Niassa Reserve

clauskastberg created the topic: Niassa Reserve

  • Posts: 3

Hi Mike
We had great pleasure of your advice some years ago when my family and I did a long tour from Beira to Gorongosa to Chimanimani and further down south to Vilanculos using rented cars and public transport, in particular Gorongosa and the climb to the peak of Mnt Gorongosa were awsome. It was exciting to come back to a country and a region where I spent almost three years in the eighties. Now we have appetite for more and would like to ask some advice from you and eventually making use of some of your services.

In July 2018, we (My family=5 adults) plan to come back to Mozambique, in particular the Northern part where I was initially suppposed to be based in the eighties before being redirected to Beira due to the civil war. We plan to fly in to Nampula, rent two 4x4s, visit Ilha and maybe Ibo, before heading to Lichinga via Montepuez and Marrupa. We plan to stay in pensions/hotels, but we also bring tents. I understand from previous items in your forum that the road to Marrupa is bad but passable in the dry season, while the western part should be OK. On the way,we would very much like to visit and stay in the Niassa Reserve, but I have difficulties getting an overview of the possibilities there. I understand that Lugenda was an upscale camp that is currently closed.I have heard about a number of eco-tourism projects, but I find it difficult to get in contact with those. I have heard names as Mpopo Islands Trail Camp, Niassa Lions Projects, Mairi Education Centre and references to other that might however be the same as those mentioned above. We would like sto stay some days, if possible, and do guided hikes and climbing inselsberg. Of course,we would like to see animals, but not big 5 or anything like that. The greatness of Gorongosa was the wasteness of land and light and the multiplicity of all kinds of animals along the river bank. We might also visit Lake Niassa beforegoing back to the East coast and spend some days at the archipelago.

Would it be possible for you to confirm my view of the accessibility of the road between Pemba and Lichinga and give os some advice with respect to the possibilities in the Niassa Reserve. I would also be interested hearing about the services you can provide for travellers like us.

Kind regards and looking forward for your advice
Claus Kastberg

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mozman replied the topic: Niassa Reserve

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Hi Claus

good to hear form you again and that you are coming back to Moz. I am currently departing for a big trip covering southern Moz so will be able to answer for comprehensively in the next few days.

Mike

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mozman replied the topic: Niassa Reserve

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Hi Claus and family

Once again I apologize for the delayed reply. My latest trip to Moz was fantastic and has taken me a week or so to recover and to get back to reality. Briefly, my group was made up of a family of eight - two brothers with their wives and two children each. Two were on rented motorbikes and six were in my seven-seater vehicle. We spent two days getting to the coast, ten days on the coast and then two days back to Johannesburg via Kruger Park.

This trip was according to the following service that I offer: "You can also hire me (and my 7-seather 4x4 vehicle with complete Safari gear if necessary) to show you around and look after you anywhere in Mozambique and its neighbouring countries (South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. I will also arrange any other form of transports such as private plan or helicopter should these be necessary to achieve your objectives. My rate as your personal guide (available 24hrs) is $150 per day. In addition should require the use of my 7-Seater Toyota Condor 4x4 (with or without Safari gear), an additional $100 will be charged. Note that these rates exclude all other expenses such as fuel, accommodation, food, park entry fees etc."

Now to your query: (See my responses within your message below):

In July 2018, we (My family=5 adults) plan to come back to Mozambique

MIKE: How many days will you have in Mozambique? Useful for me to know in order to suggest a sensible and worthwhile itinerary.

, in particular the Northern part where I was initially suppposed to be based in the eighties before being redirected to Beira due to the civil war.

MIKE: So many changes all over Moz since the 80's, some good and some bad. From Beira north to Tanzania was where I spent six months during my first exploration of Mozambique. My first experience of Mozambique was in 1984 and 1985 when I took friends from the University of the Witwatersrand via the Tete corridor "Gun-run" to Malawi and back, twice.

We plan to fly in to Nampula, rent two 4x4s,

MIKE: I have previously rented double-cab 4x4 pick-ups from Europcar and from Imperial in Nampula. Quite expensive, complicated terms and conditions and on both occasions the vehicles were OK, but did leave us concerned that they could give serious mechanical problems. All went well, however.

visit Ilha and maybe Ibo, before heading to Lichinga via Montepuez and Marrupa.

MIKE: Ilha is certainly worth 4 or 5 days and it will be a crime to come all the way to northern Mozambique and to leave incredible Ibo out of your itinerary. Of course depending on how long your trip will be.

We plan to stay in pensions/hotels, but we also bring tents.

MIKE: Very good to have tents. No campsites on Ilha, and I do not recommend the campsite on the mainland next to the causeway, but good camping near Pemba, as well as bush-camping spots I know en-route to Reserva do Niassa and in the Reserva.

I understand from previous items in your forum that the road to Marrupa is bad but passable in the dry season, while the western part should be OK.

MIKE: From Montepuez the roadworks are now continuing as far as Balama which was graded in August. From Balama the first 90km is a small track that takes about 3-4 hrs in the dry season and is usually impassable during the wet season. Then the 70km from the border between Cabo Delgado and Niassa provinces to Marrupa is now good tarmac - as is Marrupa to Lichinga. Small track north from Marrupa to the bridge over the Lugenda River and to Mecula.

On the way,we would very much like to visit and stay in the Niassa Reserve, but I have difficulties getting an overview of the possibilities there. I understand that Lugenda was an upscale camp that is currently closed.I have heard about a number of eco-tourism projects, but I find it difficult to get in contact with those. I have heard names as Mpopo Islands Trail Camp, Niassa Lions Projects, Mairi Education Centre and references to other that might however be the same as those mentioned above.

MIKE: I have visited Reserva do Niassa on three occasions, but most recently about ten years ago. I do have very good contacts in the Reserve and you will need at least three or four days to complete all of the activities that you mention.

We would like sto stay some days, if possible, and do guided hikes and climbing inselsberg. Of course,we would like to see animals, but not big 5 or anything like that. The greatness of Gorongosa was the wasteness of land and light and the multiplicity of all kinds of animals along the river bank. We might also visit Lake Niassa beforegoing back to the East coast and spend some days at the archipelago.

MIKE: 2018 is a very good year to visit Niassa as some of the community tourism projects will be operating within the next few months.

Would it be possible for you to confirm my view of the accessibility of the road between Pemba and Lichinga and give os some advice with respect to the possibilities in the Niassa Reserve. I would also be interested hearing about the services you can provide for travellers like us.

MIKE: I have provided just a sketch of possibilities for your expedition and will be very happy to assist further on a more formal, professional basis.

Kindly send me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can discuss this further.

My regards,

Mike

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