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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 1 Feb 2010
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Dar es Salaam to Nampula - Good idea?

Basically want to follow the coast down, pass Mtwara, cross the river & border there (seems possible, not sure about getting visas though) and keep going to Pemba. From there we'd go more south to hook up with the highway at Nampula and head west to southern Malawi.

If this seems to difficult, the only other option is to just go to northern Malawi and drive through it. Doesn't seem as fun But we'd rather miss out on some fun than be stuck in eastern Tanzania for weeks.

Are there any recent updates on the road quality and/or border crossing at that river? I know a bridge is going up, but haven't heard much about officials being there for visas, etc. Do people even think that route is a good idea?
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Old 1 Feb 2010
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I got this reply via email:
You will need to get a Mozambique visa in Dar. Think about a COMESA yellow card for 3rd party insurance. The Rovuma Bridge is open in the past couple weeks, so you can cross there.

It's a shame they put the Rovuma (Unity) Bridge in effectively the middle of nowhere. There is also the Umoja bridge in a better spot near the coast, but I'm unsure if that is open. Thinking about going the 3 boat/raft option to get the car across.

So even though I can get the visa in Dar.... does anyone know if I can get stamped into the Mozam along this river? It might be difficult to leave the country with no entry stamp.
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Old 3 Feb 2010
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It seems as though the Rovuma crossing at the mouth is still on the dodgy pontoon boats, but have a look here Mozguide.com - Rovuma Crossing for the latest.

Then look here Mozguide.com - Negomano / Mtambaswala Rovuma Bridge is open. for the alternative, which is to drive from Mtwara to Masasi, and then down to the border crossing at Masuguru/Negomane.

Mtwara itself is a bit of a dump, although the harbour is beautiful. Just south of it near the border is a low water causeway to an island called Msimbati, which has an idyllic beach and great diving. The Kilwas are also fascinating. If you decide to go back via Songea, and decide to bush camp around Tunduru, be aware that there have been sporadic incidents in the area of lions taking villagers. Local legend has it that they also killed two game rangers sent to shoot them, but I have never been able to firm this up.
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Old 3 Feb 2010
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Thanks heaps for the info Tony. I actually found that Mozguide link the other day, but then lost it and forgot what it was. I meant to post it on here, so I'm glad you have. I have read that area can be bad for lions eating people. We'll keep an extra eye out and use precautions. Great info about the surrounding towns too, much appreciated.

We've decided to go over that bridge at Negomane too. The dodgy boats seem to take all day anyway, and you have to wait for high tide. So I don't think it'd take much longer to drive to the bridge and back to the coast. Plus, we'd save at least $250US.
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