Mozambique is a gem of a place, its expansive national parks and preserves lying off of the beaten paths of its African cousins. Here, the remarkably unspoiled landscapes of the Gorongosa National Park and Niassa Game Reserve give way to white sand beaches on Medjumbe Island. Here, the world of the indulgent seaside vacation abides with that of the exotic safari adventure. Recline to the sounds of tumbling waves, and sojourn in an elegant tented camp or chalet, intent on the wild chorus of indigenous fauna. Mozambique packs a wealth of sensory experience into a small package. From here, you transition to Johannesburg, South Africa, for an immersion into the culture and history of its metamorphosis from autocracy to plurality. This is the rarest of trips, where any one element could stand on its own and still be exceptional; here, you have it all!
Moderately Active. May involve some moderate hikes in forests and nature reserves, getting in and out of vehicles and rocking boats, and walking in uneven pavement in archaeological sites, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.
There are two main seasons in Mozambique, one wet (November to March) and the other dry (April to October). During the rainy season temperatures rise to the high 80's. At this time there is also a risk of cyclones along the northern coast. During the dry season, maximum daytime temperature usually hovers in the high 70s on the coast and is generally sunny throughout this period. Niassa Reserve closes mid December and reopens in early May.
Arrive in Johannesburg where you are escorted to your exquisite home for the night, offering a convenient location close to the airport coupled with lavish comforts. Located at Emperors Palace, the complex offers shops, restaurants, and the grounds are a relaxing retreat after your long flight. D’OREALE GRANDE. (Meals Aloft)
Wake early and fly to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique and its largest city, with a Portuguese Colonial past and Euro-Afro vibe. Pass by Portuguese colonial buildings in the afternoon on your way to the Natural History Museum, featuring the world’s largest elephant collection. Continue to the fortress, view the Parliament and the Railway Station, learn about the Steel House, visit the Cathedral and the Polana Church, pass through Sommerschield and stop at the colorful markets. Your home for the night has been regarded as the “Grande dame” of Maputo since 1922 and is situated in one of the most prestigious avenues, overlooking the Bay. POLANA SERENA HOTEL. (B)
You now fly to Beira, the second largest city in Mozambique, which lies in the Sofala Province, and make your way to Gorongosa National Park, approximately 1,456 square miles of savannah, woodlands, and rainforest in central Mozambique. The park protects diverse ecosystems fed by the plentiful water sources that stream down from the 5,900 foot massif, Mount Gorongosa. Here, you will find open grassy floodplains, fever tree forests, palm thickets, Albidia forests, Miombo-lined ridges, oxbow lakes, and seasonal soda pans, supporting 400 species of birds, healthy populations of crocodile, hippo, lion, elephant, buffalo, and many kinds of antelope. See the heart of the park, the aquifer fed Lake Urema, which seems to spring out of nowhere. The many facets of this exceptional park will reveal themselves in several guided day and night drives. Your bungalow offers all the comforts of home in this pristine wilderness and the lodge is committed to preserving the ecological integrity as well as the participation of the local communities. GIRASSOL GORONGOSA LODGE & SAFARI. (B,L,D Daily)
Today’s drive takes you back to Beira where you board your flight to Pemba, located on the northernmost tip of an archipelago overlooking the third largest bay in the world and blessed with beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Visit the Old Town, or baixa, to see beautiful examples of Portuguese architecture, marvel at the works of art carved by the local Makonde as you stop by a local carving cooperative, and shop around for handicrafts. Afterward, walk on the beach or enjoy a spa treatment at you wellappointed home for the night. AVANI PEMBA BEACH HOTEL. (B)
Wing away on light aircraft to the Niassa Game Reserve and begin an amazing wildlife journey. Niassa, the largest reserve in Mozambique, is almost twice the size of Kruger National Park, and is home to large populations of elephant, antelope and Cape buffalo. Its vast expanses protect more than 300 bird species, including the rare Angola Pitta and Pel’s Fishing Owl, three newly discovered endemics, the Niassa wildebeest, Boehm’s zebra and Johnston’s impala, as well as the rare African wild dog. With so much food on the hoof, you will also see lion, leopard and hyena. Your luxury tented camp is situated along the Lugenda River and offers classic accommodation and a fantastic dining experience. LUGENDA WILDERNESS CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)
Board your light aircraft once again and fly to Medjumbe Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago in Northern Mozambique. A diminutive island, Medjumbe possesses a number of small bays and coves with white sand beaches framed by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Spend your days lazing on the beach or participating in the many activities offered at the resort, such as a slow meandering sail aboard a traditional dhow, scuba diving and snorkeling, and the more energetic water sports of windsurfing and water skiing. Surrounded by dazzling white sands, your ‘barefoot luxury’ beach chalet opens right onto the beach and is only steps from the water. MEDJUMBE PRIVATE ISLAND. (All Meals Daily)
Depart this morning for your flight back to Johannesburg, via Pemba. Upon arrival in Johannesburg late this afternoon, you will be escorted to your hotel in the fashionable suburb of Sandton. FAIRLAWNS HOTEL. (B) The next day, take a historical tour of South Africa when you visit the Apartheid Museum, Hector Peterson Square in Soweto, Alexandra Township, the Fort, Constitutional Court, Prison No. 4, and Liliesleaf Farm, the scene of the Rivonia Raid. This tour is essential to understanding the events that lead to the abolition of apartheid. A major highlight is a visit to the Mandela Family Museum, once the home of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela. This evening you will return to the airport for your flight home, arriving USA next morning. (B, Meals Aloft)
Continue your adventure with a flight from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit, where you will leave the bustle of the harried city behind and discover comfortable luxury in the Imbali Safari Lodge within Kruger National Park. Home to an unparalleled diversity of wildlife, Kruger provides sanctuary to approximately 300 different types of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 types of amphibian, 116 different reptilian species, 505 species of birds and 147 species of mammals. Experience the romantic tradition of safari life, replete with afternoon tea and evening brandy in one of the world’s greatest parks.
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