Self-driving trip in Niassa Reserve

Tamara123 created the topic: Self-driving trip in Niassa Reserve

  • Posts: 1

Dear Mike,

We are planning a trip to Malawi and Mozambique in August and will probably cross the border in Cobué. We're interested in discovering the Niassa Reserve but are wondering:
- if there's a car rental (international or local, in town or at the airport) in Lichinga or Marrupa?
- how the roads and signalisation are in the reserve?
- if some detailed driving maps of the area exists?
- if there's the possibility to do small hikes (1-6 hours max) with or without a guide.

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Greetings from Belgium,


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mozman replied the topic: Self-driving trip in Niassa Reserve

  • Posts: 5143

Hi Tamara.

Welcome to Mozguide and I apologise for the delayed reply. The route you have chosen is quite remote and used by very few tourists. I do know the area, including Reserva do Niassa quite well and there are no vehicle rentals in Lichinga or Marrupa. The nearest is Pemba, but the prices are very high.

From Cobue it is difficult to decide which route to use to get to Pemba. There are only one or two trucks or other vehicles from Cobue to Lichinga each day, departing early in the morning. Next day to Marrupa (but no regular transport from there to Pemba) or to Cuamba via Mandimba which has regular buses and chapas (mini-buses). Then another day to Nampula and so you will only get to Pemba on day 4.

Without your own well equipped 4x4 and at least a week just for the reserve, it really is not practical to try to go to the Reserva do Niassa. The infrastructure is minimal, and the roads are unsignposted bush tracks. There is no fuel or tourist facilities, but if you have your own camping equipment and food, you can camp at the rangers main camp at Mbatamila which has water and toilets, but no other facilities.

The Niassa Reserve is one of my absolute favourite parts of Africa, so I do plan on taking tours there from Pemba, but that plan is for the future.

Any further questions, feel free to ask.



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