More than twice the size of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, the Niassa Reserve’s 42 000 square kilometers make it not only by far the largest conservation area in Mozambique, but also one of the most extensive protected areas in Africa.

The reserve was first established in 1954, but was abandoned during the hostilities of the 1970s and ’80s. After the peace accord was signed in 1992, the new Mozambican government took a bold, innovative step, entering into an arrangement to manage Niassa Reserve as a public-private partnership.

Since assuming responsibility for the reserve in 1998, the SRN (Sociedade para a Gestão e Desenvolvimento da Reserva do Niassa), together with is partners at Flora & Fauna International, has made great progress in putting Niassa back on the map, with some highly progressive policies on adaptive environmental management and community-centered sustainable development.


Niassa Reserve is one of the most pristine Miombo wilderness areas in Africa. The vegetation is mostly Brachystegia woodland interspersed with open savanna and dambo wetlands. Small isolated forests occur on the mountains and inselbergs found throughout the Reserve, and there are riparian forests along the perennial rivers. A recent vegetation survey outlined 21 vegetation types with approximately 200 species of trees and shrubs.


Despite the damage caused during the decades of conflict, Niassa Reserve supports a remarkably rich and diverse collection of wildlife. Regular aerial surveys have revealed significant populations of large herbivores with over 12,000 elephant, 9,000 sable and thousands of buffalo, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, eland and zebra. There are smaller populations of kudu, bushbuck, impala, wildebeest, waterbuck, reedbuck and hippo. Duiker and warthogs abound. Lion, leopard and spotted hyena are common whilst a large population of over 200 African wild dogs occur, making Niassa one of the last great refuges for this endangered predator.

Of particular interest are three endemic subspecies which exist in Niassa but are rare elsewhere, namely: Niassa wildebeest, Boehm’s zebra, and Johnston’s impala. The Reserve has a rich and varied birdlife including the rare Angola Pitta, Pel’s Fishing Owl, and an abundant raptor population including nesting Taita Falcons, Crowned and Black Eagles. The Rovuma region has been designated an Important Bird Area and over 370 species have been recorded so far.

The intention is to establish a wildlife corridor between Niassa and the Selous Game Reserve to the north.

Sarah Frankish

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.
Total results: 2
Sort by:

Why Choose Us?

Passionate travel experts

  • We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
  • Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
  • We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences

Personal & tailor-made

  • You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
  • We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
  • Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love

Responsible by nature

  • We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
  • For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
  • We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours
British Travel Awards Crest
ATOL Protected ABTA Protected IATA Protected
Trust Pilot LATA Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office check

Stay in Touch

Subscribe for our newsletter and to hear about exciting offers and experiences

By clicking ‘accept’, you consent to our use of cookies to improve our website experience. See our privacy policy for full information.