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Gorongosa National Park – Central Mozambique Hot

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African fish eagle by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick.jpg

Gorongosa National Park located in the Sofala province of Central Mozambique has to be one of the greatest national parks to be found within Mozambique. It lies at the southern end of the Great African Rift Valley and covers over 4000 square kms.

The highlight of any birding trip to Gorongosa National Park must be the Urema River Floodplain where thousands of waterbirds congregate. In amongst herds of waterbuck, common reedbuck, Cape buffalo and oribi, Saddle-Billed Storks, Yellow-Billed Storks, African Openbills and Grey Crowned Cranes feed and roost. On the banks of the floodplains, large flocks of collared pratincoles gather between long-toed plovers, herons, egrets and great white and pink-backed pelicans. The grassland savannah also offers excellent birding with red-throated twinspot, green-backed woodpecker, speckle-throated woodpecker, raquet-tailed roller, collared palm-thrush and Dickinson’s kestrel being just a few of the highlights that may be viewed.

entrance to gorongosa national park by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

1 of 6. Entrance to the Gorongosa National Park

collared palm thrush by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

2 of 6. Collared Palm Thrush within Gorongosa tourism camp.

oribi by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

3 of 6. Oribi are plentiful on the open grasslands of the floodplain

small river flowing into the urema floodplain by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

4 of 6. Small tributary flowing into the lake and Urema floodplain

purple banded sunbird by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

5 of 6. Male Purple-Banded Sunbird.

great white pelican in flight by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

6 of 6. Great White Pelican in flight.


Best Time to Photograph
Although the early mornings and late afternoons are when birds and mammals are most active and lighting for photography is at its best, there is so much activity at Gorongosa that it is possible and advisable to continue photographing through the day.
Type of Photography
  • Wildlife General
  • Bird Photography
Best Time of Year
Photographic Tips
The tourism camp within Gorongosa offers excellent birding where approach to relaxed birds is easily achieved. Urema floodplain near the old ruined building is also an excellent place to spend a few hours watching and photographing the various waterbirds.
Recommended Gear
Long telephoto lenses mounted on the camera body together with a carry sling to help ease handling is suggested for moving around the rest camp. Telephoto lenses and a window mount or tripod are suggested when photographing at the floodplain itself.


Season and Weather
Temperatures are warm to hot throughout the year while evenings and nights may be cool to cold during the winter months. Thunderstorms occur mainly during the summer. Remember that this is a MALARIA area.
Other Activities
  • Bird Watching
  • Game Viewing
Guide/s Available
Etienne Marais – Indicator Birding (www.birding.co.za)


Closest Town
Getting There
Gorongosa National Park is located along the EN1 approximately 70kms north of the town of Inchope which is a small town joining Beira with Zimbabwe. The entrance to the park is well sign-posted from the EN1


Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: http://www.peterchadwick.co.zaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.