I have recently returned from a trip to Inhambane, Mozambique, where we overnighted at Tsendze before crossing over at the Giriyondo border. Below is some possibly useful info for anyone making the trip in future.
The border post is an absolute pleasure compared to Komatipoort and we were in and out in 20 hassle free minutes, in what feels like a Kruger Park reception rather than an African border post frontier.
Its about a 47km drive from Tsendze so we awoke early and got there early as it opened at around 8am. The whole time we were there, only 1 other car pulled up behind us. And so a nice easy welcome into Mozambique. Next stop Tofo and a week on the beach, near Inhambane.
Our route was Giriyondo - Massingir- Chokwe - Chibuto - Manjacaze - Chidenguele - Inhambane - Tofo. This whole journey from the border to Tofo took us 10.5 hours. Included was a fuel stop at Chokwe and a quick lunch break on the side of the road further on.
The route is supposed to be 4x4 only, and we did it in a Land Rover Defender, but I must say that normal sedans would be able to make it pretty comfortably. I can only assume that the roads get alot worse in the wet season (we did it in June). Never once came across anything worse than corrugation and potholes.
The sand road from Giriyondo to Massingir is corrugated but OK. Easy 2 hour drive. At first you see a few animals like zebra, giraffe and alot of ellie sign, and then a little later you see guys on bicycles and herd boys tending to their cattle still in the reserve.
After exiting the park I found the best place to re fuel and draw cash was Chokwe. Diesel and petrol were cheaper than South Africa. approx R9/l. The best way to get cash was to draw Metacais straight from the ATM in Chokwe where there are a couple of banks. The tar road from Massingir to Chokwe has numerous potholes and slight detours off the road, but was fine and you could travel 80km/h generally. All the other roads are better than this one even though they are sand. The only place you could potentially get lost is in manjacaze where you need to find the right sand road to Chidenguele. (info on that here http://www.barraresorts.com/index.php?pg=4&pgm=M&id=58
Once on the EN1 - it is plain sailing to Inhambane. This EN1 road is now completely good all the way from Komatipoort to Inhambane (as we found out on our return trip). Nice to see the efforts being made to improve the mozambique roads.
Great trip all in all and would definitely recommend using the Giriyondo border, if you are not in a rush. (Komatipoort to Inhambane will be much quicker)