Ponta do Ouro Mozambique, Travel & General Information
*As of 1 September 2017, there is a temporary ban on all meat imports into Mozambique as a result of the foot and mouth outbreak in Mpumalanga.
*Ponta do Ouro will still experience frequent electricity cuts and dips due to maintenance works and insufficient supply in 2017. The problem is widespraad and government is working to rectify it.
The Ponta do Ouro Accommodation is best accessed through the Kosi Bay border. The border is approximately 630kms from Jo’burg and 460kms from Durban and is open 7 days a week (08h00 to 17h00). Between the border and the hotel a 4x4 vehicle is required due to the soft sandy roads. Should you not have one; a border transfer can be arranged. Your vehicle can be left at the parking lot just before the border at a charge of R40.00 per day. The parking lot is privately run and secure.
Please allow ample travelling time to get to the Border before it closes as road conditions aren't always good and can slow journey time down considerably. There are often potholes, lots of trucks and also cattle in the road. Recommended travel time from Jo'burg to the Border is 7 - 8 hours HOWEVER... with the current road works the journey can easily take 9 hours and worst case scenario up to 10 hours. These road works have been around for a good few years and will still be a factor for some time so please do take note of travel time.
Should you be coming from Maputo it is a 100km journey from Catembe and takes approximately 3 hours depending on the road condition. It is a sand track and can get very wet in rainy season. From Maputo a ferry can be taken across to Catembe (it takes cars and people).
At the border post you will need:
- Your PASSPORT (must be valid for 6 months to come and have 2 clean pages available for stamps).
- NB: Please make sure that your passport has been stamped on BOTH sides of the border (SA & Mozambique).
- Please note that the SA government no longer issues temporary passports. However if you do still have a valid one it will be accepted at the border.
- A temporary import permit & 3rd party insurance of approx. R280.00 for your vehicle.
- Temporary import permit should you be towing a boat/trailer/wet bike etc. This will be in the region of R150.00.
- Drivers of South African-registered cars crossing SA borders must carry and present a certified copy of vehicle registration/vehicle licence papers at the border posts. This must be accompanied by a letter from the bank giving authorisation to take the vehicle across the border and must indicate dates of travel. Both the bank letter and licence papers should be signed by a Commissioner of Oaths.
- If the driver of the vehicle is not the owner of the vehicle, an affidavit from the police giving authorisation from the financial institution/owner to take the vehicle abroad is required. If the car is rented, the driver must have a letter from the rental company giving permission to take the vehicle out of the country.
- A letter of permission from your vehicle insurance company stating that you may take your car into Mozambique and will still remain covered whilst there.
- Visas: Please check with the Mozambican embassy whether your nationality requires a visa. Passport holders from countries that DO NOT require visas include: Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Lesotho & Namibia.
- International travellers may pre-apply for visas in their home country or purchase a visa at the border post for US$50.00. Travel documentation is essential to prove the visit is tourism related. Items such as (return ticket, accommodation confirmation or invitation letter) are normally considered adequate.
- Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the day you enter Mozambique.
- Please note that as of 1 June 2015 all children under the age of 18 must present an unabridged birth certificate (shows both parents' names) along with their passport at immigration. Children who do not have the correct documentation will not be allowed to leave South Africa. If children are not travelling with their own parents/one parent a letter of consent from the parents/other parent will need to be presented in the form of an affidavit.
- Visitors are exempt from paying import duty on personal effects, sporting and recreational equipment and food and consumables as follows: 2.25 litres wine, 1 litre spirits, 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars, 250 ml eau de toilette, 50 ml perfume and US$50.00 per person of "other goods" which would include groceries. There is no allowance for beer and it may be confiscated if found.
- Please be aware that border officials may insist on presentation of purchase receipts on goods being transported cross border.
- Due to current electricity problems in the area it is a good idea to pack torches, gas lamps, gas burners, car fridges etc to sustain you during down times.
- Ponta do Ouro is classified as a low risk malaria area - please speak to your GP regarding the necessity of precautionary medication. You will need to pack mosquito deterrents such as Tabard, Peaceful Sleep, Doom coils etc.
- WEATHER: Ponta do Ouro is warm all year round with an average temperature of 28 degrees celsius. Rain mostly occurs November - April and typically during this time it can be very hot and humid.
- Although it is possible to buy basic groceries in Ponta do Ouro it is advisable to bring the bulk of your supplies from home. There is a bottle store that sells alcoholic beverages, bottled water and soft drinks.
- Luka's Butchery sells a large variety of meat, spices, marinades, salad dressings and sauces. They can also do spit braai functions as well as provide ready made salads. Other items in stock: sweets, chocolates, cheese, milk, cream, ice-cream, eggs, coffee, sugar, juices, basic camping equipment, mosquito repellants, bait and lures.
- The local market sells basic fruit, vegetables, dry groceries, peri-peri sauce, wood, charcoal and bread.
- The water in Ponta do Ouro is not fit for drinking and can at times have a brownish colour and rusty smell. This water is fine for showering etc but bottled water should be used for drinking.
- There is a curio market that sells lovely handmade products. Please be aware that the SA government prohibits wooden items to be transported across the border and so goods are often confiscated at the border post.
- Other items that may be confiscated at the border when returning to SA are: Fruit, vegetables, meat and fish.
- South African Rands, Mozambican Meticais and US Dollars are accepted in town. Credit cards are widely accepted however there are often problems with Mastercards. VISA cards are preferred. There is a bank in town square with an ATM.
It is compulsory for any South African vehicle, caravan or trailer to have a ZA sign displayed when it crosses any of the borders. The ZA sign must be placed on the rear of each vehicle, caravan and trailer in a visible position and may not be within 150mm of the rear number plate.
When travelling in Mozambique with a vehicle in tow, you are required to display a set of blue & yellow warning triangles. One triangle must be placed on the front right bumper of the vehicle and the other on the rear of the vehicle towed.
When travelling with any South African registered vehicle in Mozambique you will need to have a set of red warning triangles in your possession.
Regulations as follows:
- Each side of your triangle must be 500mm long and 50mm wide, with a thickness of roughly 5mm.
- The triangle must be uniformly-covered in red reflective material.
- The back of the triangle must either be uniformly white, or have a 5mm-wide white border.
- The edge of the triangle must be yellow.
- The reflective surfaces must be well-maintained.
- The triangle must be visible from at least 100m in the presence of light.
It is now compulsory for motorists to carry the reflective jackets when travelling to Mozambique. Your reflective vest must be made from polyester and it must be closable at the front and adjustable on all sides. The vest must be equipped with polyvinyl reflective strips, no less than 40mm wide, in yellow or green on the front, to the sides, and on the back of the vest. The vest must be worn when at the scene of a car accident, when repairing your vehicle on the side of the road, and when reloading cargo that has fallen from your vehicle on to the road.
THINGS TO DO IN THE AREA:
- Diving (which, of course, is what Ponta do Ouro is known for).
- 4X4 Scenic Route - go for a drive through the dense pristine dune forest, enjoying the bird life, on soft sand tracks - don't underestimate the challenges that this route offers you.
- A walk along the beach might bring you face to face with a turtle laying her eggs (from October - December).
- Dolphin or Whale Shark search - once found you will be able to swim with these magnificent creatures.
- Maputo Elephant Reserve is some 50km north of Ponta Do Ouro - the Elephants are very shy. There are also Duiker and other small antelope.
- Deep sea fishing - catch the big one. Use your own boat or make use of a fishing charter. Get your license from the maritime office in town.
- Enjoy a tasty meal at one of Ponta’s restaurants or watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand. Please remember that most resorts and restaurants do accept credit cards (unless they are offline) but it is still recommended that you take a sufficient amount of cash along. There is a bank in Ponta do Ouro (BCI Fomento). Rands and Meticais are accepted at all establishments in Ponta do Ouro.
- Come and enjoy our beaches, where you can have "fun in the sun" in uncrowded,
unspoilt surroundings… all year round!
- *Southern Mozambique is considered a low risk malaria area – please consult your GP for advice on precautionary medication.