Banhine National Park:  The "Okavango" of Mozambique.  4 nights.

AND

The Lagoon Coast:  Endless, empty beaches. 3 Nights.

Normally dry and dusty, this year exceptional rains have filled Banhine's extensive network of pans.  We will probably have 700 000 hectares of wild Africa to ourselves as we paddle the crystal clear waters and camp on remote islands.  We paddle at a very relaxed pace and a low level of fitness is required.  Being able to swim a short distance is essential. 

 

30 September,  2021 - Departs Johannesburg, South Africa (and / or: 1 October, departs Inhambane, Mozambique).

9 October, 2021 - Returns to Johannesburg (and / or: 8 October, returns to Inhambane).

Minimum guests 2, maximum guests 4.

Pick-up / drop-off en-route can be arranged.

Note that if you would prefer to use your own vehicle and to meet up in Banhine for the 4 days there and / or the 3 days along the coast, the rate is R800 ($60) per person per day.  This excludes Park fees of approx R1000 ($80) per person, total.

Our routes and destinations are safe, easy, fascinating, rewarding and memorable. Only the fortunate few will ever use these tracks and experience these places.

  • A Unique, remote and rarely visited National Park in southern Mozambique.
  • Indian Ocean Beaches.
  • Comfortable camping in large (3m x 3m x 1,8m) tents with mattresses, folding chairs, great food in wild camps never previously used.

Note that the Itinerary can be changed due to unforeseen circumstances and/or to suit your requirements. Extra costs may be incurred.

COST: ZAR10 000 / US$720 Per person SHARING.  Border visas (non SADC) ($50), Park fees (ZAR1000 / $80) and some optional restaurant meals are excluded.

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Overview.

Overland travel in this part of Africa promises authenticity and adventure. Both of these are very scarce commodities during these days of social distancing, lockdown and fake news.

The old cliché “the journey is the destination” may be worn and wearisome, but it does at least partly apply to how Mozguide implements our “Safaris”.  

Journeying between destinations requiring the use of remote tracks and rustic campsites, allows my guests an opportunity to develop an informed perspective on African realities, as well as the privilege of being immersed in some of this continent’s (and the world’s) last true wildernesses and deserted beaches.

This adventure is personally guided and so the “fireside chats” and daytime experiences flow naturally from over fourty years spent living in and experiencing most of this fabulous part of Africa on foot, by boat, on horseback, by bicycle and in off-road vehicles.

Sharing some of these “secret spots” with the fortunate and fascinated few is a privilege and a pleasure.

These are real “journeys with a purpose”. Sometimes referred to as "expeditions".

Our route departs Johannesburg and enters Mozambique at the Lebombo / Ressano Garcia border.  No visas are required by citizens of South Africa and other SADC countries.  Our first night is spent close to Ressano Garcia in comfortable "Motel-Style" accommodation with double en-quite bathrooms, air conditioning and complimentary coffee / tea station.

We then drive due north on rough roads through Magude and Chokwe before turning onto the sandy and quiet track that leads nowhere except for the Banhine National Park.

After absorbing the breathtaking pans, timeless trees, varied birdlife and truly wild ambience of Banhine for 4 nights, we head east, crossing the tumbling Chefu river and driving via the small villages of Tsenane and Funhalouro to the marvelous coast of Mozambique.

We will spend 3 nights just outside of Tofo which is regarded as one of Africa's friendliest and cutest coastal villages.  Various activities such as whale and manta watching, scuba diving and snorkelling are on offer.   Browse the craft stalls and enjoy a meal and a drink at one of the local bars and restaurants.

Departing at 0600, we head south along Mozambique's scenic main road and return back to south Africa via the Ressano Garcia / Lebombo border.  The last night of our experience will be in safe and small Komatipoort village in a secluded guesthouse with all the modern comforts and an excellent restaurant.

Day by Day Details and Description.

I will assume our point of departure to be Johannesburg and end point to Vilanculos. Transfers back to Johannesburg available at extra cost over two days.

Day 1: Johannesburg to Ressano Garcia.

Depart Johannesburg (or other main city) at 0900. Our route follows the N.4 arterial route including scenic Schoemanskloof, bypassing Mbombela (Nelspruit) to the border with Mozambique.  Lunch will be a picnic at a scenic spot, or if time allows, a quick meal at Viva Kumi Restaurant in Schoemanskloof.   After completing border formalities (non South African / SADC citizens must get a border visa), we will continue 6km to quite, comfortable and secure Guesthouse JoMoz for the night.

Days 2, 3, 4, 5: Banhine National Park, Mozambique.

A dawn departure allows us to turn the journey north into ten hours of varied scenery, quiet roads and tracks and fascinating towns and villages.  We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the bush and arrive at Fish Eagle Camp next to the Banhine Park HQ late in the afternoon.  Our first and last nights will be at Fish Eagle Camp from where we will drive out to a point as close to the main pan (lagoa) and wildlife sanctuary as possible.  From there we will paddle out and spend two very remote and wild nights on islands in the middle of the pans - a true authentic wilderness seen by very few people.  Unique!

Days 6, 7, 8: Mozambique's endless empty beaches and lagoon coast.

Departing Banhine's Fish Eagle Camp after breakfast, we will head due east, crossing the Chefu River and stopping at local markets in the remote villages of Tsesenane and Funhalouro before joining Mozambique's main north-south arterial, the EN.1 at Massinga.  From here we have a wide range of options regarding where to spend the next 3 nights along Mozambique's Inhambane province's stunning coastline.  As tourists are still very scarce, bookings will not be necessary and so during our trip I will discuss the various lodges and resorts that I recommend and choose one according to what most people favour.  My own personal favourites accessible during one day's drive from Banhine are Morrungulo Resort, Mango Beach Lodge, Casa de Mar and Zona Braza.

Day 9: Komatipoort, South Africa.

Driving South alongside the coast, we will stop to enjoy the views and to enjoy a picnic lunch before skirting Maputo City and re-entering South Africa at the Ressano Garcia / Lebombo border.  Just a few kilometres into South Africa we will spend our last night together probably at Stoep Guesthouse and Restaurant, or perhaps at another great option in the area .

Day 10: Johannesburg.

Departing Komatipoort after a leisurely breakfast we return to Johannesburg by 15.00.

Cost per person of this tour: 

ZAR10 000 / US$720 Per person SHARING.  Single supplement ZAR2000 / US$150.  Border visas ($50), Park fees ($80) and some restaurant meals excluded.

  • Note that this includes 3 meals and snacks per day, bottled water and limited alcoholic beverages, but excludes visa fees, Park fees, 2 restaurant meals and optional upgrades at the beach lodge(s).
  • Tents are 3mx3m and 1,8m high and accommodate 2 people in comfort, but each person may have their own tent if required.

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