Mozambique and Zimbabwe Guided Safari: Banhine and Gonarezhou National Parks. Moribane Forest.
SIX NIGHTS. Starting at Tofo Beach, Inhambane, Mozambique and ending at Vilanculos town, Mozambique.
Dates: (not flexible unless you book the entire trip):
October 1 to October 7.
June 17 to June 23,
June 26 to July 2,
September 23 to September 29.
MOZAMBIQUE AND ZIMBABWE WILDERNESS CIRCUIT: Banhine and Gonarezhou National Parks and the Moribane Forest. A remote and unique journey.
- I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and have spent thirty-five years travelling independently in Africa on foot, by bicycle, on donkey-carts, in helicopters and light planes, by public transport, in dug-outs and canoes. Yes, even in my own 4x4 Safari vehicles.
- I have lived in, visited and explored fifteen African countries. Two have been so friendly, scenic, safe and rewarding that exploring them and immersing myself into what their people, places and wildlife has to offer has turned into an obsession. These two countries are Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
- I have been taking families, investors, scientists, honeymooners, film-makers (and others) to Mozambique (and its neighbouring countries) for the past twenty years.
- To combine visiting my favourite “off the beaten track” places, and sharing them with special, like-minded people, I have put together a six-day journey through some of the most remote, wild and strikingly beautiful parts of Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
- Currently my vehicle-of-choice is a 7-seater Toyota Landcruiser Prado. This is due to its unrivalled combination of reliability, safety, spaciousness, comfort and off-road capability.
- I tow an off-road luggage trailer for camping gear and your personal baggage. A full-length roof-rack can take extra gear if necessary.
- I have a Professional Driver Permit legally permitting me to carry paying passengers in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
- What you need to know (for other custom/bespoke dates and itineraries please contact me):
- For (minimum) two people US$750 per person.
- For three people $650 per person.
- For four people $550 per person.
- For five people $450 per person.
- This trip starts at Tofo Beach in Inhambane Province, Mozambique. At an extra charge, I can collect you in Johannesburg or Maputo two days prior to departure, or between Maputo and Vilanculos a day prior to departure. There are flights to and from Inhambane airport with LAM. I recommend that you book using www.travelstart.co.za
- This trip ends at Vilanculos town, Inhambane Province, Mozambique. There are flights from Vilanculos to Johannesburg with www.flyairlink.com
- This is a wilderness camping trip. Banhine, Gonarezhou and Moribane are relatively remote with unreliable cell-phone signal.
- Winters are usually warm in the areas we will visit, but night time temperatures can become cold so a warm jacket is essential.
- Malaria is a risk all year round in Mozambique and the parts of Zimbabwe that we will visit.
- This trip is suitable for anyone fit and in good health from age five.
- The day before our departure, I can collect you anywhere between Tofo and Vilanculos AT AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE.
- Two days before our departure, I can collect you in Johannesburg, South Africa or anywhere between Johannesburg (via Maputo) and Tofo, AT AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE.
- I can drop you off anywhere between Vilanculos and Maputo AT AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE.
- Our route involves two border crossings: Mozambique to Zimbabwe at Chicualacuala / Sango and Zimbabwe to Mozambique at Mt Selinda / Espungabera.
- In Gonarezhou, Bopomela Camp is unfenced and has only a long-drop (pit latrine) toilet. I provide a portable shower and enclosure.
- Fish Eagle Camp in Banhine National Park and Ndzou Camp in Moribane Forest have ablutions with running water.
- Assuming there are vacancies, you may decide to stay in a furnished Safari Tent in Banhine National Park, or in a furnished Chalet at Ndzou Camp AT AN EXTRA CHARGE.
- There is a basic restaurant at Ndzou Camp which you may choose to use at your own expense.
- I supply tents (two people per 3mx3mx1,8m dome tent), chairs, tables, cooking and eating utensils, bedding (inflatable mattresses, pillows, sheets and duvets) and towels.
- All you need are your passport (6 months validity and 3 clean pages), clothes (warm jacket for the cool evenings) and toiletries.
- WiFi is not available anywhere on our route and mobile phone network coverage is patchy. I will provide a WiFi hotspot via my phone in Mozambique and in Zimbabwe where signal is available.
- I carry a Satellite Phone for use in case of emergency where there is no mobile phone network.
- What IS NOT included in the fee:
- Comprehensive travel and MEDICAL EVACUATION insurance covering Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. I use www.tic.co.za, but note that this covers evacuation to South Africa, but not admittance to and treatment at a private hospital or repatriation to another country.
- Zimbabwe visa (if required) fee. US$50 – US$75. Available at the Chicualacuala / Sango border.
- Visa fee for our re-entry into Mozambique - only if you DON’T already have either a border visa issued on arrival, or a double/multiple entry visa issued at a Mozambican consulate.
- Note that your border visa (Visto de Fronteira) that you were issued at the airport or border post is valid for two entries. This is despite the visa stamp indicating single entry. This the law and the border officials at Espungabera (where we re-enter Mozambique) are well aware of this.
- Prior to start of trip: Note that it is your responsibility to book or arrange accommodation in or within 20km of Tofo Beach, Inhambane Province. My own recommendations based on personal experience are: BUDGET / CAMPING: Turtle Cove, Tofo: http://www.turtlecovetofo.com/ : MID-RANGE: Mango Beach Tofo: www.mangobeach.co.za/ UPMARKET / LUXURY: Blue Footprints Eco Lodge, Tofo: http://www.bluefootprints.com/
- At end of trip: Note that it is your responsibility to book or to arrange accommodation in Vilanculos. My own recommendations based on personal experience are: BUDGET / CAMPING: Baobab Beach Lodge and Backpackers: www.baobabbeach.net/ MID-RANGE: Casa Babi: www.casababi.com/ UPMARKET / LUXURY: http://vilanculosbeachlodge.com/
- Park entry fees.
- Camping fees.
- Transport in Toyota Landcruiser Prado driven by me.
- Three full meals per day and snacks.
- All camping equipment including tents, mattresses, sheets, duvets and pillows.
- Bottled water and hot beverages.
- 2 beers OR glasses of wine per day.
- Vehicle related border taxes and fees.
Day 1: Inhambane to Banhine HQ (Fish Eagle Camp) 320km, 7 hours. Leaving the coast behind, we will head west along sandy “twee-spoor” (double track) roads through brachystegia and Mopane woodland deep into the sparsely populated Mozambican interior. The newly renovated Fish Eagle Camp in Banhine National Park is our first night stop.
Day 2: Banhine HQ to Bopomela Camp, Gonarezhou via Chicualacuala / Sango border 410km, 9hrs excluding border delay. An early departure will allow time to appreciate the pans and grasslands of Banhine and to do some birding. We will enter Zimbabwe at the little-used Chicualacuala / Sango border post where Zimbabwe visas are available for US$50 – US$75, then check into Gonarezhou National Park and have lunch at Mabalauta Camp. We will then continue north through the Park to Bopomela Camp. To check whether you require a visa visit this link: http://www.zimimmigration.gov.zw/index.php/visa-regime
Days 3 and 4: Bopomela Camp, Gonarezhou. We will have a large area of truly wild Africa almost to ourselves. Our days at Bopomela will be spent taking game drives along the Runde River to the Save junction and to the hides at Machaniwa and Tembwahata pans. Or simply sitting and taking in the fantastic view up the Runde River to the Chilojo cliffs. Optional lunch at Chilo Gorge Lodge AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. www.chilogorge.com
Day 5: Bopomela Camp, Gonarezhou via Mt Selinda / Espungabera border to Ndzou Camp, Moribane forest, Mozambique. 350km, 6hrs excluding border delay. Breaking camp early, if the Save River is low enough to drive through, we will take a leisurely game drive en-route to leaving Gonarezhou via the Save / Runde Gate. If the Save River is too high, we will exit via the Chipinda Pools gate. We will then follow the Zimbabwe / Mozambique border north to the Eastern Highlands and the Chirinda Forest before re-entering Mozambique at the Mt Selinda / Espungabera border. Dropping down the escarpment on a newly completed tarmac road, we will continue to Ndzou Camp in the Moribane Forest.
Day 6: At this point we will have the option of either a second night at Ndzou Camp, or to continue on to Buffalo Camp in the Save Game Reserve.
Day 7: EITHER: Ndzou Camp to Vilanculos 400km, 7hrs. OR: Buffalo Camp to Vilanculos: 200km, 4hrs. Depending on where we stayed, our final time together will be spent travelling south along the EN.1 main road which is severely potholed on stretches and so will be slow-going and end in Vilanculos.Sunday 15 July :
Note that it is your responsibility to book or arrange accommodation in Vilanculos for Sunday 15 July and onwards. My own recommendations based on personal experience are: BUDGET: Baobab Beach Lodge and Backpackers: www.baobabbeach.net/ MID-RANGE: Casa Babi: www.casababi.com/ UPMARKET: http://vilanculosbeachlodge.com/