Established in 1960, the Niassa National Reserve is the largest conservation area in the country, bordered in the North by the Rovuma river, next to Tanzania, and in the East by the Lugenda river. Besides the Mecula and Jodo mountains, it is home to several granite inselbergs in the region, still containing cave paintings, sacred to the communities. The Reserve also has an immense variety of land animals, including lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses and buffalos. In the buffer zone, between the Reserve and the areas where the people reside, the Lugenda Wildlife Reserve (Luwire) was created, the first touristic investment in the zone, prepared to receive visitors from anywhere in the world.
NATIONAL RESERVE OF
You can reach the Reserve through charter flights from the airports of Lichinga and Pemba. The Reserve has landing strips in Mbatamila (the Reserve’s headquarters), Mecula and Kambaco.
Go straight through the district of Marrupa, in the Province of Niassa, from the district of Montepuez. In the Provinces of Cabo Delgado and Zambézia, you can go from Gurué – Cuamba – Marrupa. From Tanzania, from the Unity bridge in the district of Mueda and from Malawi, through the Mandimba border – Lichinga – Marrupa.
Visit the Reserve preferably in the cooler months, between May and December.
Hiking, car rides, safaris, canoeing and climbing.
There are guest houses in the districts’ headquarters at Mecula, Mavago, Marrupa, Mueda and Montepuez. In the margins of the Lugenda river, you have the Lugenda Wilderness Camp, within the Reserve.
The Reserve hosts the largest elephant populations in the country besides lions, leopards, buffalos and wild dogs. Its diverse landscape includes miombo forests, mountain forests, riverside vegetation, opens savannahs and prairies.
Besides the Big Five, it also hosts other species such as the hartebeest, zebra, eland, sable antelope, wildebeest, kudo, waterbuck, impala, duiker and klipspringer, hippopotamus, as well as a large variety of birds and reptiles.
It’s one of the largest nature reserves in the world and the largest in Mozambique, also hosting the largest diversity of fauna in the whole country. It has a frontier of around 300 km with Tanzania and has a transfrontier wildlife corridor with the Niasse-Selous Reserve.