The stage Kruger – Maputo was the one that most worried us because, after returning the rental car, we did not know how to reach Maputo by public transport. We also had doubts about the visa. There is no clear information on the net, if you have included this stage on your trip I will explain how to do it.
Mozambique's visa - How to get it
To enter Mozambique, in addition to the passport with a residual validity of at least six months, you need a visa that can be requested prior to departure at the Embassy of the Republic of Mozambique in Rome or you can request it on arrival in the country directly at the airport, or it is released in some border posts such as Ressano Garcia. Beware that Ressano Garcia is usually open from 6.00am to 10.00pm.
You can get the visa at the embassy in Rome, you must send your passport. Since my husband often goes abroad for work, we could not proceed in this way, we opted to leave without a visa and try to get it at the border.
From Nelspruit to Ressano Garcia
Overcome of the Kruger we went to Nelspruit to leave the rental car and look for a transport to reach the border. The car hire is out of town, fortunately a clerk gave us a ride to the city.
In Nelspruit several buses leave for Maputo at different times. We could understand almost all the bus stop at Riverside Mall, so go to this street and ask, reservation is not required. We have taken a “great luxury” bus, very nice and with the hostess. We did not choose us, it was the car hire person who took us directly to this agency. The journey costs about 15 euros each and takes about an hour to get to the border. During the journey, the bus makes a stop to give passengers the opportunity to buy lunch and go to the toilette.
If, like us, you do not have a visa, you should only take a ticket for Ressano Garcia because at the border, if there is a lot of queue, you will get off with your luggages and you have to go on with another bus, so is not good to pay the tickets from Ressano Garcia to Maputo two times.
The South Africa Border
When you’ll arrive at Komatiport, you will have to drop off the bus and take the luggages with you.
You will have to follow the people along a corridor surrounded by fences, you will enter the South African customs where you will have to show the passport that will be stamped with the date of exit from the country.
The mozambican border
Once you leave the South African frontier, you will enter a no man’s land, where many people will offer to change your money and sell you something.
Continue without listening them, if you need cash, you will find an ATM just before the border office from which you can withdraw Mozambican money (metical).
You will enter in the border office of Mozambique (Ressano Garcia), you will feel like you have taken a step back in time, the environment and the employees seem to come out of a vintage film. Here you will have to fill-in a form with your personal data and the details of your accommodation in Mozambique. With this form filled in and your passport you need to go to the tourist counter for obtaining a visa, they will take fingerprints and take a picture of you. Not always all the equipment is working also the employees do not seem to be in a hurry, so arm yourself with a lot of patience. We spent a lot of time there despite the few queue (we had only three tourists in front of us). The visa can be paid in dollars, euros, metical and costs around $ 50.
From Ressano Garcia to Maputo
Now you have the visa, you have to go to Maputo.
We were very lucky because the bus driver wait for us, the hostess come with us to help with the employee of border office.
If you will not lucky as us, you will have to find a transportation, it will be simple, there are pullman, bus, car,…. someone will give you a ride.
From Ressano Garcia to Maputo, it takes about one hour.
Everything changes, goodbye to South Africa of parks, of American style towns, of beautiful house.
We take the EN1, the only asphalted road that crosses all of Mozambique from north to south. The outskirts of Maputo welcomes us with an immense landfill where children and adults sift it in search of something that can be useful or salable.
The bus will stop at terminus, you can take a taxi from here to your hotel.