Overview – Gorongosa NP

Philip Briggs
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Mozambique.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Mozambique.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Mozambique.

Gorongosa was once one of Africa’s top parks, but it was abandoned and depleted of wildlife during the civil war. Since 2008, a lot of funding and effort has gone into rehabilitating Gorongosa. Although far from fully recovered, the park is once again a viable wildlife destination. There is a fair amount of wildlife around, including elephant and a variety of antelope.

Best Time to Go July to October (Dry bush, animals are easy to find)
High Season July to October (The park never gets busy)
Size 4,067km² / 1,570mi²
Altitude 18-307m / 59-1,007ft

Pros & Cons

  • Good wildlife viewing and superb birding
  • A chance to support a great conservation effort
  • Community development projects and village visits
  • Game drives, walking and canoeing available
  • Only one lodge in the park, at the entrance, with little bush appeal
  • The density of wildlife is low, and the animals are skittish
  • Political unrest in the area has set its development back
  • Self-drive is not allowed at present for security reasons

Gorongosa NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding


Wildlife has recovered greatly since the civil war. Four of the Big Five are present (rhino is extinct in the park). There are about 500 elephants and the number is growing. Lions are making a comeback (between 50 and 70). Buffalo numbers are still low. Animals you’re likely to see include waterbuck, zebra and warthog. Crocodiles are particularly numerous.


Situated at the very end of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Gorongosa has a great variety of landscapes. These include Lake Urema and its network of rivers, vast floodplains, savannahs and woodlands, and rainforest on Mount Gorongosa. A hike to Murombodzi Waterfall on Mount Gorongosa is a great addition to a safari.

Weather & Climate

The climate in Gorongosa is hot and tropical. The Dry season runs from May to October and is cooler than the Wet season. Temperatures start going up in September and peak in October just before the rains. November to March are the wettest months and afternoon showers can be expected most days.

Best Time to Visit

The best time for wildlife viewing is during the Dry season months, from May to October. Conditions improve as it gets drier, and animals will hang around water sources that haven’t dried up. Wildlife tends to disperse during the Wet season and travel conditions can be difficult at this time. In fact, the park closes from mid-December to the end of March.

Want to Visit Gorongosa NP?

Gorongosa NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Glorious Gorongosa

Gorongosa is a special place: I love it as much for its romance and history as for its wildlife and scenery. Although it’s not the easiest or cheapest place to get to (a flight to Beira is the best way, then it’s a three-hour drive),...

Latest User Review
aidan  –  
Uganda UG
Reviewed: Sep 1, 2020
dont waste your time

i hated it just imagine a four hour drive only seeing antelope

Full Review