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The new Mozambique highway, which opened in November last year, as well as the opening of Africa’s longest suspension bridge, the Maputo-Catembe bridge, has improved travel time between Maputo and Kosi Bay and several popular southern Mozambique tourist spots.
Nikki Wiedemann, a representative of The Best of Mozambique, a collaboration of four- and five-star hotels and eco lodges working together to promote Mozambique, says travel time from Maputo to White Pearl Resorts in Ponta Mamoli is now 90 minutes and from Maputo to Kosi Bay is approximately two hours.
Nikki adds that agents are motivated to sell southern Mozambique as the transfer time from Maputo International has been reduced from three to four hours to 90 minutes. “Guests prefer to spend less time travelling so that they have more time to spend at their final destination.”
There has been a slight increase in interest for self-drive, generally from keen fishermen towing their boats and holiday-makers towing trailers and four wheelers up north to Bilene or Inhambane, says Carla Fernandes, sales and marketing manager of Southern Sun Maputo.
Natalie Tenzer-Silva, director of Dana Tours, says while she does not receive many requests for self-drive options due to long distances between destinations, the bridge and road have made a significant difference. “Ponta do Ouro, a popular diving destination, has had an enormous number of visitors as a result. Generally most visitors doing self-drive don’t venture beyond Inhambane province.”
The Kosi Bay border is 630km from Johannesburg and 460km from Durban and is open seven days a week. Visitors entering at the Ressano Garcia border post can also travel to Ponta do Ouro on tar via Boane and Bela Vista. However, the tar road ends at the beginning of Ponta do Ouro town. From that point on the roads are in poor condition and a 4×4 vehicle is required. While plans are in the pipeline to build a park-and-ride facility at the end of the tar road, it is yet to be completed.