Getting Around, Mozambique Travel, Transport and Car Rental
(Mozambique, MZ, South-East Africa)
Public transport in Mozambique can seem fairly limited compared to that found in other African countries. For many visitors, domestic air travel is the way to go, although the more adventurous will value the freedom offered by hiring a car.
A nominal immigration tax is payable when passing through land borders, with various crossings connecting the surrounding countries. Those wishing to travel into the Kruger National Park, on the neighbouring South Africa
border, will find crossings at Giriyondo and Pafuri, although 4WD vehicles will be required for the Mozambique route. Passenger ferry transport is also on hand, stopping at Cobue and Metangula, before heading on up to Lake Malawi
Maputo International Airport (MPM) / Arriving by Air
Address: Rua da Paz / Rua de Sacadura Cabral / Rua do Aeroporto, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Tel: +258 01 465 038
Regular flights operate to Maputo
from South Africa (Cape Town
) and also from Lisbon
, amongst other destinations. It is also possible to fly directly from Mozambique to the Bazaruot and Quirimbas archipelagos. Maputo's international airport is located a short distance from the city centre, being just 3 km / 2 miles to the north-west. Buses and taxis are available to transport visitors to and from this facility. The airport serves a number of air carriers, including Mozambique's very own national airline - the Linhas Aereas de Mocambique (LAM).
Domestic air travel is a great way to hop between major towns and cities in Mozambique. Indeed, parts of this country remain very remote and difficult to access other than by air. Small private charter airlines are a useful way of getting to remote places that would otherwise be hard to reach.
The most noteworthy airports in Mozambique are shown below:
- Angoche Airport (ANO) - Angoche
- Bazaruto Island Airport (BZB) - Bazaruto Island
- Beira Airport (BEW) - Beira
- Benguera Island Airport (BCW) - Benguera Island
- Chimoio Airport (VPY) - Chimoio
- Chingozi Airport (TET) - Tete
- Cuamba Airport (FXO) - Cuamba
- Indigo Bay Lodge Airport (IBL) - Indigo Bay, Bazaruto Island
- Inhambane Airport (INH) - Inhambane
- Lichinga Airport (VXC) - Lichinga
- Maputo International Airport (MPM) - Maputo
- Mocimboa da Praia Airport (MZB) - Mocimboa da Praia
- Mueda Airport (MUD) - Mueda
- Nacala Airport (MNC) - Nacala
- Nampula Airport (APL) - Nampula
- Pemba Airport (POL) - Pemba / Porto Amelia
- Quelimane Airport (UEL) - Quelimane
- Vilankulo Airport (VNX) - Vilanculos (Vilankulo)
It is possible to hire a car from the main car hire agencies located in most large towns and cities in Mozambique, including Maputo, Beira and Nampula. In smaller towns, you may be able to hire a car through your hotel. In both cases, booking ahead is advised. The EN1 highway runs the entire length of the country, being in its best condition on its southerly stretch, between the cities of Inhambane and Maputo.
On the whole, road travel in Mozambique is quite good. The addition of tarmac to many roads has certainly made life a lot easier, although drivers should still keep an eye out for potholes and straying livestock. Drivers should also be aware that road blocks may cause delays to a journey. This means that it's important to make sure that you have all the necessary paperwork with you, including either an international driving licence or a South African driving licence.
Buses and Coaches
Travelling between major towns by bus transport is relatively easy. Buses are known locally as 'machibombos', with services often running on a daily basis and an express service sometimes being available. It is common for buses to set off in the early hours of the morning if the journey is long - as early as 03:00. Converted lorries known as 'chapas' operate as minibuses on short-distance routes, providing a cheap way to travel between rural towns. Fares are fixed for these journeys. Of note, the main Mozambican bus companies are Grupo Mecula (north) and Transportes Oliveiras (south).
Within Mozambique itself, rail services can be rather patchy. However, travelling into Mozambique by train is a much more reliable prospect. In particular, rail services operate from Johannesburg in South Africa to Maputo via Ressano Garcia, and also from Durban
to Maputo. On the northern side of the country, trains regularly travel from Nampula to Cuamba, close to the border with Malawi
In towns and cities, taxis will take you just about anywhere you want to go. It's always best to discuss the price of your journey before you depart. Taxis also operate on set routes, displaying the price on their front windscreen, so it's much easier to see the full cost of your journey. This is particularly so in Maputo, where taxis frequently offer fixed-price fares into the centre from various outlying destinations, such as Maputo International Airport. Alternatively, if you are travelling as a group, you may like to consider renting a 'chapa' minibus.