Nhoxani, Santa Maria, Maputo Provice, Mozambique


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Click here to download our directions in PDF

Directions Jhb Or Durban To Nhoxani Via Kosi Bay Border: 12-14 Hours >>

Directions from Komatieport Border to Maputo Marina and Club Naval >>

Directions Durban To Maputo Via Swaziland >>

Directions: Maputo or Kosi Bay to Nhoxani on new road >>

Tariff for the Elephant Reserve Entrance fees >>


The bay of Maputo provides visitors with an experience that is so different from a normal holiday’s logistics. There are a few different ways to get to Nhoxani, each with its own appeal:

 Boating Transfer from Maputo:

This is the quickest option compared to driving if you have your own boat. Obtain your 30 day seaworthy and launch at Maputo Marina, where you can safely park your car and trailer for the duration of your stay at Nhoxani. The bay crossing will take 1 – 1.5 hours depending on the tides and you can boat right up to the house. There is a mooring exclusively available for each Villa. We can supply the contact details for the Port Captain to assist with your paperwork.

If you do not have your own boat but wish to charter for the transfers across the bay, various boats are available for approx. R13,750 for a return crossing (depending on exchange rates), covering arrival and departure transfers. Please advise on details and we will help you book accordingly. The boats we choose are all substantial and capable of taking 10-12 pax with all their luggage, food and drinks for the week.

Boat Charter Opportunities:

There are a few charter options. These are supplied by independent owner/operators, but we have negotiated costs as best as we can for visitors for a variety of good boats pictured below. Price covers both ways for all options.

TRANSFER FROM MAPUTO TO SANTA MARIA to stay in one of the Villas available for rental.
The boat will depart from Maputo Marina or Porto De Pesca, where one can safely park your vehicle and trailer for a small fee. Departure times from Maputo Marina can be anytime from 3 hours before high tide to 3 hours after high tide. Departures from Porto De Pesca are not tide dependant. Transfers can be from first light in the morning until 1 hour before sunset. If the tides are low, the charter boats can depart from and arrive at Porto de Pesca, just 1.5kms away from Maputo Marina.

Flying to Maputo is certainly the fastest:

The International airport is efficient. No VISAs are required for SA passport holders. There are four flights per day from JHB to Maputo and return, direct flights to/from Durban on most days and twice a week flights to/from Cape Town. In addition there are direct International flights from Europe twice a week.

From Maputo to Nhoxani by helicopter is only a 20 minute flight. Charters are available with a cost of approx. $1,500 per leg

From Maputo to Inhaca by small plane is only a 15 minute flight plus 30 minute boat transfer. Charters are available

From Maputo to Nhoxani by boat is a 1 – 1.15 hours transfer. Charters are available. This is the best option in our opinion.

The driving option is also popular:

  1. From JHB/PTA drive to Maputo, take the Catembe Bridge flyover, use the West gate of the Elephant Reserve. This is a 4.5 hour journey from Maputo.
  2. From DBN, travel via Kosi Bay, get on the highway to Maputo, turn off at the West Gate Entrance to the Elephant Reserve. This is a 4 hour journey from Kosi Bay border.

We can supply the necessary detail and maps to assist you with your trip planning:

Images with the road overlay to show you where things are relatively on the peninsula;


BOAT LAUNCH location close by. Mooring can be in front of the house.

ROAD FROM SANTA MARIA VILLAGE TO NHOXANI: follow the power lines toward the peninsula and Nhonguane Lodge signs. Then follow the Nhoxani signs.

ROAD FROM NHOXANI TO PONTA ABRIL BEACH is available on a MAP, which will be supplied.


If you need any other details on driving to Santa Maria, please let us know.

Driving information has been supplied by others who have done the trip. We can’t guarantee times or road conditions, as they will vary depending on drivers, vehicles, weather.

Road Trip From Durban To Nhoxani Via Kosi Bay Border

My experience on the traveling to Santa Maria in Mozambique from Durban: By Tony Mestre We traveled from Durban to Kosi Bay, traveling straight pass Richard Bay till you get to the Kosi Bay turn off. This then takes you straight to Kosi Bay border. Ponta border post time. 08h00 – 17h00 (07h00 – 18h00 in peak season). There are a couple of nice overnight places there if you prefer to stay over and make a fresh start the next morning . (I recommend that you not pass through the border too late as the road up is a bit of a drive and the Ele Reserve gate opens at sunrise but closes half an hour before sunset).

It is a must to travel with 4 x 4 only as the road is a bit challenging. If pulling a trailer, I recommend you raise the tow bar so that the trailer doesn’t plough or get stuck as it pulls into the sand. Remember to deflate your tyres to about 1.4 bar. All of this said, it was a great experience to travel by road up to Santa Maria and I will recommend it to anyone.

Once in the border zone, take the straight way up to get to the main highway to Maputo. Travel straight until you get the entrance into the Elephant Reserve West Gate (entrance here is about MZN 900 per person and per vehicle, but prices do change!). As soon as you enter the Reserve keep taking the right at every split. It feels a bit confusing when traveling there some times when there can be up to 3 splits (don’t worry as all of them come back together again). JUST FOLLOW THE POWER LINE heading north!

After exiting the Reserve you will pass a couple of small villages (the people are very friendly and will assist with directions). Although you may feel lost, be assured that you are on the right track as there is only one road going up. You will find one board showing Santa Maria and the split is then left. FOLLOW THE POWER LINE. If you go right here, you’ll head back South to Kosi, via Ponta. So keep left towards Santa Maria after this board and follow the power line to NHOXANI. Near the peninsula, you see the first Nhoxani signs which you can follow to your rented house.

See Mikes email re how to find Nhoxani once you get close to the top of the peninsula.

Enjoy the trip as this will be a great experience, I hope you find the experience like we did.

JHB to Komatieport Border Post to Machangulo/Santa Maria direct

  • After passing through the border post; take the highway to Maputo to the Toll 20kms
  • Pay the toll and drive through for 3km to a sign board to BOANE (offramp on the left, then cross over the highway)
  • Take the road to BOANE for 41km. This is a good narrow tar road
  • Keep left when the road from NAMAASHA (Swaziland) joins from the right
  • Drive into BOANE until you come to a fork in the road, next to a market and turn right onto a tar road. This road is not sign posted. Travel for about 1km on this tar road over a river bridge.(If you cross a railway line on the tar road you have gone too far)
  • Carry on this tar road over the river bridge and after 2km out of BOANE there is a main hard gravel road (unmarked) to the left on a right bend in the road. Take this road to BELLA VISTA for 63kms, leaving the tar road onto this hard gravel road. This hard gravel road is good and can be traveled at about 90km/hour.
  • After approximately 25km on the road from BOANE TO BELLA VISTA there is another gravel road from the right, but carry on straight to BELLA VISTA.
  • The road comes to a T junction with a tar road. Turn right onto the tar road towards BELLA VISTA.
  • Carry on this tar road to SALAMANGA for 20km. Do not turn left into the town of BELLA VISTA unless you need fuel. (For Fuel: When you arrive at Belle Vista carry on around the traffic island and turn left down a dirt road which goes through a market. At the end of the market the road bends left, follow the road and turn right towards a solitary petrol pump, carry on straight (for approx 12 kms) from Bela Vista, until the road branches, follow the left branch and carry on until the town of Salamanga (8kms from the branch)
  • At SALAMANGA you will drive over a river bridge to a boom. Stop at the boom which they will open usually without discussion.
  • Carry on a bad hard gravel undulating road for 10km. This road should be driven at about 30km/hour.
  • After 10km you will see a crudely painted sign to the Elephant Reserve. Turn left onto another hard gravel road for 3km and arrive at the entrance gate to the Elephant Reserve.
  • At the Elephant Reserve gate you will be stopped, made to fill in the visitors register and pay the entrance fee per person and per car.
  • The road becomes soft and sandy for approximately 70km to MACHANGHO / SANTA MARIA. This road should be traveled by four wheel drive vehicle at about 25km/hour. Follow the power lines past SANTA MARIA towards NHOXANI.

Directions: Machangulo/Santa Maria to Maputo

If you wish to drive from Nhoxani to Maputo and use the Catembe bridge to cross the harbor, this summary will guide you:

  • Machagulo to Elephant Reserve North Gate: 70km
    Soft sandy road. Should be driven at about 25km/hour
  • Elephant Reserve to Salamanga: 10km
    Hard sand road with big undulations. This section will probably be water logged after rains but passable. Should be driven at 30km/hour.
  • Salamanga to Maputo City: 72km”
    This is 72km of newly tarred road. Just head north on the N200 and you’ll cross the Catembe Bridge and enter Maputo City

Additional GPS points, courtesy of Nhonguane Lodge, if you wish to drive from Ponta Do Ouro:

  • Once you pass through the Kosi Bay border post, turn left immediately. It will look as if you pass through a taxi rank. 26°51’83.60″ S32°49’76.20″E
  • After about 8,5km turn right at Ponta Mamoli sign. 26°46’44.20″S 32°48’60.8″E Drive for 3km until next turn off.
  • Next turn off is to your right. 26°44’97.60″S 32°49’21.80″E Short tar road for about 3.2km.
  • Turn off to your left at 26°44’23.70″S 32°51’01.40″E
  • Entering Elephant park through south gate. 26°36’46.90″S 32°50’62.90″E. Entrance fee is R133 per person and R133 per vehicle. (This fee has to be paid again on return if you stayed longer than 2 nights). (Fees are subject to change) Follow transmission lines. Remember to keep your receipt to display at gate when returning. Otherwise you have to pay again!
  • Drive for about 19km until you get power pole no. 353. 26°26’70.30″S 32°51’45.30″E Turn right.
  • Drive for about 44km to Santa Maria village. Turn right. 26°06’13.34″S 32°55’37.82″E Follow the Nhonguane Lodge sign. Keep left. Near the peninsula, you see the first Nhoxani signs which you can follow to your rented house.
  • Beach: No driving on the beaches is allowed. You can drive all the way to the house you are staying at at Nhoxani. The road is narrow for the last 500m.

Where to get supplies:

Supplies are plentiful in Maputo:

GAME, SHOPRITE, WOOLWORTHS and many local high quality supermarkets available for every need. Medical facilities are also available if required with private clinics offering excellent support.

Santa Maria:

Only 4 kms from Nhoxani, offers a convenience store and vegetable market. It supplies a variety of dry goods, some fresh produce and most alcohol and soft beverages. A few rustic restaurants and bars offer local cuisine.

Electricity and Water:

Nhoxani uses borehole water and obtains electricity off the national grid via its own transformer. We have very good drinking water, processed through reverse osmosis at each house.