Hello I am considering booking the Ponta Mamoli hotel near Ponta de ouro for March. Can anyone tell me what to expect about getting there via the Kosi Bay checkpoint? Any info on the area and wildlife nearby? Are the beaches and diving really as good as I'm reading about?
Any practical advise about this excursion into Mozambique would be greatly welcomed.
I haven't travelled into Mozambique through Kosi Bay for some time now, I predominantly enter through Lebombo Border Post, but hre a few things which might help.
[*]Ponta Mamoli is about 25km from the border, it is quiet a bad road during the rainy season (Nov-March) and you will need 4x4! Make sure you deflate you tyres as some stretches are very sandy.
[*]You can take 2 routes to the resort, either through Zitundo or Ponta do Ouro. I would go through Zitundo as you don't really know what the condition of the road after Ponto do Ouro is going to be like due to the rains. After leaving the border post stick left (i.e. don't turn right), passed the Gum Trees. you will continue over a river and past a few cell phone receivers (on your right) and then hit the town of Zitundo. Ponta Mamoli is signposted from here, and should be pretty easy to get to. Total distance is 25km's
[*]The border crossing shouldn't be too hectic. I take it you are going to hire a vehicle. Make sure they give you permission to go into Mozambique. They will have to provide you with the Vehicle Registration documents as well as a letter of permission. You will need a Visa as which you can get at the the border post for about R200 ZAR (+- 25 USD). At the Mozambique side of the border, they may need to take you passport into the back to put the Visa in, dont be alarmed, they will return it. On both sides of the border you will guys offering to help you cross, it is illegal for them to badger you and I suggest not using them. They will take your passport and assist in getting your visa quickly, but then charge you for their services and if you are not willing to pay they won't give you your passport back!It is also compulsory to have third party insurance, which you can also get at the border (on the Mozambique side as far as I remember) but be sure to ask on the SA side as well. You will also need an international drivers license. Also be aware that the Mozambique Traffic officials are very strict so buckle up and don't break any rules or you might just be inline for a fine/bribe! Please don't pay the bribe, if they request you pay them on the spot, insist for a receipt. If they are not willing to give you receipt tell them that you will only pay at the traffic department. They might get slightly irritated with you, but they can't do much.
[*] The wildife land is pretty good, with some fantastic birds around. You could also take a trip into the Maputo Elephant Reserve which has some game and Elephants, but all are difficult to spot. The beaches and Marine life is fantastic!! I am not much of a diver, but I have told of the fantastic diving and snorkeling on offer in the area.
[*] I see you also PM'd me for advice on Malaria. March should see the decrease in Mosquito numbers but I would still suggest Malaria medication, and lathering youself up at sunset with insect repellant. I lived and worked in Kruger and Mozambique for 5 years, and I only got malaria once and I never took any medication. I was just took the necessary precautions at night during the rainy season.
[*] Currency wise, USD and ZAR are widely accepted, but your change will be in Mozambique Metical. Double check you change and make sure you get the correct exchange rate. I have made a few errors in my time, by not calculating things correctly. I can honestly say that the shop owners and market sellers are not purposely going to try and make extra money out of you but their maths isn't always the greatest!
Well thats pretty much it, if you have any more questions let me know.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Thank you so much for the practical information and detailed response. I'll take it into consideration in my planning.