Overview – Gorongosa NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
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, under management of the Carr Foundation, 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 antelope. The foundation also puts a strong emphasis on community development and runs a tour to the nearby village.

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
  • Game drives, and walking and canoeing activities are 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

Wildlife has recovered greatly since the civil war, but this is a slow process and numbers are increasing, though slowly. 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.

Scenery

Situated at the very end of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Gorongosa has a great variety of landscapes to experience. 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
Expert
Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

Glorious Gorongosa
4/5

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),...

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Latest User Review
Judy  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jul 27, 2018
It was a perfect vacation.
5/5

If you just want want to see the big 5, this is not the place for you, as there aren't that many lions and elephants. But if you want to see massive numbers of antelopes, lots of trees and flowers, great birds and butterflies, this is the...

Full Review