Located on the southern shores of the impressive Cahora Bassa Dam, which is one of the major dams forming part of the Zambezi river system, is the relatively new Magoe National Park in Mozambique. This is the Tete Province’s flagship park and only tourist attraction in the region.
Extending across 3,559 square kilometres of semi-closed forest and seasonally flooded grassland vegetation, the Magoe National Park is a protected area rich with wildlife. Hippos, crocs, elephants and an array of birdlife congregate on the shores of the dam, providing significant wildlife sightings. Walking trails, self-drive routes and fishing excursions are the main activities in the area.
The park is situated in the Tete Province and is quite easily accessible. The closest area is Songo, which is located 150 kilometres north of Tete. For visitors wanting to discover the Magoe National Park, it is an easy day trip from any major town.
General wildlife is well-supported in the national park and visitors can expect to see roan, elephants, crocodiles and hippos. Lions are seen in the area, but not regularly. The dense woodland forests provide the perfect habitat for a host of small mammals, which make ideal prey sources for predators.
Birding is popular in the area, and a host of species appear within the park. Dickinson’s kestrel, Nyasa lovebird and the racquet-tailed roller are notable species to tick off the birding list. There are several species of waterbird on the shores of the dam, and a wide variety of passerines in the woodlands.
Much like the rest of Mozambique, the best time to visit Magoe National Park is during the dry winter season. The woodlands thin out during winter, making it easier to spot wildlife. The dry season in Mozambique is from April to December and January to March is the wet season. June to August is the winter season and the best time to visit the park.
The most popular activity in the national park is fishing. The deep waters teem with tiger fish, making it a paradise for anglers and fisherman. The waters are dense with crocodiles, so fisherman need to be experienced at fishing.
Walking safaris and self-drive routes around the shores of the dam provide perfect opportunities to spot wildlife. Kayaking, boating, and fly fishing are just a few of the other unique ways of spotting wildlife.
Because the protectorate is new, there is no accommodation inside the park. There is a campground inside the park that’s open to visitors. There are several lodges and accommodation just outside the park, catering for a wide range of budgets. If travelling in the middle of summer, seek a lodge with a swimming pool.