Overview – Maputo SR
Maputo Special Reserve is home to southern Africa’s last remaining coastal elephants and was established to protect this elephant population in the 1930s. In 2010 the government, in collaboration with Peace Parks, began a large translocation program of animals to the reserve. The program reintroduces species that were historically found in the area, including zebra, warthog, wildebeest, giraffe and several antelope species. Over a thousand animals have been reintroduced. The community receives 20% of the park’s revenue from several local projects.
Pros & Cons
- Wildlife viewing in a beautiful coastal setting
- Luxurious lodge owned by the local community
- Stunning beaches
- 4x4 tracks for enthusiasts
- Marine wildlife including turtles, whales and dolphins
- Activities include game drives, dune and beach walks, cycling and fishing
- Chance to support a great conservation effort and the local community
- Not a lot of wildlife in the reserve
- 4x4 driving skills required
- Beaches get busy with South Africans during school holidays
As the park’s name suggests, it is a sanctuary for 400 or so coastal elephants that are its biggest draw in terms of wildlife. Other common species include blue wildebeest and zebra which can often be seen grazing together. Reedbuck is abundant in the grasslands and red duiker can be seen tip-toeing around in forest patches. There are healthy populations of hippo and crocodile in the lakes.
The main draw of the park is not its wildlife, but the idyllic, sandy beaches. Further away from the shoreline, you’ll find a spectacular area that combines lakes, wetlands, sand forests, grasslands and mangrove forests.
Weather & Climate
Maputo SR has a sub-tropical climate with hot and humid summer months (from October to April) and cooler, dry winter months (from May to September). Winter and summer are at opposite times of the year as in Europe and North America. The wettest months are January and February, and regular heavy downpours can be expected.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Maputo SR depends on your interests. General wildlife viewing is best from July to October in the Dry season, while swimming, snorkeling and other beach activities can be enjoyed throughout the year. December to late March is when you’ll have a chance to see turtles coming on the beach to lay their eggs.
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Maputo SR Safari Reviews
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
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,...