GORONGOSA NATIONAL PARK
The town of Gorongosa is near its namesake, Gorongosa National Park. Chitengo Lodgelies off the route on the newly extended EN1 (Estrada Nacional or national road), 78km (48 miles) from Inchope (turn right at Nota, 5km after crossing the Púngoè River).
This national treasure of Mozambique, which was devastated during past conflict, is undergoing a dramatic rehabilitatation. As part of a joint initiative between the government ofMozambique and the US-based Carr Foundation, the Park, including wildlife populations, infrastructure, services, and tourism facilities are all being revamped. Facilities at Chitengo camp have been totally refurbished and new, very comfortable double and family chalets opened in 2007. The camp now offers a full-service restaurant and bar, swimming pool, and camping facilities. New tourism facilities in other areas of the Park are expected to open in the coming years.
Trained guides are available to lead early-morning and sunset game viewing drives in open 4x4 vehicles on over 100 kilometers of wilderness track roads that extend from Chitengo Camp. Adventure-seekers will see a variety of distinct ecosystems. Grasslands are dotted with patches of acacia trees; the savanna contains seasonally rain-filled pans and termite hill thickets; and plateaus contain miombo and montane forest. Visitors may see a variety of herbivores (including some of the largest populations of sable and oribi), carnivores, and exotic bird species – among the largest number of bird species of any park in Southern Africa. Other guided excursions are also available, including hiking on nearby Mount Gorongosa, a birder’s paradise where visitors can see some of the last remaining Afromontane Forests in southern Africa. The Park is actively rebuilding animal populations, and over the past two years has re-introduced nearly 200 wildebeest and nearly 100 African buffalo, species that were particularly hard-hit during and following the wars.