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Southern Mozambique 2 2023

11 DAY TRIP:      28 June to 8 July 2023

Our trip focuses on the remote and enchanting Zinave National Park, Inhassoro and the Save woodlands, the Dovela dunes and the Incomati River estuary. 



Zinave National Park

The beautiful and remote Zinave National Park lies on the southern bank of the Save River. Habitats in the Park include baobab forests, mopane and miombo woodland, riverine forest and fever tree lined pans.

Having been declared a protected area in 1972, only to then be ravaged by sixteen years of civil war from 1977-1992, the sun now rises over a different Zinave National Park. Protracted wars, hunting and the lack of management resources resulted in the loss of several large mammal species, including the emblematic giraffe. What remained was a Park with excellent wildlife habitat, boasting more than 200 tree and over 40 grass species. Habitats in the Park include baobab forests, mopane and miombo woodland, riverine forest and fever tree lined pans.

The development of the park was boosted at the end of 2015 when the Mozambican Ministry of Land, Environmental and Rural Development signed a co-management agreement with Peace Parks Foundation to jointly develop the park as an integral part of the Mozambican component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. With the purpose of focusing conservation and protection efforts within the more than 400 000-ha Park, an 18 600-ha sanctuary was erected as initial habitat for translocated wildlife.To date 2 400 animals representing 14 different species have been introduced to Zinave, including Elephant, Sable Antelope, Giraffe, Buffalo, Leopard and Hyena.

Inhassoro and the Save Woodlands

The village of Inhassoro lies 50 km north of Vilanculos along the coast. The surrounding area is dotted with a network of pretty lily-covered pans and the Govuro River runs north from Vilanculos, past Inhassoro, entering the sea at Bartholomew Diaz point.

Using Inhassoro as our base we explore the surrounding wetlands, woodlands and grasslands. Habitats vary from open savanna in the south, through baobab woodland, to dense woodland in the north.The roadside mixed woodland along the EN1 south of the Save River is very good and provides excellent coastal woodland and thicket birding. Riverine forests, sandy rivers, lakes and marshland, estuaries, lagoons, mangroves and beaches along the Indian Ocean are some of the other habitats encountered.

The Dovela Dunes

Situated between the sea and an inland lake, the Dovela dunes are a diverse and unique environment. The inland lake is a habitat favoured by birds which can be spotted on foot, from the bird hides or from a canoe on the lagoon. The coastal forest is full of life: small mammals, birds, butterflies, insects, trees and flowers. The beach is pristine and deserted and a rocky barrier forms a tidal pool where one can swim protected from the waves. 

Our accommodation is nestled in a pristine coastal forest, 15 km north of Praia da Zavora and 90km south of Inhambane. Built on 80 hectares, the priority has been to combine the site’s beauty and calm to provide one with a peaceful and comfortable stay. The ten chalets are well spaced and have been integrated into the surrounding vegetation to preserve the ecosystem.



The Macaneta area lies in the Incomati River estuary in northern Maputo Bay. The floodplain plays host to one of the largest concentrations of waterbirds in the region, including many specials not regularly seen elsewhere.

A total of nearly 300 species have been identified in the area, second only to the species count of Gorongosa National Park. Macaneta offers a very rich biodiversity with many interesting habitats in relatively small area, including beach, mangroves, estuary, tidal marshes, dune forest and grasslands.

The summer months see a huge influx of migrating birds from the northern hemisphere and Macaneta forms part of their travel route within Africa and from Madagascar. Flooded areas hold good numbers of migrant waders such as Common Whimbrel, Wood, Curlew and Common Sandpipers, Common Greenshank, Ruff, Little Stint, Common Ringed, Kittlitz’s and Three-banded Plovers.

The floodplain plays host to one of the largest concentrations of waterbirds in the region, including many specials not regularly seen elsewhere. In seasons of good rains, the floodplain becomes a vast tract of waterways, flooded dambos and extensive lush grasslands in amongst patches of cultivation.

Birding Attractions

Zinave National Park & Save Woodlands

Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Dark Chanting Goshawk, African Cuckoo Hawk, Pel’s Fishing-Owl,African Wood-Owl, African Barred Owlet, Dickinson’s Kestrel, Red-necked Spurfowl, Racket-tailed Roller, Grey-headed Parrot, Green Malkoha, Chestnut-fronted Helmet-Shrike, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Collared Palm-Thrush, African Broadbill, Green-backed Woodpecker, Flappet Lark, Narina Trogon, Eastern Nicator, Bohm’s Spinetail, Mottled Spinetail, Livingstone’s Flycatcher, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Red-winged Warbler, Green-capped Eremomela, Pale Batis, Red-faced Crombec, Black-throated WAttle-eye, Plain-backed Sunbird, Western Violet-backed Sunbird, Neergaard’s Sunbird, Magpie Mannikin, Lemon-breaasted Canary.


Dickinson’s Kestrel, Livingstone’s Turaco, Eastern Nicator, Green Malkoha, Black-bellied Starling, Plain-backed Sunbird, Grey Sunbird, Woodward’s Batis, Black-headed Apalis, Livingstone’s Flycatcher, Pink-throated Twinspot, Lemon-breasted Canary.



Rufous-bellied and Black Herons, Yellow-throated and Rosy-throated Longclaws, Rufous-winged,Croaking and Pale-crowned Cisticolas, Grey-rumped Swallow and Black Saw-wing.

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