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Niassa Game Reserve Highlights

Niassa Game Reserve is remote and exclusive and offers visitors a traditional safari experience with spectacular scenery, home to an abundance of wildlife. Niassa is situated in northern Mozambique, on the border with Tanzania, and is known as one of the most pristine wilderness areas in Africa. Covering an area of approximately 42 000 sq km, it is double the size of the Kruger National Park.

The topography encompasses soaring mountain peaks, endless savannahs, marshy wetlands, and giant lakes. This diverse ecology supports the greatest concentration of wildlife in Mozambique and contains the largest protected miombo forest ecosystems in the world. It is without a doubt one of Africa's last true wilderness areas and is the largest conservation area in Mozambique.

The reserve is a haven for photographers and ideal for photographic safaris. The Niassa Game Reserve is not a Big 5 game destination; it a safari opportunity ideal for guests wanting to explore this untouched reserve and appreciate the true wilderness. 

Sun Safaris Says

The reserve is home to Mecula Mountain, located at the centre of the park with a height of 1 441m, adding to the varied topography of the region. 

An experience of pure wilderness, rarely found elsewhere. Niassa is so remote, almost to a fault, that it remains infrequently visited and a perfect sanctuary to the wildlife that resides there.

Lake Niassa is Mozambique's side of the great Lake Malawi. The lake divides the two countries and offers superb beauty on either side, as well as water-based activities, and marine life.

Huge herds of elephant are often seen in and around the lodges, as well as on game drives through the reserve. It is an exceptionally special moment to watch these enormous creatures move so quietly through the vegetation.

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Safari Lodges within Niassa Game Reserve

Lugenda Wilderness Camp

This camp is situated in what is believed to be one of the most exclusive safari destinations in Africa; the Lugenda Wildlife Reserve. The camp is located on the bank of the Lugenda River and offers guests a private and exclusive safari experience.

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Mbuna Bay Eco Lodge

Mbuna Bay is located in northern Mozambique, on the shores of Lake Niassa. It is situated directly on a beautiful 300m stretch of white sandy beach and marvellous rocky bays and is surrounded by original bush land with huge mango and baobab trees.

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Nkwichi Lodge

On the wild shore of Lake Niassa, the 9th largest lake in the world, is where Nkwichi Lodge has been built. At 560km long and 80km wide, this lake forms the eastern border between Malawi and Mozambique. The individual chalets are tucked away on the lake shore.

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Niassa Game Reserve on display

Niassa Reserve Game Viewing and Activities

Niassa Game Reserve offers a variety of activities, including game drives, game walks, rock climbing, hiking and magnificent star gazing, which is more of a variety than many other big game areas. The reserve is home to more than 12,000 elephant, 8,000 buffalo, around 200 endangered wild dogs, and over 400 species of bird. Predators are active in the reserve and include species such as lion and leopard. 

The area is also home to at least 3 endemic species, including Niassa wildebeest, Boehm’s zebra and Johnston's impala. Guests can expect to see hartebeest, eland and zebra, while other game such as impala, warthogs and spotted hyena are commonly seen. Activities in the reserve include game drives, game walks, rock climbing, hiking and unbelievable star gazing.

Niassa, alongside Tanzania and Malawi, is part of the Eastern Miombo woodlands ecosystem. Almost half the reserve is covered by miombo woodland, making it one of the largest miombo woodland preserves in the world. 



Niassa Game Reserve Seasons and Climate

The climate in Mozambique is tropical, however it varies in the different regions of the country. Generally, the inland areas are slightly cooler and more humid than along the coast in the rainy season.

The best time to travel to Mozambique is during the winter months, which is also the dry season, lasting from April to September. The southern parts of the country are generally drier and less tropical than the north, with temperatures along the coast averaging 27 degrees Celsius. The best time for game viewing is during the months of August to September, towards the end of the dry season.

The summer months, also the rainy season, coincide with the heat and humidity from October to March, with average coastal temperatures of 31 degrees. The best time for bird-watching is usually December to April.


Top Destinations

Lugenda Wilderness Camp is a journey of discovery for safari pioneers to an emerging photographic safari destination.  Lugenda Wilderness Camp provides visitors with the true quality of wilderness that is rare to find on safari today. Nestled along the eastern bank of the Lugenda River, this elegant and intimate luxury tented camp accommodates just 16 people in luxurious east-African styled tents.

Mbuna Bay Eco Lodge is located in northern Mozambique, on the shores of Lake Niassa. It is the only lodge on the southern stretch of the Mozambican lake coast. The lodge is situated directly on a beautiful 300m stretch of white sandy beach and marvellous rocky bays and is surrounded by original bush land with huge mango and baobab trees.

The individual chalets at Nkwichi Lodge are tucked away on the lake shore and hidden just within the tree-line, making this a truly natural paradise, blending smoothly into the natural surroundings.


How to Get There

Most flights into Mozambique land in the largest and capital city, Maputo. Maputo International Airport receives regular flights from South Africa, however, should guests be adding Mozambique as a destination after an East Africa safari, there are private charter flights available from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya.

There are also direct flights from South Africa to the Bazaruto Archipelago in the centre of Mozambique and the Quirimbas Archipelago in the far north. Sun Safaris will arrange whichever flights into the country best suit guests' itineraries.

Self-driving from South Africa to Mozambique is an option and is often an option for local holiday-makers. The road from Johannesburg, via Nelspruit, to Mozambique is in good condition and well-tarred. Should guests be flying to their destination, Sun Safaris will arrange for light air or road transfers from Maputo to booked accommodation.

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Meet The Sun Safaris Team

Meet Nadine

Where to go icon Expert Travel Advice

Our expertise in African travel comes from years of experience travelling the continent, canoeing the rivers, walking the bush trails, and seeing the stars. We've been on the game drives and watched the sunsets, spent nights wrapped up in remote areas, and eaten great food around the fire. Our recommendations come first-hand, and they are your assurance that a safari booked with us is one we know you'll love, because we did.

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We know a safari can be pricey, but we guarantee that we're giving you the best deal on your travel. We don't want your trip to Africa to be a once in a lifetime experience, we want you to do it again, and again! Through nurtured relationships with our suppliers, we can offer you the best deal they've got, and you'll never pay more than you should for your accommodation. If you find the same holiday for less, we'll confidently better the price.

Where to go icon Tailor-made Itineraries

Just like the spots on a leopard's back, each of our tailor-made itineraries is unique. Every journey has a personality, carefully designed to match the desires and expectations our clients bring to the table. Every element is taken into consideration to stitch together a personalised safari experience, grown from seed and cultivated to embody the perfect adventure. Our tailored itineraries are your safari dreams, defined.