We had completed our dive in Tofo and were done with Mozambique. It was time to make our way back to Nelspruit in South Africa. Now the question was, how were we going to get out of Mozambique/Tofo?
There was no way we were taking flights because of the cost. The thought of taking the same Fatimah’s shuttle back to Maputo, before trying to find a transport from Maputo to Nelspruit was unappealing. If we had to take public transport, it would be a nightmare of transfers and full of unknowns. We would have to take an early morning Chappa to Inhambane (no idea what time it opens or where to take), take the public bus to Maputo hoping it wouldn’t break down, find some transport option to Nelspruit which we had no idea how.
This was where Tourz2moz comes in. (This is definitely not a sponsored post, just my experience with it)
Previously, I had managed to find a company called Tourz2moz. I had covered it in my other post about getting from Maputo to Tofo.
They run transport options between South Africa and Mozambique, travelling mainly from Pretoria/Johannesburg to Tofo/Mozambique with stops in proximity every THURSDAY and returning to Johannesburg every TUESDAY.
We just happen to be done with our dive by Monday, so it was ideal that we could take the transport using Tourz2Moz. Even though it was extremely costly to us, the convenience outweighed everything as it enabled us to stick to our itinerary. We could get all the way from Tofo to Nelspruit within a day.
However, when I finally decided to do it, I realised that the booking was full! I decided to get to Tofo and contact them instead.
With the help of Liquid Dive, they helped us arrange with Zelma, the owner.
We had to meet at 4.45am at the tofo police station. The tofo police station is located nearer to Tofo-Tofo, the dining restaurant.
It’s Zelma who’s driving. My assumption was that she has other businesses in South Africa. Therefore, she needs to travel around once or twice a week there and back. She might as well earn extra money ferrying people, which is why Tourz2Moz doesn’t do trips everyday. Upon looking at her website, I realised she does tours also.
Another reason could be the lack of demand. There are not many people who can afford such trips except flashpackers or more luxury travellers.
This was the original vehicle we would have been in. The luggage is put into the trailer at the back. It fits around 7-9 people I presume.
It was a special group of 3 of us in another vehicle. The original vehicle they used was full as per what we had known based on the website booking (this proves their website works!). To accommodate us, they had hired another driver and vehicle to take us to Nelspruit.
This was one of those travelling moments where all the bad luck has turned into 1 moment of good luck.
We had a whole other vehicle to ourselves. As there was another lady with us, I believed she only took this up due to having at least 3 people. I can imagine it might have been too costly to hire a vehicle just for the 2 of us!
It had practically fully reclining seats and there was enough leg space to stretch out. It was akin to lying down on a bed, or on first class in the aeroplanes. Megan (the other lady) sat in front while we sat at the back.
It was a real treat!
Of course, seeing that it was 750 Rand, which was around 65 USD, it was more than twice the price of using a public transport or even if you had combined it with Intercape.
The journey was extremely smooth. No stops to pick up any other passengers, no issues with the police, nothing. It just went directly to the border. Even though it was extremely sunny, there was no problem because we had AIRCONDITIONING in the vehicle. What a luxury! This was the opposite of “先苦后甜”, because we were enjoying the “sweetness” first before any pain or struggles. Well, we were going to take local buses for the rest of the trip so let us enjoy this moment first.
Compared to our initial border crossing using Intercape, it took us barely 10 minutes to cross the border into South Africa as there was no waiting time. This was what a private transport is all about.
We reached the border by 1 pm. That was almost 8 hours of straight driving. We would have only managed to get from Inhambane to Maputo with that same amount of driving time, excluding waiting time.
Nelspruit wasn’t that far from the border, but it still took another 3.5 hours to get there.
The only negative thing about this journey (other than the cost) was where we were dropped off. It was my mistake to not negotiate or tell Liquid Dive/Tours2Moz where we were headed to in Nelspruit. I never did ask them where they were going to drop us in Nelspruit because I assumed it would have been somewhere in the city centre or at a popular backpacker’s hostel.
We were simply too happy to get a direct transport to begin with, therefore we didn’t bother to question.
We were unfortunately dropped off at a petrol station situated just outside the city centre of Nelspruit. At first, I thought it was just a pit stop, but Zelma came out and said “Oh we end here, this is the Nelspruit stop”.
I wished they had mentioned it somewhere on their website or something. It was a really inconvenient place because we did not know how to get any public transport or taxi into the city.
I asked if we could get dropped at our hostel but she told us to negotiate with our driver Julius. She gave him instructions to drop us further in at a more convenient place as he had to go fix his vehicle too which was on the way. During the trip, the brake encountered some mechanical issues. We could see that he wasn’t very keen on it as I don’t think he was very satisfied with how much he earned this trip.
I don’t blame him.
Julius obviously did not drop us at where Zelma directed him to. We were supposed to drop at a big Shoprite, but we ended up in the middle of nowhere and walked blindly until we reached another petrol station.
We started asking people at the petrol station to try to get a taxi and ended up with a sort of “private Chappa” directly to Old Vic’s Hostel in Nelspruit.
Well, that is another story for another day. This concludes the journey from Tofo to Nelspruit. This trip was done in December 2018.
To summarize it,
Yes, it is possible to get from Tofo to Nelspruit in 1 day.
The journey using Tourz2Moz is expensive but extremely efficient and comfortable. Although I felt the pinch, I did not regret it at all. It was actually our most expensive land transport used during our 3-week trip.
If you wish to contact Zelma, here are her contact details.
Contact Numbers: South Africa and WhatsApp: +27 71 462 4271
Mozambique: +258 845107712
E-mail: [email protected]