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Explore Gorongosa (Gorongosa National Park) Mozambique

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Explore Gorongosa (Gorongosa National Park) Mozambique

 
Explore Gorongosa (Gorongosa National Park) Mozambique - www.africansafaris.travelLocation:

Gorongosa National Park - known in the 1960's as the place where "Noah left his Ark" because of the vast herds of game - was ravaged during the civil war in Mozambique. While the dramatic and diverse landscape remained largely untouched, the animal life was severely depleted. In 2005, Greg Carr, an American philanthropist discovered Gorongosa National Park and started a 20 year programme to restore the park to its former glory. In January 2008, Greg Carr and his foundation signed a 20 year agreement with the Government of Mozambique to protect and restore the ecosystem of Gorongosa National Park and to develop an ecotourism industry to benefit local communities for the next 20 years.

The restoration project is in full swing, with 90% of the conservation arm of the project being about protecting the park and its wildlife and about 10% being about relocating some of the large herbivores and predators that were largely shot out during the civil war. It is already amazing to see how the animal numbers are on the increase year on year.

 

Gorongosa boasts some real specials in the wildlife department - huge herds of 60+ sable can be seen on the floodplains, groups of 6-7 bushpig (sometimes during the day), 17 different species of antelope, the largest population of crocodile, waterbuck and oribi in southern Africa and the birding is phenomenal! Palm nut vultures, narina trogons, southern banded snake eagles, collared palm thrush, skimmers and the green headed oriole (on the mountain) are all seen on a regular basis in the park.

This isn't the Masai Mara - yet - but it is a remarkable wilderness area, with 54 different biomes, and ever changing landscapes. The plains recall images of Busanga Plains in Zambia - the Sand Forests northern KwaZulu Natal, while the Gorongosa Mountains and Lake Urema are evocative images in this 400 000 hectare park.

Explore Gorongosa (Gorongosa National Park) Mozambique - www.africansafaris.travelAccommodation:

Featuring a handful of spacious and quirky tented suites, Explorers is not your average bush camp. In fact, we hope you’ll treat it as your home away from home, as long as you don't associate televisions, telephones, newspapers, recessions, screaming kids, broken pool pumps, high power bills, and the neighbor's annoying yapping dog with home! No, Explorers is a simple place, a gentle haven of {sigh} peace and space; a place based on our keep-it-supremely-friendly-and-simple recipe.

Each suite has an alfresco 'en tent' bathroom comprising an eco-innovative waterless loo and a fantastic wash-in-the-wild shower designed to give you privacy and a feeling of freedom all at the same time. Enormous king-size doubles or extra-length twin single beds are available with snug down duvets and cotton linen and towels of highest quality (although for the sake of the yaks, we unfortunately do not have yak-milk-soaked Mongolian cotton!) One of our main aims in the design of the camp was to have as much of it home-made as possible, with much of it being sourced from the region. Apart from the odd bit here and there, we like to think we have achieved this, right down to Mrs Janisch's home-made plum jam which, on a loaf of freshly baked pot-bread, goes down faster than a homesick mole.

The eating, chillaxing and social area of the camp features an open-air library and lounge, as well as a spacious canvas mess tent for general...er...mess, when the weather is not too friendly. Dining takes place pretty much anywhere it is requested with the focus on excellent taste and even better company. If one wishes to get away from the high energy pursuits of lounging, dining, sleeping or abluting, there are hammocks to swing in, trees to climb, and a campfire to muse over... all in all, Explorers is an experience within an experience. And that’s the way we intend to keep it.

 
Explore Gorongosa (Gorongosa National Park) Mozambique - www.africansafaris.travelGorongosa Skybeds:

If you have the time and inclination, three, four, seven or seventeen (!) nights at our camp works quite well with a night or two out and about using a light fly-camp sited on secret big-tree-covered spots around our exclusive operating area within the Park and elsewhere in the region. This fly-camp - the Gorongosa SkyBeds - is set up in keeping with the pioneering camps of old, providing very light yet comfortable temporary accommodation whilst the camp’s inhabitants busy themselves messing about in the bush. The basics of great food, cold drinks and hot showers are taken care of by our excellent team.

The "rooms" are actually simple mosquito-gauze bow tents housing a snug bed complete with down duvet and cotton linen. The ablutions are a shared hot bucket shower and a waterless eco-loo, and the dining and lounge area comprises a campfire with some comfy stools scattered around it... But as quickly as you can say paradise, you're lying in bed in the middle of a sweeping floodplain, under a canopy of stars, with only a thin layer of gauze and canvas between you and... well, heaven really.

 

When camping on the summit of the Gorongosa Mountain, the Gorongosa SkyBeds are tailored to suit wet weather through the application of a light trekking bow tent. (It is advised if you are planning on climbing Mount Gorongosa, to bring wet weather gear... it is a rain-forest after all!)



Explore Gorongosa (Gorongosa National Park) Mozambique - www.africansafaris.travel
 
 
The Experience:

Although the trend these days is for safari camps to provide seventeen imported Mongolian cotton facecloths per person, delicately soaked in endangered highland yak milk and served chilled with a skinny moccachino presented in Italian marble coffee cups with gold inlay... we at Explore Gorongosa like to think it is more the experience that counts and that, like the wrapper around a yummy Swiss chocolate, the camp is simply the outer layer which keeps the whole thing together.

Mixed metaphor's aside, our personal, friendly and conscientious approach to the authentic African safari experience means we prefer to focus on what our guests get to feel, see, learn and do, then on the labels on our frilly bits. (For the record, wherever possible, our labels happen to be eco-innovative, recycled or renewable...)

 

 

The Explore Gorongosa experience is hosted from our exclusive seasonal tented bush camp - known to the inner circle as Explorers, or just "Our Camp" - situated in a beautiful private operational area within the Gorongosa National Park. We can also take you out for a night or two at our light wilderness fly-camps, the Gorongosa SkyBeds, which we set up at a few stunning sites in and around the Park such as at the Murombodzi waterfalls and on top of Mount Gorongosa.

Whichever way you end up spending the night, you are of course looked after in the wide-open embrace of our great team of Mozambican camp hands, with suitable reinforcements provided by our camp host and our professional safari guide (we like to think he's one of the regions finest!)



Explore Gorongosa (Gorongosa National Park) Mozambique - www.africansafaris.travel

Activities:

As a general rule we prefer to spend as much time as possible on foot, away from the noise and bumpiness of vehicles, and on the same level as the four-legged critters of Gorongosa. However, our unique safari experiences incorporate walking, canoeing and game-drives, providing a comprehensive insight into the Gorongosa National Park, including the visionary restoration project underway to return the Park to its former state.

We also encourage our guests to enjoy spending time just being still and enjoying the wonders of Gorongosa that come and go when given the time and space to do what they do best. This may involve a slow lunch at a bush hide overlooking a waterhole or a perch on a branch of a high tree, a swing from a hammock in camp or a snooze under an ancient giant baobab.

 

 

We also offer trips up to Gorongosa Mountain which is a whole experience all of its own. Think of a towering, bird-rich rain-forest canopy that separates flower-dotted altiplano highlands on the summit and the cloud-forest and waterfall-pocketed grassy plateau of the lower slopes. It is essential that these trips are planned and booked in advance as the mountain is locally sacred and as such there are certain community ceremonies required to be done. We also highly recommend that Gorongosa Mountain is explored as part of a two or three day adventure, utilizing our fly-camp option for overnighting on the slopes and summit of this national heritage site. See our Mount Gorongosa page for more on these adventures...

Whichever way you chose to explore Gorongosa, each of our unique safari experiences have as their core the very highest standards of guiding, service and hospitality - after all, isn’t this what really counts?

Getting There:

Gorongosa National Park has its own airstrip for light aircraft at Chitengo Camp with fly-in access from Beira, Chimoio & Vilanculos (and the surrounding Bazaruto archipelago resorts). Scheduled flights to Beira from Johannesburg, Harare & Maputo can be booked with either LAM or Airlink. Regular schedule flights to Chimoio from Maputo can be booked through LAM, and frequent scheduled flights to Vilanculos from Johannesburg (and back via Kruger-Mpumulanga) are available through Pelican Air. See below for details…

Charter flights into Gorongosa National Park (Chitengo airstrip)

As mentioned above, we soon will have scheduled charters directly into the Park from Bazaruto Island and Maputo. These flights leave Bazaruto Island on Monday & Friday mornings and head up the scenic coastline to Gorongosa – a flight time of about 1h25 from Bazaruto to Gorongosa. The flights then return the same way. Non-scheduled charter flights to Chitengo airstrip will depart within 30 minutes of you clearing customs and immigration at either Vilanculos, Beira or Chimoio international airports. However if you arrive in Vilanculos after 14h00 or Beira & Chimoio after 15h00, you will probably need to overnight in those towns and be transferred the next morning, unless you are willing to pay a fee for the plane overnighting in the Park

Scheduled flights in and out of Beira & Chimoio

You can fly to Beira and Chimoio from Maputo via LAM - Mozambique’s national airline. You can also fly to Beira from Johannesburg with Airlink (part of South African Airways).

Please be aware that Mozambique has recently adopted a policy of enforcing Yellow-Fever vaccinations for those travellers originating from known Yellow-Fever countries. This should not affect most of our guests but is worth bearing in mind if your trip includes countries such as Tanzania or those in central Africa. Please check with your tour operator or agent before travelling. Alternatively, you will be kindly offered a rather painless jab in the airport in Beira - but this can be a hindrance so best check beforehand!

Scheduled flights in and out of Maputo

LAM fly from Maputo to Durban and Johannesburg, as well as via Harare to Nairobi & Lilongwe (on code-share with Kenya Airlines). SA Express also fly from Maputo to Cape Town direct twice a week. TAP fly direct to & from Maputo out of Lisbon, Portugal, whilst Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town are well serviced by

 
 

 

  This camp is currently closed. 

 

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