One of Africa's last wild places
Covering over 40,000 square kms (that is about twice the size of Kruger Park in South Africa) Niassa is one of the largest conservation areas on the continent. The terrain is dominated by the Rovuma and Lugenda rivers – crocodile and hippo filled waterways that meander their way through the reserve. Perhaps the most striking feature of the Niassa Reserve are the spectacular granite inselbergs that rise imperiously from the surrounding bush. The highest of these, the Mecula and Jao mountains, are almost a vertical kilometre from top to bottom.
The reserve contains by far the largest concentration of wildlife in Mozambique. Until Mozambique’s civil war ended in the early 1990’s the Niassa Wildlife Reserve remained completely untouched, and since then it’s protected status has seen increasing wildlife numbers – including lion, spotted hyaena, leopard, buffalo, and a healthy elephant population is distinguished for its big tuskers. This natural wealth, combined the magnificent scenery its sheer size makes the Niassa Reserve one of Africa’s last great wildernesses.
There are three endemic herbivore species; Johnston’s impala, Niassa wildebeest and Boehm’s zebra. Like the Selous in Tanzania, Niassa Wildlife Reserve also contains a globally significant population of wild dog – one of the most sought after sightings on a safari. Birdlife in Niassa Reserve is also impressive - there are over 400 species. Of particular interest are the Taita falcon, southern banded snake eagle, African skimmer, Stierlings woodpecker, and the rare Angolan pitta – all endangered species which have significant populations in the reserve.