I'm planning to drive from Kruger Park to Maputo on 22nd November, spend 1 or 2 nights there, then drive from there down to Swaziland, spend another couple of nights there, then drive down to Durban -with another night somewhere on the way, to catch a flight on 27th November. I am aware it is a very short time to visit these places, but I cannot fit more time in my schedule.
Could you recommend somewhere to stay in Maputo? Is it worth to visit the city, or is it better to spend the day on the beach? I've read that the beach at Maputo is quite polluted and not very recommended.
I have checked there are about 225km from Nelsprut to Maputo, and around 250km from Maputo to Mbabane. One should cover these distances in about 3 hours in normal roads. Has anybody travelled there, so to give some advice about the fact times?
I'm also aware of the delays at the border with SouthAfrica. Has anybody been bribed? How much would one normally have to pay?
As far as Swaziland, I have read it is quite safe for travellers.
Hi Diego, The drive from the Kruger Park at Crocodile Bridge to Maputo via the Komatipoort Border Post will take you three hours. The road is a nice, tar one. The Border post itself can take anywhere from half an hour to several hours. It will depend on what's going down that day. Also, remember that if you are bringing a car into the country, you will be required to purchase 3rd party insurance. This will take some time as well. I don't recommend cheaping out on the policy either as Mozambique is notorious for people, particularly children, getting "accidentally" hit.
As for bribing to pass through the border more quickly, I think this depends on whether you are traveling alone or with a group. If you are a group, you will most likely be approached by "helpers" that will speed your passport along more quickly for a fee. Make sure the price is agreed upon before you turn over the documents and don't ever let those passports out of your site. One person should go with your "helper" at all times. Our group of 15 did pay someone to do this, however, all of the passports but mine were South African. This seemed to matter b/c I had to accompany my passport, which was the only one that required a paid visa before entering the country. I would not recommend that you do this unless you are comfortable with this type of arrangement or if you are alone.
I think you have an ambitious schedule and will more than likely spend the majority of your time driving to and fro and crossing over border posts. With only five days, I think I would skip out on Durban or skip out on Mozambique. You could drive from the Kruger down through Swaziland and into Zululand rather easily and see quite a bit. You could stop over in Hluhlwe or St. Lucia on the way down to Durban and do some more safari. Keep in mind that the drive back from Durban to Joburg is a long one and you still have a flight to catch as well. It might be better dropping the car off in Durban and taking a one way flight up to Joburg instead. Just food for thought. Good luck and happy travels! Holly
I agree with soupatrvlr, you wil spend most of your time on the road. Not a huge amount to see in Maputo, beaches at Mbabane, if memory serves me correctly are beautiful but there are also some spectacular ones in South Africa. I too would go down thru Swazi, fabulous country and to Hluhlwe. From there, drive down the coast and time permitting, take in some of the Wild Coast.
In Swaziland I can highly recommend staying at Mlilwane, at the main camp rather than the backpackers. Wake to herds of impala outside your bedroom window along with warthogs, ostrich and Nyala, not to mention the Vervet monkeys that poo all over your car if you park under the tree!!Swazi by the way is very very safe.
Regarding border crossing for Mozambique, it can be chaotic, especially if a weekend or public holiday at which times you will most certainly need a helper. Cant actually remember if we had to accompany our passports but do remember that visa was expensive and has to be bought prior to arrival. Whatever you do, dont change any money with the money changers at the border, they will rip you off!
Get yourself a copy of Coast to Coast for SA accomodation, its brilliant. Free and you can get a copy whilst in Nelspruit, most of the hotels have them.
Good luck and have fun,