Illegal Beach Driving Incidents in Mozambique

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Hannah Darrin
Avoid Driving on the Beach Whenever Possible

Do not drive on Mozambique’s beautiful beaches.


Driving on the beach, except in designated areas clearly marked for launching, is illegal. This is laid out in Decreto n 45/2006 de 30 de Novembro, Artigo 54. In the north of the country (i.e. North of Beira) you can drive on the beach only if a permit is attained. As a general rule you should keep off. Why?

The coastal area is full of life, even if it appears to only be sand and driftwood. This is the zone where endangered sea turtles come onto land and lay their nests. Vibrations, such as those from cars driving along the beach, terminates the growth of the embryo turtle at any stage of development.  The compacted sand is also responsible for lowering the percentage of successful hatchlings and deep tracks can impede the long journey the hatchlings must make toward the sea, and leaves them at a higher risk for being picked off by birds, crabs and feral cats & dogs.


Deceased hawksbill embryo due to nest compaction. Credit: MozTurtles

Deceased hawksbill embryo due to nest compaction. Credit: MozTurtles

Beach driving contributes to dune erosion and as the worlds’ sea levels begin to rise this poses a greater threat to the size of the beaches where turtles lay and to houses and communities residing directly on the beaches. Just recently two nests were washed away in Southern Mozambique, please follow the regulations and drive only where you are allowed.

If you witness beach driving, take note of the car license plate, the boat registration and name, as well as images or GPS coordinates of the exact location, to determine whether it is a launching or non-launching area.  In the last month we have noticed some beach driving events and would just like to remind boat owners of this Mozambican law.




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Nester, Lindsay R. & Nat B. Frazer. ‘Beach Driving Management at Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores, North Carolina, USA’. 7/4/2014.