Mozambique's environmental conservation areas, which presently cover over 12% of the country, comprise the following six National Parks and six National Reserves.
Situated in Gaza Province, this 6,000 sq km park is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area which links Mozambique with parks in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Comprising open savannah with mopane and miombo forests, it is home to lion, leopard, impala, kudu, nyala, oribi, reedbuck, sable, grey duiker, hippo, ostrich and crocodile.
Comprising five islands in the Bazaruto Archipelago, 20 km off the coast of Inhambane Province, the 1,400 sq km area protects dolphin, dugong, sea turtles, sharks, rays and various species of whale and over 240 varieties of bird including the rare crab plover and green coucal. The 150 dugong found here being one of the major populations of East Africa.
One of the world's best known conservation areas, this park lies on the south edge of the Great Rift Valley, 80 km north-west of Beira in Sofala Province. Lion, leopard, civet, genet, serval, buffalo, elephant, bushbuck, hartebeest, impala, kudu, nyala, oribi, reedbuck, sable, waterbuck, warthog, zebra, vervet monkey, chacma baboon, hippo and crocodile may be seen. The bird-life is prolific with over 200 species, including the rare green-headed oriole, having been identified.
Linked with the Kruger, in South Africa, and Gonarezhou, in Zimbabwe, this area, in the west of Gaza province, forms part of the huge Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. With numerous different landscapes it is home to the 'big five' - elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo - and a host of other wildlife including wild dog, hyena, kudu, oribi, hippo and zebra.
Situated in Cabo Delgado Province, this 7,500 sq km park covers a large area of the mainland in addition to eleven islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago. Elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, hyena, jackal, wild dog, eland and sable may be seen. Marine species include dolphin, turtle, shark, whale, the rare and endangered dugong and 375 species of fish while the birdlife is amazing.
Yet another park which forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, this 4,000 sq km park is situated along the Save River in the far north-west of Inhambabe Province. Lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena can be viewed along with bushbuck, impala, kudu, nyala, reedbuck, steenbuck, both grey and red duiker, hippo and crocodile.
Situated in Manica Province this 640 sq km reserve is home to buffalo, bushbuck, grey and red duiker, eland, oribi, reedbuck, sable, waterbuck, warthog and a wide variety of birds and reptiles many of which are endemic to the area.
The Niassa Reserve is one of the largest protected Miombo Woodland Ecosystems. It is located in northern Mozambique and covers part of the Cabo Delgado Province, nearly one third of the Niassa Province. Niassa Reserve is one of the most pristine African wilderness regions. Despite years of human conflict Niassa Reserve supports a remarkably rich variety of wildlife.
The reserve has an abundance of Sable Antelope, Cape buffalo, Wildebeest, Lion, Hippo and also rare exotic birds have long been the appealing factor for birders from far and wide. There are plans to join the Niassa Reserve with the Selous Game Reserve in Southern Tanzania which is an exciting prospect.