Coutada 11, Mozambique
Coutadas and Conservation
£5,300 pp sharing
At a Glance
Dates: May 20th - May 25th, 2024
Extension: Extensions to Bazaruto and Gorongosa available on request.
Prices: £5,300 pp sharing (£450 single supplement), excluding flights.
In a sentence: An opportunity to see one of the most spectacular wilderness areas in Southern Africa, in the little-visited hunting areas or 'coutadas' of the Zambeze Delta.
If one wants to strike up a heated debate, mentioning 'trophy hunting' is a surefire way to do so. The pros and cons of this controversial practice are guaranteed to get emotions high and, in our opinion, too many people wade into this debate without having seen these positives and negatives in person. Here's your chance. Coutada 11, a remote multi-use (including trophy hunting) ecosystem deep in Mozambique's Zambeze Delta.
Extensive work here has seen the economic benefits of trophy hunting married with an increasingly robust income from ecotourism. This work has reaped tremendous reward, with booming populations of predators including lion, leopard and cheetah, as well as grazers such as buffalo, suni, red duiker and much more. This itinerary is unique in offering clients the chance to juxtapose this model and approach to conservation with their those of other destinations they may have visited, and to draw their own conclusions about how these approaches may be applied to other vitally important wilderness areas across Africa.
On arrival into Beira, you will be met by a Pictus Safaris representative and transferred to the Sena Hotel. Beira is still recovering from the devastating Cyclone Idai of 2019, and hotel options are limited. Our hotel for tonight is basic, but comfortable and quiet - perfect for a night's rest before an early start tomorrow. Here, you will meet the rest of the group at dinner for a pre-tour briefing before retiring for the evening.
This morning we transfer back to Beira Airport for the flight deep into the remote Zambeze Delta. Our destination is Coutada (a Portuguese term for hunting area) 11, home to one of the most exciting wilderness and conservation-focussed experiences in Africa today. On landing, we will be met by the wonderful team at the Coutada, and shuttled to our comfortable and well-appointed camp. Here, lunch will be served and we will be introduced to the story of the Coutada. This extensive hunting area has long preserved some of the few remaining sustainable wildlife populations in Mozambique, and has even recently supplied species including buffalo to national parks across the country. Management here recognise the potential for ecotourism and big game hunting to co-exist and, as such, have made significant strides to open the Coutada up to wildlife photographers and nature enthusiasts. This itinerary is specifically designed to allow clients to understand the model adopted here, and to compare it to what will be seen in a phototourism only ecosystem in Gorongosa later in this tour.
Our afternoon drive will focus on exploring the Coutada as much as possible by vehicle. With lucky, we may encounter buffalo, lion, leopard, sable, eland, hartebeest, oribi, bushpig, suni, blue duiker, red duiker, nyala and much more. Extensive conservation efforts here have seen populations of all these species skyrocket in recent years, with particularly impressive uplifts in zebra and buffalo populations. Leopard and lion are monitored extensively, greatly increasing our chances of a sighting, and we do hope to get lucky today. After a full and enjoyable game drive, we return to camp for some rest and to discuss our hopes for the days ahead.
Days Three to Five
During the next three days, we will explore the block on morning, afternoon and evening game drives. Leveraging the extensive experience of our hosts, we may choose to dedicate specific drives to certain species. On at least one day, we suggest trawling dense woodland for unusual ungulates including nyala, red duiker and blue duiker. On another, the vast open plains filled with waterbuck, buffalo and zebra must be seen to be believed. Lion and leopard, as well as recently re-introduced cheetah, are real highlights here, and we will spend significant time seeking out these special cats in the stunning surrounds of this incredible wilderness area.
This morning we must reluctantly say goodbye to the stunning Coutada 11, taking a scenic and enjoyable journey by helicopter back to Beira, where this tour ends.
Please be aware that whilst we make every effort to follow the above itinerary as closely as possible, circumstances may occasionally arise that mean the tour deviates from the itinerary.
Dates and Prices
This tour will run in May 2024, aiming to take advantage of the beginning of the dry season, when parks are at their most beautiful and photography often at its most rewarding.
The cost of this trip is £5,300 per person excluding international flights. This includes all accommodation and wildlife-focussed activities. Water, but not soft drinks or alcohol, is included. We regret that we must levy a £450 single supplement for this trip. To secure a booking, a deposit payment of £1,600 must be paid.
Flights and Visas
Pictus Safaris do not offer flight booking services. However, we do recommend the use of travel comparison websites such as skyscanner.net or momondo.com to identify the best fares, and then booking with the airline directly where possible. This will reduce the likelihood of complications and fees should any issues with your booking arise. If you wish to spend an additional night in Beira or Vilanculos at the end of your tour, we can arrange this for you at an extra cost.
British nationals no longer require a visa to enter Mozambique. Clients of other nationalities are advised to check well before travel whether they require an entry visa.
Weather and What to Bring
The weather in Mozambique in May is hot and humid with maximum temperatures of around 28 degrees Celsius. At night, temperatures will drop to around 19 degrees Celsius. It usually rains heavily at least twice on this tour.
A full packing list will be circulated at least two months prior to departure. Pictus Safaris will be able to provide one extra set of binoculars and two spotlights per group, and clients are welcome to bring additional camera, videography and scope equipment should they wish to. Please note that the use of drones is not permitted in many protected areas. We strongly recommend bringing comfortable, loose-fitting and neutral-coloured clothing on safari - please do not bring camouflage clothing. We recommend against dark coloured clothing (e.g. black or dark blue) as this attracts biting flies. Worn-in hiking boots with ankle support are a must, as are sunglasses, sun protection and a hat.
Do also remember to budget for any expenses not included in the cost of the trip, including for gratuities and additional activities. We recommend bringing US Dollars.
Safety and Security
We understand that for some potential visitors, the security situation in the Mozambique is a concern. Pictus Safaris take the safety of clients extremely seriously and we are in constant communication with our ground operators to monitor the security situation in all of our destinations.
The security situation in Mozambique is generally very stable and incidents are extremely rare. There is an Islamist insurgency in the far north-east of the country, but this should not worry you as it is a huge distance from the Coutada.
All Pictus Safaris clients must have travel insurance to travel with us. As travel to parts of Mozambique is advised against by national travel advisory bodies, some travel insurance policies will not be valid here. We recommend High Risk Voyager insurance as it covers medical evacuation from remote areas.
To secure a booking on this fantastic holiday, please fill out the details below.