as well as small shops where you can buys some basic food and supplies. The next closest town is Inchope, about a 1.5 hour drive south on the EN1 where you can also buy fuel and supplies from a local market. If you’re looking for a larger supermarket, the closest one is ShopRite in Chimoio, a 2 hour drive south on the EN1 to Inchope, then west on the EN6.
    • Buy fuel only from stations that have a functioning electric pump. Fuel at other locations may be dirty, or mixed with water or other chemicals.
    Travel through South Africa with Children

    There are new regulations for travel to and from South Africa with children, effective October 1, 2014. Parents travelling internationally with children must now provide an unabridged birth certificate (including the details of the child's father as well as the mother) of all travelling children. This applies even when both parents are travelling with their children and it also applies to foreigners and South Africans alike. 

    When children are travelling with guardians, these adults are required to produce affidavits from parents proving permission for the children to travel.   It is important for parents to note that unabridged birth certificate applications can take anything from six to eight weeks to complete.