Transport and Driving in Mozambique

Mozambique is known for bad driving, especially in the capital. Expats on the road as pedestrians, passengers or drivers should be cautious of other drivers at all times. In the capital, Maputo, the public transport system is slightly better than anywhere else in the country.  

Mozambique's international airport is Maputo International Airport. Mozambique also has a number of paved and unpaved airports throughout the country, and if landing in a remote area, it is best to prearrange transport, as there is unlikely to be anything available on arrival.


Public transport in Mozambique

Public transport in Mozambique is known to be unreliable and is usually notrecommended. Expats who can afford to buy a car may find it a more convenient and safer way to get around than those who choose to use public transport.

Trains

Trains travel to and from Maputo and South Africa, however the trains are known to be overcrowded. Many lack sleeping facilities which makes overnight journeys very difficult.

Buses

There are coaches that travel around Mozambique for long distance destinations. It is not uncommon for coaches to be full, and a chapas is usually used to take the overflow of passengers. Like the trains, buses can be used to travel to other neighbouring countries, like Zimbabwe and South Africa. Intercity buses also exist, and these generally leave at 4am. 

Chapas

Chapas are local minibuses that are used for short and long distance journeys. For the latter, luggage is usually piled on the roof, and the chapas driver ignores all capacity limits. As they are often overloaded, they can be dangerous to travel in, but are usually cheaper than other forms of transport. 

Ferry

There is a ferry between Inhaca Island and Maputo as well as Catembe and Maputo daily. The ferry travels more frequently on weekends, but expats should make sure that they arrive early to secure a spot. 


Driving in Mozambique

Cars drive on the left in Mozambique. Expats may find that the road conditions are bad with potholes being a common feature. Many of the roads are also unpaved, which may affect the decision of what car to use. There are also reports of corrupt officials who pull over cars for a bribe. It is best to remain calm and to keep photocopies of all documents to hand over. 

It is common for people to rent cars from South Africa and drive over the border. For long term arrangements, buying a car can be wise. When driving, expats should always carry their ID, drivers licence, the car registration papers and insurance details. It is recommended that expats fill up their car wherever possible, as petrol stations can be few and far between. 

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