Pemba FAQ, Mozambique

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Pemba FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Pemba in Mozambique

  • Is there a petrol station in Pemba?

    Yes, there are petrol stations in Pemba

    Keep in mind that it's best to pay for petrol in local currency (Meticais) as it is more expensive to pay for petrol in Rands or Dollars. Petrol is more expensive the further north you travel!

  • Are there flights from Johannesburg to Pemba?

    Yes, there are flights to Pemba via Johannesburg on the following Airliners: SA Airlink, LAM and Precision Air. Although LAM air tickets are cheaper, SA Airlink has proved to be the most popular airliner flying to Mozambique and your flight is guaranteed with SA Airlink. LAM airliners are known to be late and confirmation of your flight ticket 72 hours prior to departure is vital or else bookings can be cancelled.

    Flights are approximately 3 hours long.
    Book LAM air tickets here:
    Book SA Airlink air tickets here:

  • Great, do I need a visa to fly to Pemba?

    South African passport holders do not require a visa to travel to Mozambique for leisure, though overseas visitors can obtain visas at the airports for approximately R200 (US$ 29.00) per person (prices are subject to change - please contact the airport for more information regarding visa prices).

  • Do I need a 4x4 to get to Pemba?

    No, You can drive a normal sedan car to Pemba. Road improvements went underway at the end of 2010, so there will be much less potholes than normal.

    We always recommend that you do take a 4x4, because you won't be limited to exploration and you will be able to get around much easier without the possibility of getting stuck.

    Tyres should be deflated to -800 bar to be able to drive on the soft sand.

  • Is it okay to drive at night?

    We advise you not to drive at night.

  • Can I hire a 4x4 in Pemba?

    Yes, There are companies that rent vehicles out in Pemba. Visitors can hire 2 wheel drives or 4x4's. Keep an eye out for the these car hire companies in Pemba:

    Safi rent-a-car
    Moti Rent A Car
    AVIS Rent-a-Car
    EXPRESSO Rent-a-Car
    Imperial car rental
    Tri-Star Car Rental

  • Can I drive to Pemba and How long will it take?

    Yes, thats if you are prepared to spend a long time travelling on the road! Self-drives from Johannesburg to Pemba will take 4+ days depending on the number & duration of stops, weather and other cirmcumstances that could delay your journey.

    You can save yourself a lot of time and about 400km if you enter Mozambique via Zimbabwe. Enter Zimbabwe at the Beitbridge border post at the most Northern part of South Africa and Limpopo. Travel through Masvingo and to Mutare border post going into Mozambique. Go past Chimoio and take the En1 North towards Pemba.

    1 way bus trips from Maputo to Pemba are available. These journeys are around 3 - 4 days (again, this can depend) and are from about 3000 mts (R800) excluding Accommodation (rates are approximate and are subject to change).

  • Are there Banks or ATMS in Pemba?

    Yes, There are 3 major banks in Vilanculos: Barclays, BCI (Banco Comercial e de Investimentos) and BIM (Banco Internacional de Mocambique) Millennium which all have ATM machines for Visa cards (not always Mastercard). Banks are open from 08h00 - 15h00 on weekdays. Barclays Bank is open on Saturdays from 9h00 - 12h00.

    Be prepared and draw more than enough money in South Africa to avoid inconveniences. Keep the money in a safe / discreet place.

  • Are there credit card facilities in Pemba?

    You will have to check with the lodge that you are staying at if they have credit card facilities.

    Best to check first to avoid dissapointment.

  • Is there a shopping mall or can I buy groceries in Pemba?

    Yes, you can find the common facilities cities usually provide such as: banks, exchange bureaus, restaurants, shops and supermarkets and if you are interested in either buying something or a bit of 'window-shopping', then do head off to the famous 2km long craft market that sells absolutley almost anything, including radios, cell phones, beds, cloths, fruits & veg and much more!

  • Is Pemba a Malaria area? Do I need to take Malaria Tablets?

    Yes, Mozambique as a whole is a Malaria risk Area / Country. We recommend you take precautions and visit your nearest Doctor (you now need a prescription for Malaria Tablets) to prescribe you with what's recommended.

    Be prepared and take other Prophylactics like Insect Repellent sprays, Mosquito Coils, light long sleeve tops and bottoms to further prevent bites.

Quick Fact:

Pemba Bay is a VERY large bay, in fact, its the 3rd largest natural bay in the world (13,000 HA) and the Largest Bay in Africa from Ponta do Diabo to Ponta Maunhane! It is said that if every ship in the world had to dock in Pemba Bay, there would still be more space!

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