Diver's paradise with unaffected sandy beaches!
With it's nearly unaffected beautiful beaches Mosambique is the ideal place for comfortable bathing holidays after a safari through Namibia or Botswana or just for relaxing and diving.
Known more for its beaches Mozambique is redefining itself as a wildlife safari destination. The parks of Mozambique are fascinating in their various histories and associations. In the south the Limpopo National Park is now linked to the legendary Kruger National Park, this after the fence between the two was taken down by the South African authorities. Mozambican wildlife now roams freely between the two parks.
Surely the park with the most fascinating story is Gorongosa in central Mozambique. The subject of the documentary 'Return to Eden' Gorongosa had gone from one of Africa's top wildlife reserves to a wasteland decimated by civil war - but is now been rejuvenated to its former glory.
The Limpopo National Park was born when the status of Coutada 16 Wildlife Utilisation Area in Gaza Province, Mozambique, was changed from a hunting concession to a protected area. It forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park with the Kruger National Park, South Africa and the Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe.
The park is divided up into three separate zones of use: a tourist zone, a wilderness zone, and a resource utilization zone (hunting). In the south is the Massingir Dam and the town of Massingir in Massingir District, which is the administrative headquarters of the new park while on the northern border is the Limpopo River.
Animals were trans-located from Kruger into Mozambique and other wildlife slowly started moving in to the neighbouring land. Further negotiations between Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe to form a collective conservation area, has ensured the future protection and survival of the Limpopo National Park.
Once one of the most diverse reserves in Africa, with many endemic species, Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique became a virtual wasteland in the 1980's when rival armies competed for meat and ivory during the long civil war.
Gorongosa National Park is situated in Central Mozambique at the southern end of Africa's Great Rift Valley and has a collection of varied ecosystems from grassland and savannah to arid forests and seasonal pans leading up to the plateau of woodland types.
Set up in 1920 as a 1000 sq km hunting reserve for the use of administrators of the Portuguese Authority the park was later proclaimed a National Park by the Portuguese authorities in 1960 and hunting was banned. The Gorongosa National Park quickly became one of the most sought after safari reserves in Africa for photographic tourism. The 1960's saw a great deal of development of roads and tourist facilities in the park. With the ending of the civil war in 1992 the Mozambique the poaching slowed but it was only in 1996 that proper protection was afforded the park with the help of donor funds.
Gorongosa is home to an astounding diversity of animals and plants-some of which are found nowhere else in the world. This rich biodiversity creates a complex world where animals, plants and people interact. From the smallest insects to the largest mammals, each plays an important role in the Gorongosa ecosystem.
Many of the park's large herbivore populations were greatly reduced by years of war and poaching. However, almost all naturally occurring species-including more than 400 kinds of birds and a wide variety of reptiles--have survived. With effective management and reintroductions of key species, wildlife populations will regain their natural numbers and help restore the park's ecological balance.
The park was established in June 2002. It stretches for 110 kilometres (68 mi) along the northeast coast of Mozambique, and contains the southernmost 11 of the Quirimbas islands. The park has a tropical climate with a rainy season from December to April and a drier but cooler season from May to September. Daytime temperatures vary from around 25 °C (77 °F) to 35 °C (95 °F) depending on the time of year. Water temperatures are from 24 °C (75 °F) to 27 °C (81 °F).
The park protects 750,639 hectares (1,854,870 acres) of coastal forest, mangroves and coral reefs. The region was isolated for decades during the Mozambique civil war. On land, there are healthy populations of elephants, lions, leopards, crocodiles and even wild dog. Habitats include mountains, forests, woodland, savannah, mangroves, beaches, coral reefs and sea grass beds. The park contains a rich variety of marine life including sea turtles, dugongs and many species of fish. Three hundred and seventy-five species of fish have been identified, including threatened pipefish and seahorses.
The World Wide Fund for Nature supports a project that attempts to ensure that local communities, park authorities and tour operators share management responsibilities and share benefits from the park. Objectives include protection, conservation and where needed restoration of the land and marine environment, conservation of marine species and their habitat and promoting eco-friendly ways of making a living among the traditional inhabitants of the park. The project includes a fishery management program.