Mozambique is a Lekker place to enjoy special holidays. So, you have done your research, talked to friends, read magazines and eventually made your booking at a lodge in Mozambique. You also heard about some issues with police along the route and roads being washed away due to floods etc. All of a sudden, your excitement has a little panic associated with it. You wonder about many things, road conditions, do I need a 4×4 etc. Where can you get more info?
Dirk Fourie from Centurion came up with a unique idea to create a social media community that can advise, warn, assist, participate and be-friend fellow Mozambique visitors and lovers. It has many files of information, what you need for the border, the traffic laws and fines, emergency numbers, where to find female friendly toilets, routes to avoid Maputo and much more. The group is interactive and quick to respond to your questions and quests for advice, as there are almost 18 000 members ready and prepared to be of assistance with their previous experiences.
DriveMoz has several unique features to help travellers in Mozambique to have peaceful travels and assistance en-route. Over and above having the interactive Facebook group, DriveMoz also arranges “Drive-Togethers” for the members, even when everyone had different destinations. During peak periods, many joined drive-together groups and the DriveMoz creator Dirk Fourie lead the first group via some short-cuts to avoid the Maputo traffic. Everyone applauded the results and the panic was converted to an enjoyable travel experience, making new friends and finding assistance along the route.
DriveMoz has also created some Zello Channels / Groups almost 2000 strong. Zello is an application for smartphones. It is downloaded for free and works like a Walky-Talky via your phone’s data package. Emergency Channels monitor the DriveMoz channel and can respond with emergency requirements even dispatched from SA. (Break-Down service, Helicopter, emergency flights etc.)
Due to roaming charges, buying a Mozambique sim-card as you cross the border is recommended. Set-up instructions will also be loaded on the DriveMoz “Files” section. Being part of the DriveMoz Zello channel (group) on DriveMoz, connects you directly with many members to get instant responses and assistance. Dangers, accidents, road-conditions can all be reposted via the group. There is also a DriveMozChat group to talk about other things, rugby, fishing spots etc.
To ensure that you do not miss messages when you were out of signal areas, DriveMoz also created a Telegram group that works like WhatsApp, but have much more features. Communications between members will be loaded to your phone the moment you have data connection again.
After a bumper-sticker design competition, the best DriveMoz-sticker was voted for and is on sale at approved vendors at many places in South Africa and Mozambique. Some runners at the borders sell copies of stickers too, and these do not contribute to DriveMoz or its Charity Drives (please DON’T support them). A portion of the sales profit will be donated to a charity group in Mozambique. The sticker creates camaraderie and assistance between members. Furthermore, a small sticker will also be part of the set, to put on a place near the driver’s window, for anyone approaching the driver, to see that this driver is part of the DriveMoz group and has access to all the required information and assistance (This is not a free ticket to break the law). Each of the latest stickers have a unique number which you can register, and if you are in an emergency, then the sticker number may be used to contact someone like a next-of-kin or other person close to you.
The charity drive has been taken to the highest level, where DriveMoz, its vision, its stickers and its assistance to tourists were discussed with the Minister of Interior affairs, who requested his deputy to meet with a DriveMoz team. (The Police all report to the Ministry of Interior). The Deputy Minister of Interior also fitted his DriveMoz Stickers to his private vehicle. These ideas were taken further to operational level by requesting the Director General of Interior to meet with a DriveMoz team. After this meeting the Director General committed to communicate to its police department heads the DriveMoz’s function, vision, charity drive and contribution to Mozambique tourism. Stickers were also donated to the team.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, the portion of the money collected from Sticker Sales was donated (MZN 100,000) to the Charity Organization looking after the Police’s orphans and widows.
We trust that this campaign and the other DriveMoz initiatives will have a major positive impact on Mozambique travel and also the tourism.