Mozambique Hunting for Lion, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Sable and Plains Game

The Republic of Mozambique is a country in southeastern Africa that is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, Swaziland to the south and South Africa to the southwest. Mozambique is the 35th largest country in the world (after Pakistan) and is drained by five principal rivers with the largest being the Zambezi. The country has three major fresh water lakes including Lake Niassa (or Malawi), Lake Chiuta and Lake Shirwa – all located in the north of the country.

Mozambique has a surface area of 309,496 mi2 (801,590 km2) with an estimated population of 22,894,000 people living within ten provinces including Cabo Delgado, Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Maputo, Nampula, Niassa, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia. The capital city of Maputo has also been granted provincial status and has a population estimated at 1.1 million residents. Beira is the second most populous city in the country with an estimated population of 546,000 residents, while Nampula is the third largest city in Mozambique with an estimated population of 471,000 people.

The area was explored by Vasco de Gama in 1498 and subsequently colonized by Portugal in 1501. Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and became the scene of an intense and violent civil war that lasted sixteen years (from 1977 to 1992) between the anti-communist forces of RENAMO (Mozambican National Resistance) rebel militias and the Marxist FRELIMO (Front for the Liberation of Mozambique) regime. The civil war ended in 1992 with the acceptance of the Rome General Peace Accords. Today, Mozambique is a multi-party democracy under a constitution that was adopted in 1990. The constitution allows for an executive branch including a president, prime minister and Council of Ministers. There is an elected National Assembly and municipal assemblies. The judiciary comprises a Supreme Court and provincial, district and municipal courts. Mozambicans are eligible to vote upon attaining the age of eighteen.

Since the civil war ended in 1992, Mozambique has endeavored to rebuild the game populations that were ravaged by sixteen years of civil war. As a result of these efforts Mozambique has re-emerged as a primary safari destination for big game - with big game hunting now being conducted in two primary areas of the country including the Niassa Reserve in the north and the Zambezi River delta in the central portion of the country. Game populations in these areas continue to increase under careful management and hunting for species such as buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, nyala and sable remains not only affordable but a major attraction for hunters seeking adventure in Africa.

Location(s) of Hunt

Mozambique Hunting

This particular safari outfitter hunts in Coutadas 9 and 13, also known as the Nhacainga Conservancy.

In 2002, a group of three safari operators acquired the leases for these Coutadas and formed the Nhacainga Conservancy, which is modeled after the Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe. The goal of the conservancy is to restore the wildlife populations within the area to pre civil war levels, engage the local population in wildlife conservation, and maintain hunting opportunities for future generations.

These Coutadas encompass approximately 2.8 million acres within the overall Nhacainga Conservancy, with this safari outfitter operating on 500,000 acres therein.

The hunting concession is located approximately halfway between Tete and Chimoio in the Manica province with terrain consisting of large granite kopjes, huge areas of savannah woodlands, tambooti forests and large seasonal rivers with thick riverine bush typical of these riparian areas.

Prior to the civil war, these Coutadas were renowned for their lion and buffalo and through the efforts of the partners in the Nhacainga Conservancy, classic safari hunting for these species is once again available in these Coutadas under a strict quota system.

Arrival/Departure Airport(s)

Clients will be met at the nearest airport and transferred by either vehicle or charter aircraft to the hunt area. The arrival/departure point will be Chimoio Airport via Maputo in Mozambique. Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe is another arrival and/or departure option.

Mode of Transportation

As stated above, transportation to/from the concession can be arranged via either air charter or vehicle. Air charter costs will vary based on the number of people traveling to/from the concession, the departure point, and whether a single or twin-engine aircraft is required for the charter. These charter costs normally run between $1,500 and $2,500.

Clients can also be transported by vehicle to the Nhacainga Camp from different locations in either Mozambique or Zimbabwe as follows:

  • either Chimoio or Tete in Mozambique; and
  • either Harare or the Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe.

The client will be responsible for transportation costs to/from the Nhacainga Camp from Chimoio, Harare or one of the other locations referenced above. Ground transfers to Nhacainga are priced at $300/vehicle (one way) from either Chimoio or Tete and $500/vehicle (one-way) from either Harare or the Mokore Camp in the Save.

Once in the hunting concession, ground transportation consisting of a four wheel drive vehicle will be provided within the hunt area.


The Nhacainga Camp consists of “tented” chalets situated on a ridge overlooking a vlei and the mountains beyond within the Coutada 9 concession. Each chalet has an en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water and flush toilet. The camp has an open dining room (under thatch) which provides great views of the vlei in front of camp and the granite outcrops beyond.

Daily laundry service is provided at all camps as a courtesy for the guests.

Food and Beverages

Breakfast and dinner will be served each day and will include a selection of breads, meats, fruits and vegetables based on availability and individual preferences. Meats served during your stay will include a sampling of the local wild game and will be expertly prepared for your dining pleasure.

On most days, the hunting party will return to camp for lunch and an opportunity to rest during the middle of the day when most of the game animals are laying down in the thick jess. In other instances, the hunting party will stay out all day and packed lunches with an assortment of drinks will be provided.

Alcoholic beverages will be provided and will include a selection of wines, domestic beer and a limited supply of distilled spirits. Those individuals wishing to imbibe a specific brand of American, Canadian or Scottish spirits would be advised to purchase a bottle in the duty free shops in transit to ensure that your preferred brand is available. Mineral waters are also provided.

Hunting Overview

Fair chase hunting utilizing spot and stalk techniques early and late in the day. Please note that hunting within 200 yards of an aircraft, motor vehicle or boat (except for the hunting of crocodile) is not allowed in Mozambique. The hunting of lion, leopard, crocodile and bushpig after dark is legal.

Cat hunting will involve baiting – once a bait has been hit, a blind will be built and the hunter will typically spend the early morning and late afternoon hours in the blind waiting for the cat to return to the bait to feed.

Elephant and buffalo hunting will be conducted almost entirely by tracking, with the early morning hours spent cruising local roads or visiting water holes (pans) within the concession looking for fresh tracks. Once a suitable track has been located, the hunting party will follow the track until the quarry has been located or the track become untenable.

Bow hunting is mostly conducted from blinds at waterholes. Spot and stalk techniques represent another option for the more adventurous hunter, but this technique is not as successful as hunting from blinds.

Species Available

Baboon, bushbuck (Chobe), bushpig, cape buffalo, crocodile, duiker (both common and red), eland, elephant, grysbok, hartebeest, hippo, impala, kudu, leopard, lion, nyala, oribi, reedbuck, sable, suni, warthog and zebra.

Season(s) and Optimum Dates for Specific Species

The hunting season in Mozambique generally runs from May through November, with the optimum season being mid July through September.

Weapons/Calibers Recommended

Any flat-shooting caliber from the .270 Winchester upwards should be sufficient for most of the soft-skinned plains game species; however, we strongly recommend a .300 Winchester Magnum or equivalent if available – particularly for the larger plains game species such as eland, hartebeest, kudu, sable and zebra.

The bullet selected should be a premium bonded core soft point. Specific recommendations can be made upon request.

We would also recommend a variable power scope with a low power setting somewhere around 3X to 4X and a high power setting somewhere around 10X. A scope with good light transmission properties and visible crosshairs will be needed for the cats as shots are often taken under low light conditions.

Be advised that semi-automatic and/or military-style rifles are generally not allowed in Africa.

For dangerous game such as cape buffalo, hippo and lion, the minimum acceptable caliber should be a .375, whether the .375 Ruger, .375 H & H Magnum or equivalent. Again, specific recommendations for calibers and bullets can be made upon request.

For the smaller antelope such as duiker, grysbok, oribi and suni the hunter should consider bringing a scoped small-bore rifle such as the .22 Hornet, if available, in order to prevent potentially serious damage to the capes of these relatively small antelope resulting from larger diameter, high-velocity bullets. The .22 Hornet has a slower muzzle velocity and less muzzle energy, which is ideal for these light, small-bodied animals. Otherwise, the bigger calibers utilizing a solid bullet will suffice.

Much of the shooting will be done while standing utilizing shooting sticks – as is standard practice throughout Africa. We highly recommend that you obtain a pair of shooting sticks such as those offered by Long Grass Outfitters or African Sporting Creations and practice shooting from the standing position off of the sticks. Shots on some plains game species often exceed 200 yards, so you need to know the ballistics of your rifle and be comfortable shooting out to 300 yards. In other words, practice, practice, practice!

Clothing/Equipment Suggestions

A list of recommended clothing and equipment will be furnished upon booking. For initial hunt planning purposes, general recommendations can be made upon request.

Climatic Considerations

Mozambique experiences a tropical climate with two seasons: a wet season that runs from October to March and a dry season that runs from April to September with localized climatic conditions varying with altitude.

Rainfall is typically heavy along the coast and decreases in the inland areas to the north and south of the country. The annual precipitation varies from 20 to 35 inches depending upon the region, with a nationwide average of 23 inches. Cyclones are common during the wet season.

Average temperatures in Maputo range from 55 to 75ºF in July and from 72 to 108ºF in February. Daytime temperatures in the hunting area can range from 75 to 110°F in September through November, with temperatures ranging from 65 to 85°F from May through August.

A light, windproof coat, gloves and a stocking cap are recommended for the early morning and late evening hours from May through August.

Special Hunt Considerations

Take a small digital camera that you can carry in your shirt or vest pocket for your trophy photos and learn how to use the camera before your trip. I would also recommend taking a slightly larger camera such as the Canon PowerShot SX-1 IS or the PowerShot SX-10 IS, both of which have a 20X optical zoom (equal to a 560 mm telephoto lens) for shots of wildlife while you are driving around the bush or sitting at the waterhole. After four trips to Africa, I assure you that you won’t regret the investment and you will bring home outstanding photos of the African wildlife that the smaller cameras just don’t have the optical zoom to capture.

Hunt Difficulty/Health Level

A wide diversity of habitats are represented within the areas hunted by this particular safari operator ranging from open mopane forest to thick riverine vegetation and broken granite outcrops (kopjes) in the Nhacainga Conservancy. The area is relatively flat and hunting is not especially demanding.

Dangerous game hunting including buffalo and elephant may involve considerable walking as one tracks herds and individual animals, so the hunter wishing to pursue these animals should be accustomed to walking very long distances each day. Again, the terrain generally should not be overly challenging and the tracking process is typically slow and methodical up until the point that the quarry is sighted and then it may be necessary to move quickly in order to get into position for a shot. Make sure that your hunting boots are well broken in before your safari!

On a fitness scale of one to ten (with one being very poor physical condition and ten being excellent physical condition), I would only rate the physical level of this hunt at a five. So long as the hunter is able to walk reasonable distances with some climbing over or around the rocky kopjes or tracking through the flat to gently rolling forests, there should not be a problem from a physical standpoint.

Keep in mind that your Professional Hunter will be very happy to gear the pace of the hunt to fit your particular physical abilities – so don’t hesitate to advise if he is moving too fast, walking too far, etc. After all, it is your safari, so don’t be afraid to speak up and advise your PH of your expectations, physical abilities or physical limitations!

Hunt Cost & Hunt Length

Days Hunt Type Client/PH Ratio Daily Rate
28 Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Sable and Plains Game 1x1 $2,000
21 Lion, Buffalo, Sable and Plains Game 1 1x1 $2,000
21 Elephant, Buffalo, Sable and Plains Game 1x1 $1,400
15 Buffalo and Plains Game 1x1 $950
15 Buffalo and Plains Game 2x1 $900
10 Sable and Plains Game 1x1 $650
7 Plains Game 1x1 $450
7 Plains Game 2x1 $400
The Nhacainga Area has migratory lions which are hunted. If a lion is not shot, the client would pay the lower Buffalo, Sable and Plains Game daily rate.

$ 200/day – non-hunting observer.
$200/day – pre-bating for cat or crocodile hunts + bait trophy fees.
CITES permits for elephant, lion, leopard and crocodile = $100/each
Rifle permits = $200/rifle
Ammunition permits = $1.00/cartridge
Hunting licenses = $100/license
Vehicle transfers (one-way):

  • Chimoio to Nhacainga Camp = $300/vehicle
  • Tete to Nhacainga Camp = $300/vehicle
  • Harare to Nhacainga Camp = $500/vehicle
  • Mokore to Nhacainga Camp = $500/vehicle

Trophy Fees, License fees, Including Any Additional Expenses

Species Trophy Fee Species Trophy Fee
Baboon $ 50 Kudu 1,500
Buffalo 2,500 Kudu Cow bait 375
Bushbuck, Chobe 750 Leopard 3,750
Bushpig 350 Lion 7,500
Common Duiker 175 Monkey 50
Crocodile 4,000 Nyala 2,500
Eland 1,500 Oribi 650
Elephant, bull 12,500 Red Duiker 650
Grysbok 200 Reedbuck 650
Hartebeest, Lichtenstein’s 4,000 Sable 3,750
Hippo 4,000 Suni 650
Impala 250 Warthog 400
Impala, bait 100 Zebra 850

An approved CITES permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be required for the importation of crocodile, leopard and lion into the United States. Elephant taken in Mozambique are not currently importable into the US.

Additional charges include approximately $100/trophy for dipping, packing and transportation to the port of exit; firearms rental (as applicable); and any animals wounded or lost. Any banking charges incurred resulting from the use of wire transfers or credit card charges will be the responsibility of the client.

If an overnight stay is required in South Africa and your firearms can not be checked all the way through to Harare, a temporary firearms import/export permit will be required from the South African Police Service. For those clients that wish to avail themselves of expedited permit processing and approval, an additional cost of $200 will be assessed for this service.

The safari operator has a representative to meet/greet those clients that transit through Maputo in Mozambique. She will assist with customs, hotel transfers, etc. and chargers $50/person for this service – which is paid directly to her.

Bob AndersonPlease contact the following GSS Hunting Consultant for any questions on this destination:

Bob Anderson
toll free: 888-850-HUNT (4868) ext. 701
local: 307-473-1268
cell: 307-253-0270
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