South African's swarm over the border during peak holiday periods so, avoid southern Mozambique during peak season, particularly over the Easter and Christmas school holidays. If you visit out of season, you'll pay less for lodgings, the locals will be friendlier, and when you go to bed at night you'll actually be able to hear the ocean. Unfortunately the influx of people causes difficulty for the region; restaurants run out of ingredients and plumbing often falters. It's no better in the water because you will find hordes of people on their jetskis and notorious quad bikers on the sandy roads.
From Johannesburg, take the N17 to Ermelo, the N2 to Jozini and then follow signs to Kosi Bay.
From Durban, take the N2 north. Turn onto the R22-at Hluhluwe and follow signs to Sodwana Bay and then Kosi Bay. The sandy tracks on the Mozambican side of the border appear confusing at first, but they're mostly just deviations from two main roads; the one that goes straight (north) to Maputo - take this one to get to the Maputo Elephant Reserve and the Santa Maria Peninsula -and the one that goes right (east) to Ponta do Ouro, Ponta Malongane and Ponta Mamoli.
Malongane and Mamoli can also be reached by taking the Maputo road as far as Zitundu and then turning right towards the coast.
A 4x4 is essential if you are planning to venture anywhere north of Ponta do Ouro. A vehicle with high ground clearance is a must even if you're just going to Ponta. Always remember to deflate your tyres to 60% of their normal road pressure when driving in sand - as low as 1,2 bar.
You can park it in a secure car park at the Kosi Bay border post and arrange a 4x4 transfer with the lodge you're staying at. All the lodges offer this service (for a fee), but make sure you warn them in advance.
Southern Mozambique is a malarial area, so take precautions and consult your GP before you go.
Most of the bigger dive charters and lodges accept credit cards, but it a good idea to take a reasonable amount of cash. Rands are accepted everywhere. In Ponta do Ouro, just before you enter town, there is a market, butchery and bakery.
A visa is not needed but your passport should be valid for at east three months after your intended return. If you're taking a car over the border, the registration papers are essential. Third-party insurance is compulsory in Mozambique - you can buy it at the border for R150 per car and R80 per trailer.
You can pick up a faint South African signal from the top of some of the hills surrounding Ponta do Ouro, but if you want to use your phone regularly, it's best to activate international roaming. There is a good Mozambican signal everywhere along the coast, except in the more remote areas of the Maputo Elephant Reserve.
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