The Niassa Reserve’s is a unique tourism destination but its attractions are more subtle – vast wilderness, exploration, river canoeing, adventure, solitude, culture, spectacular scenery, inselbergs, unexpected encounters with unusual or secretive species. But despite having all the attributes for a premier tourism destination, the naturally occurring low densities of wildlife and its relative inaccessibility has presented difficulties for the development of photographic wildlife tourism compared to other parks in the region. The main impediments are mainly due to the Reserve’s remoteness and high logistic costs.
Up until 2012 only one high class photo-tourism operation, the Lugenda Wilderness Camp, (http://www.lugenda.com), has been established. A further three similar operations that will cater for a broader group of tourists are in the pipeline. There are no public tourism facilities at the Reserve Headquarters (Mbatamila) however SGDRN was in the process of establishing a rustic camp at Ndirima Falls on the Lugenda River to cater for self-drive tourist.
For the foreseeable future it will take creative product development and marketing, along with improved access from Pemba and Lichinga (currently in progress), before the Reserve can realise its full potential to become a unique ecotourism destination in southern Africa that offers more than the traditional fare of other game parks.