Moja Safari Wilderness - Niassa Reserve - Mozambique
Moja Safari Wilderness

Moja Safari Wilderness

Moja Safari Wilderness is an exclusive privately-managed concession within the vast Niassa National Reserve. It is situated in the Lugenda Valley, along the banks of the Lugenda River (arguably the most wild and pristine River in the country), and there is easy air access to the luxurious Falcon retreats of the Quirimbas archipelago.

The concept is not that of a traditional lodge, but the chance to explore the area on luxury mobile safaris (a combination of walking and canoeing), where you will be looked after by highly qualified guides. With a maximum of 6 guests at any one time, you are guaranteed of personalised arrangements.

The funky tented camps are extremely comfortable, with hot water, cold drinks, delicious meals, and cosy beds.

Your Safari with Moja also gives you the chance to learn about the local community, who have lived in and around the area since time immemorial. Theirs is the way of tradition and respect, of laughter and of song. Often it is the simple approach that works best, and so it is in Niassa. Guests are encouraged to embrace the fact that people have always lived amongst wildlife as they continue to do so today. The community support projects are motivated, implemented and supported by the local villagers themselves, in a bold attempt to create models of truly beneficial community conservation-tourism relationships.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1
You arrive by air charter from Pemba at Mbamba village airstrip, where you are met by your guide, and transferred (some 4 kilometres) to the Camp.

Along the way you get an introduction to the community living within the concession at Mbamba village, whilst also having a chance to spot some wildlife. Comforts such as a cosy couch and snug day-beds welcome you at Camp. Enjoy a light lunch, and there is time to relax before afternoon tea. Activities might include a stroll to the local village, or the first try-out in the canoe. On either option, there is a chance of some good game viewing, and birding.

Dinner is served under the stars this evening on an elegantly set table complete with paraffin lanterns and home-made candlesticks. After a cup of fresh-brewed coffee, chai tea or marshmallow-enhanced hot chocolate around the fire, you are escorted to your tent.

Day 2
You are wakened by the gentle call of their butler and the smell of fresh coffee. You can opt for some gentle pre-breakfast birding in the nearby forest, after a short walk, return to camp for a breakfast of omelettes and fresh seed bread which is served under the shade of an Albida tree on the river bank. There is also a choice of home-made smoothies or simply a bowl of fresh fruit and yoghurt.

After breakfast start the canoe safari – where you have the chance of seeing elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, impala, baboons and a host of birdlife. With frequent stops to soak in the scene, and the odd pull-up on a nearby sandbank for a swim, some tea or a refreshing beer, the safari gently meanders its way through the sandy channels of the upper Lugenda until, around midday, when the guide will find a shady spot for lunch and the afternoon siesta.

The camp crew will have dropped camp and made for the second night’s campsite already, passing by to drop off the lunch basket at the designated lunch-spot. Once the sun has passed its fiercest point and the afternoon begins to cool off, you will be revived with a cup of tea or coffee, before heading off for the afternoon river run.

The second part of the day’s safari leads you into a beautiful area of mixed bushveld dotted with low rocky outcrops, whilst the river starts to get rockier with the odd exciting rapid providing a foretaste of things to come the following day. You then reach camp, and enjoy refreshments and snacks. If you are feeling intrepid, you can go with the guide up the short incline to the top of a nearby rock, to enjoy a magnificent sunset. Return to Camp for dinner.

Day 3
This morning kicks off in a similar vein as the previous day with fresh tea, coffee and muffins delivered to the tents, along with a basin of hot water to wash away the lingering remnants of sleep. After breakfast it’s back to the River, and this morning to come the beautiful braided channels of the middle Lugenda. These rocky channels have some exciting rapids mixed in with super scenery and great birding opportunities. Passing small fishing camps on the Falcons of the now very wide river, the you will be encouraged to try you hand at the traditional throw-net, or perhaps to sit and watch the young boys fishing the calm pools much like otters, often catching fish in their mouths! A mid-morning walk on the mainland takes you through a sweeping area of dambo, or grassy marsh, which is home to plains game herds and predators alike. Here, Boehm’s Zebra mix with impala and waterbuck, all under the watchful eye of the resident lion prides and wild dog packs.

After a morning of game viewing by foot and endless tales of bush lore from guide and tracker alike, the safari winds its way back to the river for a lunch break on the banks of one of the rocky Falcons. Lunch awaits. After an hour or so of relaxation, return to the canoe, for the last run of the river, a short but quite lively stretch that sees you through the last of the braided channels. Arriving quite late in the afternoon, the early part of the sunset ritual is conducted from the river, with the boats linking up and drinks served from the guide’s onboard cooler-box. Enjoy dinner in Camp.

Day 4
After a re-run of the early morning procedure, you can lie-in and enjoy the bush as it awakes around you. The departure time for the vehicle transfer to the nearby eastern airstrip is only mid-morning, and so you will have a chance to enjoy their last morning of solitude and peace in the Niassa wilderness. There is one last opportunity for a walk or a short river run if requested before you say farewell to the staff and hosts of Moja Safari Wilderness. Your light aircraft flight takes you back to Pemba.

General Information:
The safaris run with a minimum of 2 and maximum of 6 participants. Duration of Safari is 3 night/ 4 day.

The Safaris are seasonal, the Green Season varies according to rainfall, but generally runs from mid-to late-April through to mid-June, and again from the beginning of November through to mid-December. The High Season runs annually from the 15th June through to the 31st October.

Accommodation is in classic cottage style mobile tents. All tents are bug-proof (with stylish mosquito netting window and door inners), with optional draped mosquito nets above each bed for extra precaution. Tent is en-suite, with open-air bucket shower, flush toilet and vanity stand.

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View photos of Moja Safari Wilderness Gallery

See Destination information on the Quirimbas Archipelago