Banhine National Park is an enormous 7000 square kilometres. Situated in central southern Mozambique, midway between Pafuri in the west and Vilanculos in the east, the park is a critically important component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. Lying as it does within the wildlife corridor between Zinave and Limpopo national parks, it has a rosy future in nature tourism. Despite the fact the park remains very inaccessible to humans, it nevertheless attracts thousands of birds to its plains of crystal lakes during the rainy season, when this wetland region bursts into life and provides an important passage point for migratory birds.
The big news for the coming year is the signing of a long-term co-management agreement between Peace Parks Foundation and the Government of Mozambique. This will ensure not only the ongoing rehabilitation of the park by bringing in more wildlife, but other initiatives too.
2022 will see the launch of an extensive community development programme around the park in what is an extremely impoverished region of Mozambique. Many families here rely on cattle farming for their livelihood. In a five year programme of support from Commonland, the project will be multi-faceted, working towards food security for people around the park. The initial focus will be on cattle herding, enabling communities to look after the cattle in a way that is good for the environment as well as being protected from predators.
Bahine is a little-known park, despite the fact that its scenery is quite spectacular. When the park was thriving in the 1970s, it was commonly referred to as the Serengeti of Mozambique because of its open grassy plains and big herds of wildlife. This is what Peace Parks Foundation hopes to re-establish. A thriving ecosystem that can sustain herds of wildlife like the plains zebra, giraffe and wildebeest. And an accessible seasonal wetlands area that will attract low-impact tourists for outstanding bird-watching opportunities.
Keep watching Peace Parks TV to follow the journey of the rejuvenation of Banhine National Park and its communities.