The Gorongosa National Park in Central Mozambique is a remarkable success story for African wildlife conservation. Lying at the southern end of the Great African Rift Valley – an active continental rift zone – the park covers some 1500 square miles of grasslands, savannahs and dry forests. The Gorongosa National Park once supported one of the densest wildlife populations in Africa, but Mozambique’s long running civil war is thought to have reduced the population by as much as 95%, with disastrous environmental consequences. Now that peace and stability have returned to the Southern African country, a massive project is underway to return the park to it’s former glory…
The Carr Foundation/Gorongosa Restoration Project has been heralded worldwide as one of the most successful examples of a private-state partnership since it’s inception in 2004. The labour of love of American philanthropist and internet entrepreneur Greg Carr, the Gorongosa Restoration Project is a partnership between the Carr Foundation and the Government of Mozambique to restore the ecosystem of the Gorongosa National Park, and the sustainable development of the communities it supports.
With the Carr Foundation having pledged $40 million (largely out of Greg’s own pocket) to the project over a period of 30 years, there has already been considerable progress made. In partnership with the Government of Mozambique, the Carr Foundation has:
- Planted three million trees in the Mount Gorongosa Rainforest
- Reintroduced wildlife species
- Built a science research centre
- Re-established ecotourism as a sustainable income generator
- Provided health and education programs to the park’s local communities
- Overseen the correction of the initial oversight to include Mount Gorongosa within the protection of the park’s borders in 2010
Though Greg and his team have achieved great success in just short of a decade, there is still much to be done. The rainforest surrounding Mount Gorongosa is under constant threat of deforestation, which would have catastrophic effects on the rest of the park’s water supply. But, through education and sustainable ecotourism, there is hope.
Our good friends over at Asilia Africa have come aboard as an official tourism partner of the Gorongosa National Park, and are set to open the brand new Kubatana Camp sometime this month (July 2013). Each guest who stays at this magnificent camp will be directly contributing towards the restoration and conservation of one of Africa’s great wildlife sanctuaries. We salute both the Gorongosa Restoration Project and Asilia Africa for their terrific work in developing sustainable ecotourism in Mozambique.
If you’d like to witness firsthand one of Africa’s great success stories, Contact Us to book your trip to the Gorongosa National Park – the pride of Mozambique.If you’d like to read National Geographic’s piece on Gorongosa, please click here.