Community Lodge: Ndzou Camp in Chimanimani Mozambique

The Chimanimani region in Mozambique is known for its beautiful scenery, including lush green hills dotted with banana trees and a jungle inhabited by wild elephants. Camp Ndzou is a community lodge located in the heart of Chimanimani, next to the N280 road. All proceeds from the lodge go to the local village. It’s an ideal stop on your road trip through Mozambique, especially if you’re traveling to/from the coast (Inhassorro/Vilankulo) and Zimbabwe or visiting the Tete corridor or Gorongosa NP.

The crew at Camp Ndzou Commnunity Lodge Mozambique

The crew at Camp Ndzou Community Lodge in Mozambique. On the left the founder.

Staying at Ndzou Camp Community Lodge

Bookings can be done via: +258 86 775 8369Or you can just show up - but as spaces are limited it's best advised to call up front. They offer the options for both cabins, tents and self-camp. Big rigs might struggle with the entrance to the camp which is in the jungle. 

Things to do in Chimanimani mountains and Ndzou Camp?

As tourism isn’t developed in this region, it sometimes feels like there is not much to do. Probably this article is one of the few articles you found online on things to do in this region. But if you are willing to dig a bit deeper and talk to the local community, you will find many activities to do.


1. Go on an Elephant Jungle Trekking - This can be directly arranged from Camp Ndzou. We went on a 6-hour hike through the jungle, searching for the Illuster bush elephant. As the elephant is very afraid of humans - due to the war - it’s an excursion and challenge to find them. After 4 hours of searching, we suddenly heard trees falling. Three elephants surrounded us. We quickly moved to lower grounds on the other side of the river to try to watch them from a distance. We had to create a pathway with a machete. We heard a leopard in the distance. And we had to chase away a large Mozambican spit cobra blocking our path. That’s what we call off-the-beaten-track adventure.

Together with our Elephant Trekking Expert José we explored the Chimanimani jungle for 6 hours!

2.  Go on a Butterfly Safari at Camp Ndzou- This is currently being developed at Camp Ndzou with the help of a foreign butterfly expert. The forest behind the lodge contains many different - and some scarce - species of butterfly. It’s great fun to go out and spot them. Camp Ndzou has more information on the type of butterflies you can spot.

3. A local village tour  in Chimanimani mountains- Like every community lodge, it is possible to visit the local villages. Learn more about medicinal plants and get to see what life is like. Remember, this is an impoverished region. We recommend not visiting any schools or orphanages - as these should not be tourist attractions. 

4. Learn more about bees - Camp Ndzou hosts a large colony of (friendly) bees. They offer Beekeeping courses to the local community. When we were there there was a large gathering of beekeepers from the region to exchange knowledge.


They make their honey which is to die for. Make sure you buy a bottle of their homemade honey. They use a device that proves their honey is 100% honey - unlike most honey sold on the roads (which often contains water and sugar).

The honey we bought fresh from the bee's at Camp Ndzou.

5. Climb the Chimanimani mountains - We didn’t have enough time to do this. But you can plan an entire two-day trek to the Chimanimani Mountains. You will sleep in your tent while walking to the summit of the highest mountains of Mozambique. You can enquire at Camp Ndzou for more information and prices.

Thew view of Chimanimani mountains from Camp Ndzou Community Lodge

Eating and Drinking at Ndzou Camp

The restaurant is small, with a simple menu, but the food is surprisingly good! You will be asked to make your order before 15:00 so the chef can make sure they have all ingredients. Food is decently priced, and drinks are available at the bar. Especially for overlanders on a budget, this is an excellent place to let yourself get treated. The pork chops are delicious!

Community Lodge Chimanimani Mountains

A community lodge means that a lodge is owned by the community (or partly). Camp Ndzou is 60% owned by the village and 40% by an NGO, Mkaya, that supports them. The camp has existed for about ten years but hasn’t had an easy start. Around 2017-2019 the region was volatile, with much political unrest and problems. They were scaring away tourists. Then Covid-19 hit, and tourists were gone for another three years. The lodge struggled to keep functioning and pay the salaries. In 2023, tourism is finally picking up, resulting in new club investments. The owner told us they finally had enough money to invest in a new water pump system to ensure plenty of water in the club. At the time of writing, we still had to use buckets as a shower - because there wasn’t enough water for the whole camp to shower.

How to get to Ndzou Camp?

People driving from the coast:

  • From Inhassorro to Chimanimani is about 10 hours driving (About 300km). The road is terrible. Really bad. And ideally, you come with a vehicle that has high clearance. Though don’t get scared; it is doable. We managed without any problems in our Landcruiser drive in one day. It’s worth stopping at Buffalo Camp, which lies strategically in the middle of the bad part of the road. After Buffalo camp, it’s another 40km of bad road. After that, it’s a beautiful scenic road through villages and a good road through the Chimanimani mountains.


People driving from Gorongosa NP:

  • From Gorogonsa NP to Camp Ndzou is about 5 hours driving (250km). The beginning out of Gorongosa NP to the main road is the worst part. About 40km of pothole madness. After this, you have a beautiful tarred highway where you can drive 80km per hour (a careful lot of speed camera’s!). You pass Chimoio City, a great place to stock up on anything. Or for a nice coffee break at Capuchino. From Chimoio, it’s another 1.5 hours of driving on high-quality roads.


People driving from Matare, Zimbabwe:

  • The road from Matare to Camp Ndzou is in good condition. It’s about 4 hours of driving. Just head straight towards Chimoio. From there, you take the road down to Ndzou Camp. Piece of cake! 

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