The Maputo National Reserve (Maputo NR) is situated in Maputo Province, inside Matutuine district. Area: 778 km2.  Maputo Special Reserve was originally established to protect the elephant population in the area. Its purpose in the 1960s was expanded to include the protection of other large mammal species and again in the 1990s, thanks to the growing recognition of its wider biodiversity importance.

The reserve is now seen as an important component in the protected areas system of Mozambique, as it conserves the exceptional biodiversity of a coastal zone that lies in the Tongaland-Pondoland bio-geographical region and that enables linkages between marine, coastal and inland components.

Maputo Special Reserve is an important component of the Lubombo TFCA that includes five distinct TFCAs between Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland. At 1040 km², it is a spectacular area that combines lakes, wetlands, swamp forests, grasslands and mangrove forests with a pristine coastline. It supports an exceptionally high number of endemic species of fauna and flora and is part of the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot, thus part of one of earth’s 25 biologically richest and most endangered terrestrial ecoregions.

In 2005 the World Bank donated $6 million to Mozambique to develop Maputo Special Reserve, which includes infrastructure and accommodation upgrades, and the construction of headquarters and accommodation facilities.

To supplement this, a co-financing agreement between Mozambique and Peace Parks Foundation was signed in 2006 for the development, management and extension of Maputo Special Reserve. A park management unit was also appointed to oversee the process.

Significant strides have been made. Sound management structures and operations, as well as the necessary infrastructure such as game fencing, management offices, staff quarters, ranger outposts and communication networks have been put in place. Management operations and law enforcement activities are now carried out by skilled staff guided by a management plan and law enforcement strategy. Essential equipment required for these operations, such as vehicles and radios, have also been procured.

Following a request by the Mozambican government for assistance with its community development strategy in the Matutuine District, the Foundation appointed a community development technical adviser to implement the strategy. This strategy aims to bring about the sustainable economic development of and benefit-sharing by communities living in and around Maputo Special Reserve through a consultative and participatory process that will also develop nature-based tourism and conservation enterprises.

Access:
From the country’s capital Maputo crossing the Bay and then by road from Catembe or simply by road from Boane.

Best viewing season:
Throughout the year.

Accommodation:
Milibangalala camping area. A couple of community lodges in areas near the Maputo NR. Various tourist undertakings are available in the south of the Maputo NR, in the area of Ponta do Ouro.

Viewing Hours:
The Maputo NR can be visited daily from 7h30 to 16h30.

Maputo Special Reserve: source http://www.peaceparks.org/programme.php?pid=25&mid=1108  and http://www.africaguide.com/country/mozamb/parks.htm#maputo