On Safari With John Stevens - Africa's Hideaways and Retreats

We at John Stevens Guided Safaris Africa know almost all there is to know about Africa's most popular and rewarding safari and beach destinations - places like the Serengeti and the Masai Mara ; the Okavango Delta ; the Luangwa and Zambezi Valleys; Lamu and Zanzibar.

But what we want to tell you about in this August edition of our newsletter is that we have, tucked up our sleeves, some wonderful ideas for places less well known for those of you looking for something quite different. Whether you plan to have part or all of your safari privately guided or whether you prefer to travel independently we have some marvellous suggestions for you.

The following, in northern Mocambique (accessed from Dar Es Salaam or Johannesburg) is an example of one such combination - a wilderness hideaway and a beach retreat as far off the beaten track as you could find. We have many more suggestions - you just need ask.

The Wilderness Hideaway of Moja

A surprisingly large number of places in Africa, eager to draw tourists, claim the title 'the last great wilderness'. A dwindling number is justified in doing so, and among those is Niassa National Reserve in the remotest corner of Northern Mozambique. In his year-long 'Mega Flyover' across Africa in 2004, world conservation society conservationist Mike Fay highlighted Niassa as one of the continent's 'last wild places'.

Taken from National Geographic June 2007 - Emerging from the Shadows, Niassa National Reserve.

Moja Safari Wilderness is based along the banks of the magnificent Lugenda River which meanders, unconstrained by dams or agriculture, for 360 kms through the 42,000 square kilometre Niassa Reserve. This brand new operation offers safaris, predominately walking and canoeing, in this vaste wilderness at the same time giving you an insight to their belief, and resulting management strategy, that the commercial solution to large - scale wilderness management in Africa is one of holistic synergy of land, wildlife and people.

The Island Retreat of Vamizi

Vamezi Island lies off the coast of northern Mocambique, in the Quirimbas Archilpelago. The Archipelago consists of 32 tropical coral islands, and stretches for 100 kms along he coast from Pemba to the Ruvuma River, the natural border between Tanzania and Mocambique.

The Island of Vamizi has clear blue water, abundant marine life and thick, untouched coral reefs. The island is covered with thick forests of acacia, hibiscus and casuarina trees. The lodge is set on the north side of the 12km x 2 km wide island on the edge of indigenous tropical forest looking out across a white beach to the Indian Ocean beyond. The island is also an important and significant wildlife refuge, with 112 different bird species recorded, Samango monkeys, 4 species of turtle, and Giant Coconut crabs.

But what really sets the island apart is its untouched underwater landscape, which features some of the world's last remaining unbleached coral reefs in all their natural beauty.

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