MAPUTO SPECIAL RESERVE
When you are staying in Maputo, one of the best attractions to visit is the Maputo Special Reserve, also known as the Maputo Elephant Reserve. It was initially established to conserve endangered elephants in Mozambique, but has expanded to include the conservation of a high number of various animals that are native to the area. The reserve spans more than 220,000 acres and is a beautiful experience, which should definitely be on your list of things to do in Maputo.
Elephants & Mozambique WildlifeMaputo Special Reserve is home to a substantial elephant population, which makes the reserve a great place to spot elephants, as well as other wildlife while you are driving through the reserve. The area that is now the Maputo Special Reserve, was initially sectioned off to protect the elephant population that counted 350 at the time, but was expanded to include other endangered species like rhinos in the 1960s. Today, there is around 180 elephants living in the reserve alongside crocodiles, zebras and monkeys to name a few. The beautiful coastline of the reserve is also an important nesting area for loggerhead and leatherback turtles, which you can find in the northern end of the reserve. Make sure to stop at Ponta Milibangalala on your way there, and if you do, you will see why.
Getting to Maputo Special ReserveAlthough you can find companies offering guided tours to the reserve, the most common way to visit, is to go in your own car. The entrance to the reserve is about 55 miles south of Maputo and the drive there is smooth and easy, as the roads are upgraded and maintained on an on-going basis. You pay a fee per vehicle and per person entering, and as the reserve does not have either bathroom facilities or shops, make sure to bring everything you will need throughout the day. Also note that the roads in the reserve are not paved, which means it is a good idea to drive in a 4x4 vehicle.
Keep in mind you are to clean up after yourselves and don’t swim in the lakes as there are hungry crocodiles. Ask the reception at Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence, Maputo for tips on what to bring and where to go in the reserve.