Crossing via the Shire Valley

It is not described in your guide how to cross the border from Malawi to Mozambique, from Bangula southbound to the border post of Vila Nova Fronteira along the Shire Valley. This is not an easy travel and it requires low-clearance 4×4. so few drivers make it, but it is an interesting and beautiful drive for those who dare.

This route goes from Bangula to Nsanje, via Vila Nova de Fronteira (border), then southwest towards Zambezi river, then going east to Pinda and Murrumbala, finally going south to the EN1. From there it is easy to drive to Caia.

Navigation is a must. On the road to Pinda, you’ll have to cross the Shire river by a small ferry, operating only in the dry season.

There are a few catches though. First of all, it’s a very long drive. We were unable to negotiate this route within a single day, this was because the ferry was broken for a couple of hours. Normally the ferry would take 1 to 2 hours of waiting.

The second catch is the border crossing, you cannot buy the required third party insurance at this border. Nor can buy it in Caia. So, this route basically is only for those drivers who have pre-arranged this insurance.

Thirdly, there is hardly any accomodation en route. We saw a little pension in Murrumbala, but we did not check it. We camped overnight near the ferry, and were kindly helped by villagers to camp inside the village. As usual, the people of Mozambique were fantastic!

Regards,

Astrid & Frank, Netherlands

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