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  • Photograph of Whale Shark

    A wonderful Whale Shark by Coke & Som Smith.

    MOZAMBIQUE

    Best Wildlife in Mozambique

    Mammals
    Dugong, Humpback Whale (mostly Jul-Sep) and Sykes’s (Samango) Monkey, as well as species mostly reintroduced since the civil war including Lion, Cheetah, African Elephant, Hippopotamus, African Buffalo, Sable and (Lichtenstein’s) Hartebeest.

    Birds
    African Fish Eagle, Greater Flamingo, Great Frigatebird, Black and Goliath Herons, Saddle-billed Stork, Hamerkop, Crowned, Silvery-cheeked and Trumpeter Hornbills, Pennant-winged Nightjar (mostly Sep-Mar), Crab Plover (mostly Nov-Mar), African Pitta (mostly Dec-Jan, especially early Dec), Green-headed Oriole, White-winged Apalis, the endemic Namuli (Bar-throated) Apalis, other localized species such as Eastern Green Tinkerbird, Dappled Mountain Robin (Dapple-throat), Cholo Alethe, Olive-headed Weaver and Locustfinch, as well as African Pygmy Goose, Crested Guineafowl, African Darter, Rufous-bellied Heron, storks, Palm-nut Vulture, Bateleur, Ayres’s Hawk Eagle, African Crowned, Long-crested and Martial Eagles, Black-bellied Bustard, Grey Crowned Crane, White-headed Lapwing, Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers, Black-winged Stilt, African and Lesser Jacanas, many other shorebirds including Terek Sandpiper, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Great Crested and Lesser Crested Terns, African Green Pigeon, Grey-headed (Cape) Parrot, Livingstone’s and Purple-crested Turacos, cuckoos including African Emerald, Black Coucal, Yellowbill, owls, Bohm’s Spinetail, Speckled Mousebird, Bar-tailed and Narina Trogons, kingfishers including Brown-hooded and Mangrove, bee-eaters including Madagascar, Southern Carmine and Swallow-tailed, Lilac-breasted and Racket-tailed Rollers, African Hoopoe, Green Woodhoopoe, Southern Ground Hornbill, barbets, honeyguides including Green-backed Honeybird, woodpeckers, African Broadbill, Vanga (Black-and-white Shrike) Flycatcher, Cape, Pale and Woodward’s Batises, Chestnut-fronted, Retz’s and White-crested Helmetshrikes, Black-fronted, Gorgeous, Grey-headed and Sulphur-breasted Bushshrikes, orioles, African Paradise, Blue-mantled Crested, Livingstone’s and White-tailed Crested Flycatchers, Eastern Nicator, Spotted Creeper, greenbuls, Black-headed, Chirinda and Rudd’s Apalises, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Southern Hyliota, Collared Flycatcher (mostly Nov-Mar), White-chested Alethe, East Coast Akalat, Swynnerton’s and White-starred Robins, Arnot’s Chat, Collared Palm Thrush, Orange Ground Thrush, Miombo Rock Thrush, starlings, sunbirds including Neergaard’s, Plain-backed, Purple-banded and Scarlet-chested, Rosy-breasted and Yellow-throated Longclaws, Lemon-breasted Canary, weavers including Parsitic (Cuckoo Finch, mostly Apr-Oct), bishops, waxbills, Peters’s and Pink-throated Twinspots, Red-faced Crimsonwing, Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah and Golden-breasted Bunting. Also a chance of Madagascar Pond Heron (mostly May-Sep), Dwarf Bittern (mostly Oct-Apr), Sooty Falcon (mostly Oct-Apr), Buff-spotted Flufftail, Wattled Crane, Bronze-winged Courser, Great Snipe (mostly Nov-Mar), Greater Painted Snipe and Sooty Tern.

    Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish
    Manta Ray (Oceanic and Reef, at cleaning stations all year but mostly Oct-Apr), Whale Shark (mostly Oct-Mar), over 400 species of reef fish and 180 species of coral, Nile Crocodile and five species of turtle (nesting Oct-Jun, mostly Oct-Dec). Also a chance of marlins and Sailfish.

    Best Sites for Wildlife in Mozambique

    Best Times for Wildlife in Mozambique

    The seasons are notoriously unpredictable in Mozambique but the mostly hot and humid ‘summer’ usually lasts from October to April, with the heat and humidity peaking between November and January. The summer is the best period for Manta Rays and Whale Sharks and covers the peak time to look for birds such as African Pitta which like many species usually sings the most in early December when the summer rains normally begin (they normally end in March). It is usually mostly dry in the ‘winter’ between May and September, when July-September is the best time for Humpback Whales, and July is the peak time for birds.

    Recommended Books etc. for Mozambique

    Stuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa by C and M Stuart. Random House Struik, 2015 (Revised Edition).

    The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals by J Kingdon. Bloomsbury, 2015 (Second Revised Edition).

    The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals by J Kingdon. Bloomsbury, 2016 (Second Edition).

    SASOL Birds of Southern Africa by I Sinclair et al. C Struik, 2011 (Fourth Edition).

    Birds of Africa south of the Sahara by I Sinclair and P Ryan. C Struik, 2011 (Second Edition).

    Newman's Birds by Colour by K Newman. C Struik, 2011 (Third Edition).

    Newman's Birds of Southern Africa by K and V Newman. C Struik, 2010 (Tenth Edition).

    Roberts Bird Guide edited by H Chittenden. Africa Geographic, 2007.

    Southern African Birdfinder by C Cohen and C Spottiswoode. New Holland Publishers, 2005.


    Apps etc.

    eGuide to Mammals of Southern Africa

    Kingdon eGuide to African Mammals.

    Audubon African Wildlife.

    SASOL eBirds of Southern Africa.

    Newman's Birds of Southern Africa.

    Roberts Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa.

    Where to watch birds in Africa by N Wheatley. Helm, 1995.

    Don’t know which country/countries to visit in Africa? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them on the continent, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Trip Reports for Mozambique

    Many trip reports, some for Mozambique, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Mozambique. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Mozambique' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in Mozambique

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation in Mozambique

    Some Organized Tours to Mozambique

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and they are popular with people with partners with different interests. Individuals, partners and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more for a custom tour than an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who run organized tours to Mozambique include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.