Mozambique National Parks, Safaris and Game Reserves

(Mozambique, MZ, South-East Africa)

Sadly, Mozambique's civil war had a hugely detrimental effect on the country's big game reserves. Many animals were lost in the conflict and, indeed, it's only in recent years that the restocking of the national parks has really got underway. That said, remarkable progress is being made.

Visitors to Mozambique today can choose between a number of national parks and safaris, including the Banhine, Gorongosa, Limpopo, Quirimbas and Zinave parks, as well as the Maputo Special Reserve, which contains a healthy concentration of elephants and other familiar African animals. Further notable wildlife reserves include those of Gile, Marromeu, Niassa and Pomene.

Banhine National Park (Parque Nacional de Banhine)

Address: Chicualacuala, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Banhine is part of the much larger Limpopo Transfrontier Park conservation programme. Visitors to Banhine, which is particularly renowned for its wetland environment, can expect to see ostriches, impala and kudus. Currently, the Banhine has few tourist facilities, although as in other Mozambican parks and reserves, this may change as its continual development progresses.
Open hours: daily - 07:00 to 16:30
Admission: charge

Bazaruto Archipelago National Park (Arquipélago de Bazaruto Parque Nacional)

Address: Inhambane, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Five islands make up the Bazaruto National Park, which lies off the coast of Mozambique. The park was originally set up to protect marine species, including dolphins and the country's biggest colony of dugongs (manatee-type marine mammals known as the 'elephants of the sea'). Today, it has an international reputation for being a great place to head out on a scuba diving safari.
Open hours: daily - 07:30 to 16:30
Admission: charge

Gorongosa Mountain National Park (Parque Nacional da Gorongosa)

Address: Great African Rift Valley, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Located close to Mozambique's border with Zimbabwe, at the southerly tip of the Great East African Rift Valley, this vast reserve includes every sort of terrain, from savannah to rainforests. During the park's golden years, before the civil war, Gorongosa's reputation as a wildlife reserve was second to none. Today, the park is in the process of being restored to its former glory. Whilst big game numbers are still on the low side, its numerous plant and bird species are well worth taking time to view. Access to the park is fairly easy by plane, via nearby Beira, and by car or minibus.
Open hours: daily - 06:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge

Limpopo National Park (Parque Nacional do Limpopo)

Address: Massingir, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Tel: +27 072 447 4279
The Limpopo National Park forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which extends over a vast area, including not just Mozambique, but also South Africa (bordering Kruger Park) and Zimbabwe. Expect to see elephants, white rhinos, lions and leopards, as well as buffalos and hippos. The Limpopo can be accessed via Massingir and Mapai.
Open hours: daily - 07:30 to 16:30
Admission: charge, children aged under 12 years old are free, discounts available for visitors aged between 13 and 20 years old

Quirimbas National Park (Parque Nacional das Quirimbas)

Address: Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Located within the province of Cabo Delgado and along the country's north-easterly shoreline, this unusual park was officially established in 2002 and actually comprises 11 islands that form the Quirimbas Archipelago. Scuba diving and snorkelling are both popular activities here, with the spectacular coral reefs and sea beds of the Quirimbas being home to a real assortment of marine life, including hammerhead sharks and sea turtles.
Open hours: daily - 07:30 to 16:30
Admission: charge

Zinave National Park (Parque Nacional do Zinave)

Address: Massangena, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Forming a sizeable chunk of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, the Zinave National Park is located alongside the River Save, on the southern side of the country. Resident wildlife includes kudos, impalas, leopards, lions and spotted hyenas. Whilst the Zinave can be accessed via Inhambane, it's advised to travel by four-wheel drive because of the rough nature of the roads which lead here.
Open hours: daily - 07:30 to 16:30
Admission: charge

Maputo Special Reserve (Reserva Especial de Maputo)

Address: Near Bela Vista / Maputo, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Formerly known as the Maputo Elephant Reserve and founded as long ago as 1932, this park lost much of its elephant population and all of its rhinos during the civil war conflict, although its elephants are slowly returning and numbers are gradually rising once more. The reserve is around 775 square kilometres / 300 square miles in size and is now a part of the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area. Situated just 80 km / 50 miles south of Maputo, with its northern edge bordering Maputo Bay, the park is fairly easy for tourists to access. Apart from its elephants, safaris will also reveal antelope, crocodiles, hippos, jackals and zebras.
Open hours: daily - 07:30 to 16:30
Admission: charge