Graham Sales PHASA Professional Hunter of the year 2018
Mozambique is a country in Southeast Africa which is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi, and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. The capital, which is also its largest city, is Maputo. The only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, but it is mostly spoken as a second language by about half of the population. The country’s population is currently around 24 million people, which equates to 92 people per square mile. The largest religion is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. Mozambique is a member of the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Southern African Development Community. But its history has been complex and violent, with the country still recovering from the effects of war. After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992.
There are basically two types of Leopard hunts that can be booked these days and you can take my word for it. Let me put it this way (keeping in mind that the correct procedures are taken regarding the baiting, the putting down of the drag and the positioning of the blind):
I have no doubt that one will have an above excellent chance of taking a Leopard in the area that I have in Mozambique when everything is done correctly.
One always hears about hunters who have been on 2 , 3 or even 4 different Safaris hunting Leopard and are still looking for a Safari where he/she will get a Leopard. Well, let me put it fairly simple: Leopard are extremely smart animals and there is no doubt about that. The reason why I believe so many hunters are unsuccessful on their Leopard hunts, is because most of the time not because Leopard are so extremely smart, it is because the Safari was booked in either an inferior quality Leopard area, or in an area where there are currently or there were livestock in the past.
In certain areas Leopard are in direct competition or conflict with the livestock owners. In these areas the Leopard has evolved through the years to be very skeptical when it finds a “bait” in a tree or any meat that has not been its own kill. One will often see by looking at tracks that the Leopard has walked underneath the bait tree, but refuses to get into the tree and feed. One can put trail cameras up and there will be pictures of the Leopard, either just walking past or standing underneath the tree looking at the bait.
In Northern Mozambique there is no livestock and there never has been because of the tsetse fly in certain areas.
(Tsetse flies are regarded as a major cause of rural poverty in sub-Saharan Africa because they prevent mixed farming. These areas with tsetse flies are often cultivated by people using hoes rather than more efficient draught animal (Cattle) because nagana, the disease transmitted to cattle by tsetse flies, weakens and often kills these animals. Cattle that do survive produce little milk, pregnant cows often abort their calves, and manure is not available to fertilize the worn-out soils)
The point that I am getting to is this: Leopard in areas like Northern Mozambique are in no conflict with livestock owners as there is no livestock. These Leopards have never been hunted, snared, poisoned or caught in traps before by the livestock owners or locals. These animals are completely “unsubdued or untrained” if one can call it that. As a result of this, leopard are in their ‘’purest natural form”. They are not skeptical to take the bait because of the possibility of being poisoned or being caught in a snare. These Leopard take the baits and return to the baits and that is a fact …
(I have hunted in areas in different countries I won’t mention where we had excellent baits in areas where we have seen big Leopard tracks and the Leopard does not get into the tree to take the bait. We get the Leopard on trail cameras walking underneath the tree, sitting down looking at the bait but refuses to climb and eat the meat. There is only one reason for this kind of behavior…………
Niassa province is in the far northwestern region of Mozambique and it shares the 9th largest freshwater lake of Malawi and also borders Tanzania. It has an area of 47 423 square miles and a population of just over 1 million, which makes Niassa the most sparsely populated province in the country. Most of this province is untouched by development with about a quarter of the province being a National Park. Lichinga is the Capital of Niassa Province.
The climate is typified by a wet summer season (October–March) with the majority of rain falling between December and February. This is also the hottest time of the year, with temperatures in the region of 85 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit. A typical summer day will be hot with storm clouds gathering for a spectacular late afternoon thunderstorm.
During the winter months (April–September) the weather is dry with little chance of rain. As game tends to congregate around dwindling water sources towards the end of winter. In winter, the temperatures can range from 50 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit in one day. The mornings and evenings can be very cold, and warm clothing is strongly recommended.
“It not far-fetched to state that northern Mozambique may become the most sought after Safari destination in Africa.”
We hunt 988 000 acres of pristine wilderness in the Niassa province – North- western Mozambique. The area is situated north of the small town, Marrupa and south of Block C – Niassa Reserve.
The concession (hunting Safari area) is flanked on the left by the Ruambeze and on the west by Lureco rivers. The main habitat is Miombo woodland with some open Savannah areas, seasonal wetlands and riverine forests along the many water courses, rivers, and streams.
The landscape is scattered with spectacular rock formations and mountains, many of them have thickets of montane forest growing in the narrow gullies that extend up the smooth – sided rock faces.
In general, an exceptional trophy quality goes hand in hand with high populations of game.
The hunting season starts on 1 April and closes on 30 November. Personally we prefer the months towards the end of the season (September / October / November) for the following reasons; most of the tall grass has been burnt, and new fresh grass is coming out which not only attracts game but also visibility while hunting is much better; the area does have a lot of water but some temporary watering holes have dried up so game is more concentrated.
Contact Graham Sales Safaris today to find out more.
Although you’ll find most of Mozambique’s visitors heading straight for its sandy, Indian Ocean coastline, the country’s previously depleted game reserves are once again teeming with wildlife – and gaining fast traction on the hunting Safari map.
Mozambique’s flagship Gorongosa National Park recently featured in an award-winning National Geographic documentary, Africa’s Lost Eden and it’s only a question of time before this relatively unknown, off-the-beaten-track hunter’s paradise regains its reputation as a top African game-viewing and hunting Safari destination.
Once war-ravaged, Mozambique has reinvented itself as a relatively safe and politically stable destination, with economic activity booming and tourism on the rise. Although a vibrant and worthwhile country to visit, in reality, most hunters who travel to Mozambique only see it from the air in a domestic flight or charter plane, or an air-conditioned vehicle while being driven to camp. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is when cramming a hunt into a short space of time.
Typically, you’ll be under the constant care of your Professional Hunter (PH) – Graham Sales / Graham Sales Safaris, from your time of arrival until you leave, and will have little, or no contact with locals and their customs. We offer you an overview of hunting territories and laws in Mozambique, as well as background on the country’s economy, history, customs and landscape.
All visitors to Mozambique must possess a passport valid for at least six months after they depart from the country. Visas are required by everyone except citizens of South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Swaziland and can be bought at most borders for between US$35 and US$80 depending on your nationality, but you are strongly advised to obtain your visa in advance from your nearest Mozambican Embassy. (http://maputo.usembassy.gov/nevr.html)
Please contact Graham Sales at firstname.lastname@example.org for any assistance or if you have any questions in this regard.
Maputo International Airport: the main gateway into Mozambique with direct flights from Portugal, Johannesburg or Cape Town, usually filled with holidaymakers on their way to one of the country’s smaller airports to access the Indian Ocean coast.
Vilanculos International Airport: fly from Maputo, Johannesburg, Cape Town or Kruger International for the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago..
Pemba International Airport: gateway to the Quirimbas Archipelago, Pemba is accessed via Maputo, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. US guests usually fly into Johannesburg from the USA form where they take a connecting flight to Pemba.
Mozambique’s currency is the Metical (plural Meticais) but both the South African Rand and US Dollar are widely accepted in southern Mozambique. In the north, it’s best to carry dollars, but keep small denomination notes for shopping at markets and craft shops.
Larger hotels and lodges have credit card facilities, but they are rarely used anywhere else. Cash machines are only available in main towns and are often out of order or empty, so plan ahead.
A 10% tip/gratuity for service is standard in restaurants. Tipping tour guides is at your discretion and depends on the size of your group and the level of service you feel you’ve received. You might have to lower your service expectations somewhat because although friendly, staff in restaurants and hotels often have limited experience and countrywide, infrastructure is still lacking. In short, come with patience and an open mind.
Change money at exchange houses (Casa de Cambio). Avoid exchanging foreign notes at banks – and absolutely never from anyone in the street.
Local markets are colourful and great for inexpensive souvenirs – if you can stand the noise and constant hassling from sellers. Remember to barter: the first price mentioned is likely to be ten times the actual value. Stay polite and back out in a friendly, yet firm manner if you consider the item too pricey.
Hunting in Mozambique is conducted in concessions known as coutadas, areas set aside specifically for sport hunting. There are six hunting blocks located in the buffer zone of the Niassa National Reserve, as well as a few community hunting areas and game ranches.
Most hunters will land at Johannesburg and take an onward domestic commercial flight to the Mozambican airport closest to their hunt location. Guests heading to Graham Sales Safaris’ area flies to Pemba from where they will take a charter flight to our hunting block. The other option is to fly from Johannesburg to the town called Lichinga, from Lichinga to camp is around a 7 hour drive. The airport of entry to Mozambique must have customs facilities to handle rifle imports, should you bring your own firearm.
Once in Mozambique, you will be met at the airport by the staff of Graham Sales Safaris and assisted with your rifle import before a road trip or charter flight to our Safari area.
Jetlag is usually worse when flying in an easterly direction, so hunters arriving from the US are more affected than those flying south from Europe. A feeling of disorientation, fatigue, headaches, sore muscles and an upset stomach are all part of the symptoms, and the last thing you need if you have limited time to complete your dream Safari with graham Sales safaris.
If you won’t have time to slowly adjust your body clock, try these suggestions to minimise the effect of crossing several time zones at once:
Depending on the time of your visit and where you go, you might never encounter one of Africa’s most pesky inhabitants while on a hunting Safari, but the bottom line is that you shouldn’t take any chances. Malaria is a serious, yet preventable, disease – if you take proper precautions.
Africa is not the place for citronella, eucalyptus or clove oil potions, or natural alternatives such as soaps, garlic capsules and mozzie-repellent wristbands. You will need a product which contains DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) which repels insects by interfering with their antennae, making them unable to locate their victims. It is available in many preparations (sticks, lotions, gels, sprays) and various strengths. It is applied directly to the skin.
You could try any of the insect repellents, available in the States and online:
Mosquitos are most active at dawn and dusk, but you’ll probably be out on a hunt during the early mornings, dressed in long sleeves, pants and boots, and therefore well protected. It’s in the evenings that one needs to be extra careful.
Mosquitos are attracted to carbon dioxide, heat and scent, with a particular fondness for foot odours. Make sure your ankles are well protected sitting around the dinner table or campfire. Ideally, you should be wearing shoes, but if you are wearing sandals, make sure your feet are clean and slathered in mosquito repellent. There’s also an element of luck involved: mosquitos simply find some people more attractive than others.
Avoiding Mosquitos, in short:
Mozambique is about three times the size of Great Britain and is split into two distinct topographical regions by the Zambesi River. Mozambique is around 694 744.50 square miles where the United States is approximately 3 798 191 square miles which makes Mozambique around one fifth of the size of the United States.
Northern Mozambique is rugged, a landscape of hills and plateaus. Niassa Game Reserve is described as ‘the forgotten wilderness’, one of Africa’s last true wildlife experiences. Remote, wild, and largely undiscovered, here game roam in spectacular numbers against the backdrop of one of the largest protected miombo forest ecosystems in the world.
Its not far-fetched to state that Northern Mozambique may become the most sought after safari destination in Africa’’ – Graham Sales
‘’It is amazing to see herds of Cape Buffalo, Roosevelt Sable and Livingstone Eland and the thought crosses one’s mind that we might be the first people these animals have ever seen’’ Graham Sales / Graham Sales Safaris.
During Mozambique’s civil war, game reserves in the central part of the country were all but wiped out, but because of its remote location, the far northern part escaped this destruction. Left to their own devices for two decades, game numbers remained stable and are now increasing at a rapid pace due to the effective anti-poaching units that Graham Sales Safaris has in place.
The 26 000 square mile Niassa Game Reserve is home to spectacular numbers of wildlife, including more than 10 000 Elephant, 200 critically endangered African Wild dog, Lion, Leopard, and Hyena. It also boasts three endemic species: the Niassa wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus johnstoni), Boehms zebra (Equus burchelli boehmi) and Johnston’s impala (Aepyceros melampus johnstoni).
In Southern Mozambique, the coastal plain widens from north to south into vast, open woodlands. Gorongosa National Park in central Mozambique was at the centre of the civil war and its wildlife decimated. Formal efforts to restore the park’s infrastructure and animal populations began in 2004 in a collaboration between the Mozambican government and the US-based Carr Foundation. In July 2010, the park’s borders were extended to include Mount Gorongosa. The project has been hailed as a victory for conservation, and sharp increases in animal populations now draw thousands of visitors to the park each year.
Chacma Baboon – CITES II
Nile Crocodile – CITES II
Blue Duiker – CITES II
Elephant – CITES I
Hippopotamus – CITES II
Southern Greater Kudu
Leopard – CITES I
Lion – CITES II
Vervet monkey – CITES II
List of species that occur in Graham Sales Safaris’ Marangira & Sable Camp Safari areas:
Nile Crocodile – CITES II
Elephant – CITES I
Southern Greater Kudu
Leopard – CITES I
Lion – CITES II
Vervet monkey – CITES II
The African Elephant is Mozambique’s National animal.
Facts about Mozambique’s national animal (African Elephant)
The application for a hunting licence must be made by your outfitter (Graham Sales Safaris) who will need documents and information at least three months before the Safari. The cost of the hunt permit is non-refundable should you cancel. We will need:
You need to be:
Formerly: Portuguese East Africa
Area: 801,590 km2
Population: 31 million
Language: Officially Portuguese, but mostly local dialects. English is not widely spoken.
Time Zone: GMT+2
Average summer temperatures: 21°C to 31°C (60°F to 80°F)
Average winter temperatures: 15°C to 26°C (70°F to 90°F)
Rainy season: mid-November to April
The Northern areas of Mozambique tends to get hotter during the summer than the above averages.
Temperatures and rainfall patterns vary between the country’s diverse. The areas along Mozambique’s north-eastern coast are the hottest and most humid in the country, while the high-altitude regions in the Nampula and Niassa provinces are the coolest.
Bantu speaking people arrived in what is now Mozambique 2 000 years ago. They farmed the land and were organised into small kingdoms. By the 9th century, Arab merchants arrived at the coast of Mozambique and for centuries afterwards, trade flourished between the Africans and Arabs.
In 1498 the Portuguese sailor Vasco Da Gama landed at Ilha de Mocambique on his way to India and during the 16th century, the Portuguese established trading posts along the coast of Mozambique. They took over some of the land and divided it into large estates called prazos but had little control over the country.
The situation changed in the late 19th century when Africa was carved up and appropriated by Europe. In 1891 Britain and Portugal signed a treaty whereby the British recognised the borders of Portuguese East Africa, officially handing power to Portugal. The Portuguese flourished and even as other African nations started gaining their independence by the 1950s, were determined to hang on to their colony.
By 1964, a war of independence broke out and it took ten years of bitter fighting before Mozambique became an independent nation, on 25 June 1975. Unfortunately, the political situation then went from bad to worse. The new government’s socialist policies left its people impoverished, so after only two years of independence, a devastating 15-year civil war broke out, led by an anti-communist organisation called Renamo. In 1992 a peace agreement was reached and the country has been politically stable and steadily developing ever since.
Mozambique is endowed with rich and extensive natural resources, including huge coal reserves and the world’s fourth-biggest natural gas fields. Its economy is largely based on agriculture, but industry is growing, mainly food and beverages, chemical manufacturing and aluminium and petroleum production. The tourism sector is also expanding, although still performing well under its potential.
Since 2001, Mozambique’s annual average GDP growth has been among the world’s highest. However, the country is still one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world, ranking low in GDP per capita, human development, measures of inequality and average life expectancy.
Since the hasty post-independence departure of some 360 000 Portuguese, Mozambique’s 30 million people are overwhelmingly drawn from its black ethnic groups, the largest being the Macau and Shangaan. Nevertheless, the Portuguese language dominates and around 50% of Mozambicans speak it as a first or second language, despite the 60 or so regional languages. In general the people are peaceful and friendly.
Roughly 60% of Mozambicans, mostly centred in the south of the country and in bigger centres, identify as Christian, although traditional African religious beliefs are still strongly held on to. About 18% of the population adheres to the Islamic faith, particularly in the Arabian-influenced north. Music and dance feature prominently in Mozambican culture (the famous marimba is a local instrument) while the Portuguese influence on Mozambique’s spicy, Mediterranean-style cuisine will be obvious to visitors.
Traditional Mozambican cuisine revolves around fresh seafood, corn porridge, millet, stews and mandioca (cassava pudding). It is common to find bifel streak and chicken served with beans, cassava chips, batata potatoes, coconut, and cashew nuts. These are mainly accompanied by a garlic and chilli sauce (called peri-peri) which varies in potency – be warned! Mozambique’s tea, popularly called cha, is commonly accompanied by juicy fruits such as papaya (pawpaw), pineapple and mango at the end of a meal. Don’t leave before trying Mozambique’s celebrated 2M beer (pronounced dosh-em), produced by Cervejas de Moçambique, one of the country’s largest companies.
Unless you’re an adventurer with a sturdy 4×4 off-road vehicle and plenty of time on your hands, Mozambique is not recommended as a self-drive destination, as the roads can be challenging and the travel distances vast. However, if you’re up for the task, keep in mind it can be slow and unpredictable, with potholes, washed-out roads and police checks as standard. Distances and time can be meaningless, as “not far” can range in meaning from a few to 200 miles; “not long” can mean 10 minutes or five hours – it takes some getting used to!
Don’t take photographs of any military installations, police stations, airports, border crossings or similar buildings.
It’s virtually impossible to blend in and look like a local but minimize your chances of being a victim of crime with confident and purposeful body language, as opposed to looking lost or distracted. Don’t carry or wear valuable items like cameras, smartphones, tablets, expensive watches or jewelry in crowded public places. Always be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night and in crowded streets where pickpockets operate.
Don’t flash any cash. Discretion is the word, so have smaller amounts of money handy in different pockets rather than pulling out a large wad of notes from a wallet. Keep your money and important documents in a concealed travel money belt or pouch when out and about.
Make multiple copies of important documents like your passport, airline tickets, firearm permit, US Customs Form 4457 and credit cards and store sets in separate pieces of luggage. Keep a separate list of important phone numbers you may need in an urgent situation, such as lost credit cards, your airline, travel agent and insurance.
Localized upheaval currently being reported is focused in one small area in the remote northernmost part of Mozambique and aimed at community members – tourism has been unaffected and is considered safe.
The Smart Traveller Enrolment Program is a free service for US travelers which enables those travelling abroad to notify the nearest US Embassy or Consulate of their trip. This enables you to receive travel warnings, travel alerts and any emergency notifications from your family.
Officials wanting bribes is a scourge in Mozambique, and probably visitors’ biggest complaint. If you spend any time in the country, especially if driving, the likelihood of having at least one encounter with officials is high. The police might stop you asking for your passport, or you might get pulled over by the traffic police to check your vehicle and documentation.
Make sure you have your passport on you at all times, or a notarized copy of your passport and visa. Notaries can be found in almost all major towns in Mozambique. Getting the photocopy of your passport notarized is quick, and costs less than a dollar.
When driving, make sure you have two triangles and two glowing jackets in the vehicle, that your battery is secure (bolted down) and all your documents are in order. Pay close attention to the speed limit and how it randomly drops from 120km to 60km per hour.
If you are asked to pay a bribe for some nonsensical issue, don’t. If you have done nothing wrong, be patient and politely demand to go to the nearest police station (“esquadra”) and the officer will likely let you go. If you have transgressed, ask for a proper fine with a receipt (the official fine is often much less than what the police will try to extort from you). Remember, every time you pay a bribe you are exacerbating the problem by maintaining the incentive for future harassment.
Yes, hunting is legal in Mozambique and regulated by the government. The country has a well-established hunting industry and offers a range of hunting opportunities for both local and international hunters.
The hunting seasons in Mozambique vary depending on the species being hunted. The main hunting season runs from April to October, but specific hunting seasons for certain species may vary within this period. It is important for hunters to check with their outfitters or the government authorities to confirm the hunting seasons and any restrictions.
Mozambique offers a diverse range of game species for hunting, including elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, crocodiles, and a variety of antelopes. The country is also known for its exceptional hunting of the nyala and sable antelope.
Hunters are required to obtain a hunting license and permit from the Mozambique government before engaging in any hunting activities. These permits are issued through licensed outfitters, who are responsible for arranging the necessary paperwork and permits for their clients.
Mozambique has strict regulations on hunting methods, and hunters must comply with these rules. For example, the use of automatic weapons or traps is prohibited, and hunting must be conducted in a fair and ethical manner. Additionally, the use of dogs is only permitted for tracking wounded animals, and hunters must be accompanied by licensed guides while hunting in Mozambique.