Where to go in 10 days?!

Julian created the topic: Where to go in 10 days?!

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Hi Mike,
I've just come out to work in Maputo for a couple of months and my g'friend is arriving in 2 weeks for a 10 day holiday, so the pressure is on to try and sort something out!
Originally I was thinking about doing 4 days in a game park (ideally a mix of driving and walking), and the rest on a beach doing a PADI. Am looking for a game park that isn't too touristy and has a good chance of seeing a range of animals (someone mentioned Mluame?), and a beautiful chilled out beach with mid-range accommodation.
Would like to travel as independently as possible, though I realise an internal flight or two maybe needed, and a guide/driver will be needed for the game park.
Any suggestions?!
Thanks in advance,
Julian

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mozman replied the topic: Where to go in 10 days?!

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Hi Julian

First off you will not find everything you are looking for in Mozambique, or indeed at one spot anywhere in South Africa too. I can suggest that you head to Kwazulu/Natal Province in South Africa and stay at Umfolozi Game Reserve and then head down to Sodwana nearby to do your dive course.

I think that the Game Reserve that you mention could be Mlilwane in Swaziland www.biggameparks.org/3parks_mlilwane.html

If you want to stick to Moz and have a 4x4 then get to Paindane www.paindane.com/Lodge where there is a Scuba operator too. Sorry no big game anywhere nearby though. Good time to travel in Moz and SA (could get cold here but not wet) as it will not be school holidays until June 24 when the hordes descend on the coast.

Mike

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Julian replied the topic: Where to go in 10 days?!

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Thanks Mike, but I’d really like to see as much of Moz as possible while I’m here. Been looking through the site and its great for ideas, so I think I’m going to borrow part of Saar's plan and head to either Pemba or Nampula and hire a 4x4. Then plan to drive to Lichinga via the Niassa Reserve, and from Lichinga either head to Nkwichi Lodge (and forget about diving), or dash down to Gabriel's Lodge on Bazaruto via a flight to Beira (every Tue and Thur at 11.40 apparently!) and a bus. Do have a couple more questions though!

1) How long did the drive from Pemba to Lichinga take when you did it, including say 2 days in the reserve?

2) How did you organise a guide for the reserve?

3) How do you get between Lichinga and Nkwichi if you don’t have a car (we’ll leave the 4x4 there) – will they collect you, are there buses or do you have to hitch?

4) Is Gabriel’s Lodge really the paradise it sounds – good accommodation in an amazing location at decent prices (though I saw one thing you wrote saying it was now $60 for a chalet)?

5) In terms of chilling out on a secluded beach with amazing sunsets, any advice on how to choose between Gabriels / Bazaruto and Nkwichi / Lago Niassa for a few days? (though it looks like a winner either way)….

6) Is there anywhere to do a PADI on Bazaruto, or do you have to head over to Vinanculos? (though I have to admit the PADI is looking less likely!)…

Thanks again for the advice!

Julian

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mozman replied the topic: Where to go in 10 days?!

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1) How long did the drive from Pemba to Lichinga take when you did it, including say 2 days in the reserve?
MIKE: Last did this route in 2003 before the upgrade of Majune to Marrupa started. Montepuez to Mecula was 2 full days and Mecula to Lichinga another 2 full days. 6 days including 2 in the reserve.

2) How did you organise a guide for the reserve?
MIKE: There are 'Fiscais' or game guards in Mecula and I suggest that you ask to be taken to the Rio Jurege which is 2-3 hours drive from Mecula towards Gomba.

3) How do you get between Lichinga and Nkwichi if you don’t have a car (we’ll leave the 4x4 there) – will they collect you, are there buses or do you have to hitch?
MIKE: Plenty of 'chapas' as far as Maniamba as this is all tarmac, then less regular trucks the last 48km to Metangula. If you leave Lichinga at 0600, you should be in Metangula by 0900. Ask Patrick This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at Nkwichi for more detailed advice. Nkwichi do pick of guests at Metangula in their boat.

4) Is Gabriel’s Lodge really the paradise it sounds – good accommodation in an amazing location at decent prices (though I saw one thing you wrote saying it was now $60 for a chalet)?
MIKE: Not too keen on the word 'Paradise' when applied to any lodge or spot (more a state of mind?). but Benguerra Island is very nice, but Gabriels is certainly overpriced as it is really very rustic and the chalets are pretty ramshackle with no sea-view unless he has rebuilt them.

5) In terms of chilling out on a secluded beach with amazing sunsets, any advice on how to choose between Gabriels / Bazaruto and Nkwichi / Lago Niassa for a few days? (though it looks like a winner either way)….
MIKE: NOT THAT GARIELS IS NOT ON BAZARUTO ISLAND BUT ON BENGUERRA ISLAND. Nkwichi wins hands down, although Benguerra Island is about on par, if that makes sense.

6) Is there anywhere to do a PADI on Bazaruto, or do you have to head over to Vinanculos? (though I have to admit the PADI is looking less likely!)…
MIKE: I know that Bazaruto Lodge offers SCUBA courses, not sure whether Padi or Naui?

Another option would be to fly into Pemba, do you Padi with Brenda or CI divers(look up www.kaskazini.com ), and to head off to Niassa from there (my choice if I were you).

Mike

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mozman replied the topic: Where to go in 10 days?!

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Sorry Nkwichi's email is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I hope the aircon on your rented 4x4 works as you will need it to keep the tsetse flies in Reserva do Niassa at bay. If you drive with your windowns open they will get inside and you will find out that they bit like tigers!

Mike

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Julian replied the topic: Where to go in 10 days?!

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Hi Mike
Top advice! One final question though - is there any way of finding out rough bus times and routes e.g. Biera to Vinanculos?
Cheers!
Julian

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