This is a very long post
, but hopefully it will be useful to those who wish to make use of Giriyondo in the future.
Just one point:
We used a Mozambican vehicle to go into SA at Giriyondo, thus we did not go through the same procedure and use the same forms as you will with a SA vehicle going into Moz..
However, I more than frequently go through the Lebombo/Resanno Garcia border post with a SA registered vehicle, so I will describe the documentation that I normally use at that border post – should not differ considerably.What you need before the time:*
A Passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your return*
SA citizens DO NOT require visas.
All other passport holder, except Malawians, requires visas.
Visas can be obtained at the Mozambican Embassy in your country (they have a few all over the world) or you can buy your visa at the border.
At most port of entries you can purchase a 30-day visa – just double check if it can be done at Giriyondo.
A visa will cost you about R170 *
The original vehicle registration document.
If you are not the titleholder, example your car is leased from the bank, you also require a letter from your bank authorizing you to take the car out of SA.
If you are towing a trailer you also need its registration documentation.
Rental vehicles can also cross the border, but you need to inform the rental company before hand and get all the necessary documentation from them.
There is normally a levy involved.
Most of the rental companies do not offer the service of renting a vehicle in SA and dropping it off in Moz.*
Saffies should also inform their insurance company that they are taking their vehicles into Moz.
Most companies issue you a letter stating that you vehicles will then be insured during your cross border trip.*
Compulsory Mozambican 3rd party insurance for your vehicle & trailer (if applicable).
You can purchase this before hand from an AA shop.
You can also purchase this at the border (I confirmed that they do sell the insurance on the Mozambican side at Giriyondo).
This insurance will cost you R150 – cover is for 30 days. *
Saffies DO NOT need an international driver’s licence.
Your SA driver’s licence is valid in all the SADC states.
Other passport holders do require international drivers licences. *
You are forced by local law to have at least two red emergency triangles in your vehicle at all times (can buy at most supermarkets)
In addition, if you are towing, you have to display a blue and yellow triangle on the front of your vehicle as well as on the back of the trailer/caravan.
These triangles can be purchased at AA shops.*
If possible, try to get some of the local currency, Meticais, beforehand.
You can also pay with Rand and USD at the border and use it inside Moz., but normally they give you a shocking low rate and change is mostly not “available”.
DO NOT exchange all your money in SA – the rate you get at the exchange houses (Cambios) inside Moz. is much better.
Currently the rate is 27 000MT for 1USD and 4 000MT of 1 SA Rand
There is a Foreign exchange bureau at the Crossings Mall in Nelspruit that you can use. At Lebombo there are people selling Meticais just before you reach the border.
I don’t know how legal this is.
On the Moz. side there are also people selling, but I know for a fact that this is illegal – in 2004 several tourist spend a night in jail because they bought from these guys – they arrested the tourist, not the vendors…
Also a very important point: Moz. is in the process of changing its currency – they are throwing away 3 zero’s – there goes my status as a multi millionaire..
They are currently running on a dual currency system.
The new currency is Novo Meticais (MTn).
In about July they are going to start printing the new currency and by beginning of next year the switchover should be completed.
SO, after July, be very careful that you don’t pay 5 000MTn
for something that cost 5 000MT
After January 2007 the “Novo” is going to fall away and it is then just going to be Meticais again.*
It will be a good idea to take out travel insurance to ensure that you will get evacuated in an emergency – Moz hospitals are not recommended…
When we get visitors, we normally make use of the travel insurance provided by Netcare 911 – they also have an office and experienced paramedics in Maputo.*
Make certified copies of all your important documentation. Travelling Distances and times
Remember, we travelled from Maputo, so I’m giving the distances and travelling times from that direction.Maputo to Macia 149 km – 1hr 50min
Our travelling time and distance is from our house in Maputo.
Travelling on this road is slow because it is busy and there are several small towns were you have to keep to the speed limit.
We travelled on EN1 and turned of inside Macia. Turnoff is well signposted – Limpopo National Park.
If you come from Giriyondo and you want to go to Xai Xai you will turn left at this intersection.
Macia – Xai Xai: 62 km
Macia – Bilene: 33 km (turnoff to Bilene is also in Macia)
Nice clean toilets at the Petromoc filling station (turn right at intersection…a small distance on you will see it on your right) Macia to turnoff towards Massingir 82 km – 1 hr
Although narrow this is a very nice road.
The road surface is good tar and the road is quiet.
However, DO NOT SPEED – there are people, children and animals crossing the road.
The turnoff (left) is well signposted.Turnoff – Massingir 103 km – 1hr 10 min
Also a relatively good tar road – small potholes every now and then.
The most stunning environment! You feel as though you are driving inside Kruger.
The most pristine bush with only a small amount of people living in the area. Massingir – Giriyondo 80 km - 2hr 20 minNB: If you are travelling from the Moz side, like we did, you need to purchase your permit at the Park’s offices in the town of Massingir
I will give more detail later on regarding the cost involved.
Look out for this sign:
It is near this Baobab
From Massingir town you travel a short distance to the Massingir dam.
They are currently working on the dam wall, thus you have to take a small detour around to get to the Park gates.
The speed limit inside the Park varies from 40km/h to 20km/h.
It is advisable to use a GPS in the Limpopo Park – signboards are non-existent and the roads can be somewhat confusing.
The current GPS map on Tracks4Africa is incorrect – will hopefully be updated soon…
But if you don’t have a GPS, I’m sure you will also get to the other side.
The roads are not THAT bad – one or two bad spots. IMHO, any vehicle with high ground clearance will make it – although, might need 4x4 after heavy rains.
We saw a normal “low” bakkie travel this road – will write about that in other thread!!
The roads are narrow, thus you have to go into the tick sand next to the road to give way for approaching vehicles (or eventually you get fed up and make the approaching vehicles give way)– 4x4 will also be required here.
We encountered several SA vehicles, some towing boats, trailers with quad bikes etc.
A lot of these idiots were speeding (will also write about this in another thread).
My husband is a painfully considerate person; at the beginning he patiently got of the road, waiting for the hooligans to pass – they did not even bother to thank us.
But then one approaching idiot flashed lights to us, “warning” us to give way!
There my husband's patience got lost and he decided that we are driving a Moz car and these hooligans are now in “our” country – after that a few Saffies almost overturned there vehicles to get onto the thick sand next to the road.
The Park itself is not what I will call a nature’s area.
It is one big village with houses, people, goats, cattle and dogs (will also write more about this in another thread). PLEASE respect these people through the speed you decided to travel.
If there are people inside the road DO NOT speed right up to them – slow down, give them time to get out of the road and pass them slowly.
Be careful of children and animals in the road.
The Mozambicans love and cherish their children – if you kill a child you are in BIG trouble!
Do not take video or photo of people without asking permission first.
Our first sign of wildlife was very dry elephant dung 18 km before Giriyondo.
The only wildlife we saw was impala and zebra about 1 km from the border post.
Birds were also noticeably absent up to about 5 km before the border. Border procedures
Giriyondo is obviously much smaller than the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border post – less counters etc.
Although you use the same forms the physical procedure is a bit more complicated at Ressano Garcia.
Those who want info on the procedure at Ressano Garcia can PM me – rather than using the obscure characters who offer their “help” at the border post. SA to Moz: SA side1.
All passport holders must accompany their passports to be stamped by the migrations official.2.
A temporary import permit for the vehicle and (if applicable) trailer has to be completed and stamped. Unfortunately it seems that Giriyondo do not have stock of the quadruplicate DA 341 form and this makes the process a bit cumbersome – you will thus have to complete a form on the SA side as well as the Moz side.
I do not have a copy of the “old” form, but below is the DA 341 form and the info required is more or less the same (think the “old” form also require the chasis #)
The “old” form is completed in duplicate, stamped, and one copy is given back to you. VERY IMPORTANT:
Keep the form in a safe place but also handy in case you are stopped and the traffic officials/police request to see it.
With the DA 341 form the official just tear out one of the 4 copies and hand you the stamped form.
** If you haven’t purchased your 3rd party insurance yet, leave the space provided open and complete on the Moz side after you got the insurance.
IMPORTANT: Declare all valuables, like camping fridges and cameras etc. on this form.
If you don’t, the Moz. side is going to want to charge you import duty.
Items declared on this form have to be with you when you leave again. 3
The migrations officials at Giriyondo are very kind, they complete the gate pass (thin slip with registration number and number of occupants in car).
This is also were the procedure differs from Lebombo:
A police official then goes and checks your vehicle and take the stamped gate slip. (think these guys are actually doing their work and the guys at Lebombo not)
They mostly check the car serial numbers. SA to Moz: Moz side1.
If you do not yet have your 3rd party insurance you have to purchase it – I looked around and it seems that this is done at “Tourist Information” (At Ressano Garcia the insurance companies have their own “stalls”)2.
Non-SA passport holders need to purchase a visa (R170)– just double check that this can be done at Giriyondo.
You will be required to complete an application form3.
Complete a Embark/Disembark Card for every passport.
Hand the completed cards and the passports to the migrations official to be stamped.
You are also required to pay border tax of R12 per passport (or 29 000 MT).
Try to give the correct amount – change is an issue…
If the SA side do not have the quadruplicate DA 341 form, you will also have to complete another form in duplicate on the Moz side for the temporary import of the vehicle. (with the DA 341 you just hand the official the form and he tear out his copy after he stamped it ….you then get the form back).
You also need to pay for the temporary import permit – R7 (although they sometime insist on R10). In Meticais you pay 26 500MT
To sum it up: If you have to complete the “old” forms, you will have 2 stamped forms (one from SA and one from Moz)
If you completed the quadruplicate DA 341 from you will have the one form and there will be two copies left inside
Look after these forms… they are important.5.
Ok, now for the fun part: the Moz officials are going to inspect your vehicle.
They are going to snoop around, asking you to open this and that. Will also ask if you have anything to declare.
Some points to remember:
Each person is allowed to bring in 50.00 USD worth of foodstuff once every 30 days for personal consumption.
If you exceed the 50.00 USD limit an official tax rate of 52% is used to tax any foodstuff.
You should prove the value of the goods bought by showing the receipts (till slip).
If you do not have any receipts the custom officials will estimate the value of the goods and you will be taxed accordingly. (Make sure the tax is levied on the amount before VAT – no use paying tax on tax).
At RG you can only pay this tax with Meticais – no other currencies
You are allowed the following (but it forms part of your 50 USD)
1 L Hard liquor (more than this….151% tax…..rather buy in Moz…cheaper)
2 Bottles wine (same tax as above…wine is expensive in Moz)
1 Case Beer – don’t bother bringing, Moz beer is very good and cheap.
200 Cigarettes – also don’t bring if you are not fussy about your brand….cigarettes is ½ price in Moz and do not have “death messages” printed all over packets
You are not allowed to bring in sugar or salt – it is to protect their local industry…rather add beer to your coffee and on you meat
They currently have a problem with eggs and chicken meat … bird flue.
Meat: rather take with….
Now the issue of meat is always a mystery.
I always take meat through the border at Ressano Garcia and don’t have any problems as long as it is part of my 50 USD (small lam chop).
BUT, the guys at Giriyondo on Friday kept on about meat…even though we were exiting Moz…we humoured them because I think it is so much part of their routine they did not even think that it has nothing to do with them if we take meat out – anyway, there was no meat in the cooler box.
If you take meat, rather vacuum pack it, will give them one less issue to find “fault” with.
DO NOT attempt to bribe these guys.
I do get the impression that they are used to “gifts”.
If you bribe them you are making the use of this border post very difficult for all the other people who wish to use it. Know what you are entitled to and follow the procedures.
That said, respect and politeness is two very important issues in Moz. society.
If you are friendly to these guys and treat them with respect, your trip will start on a good note.
Be arrogant, and it is going to cost you time and money.6
You are now finished with all the “official stuff”.
You now need to complete the formalities for the Limpopo Park.
At the Tourist office you pay for your permit (we did that in Massingir)
The costs are as follow:
200 000 MT per adult (International, include Saffies)….100 000MT for Nationals
I unfortunately did not look at the price for children – might be 100 000MT
200 000Mt per vehicle
You can also pay in Rand
To conclude this “monster” post
, some other point to remember while driving in Moz.:*
Avoid driving after dark.
It is VERY dangerous – look at the next point (rather sleepover in Letaba and enter Moz early in the morning)*
If you kill a person with your vehicle, whether it was your fault or not, there is a compulsory jail term of 72 hours. Nobody can get you out of that!*
Stick to the speed limits: normally 60km/h in towns and 120 -100km/h on the open road.
Every town has its traffic official just waiting for the hooligan Saffies… Fines are 1 000 000MT – ask for a receipt.*
Wear your seatbelt*
Always be polite as the Police do not like arrogance or disrespectful comments
PEW, hope this post will shed more light on the use of Giriyondo and the issues that need to be taken into account before you use it.
Mods, not all is SANParks related, but I think we are going to get more and more questions on the forum about Giriyondo and I hope this post will help.