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“Gorongosa - October 2011”
Review of Explore Gorongosa

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Explore Gorongosa
Maputo, Mozambique
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Gorongosa - October 2011”
Reviewed October 4, 2011

This trip was a surprise Birthday Present for my husband. My husband loves the African Bush and was getting bored of the tar roads of Southern Kruger Park. I am more of a city girl and I am not that much into Camping, so I was not sure what to expect. I loved it! I already want to go back. The luxury tents were so comfortable and we slept so well at night. This place is really in the middle of nowhere. It is so beautiful and remote at Explore Gorongosa. On the first night we saw 5 loins and watched them until dark. The sight of the lions with the flood plains in the background was superb. It´s hard to describe the beauty of the place. The camp was wonderful, with the dinner around the communal table. The company was excellent and all the other guests were great to chat to. Rob, Jeff and Neil looked after us very well, and spoilt us rotten! The Irish win at the Rubgy over the weekend was an added bonus! Highly Recommended.

Stephanie, Rob and Francesca Walker, Maputo, Mozambqiue

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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4 Thank StephanieWalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

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English first
Oxford, UK
Level Contributor
60 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2011

My husband was worried because I had ached to come here ever since hearing Rob give a talk the year before, and he was sure I would feel let down. But from the moment we entered the camp we both knew all was more than well.

The camp itself is impeccably run, the smiling staff are thoughtful, quiet and always looking out for what they can do to help. Our tent was comfortable and full of local touches. We loved our outdoor bathroom, and the way the staff would call out softly, "Knock, knock" as they brought our hot water. We were always escorted to and fro in the dark, as the camp is truly in the wild.

The safari drives and walks were amazing. I know that all the guides would be excellent, but we found Andy a friendly, thoughtful, sharp-eyed and immensely knowledgeable leader. We loved every moment with him, even when he made us carefully exit from a potentially close encounter with a hippo. The morning we arrived he had tracked a lion from the camp, and the next day we came across it, replete from what looked like a very big dinner.

We had been especially interested in the walks, you see, smell and hear so much at walking pace. But the drives were excellent too, both day and night. We didn't tick off loads of species, but that's not what we had come for.

A different day was when we visited the park headquarters and had an interesting talk there, then we were lucky enough to be shown the nearby village, just outside the park, by Joseph, one of the smiling staff at the camp, who lived there. He even invited us to his house, and we met his wife and children, very special.

The evening were special too, we often had our sundowners out in the bush - incredible. Then, later, after our shower, we would gather round the fire for drinks and conversation before convivial evenings round the dinner table, this could have been a nightmare, but it was great and the food was well above expectation, always freshly prepared.

I hope it is obvious that this holiday suited us down to the ground!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dale0042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
79 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2011

Staying at Gorongosa for even a short period of time gives you the sense of being connected to the bigger picture, the greater sense of time, the reality of nature, the ravages of past destruction of life, the restoration of animals, the welcoming vision of the hosts, the passion of the people, the beauty of africa, dawn and sunset, the hunt for prey, far from the commercialized reserves or the lap of luxury - ex-colonial or otherwise, though you're not exactly roughing it either! We were lucky enough to be there as the only guests and instantly connected with Rob and Jos (hosts), two incredibly warm, passionate and dedicated individuals. The tented camp is fully equipped, the meals are great, the gin and tonic at sunset after a game drive and stalking the teenage lions is not possible to describe. While this might not be the place to go if you want the traditional safari or are intent on seeing the big 5, it will bring you closer to the real African plains than western tourists usually have the opportunity to do. Would love to go back in a few years and see how the animal restoration has progressed. There were however already plenty to entertain us and keep us on our toes from driving to walking safaris.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank DavidL3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
1,041 reviews
399 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,157 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2010

I stayed here for 3 nights before flying to the Indigo Bay Lodge on the Bazuroto Archipelago which Gorongosa arranged for me. I then came back and stayed another two nights before travelling to Ilha do Mozambique.

Jos and Rob are the perfect hosts. You will come as a guest and leave as a friend. Rob is a pasionate and excellent guide who will make even the photosynthesis of plants and how they propagate their seeds interesting. The food is excellent and healthy.

Accomodation is in spacious and comfy tents. Although there is no water or electricity, they do have comfortable and clean toilets, and you can have as many showers as you want from your safari shower (staff bring a bucket of water and fill the bladder which you then let run out over your head). They have solar lights so you can read at night if you have the energy. There is no WIFI but you can go to Chitengo Camp and use the pool and WIFI there.

I loved my trip to the waterfall so I would recommend a visit there.

This is a unique opportunity to have lions literally brush the side of your tent as you sleep and see a game park being rejuvenated. It's not where you will see the most prolific wildlife, but you will leran about a lot of the smaller wildlife and the plant and birdlife that supports it that other parks won't cover. The hosts are lovely people and you will truly enjoy your vacation.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank poleinahole1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2010

There are some places so special you are almost tempted to keep them a secret - Explore Gorongosa is just such a place. However to do that would deprive others of a truly amazing experience. Having waited a long time to visit Gorongosa NP, I have to say that the wait was worth it & our time at EG exceeded all expectations.

The camp is top notch & truly Eco-conscious; the staff extremely hard working; the tents very comfortable, as are the heavenly beds,pillows & cosy duvets. The food was delicious & being vegetarian is most definitely not an issue with the varied menu including the most yummy cakes. Rob & Jos are amazing hosts (just ask Jos about her wonderful hot totties!) who are passionate, dedicated & knowledgeable. They ensure nothing about your stay is over looked.

My friend & I stayed in the "Lion Tent", where losing sleep was well worth the experience of having nightly visits from a male Lion, who brushed up against the tent as he walked by during the late night/early hours of the morning.

There is so much amazing wildlife & diversity in the park you won't be disappointed if you go with an open mind, as with most safari's you never know what special things mother nature will show you. Some of our highlights included encountering the first new Lion to the park, one that had never seen people before; a large group of male Impala's bonding & "burping"; teaching a Palm Thrush to whistle a new tune; being followed by a Honey Glider on a bush walk & being charged by Elephants after following a Lioness with 3 legs & young male Lion, who would reunite with his older brother later that same evening. Just when we thought the day couldn't get any better, nature provided us with a few more gifts. Our evening meal was topped off by some Lions walking through camp including one of the famous & stunningly beautiful Egyptian ladies who we then followed, only to find her being pursued by 3 large porcupines.

The best way to sum up how much we loved the camp, is to say that we decided to extended our visit by 2 extra nights.

I hope to return one day to see how this wonderful park is progressing & recommend to others considering a trip, to go now. I can't think of any better place in Africa to witness the re-birth of the wild, other than Explore Gorongosa.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank T-Leo2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2010

Hotels and lodges often use the word 'guest' but usually treat you as a mere customer. Jos, Rob and the entire Explore Gorongosa team are completely different. Staying there immediately makes you feel as though you're a guest over at a friend's place. Without being asked they cater for each wish and indulge every whim. It all adds up to a gloriously relaxing and enjoyable experience.

The park itself is wonderful - you're not going to see the Big 5 there but that really isn't what being on safari is all about. Instead you will wake up with birdsong surrounding you, explore the beauty and fragility of nature, have some great food under the Milky Way, and then fall asleep with the roars and rumbles of lions in the distance.

The story of Gorongosa Park's rehabilitation is inspirational and reason enough to go there. But Explore makes it extra, extra special.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ap T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stamford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
216 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2010

A simply wonderful experience with two great hosts in Rob and Jos Janisch - who made us feel more like house guests than paying guests. A natural wilderness safari camp set on the banks of a river with fantastic birdlife; an amazing variety of antelope; plenty of lion; elephant; warthog and lots more. If you are interested in ticking off wildlife, it's not for you - if you love interacting with wildlife and enjoying Africa in the raw on both foot and by vehicle, this is the place for you. Tents were great - simple quality with a selection of night visitors including roaring lions - just amazing. The Gorongosa re-birth story is one that will run and run - watch this space.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Media1994
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Explore Gorongosa

Property: Explore Gorongosa
Address: Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
Location: Mozambique > Sofala Province > Gorongosa National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Gorongosa National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Explore Gorongosa is the first private safari offering within Mozambique’s flagship Gorongosa National Park. Explore Gorongosa provides guests with first-hand insight into the visionary restoration project underway within the park; through walking, drives and water-based safaris (season dependent), guests will be introduced to this amazing yet fragile ecosystem. Their highly experienced regional guide will lead guests on this wonder-safari through the ever-changing eco-zones, incredible birding and abundant game viewing opportunities of Gorongosa. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Explore Gorongosa Hotel Gorongosa National Park

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