A ribbon-like country with palm-lined coasts and huge reserves, Mozambique is once again establishing itself not only as a top choice for beach holidays but also as the destination for wild and remote big game safaris. This rapid rise in Mozambique’s safari status is largely thanks to the restoration of the country’s flagship reserve - Gorongosa National Park.
A biodiversity hotspot of floodplains, wetlands, acacia-dotted grasslands and an isolated mountain covered in rainforest, Gorongosa was once home to some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. Indeed, a 1970s documentary shows that it was difficult to aim a camera in any direction in the park and not fill the screen with animals running, hunting, feeding and flying.
That was before Mozambique’s devastating civil war which decimated wildlife numbers to leave the park all but forgotten. But now the tide has turned for Gorongosa. Thanks to a 20-year partnership between the Mozambique government and American billionaire philanthropist Greg Carr, an ambitious and hugely successful restoration project is returning this magnificent area to its former glory.
And the results speak for themselves. Although not yet at the level of a Serengeti or Kruger safari, game viewing at Gorongosa improves each year. The park's Lake Urema now teems with hippo and crocodile while oribi, waterbuck and impala graze on its floodplains, the favoured hunting grounds for lion; large herds of elephant gather at waterholes and vervet monkeys play in the fever tree forests. As for the birdlife, it wasn’t affected by the war and Gorongosa is considered one of the top birding destinations in south-east Africa.
A Gorongosa safari offers so much more than a traditional safari. It is the chance to feel part of what is perhaps Africa’s greatest wildlife restoration story, and you can explore this phenomenal wilderness on foot, by vehicle and by boat. You can also meet the people behind this inspiring story - ecologists, researchers and scientists – and visit nearby villages to see how Gorongosa’s 21st Century conservation model balances the needs of wildlife and local people. Recently National Geographic featured an inspiring article about the restoration and future of Gorongosa by the world-renowned biologist Edward O.Wilson, where he reflected on his time spent in the park, the transformation work happening despite certain challenges, and hope he has in a bright future for Gorongosa. Read the article here.
To spend a few unforgettable days in Gorongosa, simply contact one of our Africa Safari Experts and they will tailor-make the perfect Mozambique safari itinerary.
Quick links to travel advice
- Discover off-the-beaten-track destinations with The Road Less Travelled: Africa's Most Unique Safaris