Border crossings

Our planned trip will include border crossings through 9 countries. That means 18 border posts. As and when we cross these borders we will update the info below for future reference.

Border tips we have gathered from reports:

  • be prepared to go slow – plan your trip to include up to 3 hours per border
  • runners and touts will swarm your car – ignore them blatantly.  If you decide to use a runner, select one that you prefer and tell him to get rid of his mates, negotiate the rate up front and NEVER hand him your documents – ask him to guide you through the process only and pay him when completed – some borders have different buildings where you have to go to and fro. The opinion out there is that the African border processes are designed for the middle man
  • NEVER hand your documents to anybody not behind an official counter – you have to pay to get it back
  • do NOT exchange currency with random people – you may receive redundant notes (one lady reportedly received R14000 worth of redundant Meticals in Mozambique with an exchange – do your homework on current currency per country) – or you may receive incorrect amounts (they fold the middle of the stack double and count the ends)
  • when one persons remains in the car, do not fall for the scam where a person tells you your partner inside needs change. They WILL con you

Border crossings:

South Africa to Botswana:

  • RSA: Pontdrift (Mashatu) – easy – 10 minutes

On the South African side we got the passports stamped, and we requested them to stamp the list of our equipment ( electronics, solar, fridges, serial numbers where available) – just to keep as proof that we had all these items with us before departure. This saves a lot of arguments later when returning to RSA with regards to import and customs.

  • Bots: Pontdrift (Tuli) – easy – 10 minutes

Immigration forms filled out, Passports stamped, vehicle entry book filled out. Had to pay P165 including entry fee, 3rd party insurance (valid for 3 months), road tax valid for one year. We did not know that, as we paid road tax upon entry to Mabua in May, and did not have our previous receipt with us, so we paid again

Botswana to Namibia (Caprivi)

  • Bots: Ngoma Gate – Easy crossing. Forms filled out and they stamped our passports. 10 minutes in and out.
  • Nam : Ngoma Bridge – Easy crossing. They took our body temperature before we entered the building – determine whether we have any illness. Forms filled, passports stamped, vehicle register filled in, paid R295 for road tax.

Namibia to Zambia:

  • Nam: Wenela
    10 minutes in and out – forms filled and passports stamped. Had to ‘register’ vehicle at exit gate – book completed with vehicle details- VIN number, engine number, etc
  • Zam: Sesheke – 45 minutes in and out. The runners stormed us to exchange kwachas, but we just told them we are sorted
    1 – health screen – took body temperature with infrared device – if temparature too high, they refer you to the clinic before allowing you to immigrations
    2 – immigrations – passports stamped
    3 – customs:
    – emmission tax (ZKW275 for 3 liter+ engine)
    – Vehicle details into book
    – Carnet de Passage entered and stamped / if no CdP one has to buy TIP for vehicle and show police clearance for vehicle
    4 – Third Party Insurance – we bought Zambia 3rd Party insurance online from before departure – received voucher and receipt and they issued policy at border – ZKW137.90. No problems encountered, we only had to wait 10 minutes for the guy who went somewhere outside to come back and issue the policy. Reason why we bought it: numerous reports on 3rd party scams at the Zambian borders where the insurance agents charge you as much as 4 times on what you should pay
    5 – road tax USD20 – show this document at each road maintenance toll gate on the main roads instead of paying the ZKW20 for each toll
    6 – community levy toll pass at exit gate – ZKW30

Zambia to Tanzania:

The Zombe/Kasesya border posts past Mbala are rarely used.

  • Zam: Zombe

We had to wait 10 minutes for the officers to be fetched from their nearby homes. But the border procedures were smooth. Our Carnet and passports were stamped and vehicle register filled out, and off we went. 20 minutes total time spent.

  • TNZ: Kasesya

We waited half an hour for the officials to be fetched from their homes. Documents were stamped, and for the first time on this trip an official wanted to inspect the contents of the vehicle. The Carnet was entered on the system which took another 10 minuts. We opened the one side clothes box and the rear door and he glanced it over and was satisfied. Total time spent almost an hour.

  • Tanzania to Kenya:
    • TZN: Tarakea
    • Kenya: Loitokitok
  • Kenya to Tanzania:
    • Kenya: Loitokitok
    • TZN: Tarakea
  • Tanzania to Malawi:
    • TZN: Kasumulu
    • Mal: Songwe
  • Malawi to Mozambique
    • Mal: Muloza
    • Moz: Milange
      • 3rd Party Insurance – Mozambique 3rd party insurance available online via,, also available at any AA (Automobile Association) office or Outdoor Warehouse shop in South Africa – R280 per passenger vehicle, R140 per trailer
  • Mozambique to South Africa
    • Moz: Ressano Garcia
    • RSA: Komatipoort

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