Mareja | Frequently Asked Questions

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When is the best time to visit? From June to late December early January.  The rains stop in April when the bush is very lush, often fairly impenetrable and bursting with insects and life!  From June onwards it becomes more accessible.  Then the vegetation slowly begins to dry and the bush opens up through to the end of the dry season in November.  The big rains usually hit in December and the bush begins to become waterlogged and close over  from early January.

Is malaria a problem?  Yes!  So you must take an anti-malaria pill (malarone is often recommended) bring mosquito spray and long cotton clothes for the evening.

Are there any dangerous animals? It is the African bush and we live deep within its borders so you need to be aware of your surroundings.  There are venomous snakes, scorpions and large mammals such as elephants and lions.  However all wildlife will try to avoid you and is secretive.  The usual precautions are sturdy boots when walking in the bush and to always follow the instructions of your guide.

Do you have running water and showers? We pump water from a local river, filter drinking water and can even provide hot showers from our wood furnace if it is cold (which is rarely.)

How far are you from medical support?  There is a hospital and private clinic in Pemba which is a 2 ½ hour drive away.  Always travel with full medical insurance including air lifting.  And if you need any particular medicines, make sure you bring them with you.

Do you have internet or mobile phone coverage?  We do not have internet (which is a peaceful change from modern life) and mobile coverage is very sporadic but there are a few places on the reserve where you can pick up texts and make calls if really needed.

Will you accommodate vegetarians?  We will always try to meet your dietary needs.  All food is brought onto the reserve so we are a little limited by our supplies and the season.  The food is healthy and fresh with lots of vegetables and fruit.

Can I volunteer for the project? Yes absolutely.  We welcome volunteers but require self-starting, practical types who have a good command of Portuguese!

Is there electricity?  We mainly use oil lanterns but have a generator and new solar panels for the odd bit of lighting.  (Personally we prefer to use a torch and enjoy the amazing starry nights.)

Can you offer specialist tours?  When Sophie and Dominik are at home they are able to offer a very flexible programme of driving safaris and temporary camping based around your particular needs and interests.  At other times our local trained guides lead walking tours and these can be varied, in length and focus.

What wildlife is Mareja best known for?  The birdlife and insects are fantastic and most readily seen. You will notice signs of life everywhere including hearing lions and seeing elephant footprints.  But it requires patience or a degree of specialism to truly explore mammals and plants in miombo habitat.

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