It’s just a short hop from Mozambique’s vibrant capital city… A trip to the Maputo Special Reserve will reward you with a true African adventure and stunning views of Mozambique’s wilderness. Here’s a guide to this wildlife experience from Dana Tours, the experts who are based in Mozambique…
A short history
In 1932, a large area was set aside for the conservation of the Mozambican elephant population and has since been expanded a couple of times to include the conservation of other large mammal species. Today the Maputo Special Reserve covers an area of 800km2 and forms part of the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area.
The Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area allow the now separate elephant populations of the MSR and the Tembe Elephant Park in South Africa to join together once again and return to their historical migratory patterns. The Mozambican government has also declared Futi Corridor as an extension of Maputo Special Reserve which links Tembe Elephant Park to Maputo Special Reserve. September 2012 completed the successful relocation of over 520 plains game to the MSR.
The Maputo Special Reserve is located 90km or roughly two hours’ drive from Maputo. This distance can be covered by driving via Boane or by taking a ferry to Catembe. Once you arrive at the entrance of the reserve you can expect to drive a couple of hours longer over tracks of thick sand through thick-leafed coastal forests until arriving at the campsite at Milibangala.
Encounters with wildlife and nature
During your stay at Maputo Special Reserve you can expect encounters with a large variety of wildlife such as elephant, hippo, reedbuck, as well as the newly re-introduced impala, zebra, giraffe and kudu.
If you’re an avid birdwatcher you’ll be delighted to know that the reserve is host to more than 427 bird species with some rare ones including the Pink-throated twinspot, Palm-nut vulture, Neergaard´s sunbird, Spotted ground thrush and Southern banded snake-eagle. Among the long list of water birds found at the reserve´s lakes and rivers you can expect sightings of the elusive Lesser Jacana and the ever photogenic Pygmy Goose.
Oh and that rock you see under a Yellow-billed stork may turn out to be an exceptionally large specimen of Nile crocodile! Other reptiles include Loggerhead and Leather-backed sea turtles, which nest along this pristine coastline.
The Maputo Special Reserve also has a lot to offer the seasoned botanist. This region is populated by a wealth of mangroves, dune vegetation, grassland, forest, woodland and riverine habitats.
The 4×4 experience
The Maputo Special Reserve is a 4×4 destination that challenges even the most experienced off-road driver. Unless you are a very experienced off-road enthusiast with a fully-equipped 4×4, the ideal way to visit the Maputo Special Reserve is to book a day tour from Maputo with Dana Tours.
Enthusiastic and expert guides will accompany you to the MSR and introduce you to Maputo´s very Special Reserve. Fully catered and guided multi-day tours are also available for those ready for a real adventure in Africa.