'Where elephants knows no boundary, but move freely across Tanzania and Mozambique'
Lukwika-Lumesule is hidden away in the wild hinterlands southwest and west of Masasi and is separated from Mozambique’s Niassa Reserve by the Ruvuma River, and animals frequently paddle across the border. The Reserve forms one of Africa’s largest and live transboundary eco-system where large mammals migrate between the two countries until today. Among the migrating wildlife species through the popular Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor are the African Elephants, buffalo, zebra and wildebeests.
It was designated as the Game Reserve on 20th November 1995 through Government Notice No. 7 of 1996 from Game Controlled Area. The reserve covers an area of 444.2 km2 and is part of Selous–Niassa ecosystem in Southern Tanzania, extending into Northern Mozambique, Niassa Province forming one of the largest natural trans-boundary ecosystems in Africa, covering area of about 154,000 km2.
The Reserve is located between Longitude 380.00’ and 390.15’ East also Latitude 100.20’ and 110.25’ South. The reserve share border with Niassa Game Reserve at Niassa province dissected by Ruvuma River that making the international boundary between Tanzania and Mozambique. The reserves is surrounded by 9 villages including Masuguru, Lukwika, Chungu, Nanyumbu, Mpwahia, Chimika, Mburusa, Mpombe and Ndechela in Nanyumbu District.
The most part of the reserve is dominated by Miombo woodland which is favorable for hunting tourism, but a number of photographic activities are conducted including:-
- Game viewing in the reserve is magical and visitors are assured to see the African Elephants, Greater kudu and Sable antelope among these not easily seen in other Protected Areas in Africa.
- Walking safari in the plains and woodland guided by armed tour guide.
- Birds watching. For those interested in bird life, they can view and listen to beautiful calls and songs from various birds.
- Camping There are beautiful scenic sites for camping.
- Beach tourism along sand and rocky of river Ruvuma.
The reserve support populations of large and small animals includes leopard, lions, elephants, hippopotamus, crocodiles, buffalo, Sable antelopes and greater kudu, waterbuck, buffalo suitable for tourists with interest of walking safari and game viewing. the abundant of wildlife resources including rhino, elephant, Lion, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest. It is also a home of reptiles including pythons, tortoises, and different species of snakes, lizards and monitor lizards. Bird of numerous species such as guinea fowl, francolins, Quails, doves, ducks, geese, ground hornbills, night jars and owls, eagles and many other birds of east Africa can easily be seen inside the reserve.
The reserve characterized by loam soil especially on the hill slope, sandy along the river valley and black cotton soil on the lower land area. The soil support presence of Miombo woodland which dominated Brachstegia sp, Dalbegia sp, Pterocapus, Afzelia sp, Amarula sp, other vegetation types found include grasslands, wooded grasslands and riverine vegetation.
There are three seasonal rivers that flows inside the Reserve including Lumesule River flows on the West to South, Lukwika River flows on the north to south and Lukwamba River which disects the Reserve in two parts, flows from the north to the south. These rivers are important source water to the animals in the Reserve and surrounding communities, especially peoples living in Mburusa, Chimika, Mpwahia, Lukwika and Masuguru Villages.
Among must see and do in the Reserve includes game viewing of large mammals, Series of undulated rocks, historical sites (Habiba Freedom fighters hiding Caves), the mighty Ruvuma River, rocky outcrops, Sunda waterfalls and sand dunes and rocky beaches along the river.
Unity Bridge at Mtambaswala
The Bridge which connects Tanzania and Mozambique forms as an important connection of human corridor. The attractive statue of elephant tusks has been placed on the bridge to make the view of the bridge more beautiful.
The towns of Mangaka and Masasi offer wide range of accommodation facilities catering for visitors with different budgets. Inside the reserve, there are numerous places for camping especially at Dume and Mtondo area alongside Ruvuma River depending on preference of the visitors.
The reserve experience seasonal rainfall generally last from November to late May. The mean annual rainfall range between 900mm to 1300mm, influenced by temperature, which vary from 180C in the period of December to May and 320C in July to November. The suitable time to visit the area is on the month of May to November before the heavy rains on the month of December to April, although the visitors welcomed during heavy rains to experience and explore the beauty of nature.
The Reserve can be accessed by both roads of about 69 kms heading south of Mangaka main town of Nanyumbu District or chartered small airplane which can land at Masasi air strip then followed by a drive along Mangaka in Nanyumbu road to the reserve. Another option for visitors on chartered flight, visitors can land at Mtemaupinde Airstrip located within the Reserve.
P.O. Box 102,