Access to Limpopo National Park
The Park can be accessed through 4 Entrance gates as follows:
Giriyondo Border Gate: This is a formal border gate situated between PNL and KNP (northeast of Letaba). From 1 April to 30 September: Opens 08h00; closes 15h00 – From 1 October to 31 March: Opens 08h00; closes 16h00
Pafuri Border Gate: This is a formal border gate situated in the north of PNL and KNP. From Pafuri Border Gate it is possible to cross the Limpopo River with a 4×4 vehicle en route to Banhine National Park, Vilanculos, etc, during the dry season only. The road between Pafuri and Mapai falls within the Buffer Zone and Park entrance fees are only payable at Mapai Gate.
Gate hours throughout the year: 08h00 – 16h00. From Pafuri Border Gate the Crook’s corner lodge is within 2 km. For reservations at Crook’s corner lodge write to: email@example.com
Massingir Park Entrance Gate: Massingir gate is located within Mozambique in the south of the Park. There are chalets and campsites located at Massingir Gate (Albufeira Camp). Gate hours throughout the year: 06h00 – 22h00
Mapai Park Entrance Gate: Mapai gate is located within Mozambique in the east of the Park. From Mapai Park Entrance Gate it is possible to cross the Limpopo River with a 4×4 vehicle en route to Banhine National Park, Vilanculos etc, There is a camp site located at Mapai Gate (Nhampfule Camp).Gate hours throughout the year: 06h00 – 18h00
Traveling within the Park
The main access road between Giriyondo and Massingir, including access to Campismo Albufeira is accessible by sedan. All other roads require a high ground clearance or 4×4 vehicle, with a 4×4 vehicle being essential during the wet season. As roads are not well developed and signposted, it is also advisable to make use of a GPS when traveling through the center of the Park.
All visitors are expected to comply with the Park Rules including Obeying the 40km/hr speed limit ; Not littering and being courteous Wildlife, Fellow Visitors and Communities within the Park.
The distance between Giriyondo and Massingir is 70km and will take the visitor approximately 1 3⁄4 hours. The road has speed bumps and elephants frequently use the road so travel with care. Where signposting is insufficient the visitor should stick to the more traveled graveled road. Sufficient time must be allowed to accommodate for Gate opening times and accommodation or camping should be booked at either Albufeira or Aguia Pesqueira as there are no camping facilities at Giriyondo.
Traveling outside the Park
From South Africa: Access can be gained through Kruger National Park. Giriyondo gate is about 45km north of Letaba camp (1+ hour) and about 90km from Phalaborwa gate (2+ hours). Phalaborwa gate is approximately 5 1⁄2- 6 hours driving time from Johannesburg.
Massingir Town: Located 6 km from Massingir Gate has a some basic shops (Airtime ; Drinks ; Bread rolls or Pau etc) ; Fuel and a Bank with ATM (Mt currency). Payments must be made in cash only. Certain stores may accept Rands.
Massingir to Chokwe: After 105km a T junction is reached where one turns left to Mapai and Chicualacuala and right to Chokwe. After a further 25km one reaches Chokwe which is a little under 2 hours drive from Massingir. The road is surfaced and is in reasonable condition following maintenance in 2013.
Chokwe onwards: At Chokwe you can turn left at the Centre of town (at the Petrol station) to travel via Chibuto to the EN1 (north of Xai Xai) and onwards to Inhambane, Vilancoulos etc. Alternatively you can travel straight through Chokwe and onto Macia which is 190km (3 hrs) from Massingir Gate. The distance from Macia to Bilene is 34km (1⁄2 hour) and to Maputo is 170km (2 1⁄2 hours). Macia, Chokwe and Chibuto have ATM, fuel and basic supply shops.
Safety Tips: All the roads are surfaced but pass through community areas and some have potholes and livestock (eg cattle) so travel with care. There are active Traffic Officials and the speed limit must be obeyed. EN1 speed limit is 100km/hr which is reduced to 60km/hr in developed areas. Elsewhere a maximum speed of 80km/hr is suggested outside of developed areas. Make sure that your vehicle is equipped with reflective triangles and at least one yellow reflective jacket. If are towing, you have to display a blue and yellow triangle on the front of your vehicle as well as on the back of the trailer/caravan. Carry sufficient cash to pay a traffic fine should you inadvertently be caught speeding and request a receipt. Fines range upwards of 1,000Mt for “Small” transgressions. Ensure you reach your destination well before sunset, which in Mozambique is between 17h00 in winter and 18h30 in summer. People are generally very helpful but in the outlying areas do not speak any English. Should you for any reason need any assistance preferably, where possible, stop at a filling station or shop.
(Note: Times indicated are driving times and exclude stopping time)
Vehicle Third Party Insurance: Compulsory Third party vehicle insurance is obtainable through PNL at Giriyondo and Massingir gate or can be purchased prior to traveling in the case of personal preference or use of Pafuri border gate. The cost for a sedan vehicle is approximately R180 for 30 days.
Compulsory overnight in GLTP when passing through Giriyondo: Giriyondo was opened to facilitate tourism development within the GLTP. Relaxed enforcement has resulted in the border being used outside of this purpose including for commercial reasons. This has resulted in repeated breaking of Park rules such as speeding and littering, illegal movement of people and unroadworthy vehicles. This has resulted in a negative tourism environment along these access roads and has also increased risk on people and wildlife. As a result, similar to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, a compulsory overnight stay in either KNP or PNL has been enforced from 1 December 2011 to re-instate Giriyondo function of promoting tourism and conservation within the GLTP. To utilize Giriyondo, travellers must either present a camping/chalet receipt for the previous night or a booking confirmation form for the subsequent night of passing through Giriyondo. These can be obtained from Mr Lodovico Salinha on Mobile: +(258) 084 3011 719 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org