We Know Mozambique

Driving in Mozambique?

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As Mozambique has developed, the number of cars and traffic accidents has increased. Despite official safety regulations, the ability to move forward without being pushed or towed determines the roadworthiness of Mozambican vehicles. Additionally, many drivers exhibit levels of carelessness that will amaze you. Local mini-bus or chapas are not well maintained and you really should think twice before getting into one.

Having said all that, driving in Mozambique can be a rewarding adventure if you prepare yourself ahead of time. Driving is on the left hand side of the road. Know that it is an offence not to carry your valid driving license and liverete (original car papers) with you when driving. Be ready to politely present the originals of your car documentation, driver’s license, and compulsory third party insurance policy as well as your passport when requested by the police. All vehicles on Mozambican roads must carry two reflective triangles and a reflective vest at all times. It is advisable to carry a fire extinguisher for your safety.  Be aware of local road rules. For example, U-turns at traffic light intersections are never allowed – even if there is no sign prohibiting a U-turn.

For your own safety, put the vest on if you have to get out of your car for any reason when on the highway. Going far? Check to make sure that everything you need to change a tyre is really in the car before you embark on your adventure – these little items frequently go AWOL in Africa. Have the car serviced by someone you trust and prepare yourself for rough roads, great scenery and few facilities. Take a good first aid kit with you, because a well stocked pharmacy is not always around the corner and headaches and upset stomachs happen even on holiday.

Know that in rural areas most Mozambicans walk on the roads, since there are no sidewalks. Children and livestock regularly stray on the roads. Be on the lookout; pedestrians do unpredictable things in Mozambique. Most accidents happen at night and end in tragedy. Simply do not drive after dark outside of major cities and adhere to the speed limits, especially near villages and settlements. There are often trucks without lights or without a reflective chevron which makes them difficult to see at night.

If stopped by the police remain calm and polite. It is a courteous gesture to remove your sunglasses and cap. Ask for a clear explanation of the offence and a written fine that can be paid at a police station. If the police demand a fine is paid on the spot, ensure you get a receipt. Remember that the vast majority of police officers in Mozambique do work in the interests of law and order. We don’t condone any form of bribery and recommend that you always abide by the laws of the country. In the event of a fine or dispute please remain courteous and always request a written copy of the document / fine / receipt. Be aware of runners and luggage handlers at border posts and airports. We strongly urge you not to make use of their service but if you choose to do so please note they are not affiliated to Dana Tours and you are opting to pay them directly. When in doubt of the procedure at hand please feel free to contact us on +258 84 40 40 710 or contact the following anti-corruption hotline: +258 82 965 7804 or +258 21 31 06 93. It is highly recommended to get DriveMoz membership – link below.

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