My intention of a journey down the Swahili coast – from Lamu Island in Kenya to northern Mozambique, via Tanzania – stopped at the embassy in Dar es Salaam, facing a bureaucratic brick.
Mozambique required travelers coming from Tanzania to have a visa beforehand.
However, at any other countries’ border into Mozambique – entry is simple with a visa on arrival.
After viewing the visa rules at the embassy: $100 for the visa and a 5 day wait, usual passport pics and forms, invitation letter as to why I wanted to go to Mozambique, bank statements declaring that I had $5000 in my bank and other petty shit; I just walked out – muttering obscenities.
I knew a week (I had already waited 3 days over a long weekend) of waiting around in Dar es Salaam would be too much frustration, and expense.
Studying a map of Africa, I found an alternative travel route into Northern Mozambique: a remote border crossing at Cobue village on Lake Malawi.
But it added an extra 1500+ km to my Cairo to Cape Town overland trip.
NEW PLAN: Cut south-west from the coast across the highlands of southern Tanzania and down into northern Malawi, then across the lake to remote north-western Mozambique.
I would arrive at the tiny settlement of Cobue on the eastern shores of Lake Malawi and hope for a visa on arrival. And from there, travel east to Mozambique Island and the Indian Ocean.
In Cobue, I got a visa on arrival for just $30, with no extra paperwork and done within 15 minutes !!!