Expert Reviews – Maputo NP
Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
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Elephant and bird nirvana
About an hour’s drive south of the capital Maputo, this reserve protects a scenic tract of coastal bush and grassland boasting 50km of Indian Ocean frontage and several lakes. Part of the Ndumo-Tembe-Futi Transfrontier Conservation Area, which otherwise lies mainly within South Africa, it forms part of an ancient elephant migration route. It is worth a day or overnight visit from Maputo for the opportunity to see elephant, along with the likes of reedbuck, grey duiker, red duiker, nyala and hippo. Other large wildlife is sparse, but Maputo does rank as perhaps the most exciting birding destination in southern Mozambique, thanks to a habitat diversity that includes mangroves, freshwater wetlands, dune and riparian forest, open grasslands and thick acacia and albizia woodlands. Several days are required to explore all these habitats and seek out a long list of specials that includes the African pygmy-goose, lesser jacana, palm-nut vulture, Rudd’s apalis, Woodward’s batis, Neergaard’s sunbird and rosy-breasted longclaw.