Niassa Game Reserve

Mon May 21, 2012 9:59 am

Wed Feb 15, 2012

Niassa Game Reserve in northern Mozambique is one of the most pristine wilderness areas in Africa. With a surface area of 42,000 km² the region is only just being discovered and contains by far the greatest concentration of wildlife in Mozambique. The magnificent scenery combined with its size and natural wealth makes the Niassa Game Reserve one of Africa’s last true wildernesses.

Image ©predatorconservation.com

Niassa provides visitors with an experience of pure wilderness that is almost impossible to find in the world today. With over 12,000 elephant, 8,000 buffalo, around 200 endangered wild dogs; predators such as lion and leopard and a rich diversity of bird life, your safari experience here is going to be very special. The size of the Niassa Game Reserve is impressive, with the total area being twice the size of Kruger National Park in South Africa, or comparable in size to Denmark or Massachusetts. The reserve has the largest protected miombo forest ecosystems in the world and is the largest conservation area of Mozambique. Other attractions in the Reserve are the spectacular inselbergs (island mountains) that ‘wow’ you as you fly into the reserve. The highest of these rock formations is the Mecula Mountain (1441 m) in the centre of the Reserve and some of these inselbergs are larger than the Ayers Rock in Australia.

Image ©niassareserve.org

Image ©sandra-macgregor.com

Of particular interest are three endemic subspecies, which exist in Niassa but are rare elsewhere, namely: Niassa wildebeest, Boehms zebra and Johnstons impala.

Image ©andrewjohnlinton-bushlife.blogspot.com

Image ©africaholidaysandsafaris.com

Future plans for the Reserve are very interesting, as soon the Niassa Reserve will be an important cornerstone in the World Bank’s Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (greater eco-tourism and conservation program). The plan is that the Reserve will link to a proposed marine reserve in Cabo Delgado and to the Tanzanian Selous Game Reserve. There is no other single area in Africa that can offer such a diversity of landscape under its protection.

In Niassa, lions coexist with a growing human population of 35,000 residents in 40 villages. Lion attacks on livestock--and occasionally on people-- result in retaliatory killings by communities and a general lack of political and local will for conservation. The Niassa Lion Project (NLP) was founded in 2003 by wildlife researchers Drs. Colleen and Keith Begg, who share a passion to protect the imperiled wildlife of their native Africa. The Beggs spend most of the year in the Niassa National Reserve, working with communities to find solutions to minimize this conflict. Conservation groups working in other areas of Africa are doing the same, testing different approaches to learn what works and doesn't work in different situations and environments. These solutions include acacia/thorn corrals for livestock, guarding dogs, and raised sleeping platforms.

The best time to visit is during the cooler winter season, between April and October.

Lugenda Wilderness Camp is situated on the eastern bank of the Lugenda River and offers guests a private and exclusive safari experience combined with delectable cuisine and magnificent game viewing opportunities.

Image ©considerafrica.com

There is only one formal camp, at park HQ at Mbatamila. There are World Wildlife Fund huts and various tents erected on raised platforms. There is also a kitchen area, bush shower, long drop and a lounge area that occasionally has bush E-mail that works on radio frequencies. A generator comes on at around sunset and runs till about midnight.

Image ©niassareserve.org

The alternative is to bush camp. The parks authorities may or may not insist that you take a scout with you. As the park is so vast that you are unlikely to see another vehicle or game scouts for days on end, bush walking is allowed - but be aware that for various reasons, currently being researched, the Niassa-Selous area has the highest incidence of man-eating lions in Africa!!

Image ©niassareserve.org

Re: Niassa Game Reserve

Mon May 21, 2012 9:59 am

Wed Feb 15, 2012

Flutterby wrote:The Niassa Lion Project (NLP) was founded in 2003 by wildlife researchers Dr. Colleen and Keith Begg

Turns out Colleen and I were at school together...small world indeed!! ;-)

Re: Niassa Game Reserve

Mon May 21, 2012 10:00 am

Wed Feb 15, 2012

I see they mention 'flying in to the park'. It is accessible by road, but is quite a mission to get there, one heck of an overlanding trip and a great challenge. This park is truly a wilderness experience. Doing an overlanding trip gives a new meaning to 'self sufficiency".

Re: Niassa Game Reserve

Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:27 am

Dr Colleen Begg gives a presentation at the 2013 Wildlife Conservation Expo about lion conservation and wildlife/human interaction in Niassa.

View Video

Re: Niassa Game Reserve

Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:52 am

From Colleen Begg yesterday (Project leader at Niassa Lion Project)

This is what home schooling looked like in Niassa yesterday. I know some may question us taking Ella and Finn in to see the poached elephant but we had a long discussion about this, both at the elephant and back in camp. This is the reality of what is happening to our wildlife, they hear us all talk, see the scouts, saw a live elephant too yesterday and do seem to get this and the bigger picture. They are the generation that will be left with nothing if we can't all work together to stop this.


Image

Re: Niassa Game Reserve

Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:17 pm

Ho no ! :no: :no: :no: