The Lugenda River remains one of Africa’s pristine and un-spoilt waterways. It is the life blood of Northern Mozambique’s remote Niassa Reserve. The Luwire Wildlife Conservancy is privileged to protect nearly 300 km of this great river as it winds its way through the heart of the Niassa Reserve. The Lugenda River floods seasonally but is comfortably navigable late May to mid-July each year. Class 3 (‘intermediate’) rapids are safely and enjoyably navigated by canoe. The few instances of more difficult rapids are circumvented briefly on foot.
The annual Lugenda River Splash involves a 150 kilometre trip down the river from Metarica Camp to Lugenda Camp over five days and four nights accompanied by a professional river guide and support crew. Canoeists may follow on with a day of community experience and a few days of photographic safari. These three types of adventure made for a diverse, entertaining and wondrous experience.
Departures are regular and can be individually catered from mid-May to mid-July. Each trip can accommodate up to ten canoeists. The professional guides will again help the travellers negotiate friendly hippos and elusive crocodiles. The support crew will ensure high quality single tent accommodation and ablution facilities. Food will be prepared by a five star chef.
A typical itinerary:
On the Lugenda River. This is a relatively easy day for acclimatization culminating in a short hand portage around the Nguli Falls where we will sleep in tents on the sandy beach below the falls. Every night features a comfortable fly camp prepared ahead of our arrival, a hot bucket shower, cold drinks around the fire and a high quality bush meal under the vast Niassa sky.
Involves a relatively long day with plenty of action, culminating in the Makanya rapids. We stop as usual for a picnic lunch and camp after the Makanya 2 rapid.
Requires another short portage around Madinde waterfall, after which there is a long wave train with some fine rapids. This section is fast and fun. The day culminates with another high quality bush meal around an open fire – African style.
Features an early start at sunrise to a special scene of colour and birds on the river. We arrive at Ndapata Safari camp late afternoon for a relaxing and social evening.
Makes our way to Lugenda Camp by road, passing through our two local communities ‒ Mussoma and Manhuri villages. We are greeted by the village Reglo (Mayor) and inspect with him one of Luwire’s community projects. We arrive in Lugenda Camp early afternoon allowing a few short tours in our Bathawk light surveillance aircraft ‒ a small 2 seater. This trip offers an exhilarating birds’ eye view of the immensity that is the Niassa Reserve. Before dinner, we shall all enjoy a night safari ride.
Still in Lugenda Camp – Luwire’s HQ ‒ you will have the option of relaxing in camp, photographic safari trips by vehicle or walking in the iconic Ngalongue Inselburg range. We will visit a selection of the nine caves once inhabited by prehistoric Batwa and Hadsa people who have left their ancient art on the granite walls. We shall enjoy the wildlife found along the way.
After a late breakfast, farewell is around 0930am. We fly back to Nampula or Pemba to connect with the return flight to Johannesburg and then home.