Despite Malawi and Mozambique being neighbours they isn’t a direct bus or flight between Maputo and Blantyre. Both countries are linked with a good road and rail network. For the sake of road travellers using bus via Johannesburg, South Africa is the quickest route from Maputo to Blantyre. I will base my travel with intercape bus company
In Maputo Intercape operates two services daily a morning and evening service. Booking can be done at their offices located at 25 de Setembro nr 1129 or book your online through their website. They operate a double-decker with all amenities of a luxury coach i.e that reclining seats, seatbelts, entertainment, usb charging ports, etc. Its an eight hour journey and passes through lebombo border post, witbank, Nelspurst, etc. The final destination is Park station in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In Johannesburg, Park station is the busiest bus station in Southern Africa you can get a bus to all countries in the region and throughout South Africa. For our journey to Blantyre we need to change buses, Intercape uses a single decker from Johannesburg to Blantyre and departs daily at 09:00. Its a 28 hour journey estimated arrival time is 15:00 the following day. The journey passes through Zimbabwe and Mozambique again this time in Tete Province then enter Malawi through Mwanza border post. Their only three stopping points where the bus stops for passengers to buy some food that is Polokwane and Musina in South Africa and Mvuma in Zimbabwe.
Entry into Malawi is through Mwanza border post. Its the last and most hectic stop immigration doesn’t take time its only about half an hour for all passengers. Customs procedures take alot of time upto 3 or more hours all the laugauage is off loaded from the bus including hand luggage then the bus goes and parks at the truck parking bay, then customs officials start checking all bags one by one. Once all passengers are done with customs the bus comes back and starts loading all laugauages. From Mwanza its just a 101 kilometers to the final destination Blantyre lodge.
From Maputo to Johannesburg your passport is stamped eight times:
- Mozambique/South Africa: Lebombo border post.
- South Africa/Zimbabwe: Beitbridge border post.
- Zimbabwe/Mozambique: Nyamapanda & Cuchamano border posts
- Mozambique/Malawi: Zobue & Mwanza border posts.
Total distance is 2217 kilometres and total travel time is 34 hours. Let me make it clear that intercape is not the only bus operator on both routes. From Johannesburg to Blantyre they are more than ten bus companies to choose from i.e Munorurama, jobela star, mars merry, ulemu bus company, etc just to mention a few.