Mozambique has something for everyone from exciting diving and snorkeling to deep-sea fishing and sailing to swimming with dolphins to visiting totally wild and remote national parks and game reserves. This tropical paradise has over 2,500km of clean sandy beaches and rugged coastline. Mozambique is a country that is calling out to be explored. The coastal destinations are developing quickly and a number of luxury lodges have appeared over the last couple of years. The same cannot be said for the wildlife areas which promise an unparalleled adventure experience for those with a pioneering spirit! The roads are slowly improving around the major cities, but a network of sand tracks reaches out to all other destinations. It is therefore essential to travel by 4×4 in convoy with another vehicle. Shopping for provisions is limited to the larger cities and towns, so you need to be totally self-sufficient. The national parks and game reserves offer no facilities at all, and you will need to create your own bush camp with portable shower or bucket and dig a long-drop lavatory wherever you go.
None of the national parks and game reserves in Mozambique are fenced and the wildlife moves freely through the camps.
In line with many of Africa’s national parks, off-road and night driving is not permitted except when staying in private lodges or unless otherwise specified.
LIMPOPO NATIONAL PARK
For years people have asked what lies East of Kruger? The answer is the recently formed Limpopo National Park. This area was once a hunting concession, but will now become Mozambique’s flagship wildlife park. The park can be reached from Kruger National Park in South Africa when the Limpopo River is low enough to cross.
BAHINE NATIONAL PARK
This park is a forgotten wilderness in need of a new start. It was originally established to protect an inland floodplain. The views here are vast and endless but all that remains of the once abundant wildlife are a few ostrich, some kudu and a nomadic population of hippo. Instead you experience a land untouched by man’s intervention.
ZINAVE NATIONAL PARK
A journey from the arid Bahine to Zinave gets progressively more beautiful and the importance of conserving this magnificent habitat of sand forests, inland lagoons and the perennially flowing Save River becomes more important. The park has had a turbulent history: from hunting area to national park to an area under siege in the civil war.
MAPUTO ELEPHANT RESERVE
This reserve was once a famous wildlife sanctuary offering protection to the ancient cross-border migratory routes of the legendary Maputaland elephants. It is now an undeveloped, little explored area of golden beaches, sand dunes, coastal forests, vast savannahs with lakes, wetlands and ancient sand forests just waiting to be rediscovered.
NIASSA GAME RESERVE
This reserve is the largest conservation area in Mozambique and contains the greatest concentration of wildlife in the country. The total area is twice the size of Kruger National Park in South Africa, or is comparable in size to Denmark or Massachusetts. This is a pristine wilderness that offers an exciting bush experience well off the beaten track.
There are too many coastal destinations to cover in this section, so we will only give mention to the recently proclaimed Quirimbas Archipelago National Park. This is a marine area consisting of 32 islands and some of the richest coral reefs in the world. Here critically endangered dugongs graze in sea grass meadows, fish eagles perch in tall mangroves, marine turtles nest on white beaches, the ancient coelacanth perseveres, dolphins and sharks abound and whales shelter their young in deep channels. The terrestrial section of the park contains a rich mosaic of vegetation and supports important populations of elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and wild dog . The area has never been developed and remains an unexplored tourist paradise.
There are many regional variations in such a large country, but generally the dry season runs from April to September. During this time daytime maximums on the coast can be expected to reach between 24°C to 27° although it is cooler inland. The wet season temperatures range from 27°C to 31°C with high humidity, but again it is cooler inland.
- Traversing the mighty, greasy Limpopo River between Mozambique and South Africa
- Pioneering 4×4 exploration throughout the whole country
- Diving in Bazaruto Archipelago National Park
- Witnessing the elephant migration between Selous National Park in Tanzania and Niassa Game Reserve in Mozambique
- Arranging a dhow safari to search for dugongs, whales, turtles and dolphins in Quirimbas Archipelago
- Swimming with dolphins just south of the Maputo Elephant Reserve
- Following in Livingstone’s footsteps by exploring Niassa Game Reserve
Everywhere in Mozambique is a malarial area.
Information courtesy of Peace Parks Foundation