Mozambique — Transportation
Mozambique Taxis and Car Rental
Taxis are now found in many Mozambique cities as well as in the capital, Maputo. Meters are a foreign concept and unused, leaving passengers to negotiate a fare with the driver before departing, although payment can only be made at the destination. Don’t expect a comfortable ride, as vehicle maintenance here isn’t a priority. It’s best to ask around for a reliable radio-taxi firm rather than flagging down a cab on the street or getting one from a stand, and women traveling alone should avoid taxis. Maputo cabs work on a flat rate of 200 mts around the city center, with higher fares charged dependent on distance.
If you’re planning on renting a car especially in rural areas, getting a 4x4 is highly recommended due to the poor state of the country’s roads. The two main highways in Mozambique are the EN1 and EN6, with the former in relatively good condition from Maputo to Vilankulox, after which it deteriorates to decrepit and is unsuitable for low-clearance vehicles for about 75 miles. The EN6 from the Machipanda border crossing to Inchope is fine, but at points between Inchope and Beira, it becomes impassable. Note that north of Vilankulox, gas stations are sparse, with as much as 93 miles between them so be sure to plan ahead. Despite of the afforementioned problems, self-drive will open up some of the most spectacular sights in Africa especially along the Indian Ocean.
Mozambique Trains and Buses
Mozambique’s bus network covers all major cities and towns with at least one service a day. Bus travel is cheap, reliable and on time, but can be very uncomfortable due to road and vehicle conditions. A number of companies provide the service, but breakdowns are common making even short journeys take a while. Traveling from the north to the south of the country by bus can take a week, with long-distance vehicles leaving around 4:30 a.m. However, intrepid travelers will see sights they’ll remember the rest of their life.
The Companhia dos Caminhos de Ferre da Beira is the national rail company, offering a few routes mostly in the north. Trains run from Maputo to Coba and Ressano Garcia and from Isla de Mozambique and Nacala via the Monapo rail junction to Lichinga and Nampula. The formerly closed line between Maputo and Neira may now be reopen and for those planning on entering the country by land from South Africa, there’s regular train connections to Maputo. Routes may be limited, but it’s as scenic as is it gets and a comparatively inexpensive way to get around.