Over the past two decades, Peace Parks Foundation has been assisting in restoring conservation areas and reviving biodiversity across southern Africa, including southern Mozambique’s national parks. In 2015, Peace Parks signed a 20-year agreement with Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas to restore, develop, and co-manage Zinave National Park. Established in 1973, Zinave was later ravaged by sixteen years of civil war; however, thanks to ongoing, pioneering rewilding operations, in step with infrastructure upgrades and improved management and security, the park’s first herds of rhino in more than four decades have been safely settling into their new habitat. Rhinos have returned to Zinave thanks to innovative translocations by Peace Parks and partners, from Manketti Game Reserve in South Africa to Zinave — the longest transboundary road transfers of black and white rhino ever undertaken. 

This latest translocation in September, the third following last year’s pioneering cross-border rhino translocations, included five black rhinos (classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Species) and five white rhinos (classified as near-threatened by the IUCN Red List of Species). 

In our previous two Peace Parks TV episodes, “How to Capture a Crash” and “Rhino on the Move”, we offered a glimpse of the capture operation and epic road-trip.   

Now, watch as these ten bold newcomers set foot for the first time on Zinave soil, an emotional moment for all those looking on. Park management, rangers, wildlife vets and translocation experts have been invested in this pioneering project throughout years of meticulous planning, to translocate a total of 37 rhino in three cross-border operations. 

Joyful Tales from the Translocation Team 

Team members share the story from their own unique perspectives. They express wonder at the ambition and the challenges of these landmark transboundary road transfers; joy at the rhinos’ safe arrival and how their prosperous presence will bring balance and a boost to biodiversity in Zinave. They celebrate the dazzling transformation of Zinave to date, from silent to vibrant park, now healthy enough to welcome African rhino. Secure enough, too: rangers reflect on the crucial measures put in place – conservation technology and a canine unit which is part of a highly trained, rapid response team – to safeguard the rhino.  

Completing the Park’s Rich Picture 

For the first time in more than four decades, Zinave in the only national park in Mozambique that has these two species. The area is unique, a flourishing ecosystem not only ready for rhino but primed to proudly welcome predators that are now moving naturally to the area to re-establish their historic ranges. Not all rewilding requires human intervention; wildlife moving intuitively into the park is symbolic of bounty and harmony.  Hearts are singing at the prospect of a thriving future for rhino; this ambitious conservation vision has become a humbling and happy reality, and Zinave is ready for many more rewilding successes to come.  

Visit www.peaceparks.org/Rewilding-Africa/ to follow more wildlife stories and the remarkable rewilding efforts underway in the protected areas where we work.