It has been a busy few days for Peace Parks Foundation’s Johalize Koch, Siewert Groenewald and Richard Davies, who have spent the week with Peace Parks Senior Project Manager Antony Alexander and Zinave Project Manager Bernard van Lente, looking at Zinave’s exciting tourism opportunities. This is a part of the next phase of development for Zinave National Park. After thoroughly exploring the park both on foot and by 4×4, getting royally stuck in the mud and caught in a torrential downpour, the team take a much-needed day to immerse themselves in this remarkable landscape.
There is much to chat about after their recent fact-finding adventures in Zinave, and they spend a large portion of the day discussing where possible tourism infrastructure sites could go. Zinave has already seen significant changes over the last few years, with the implementation of a large-scale development project aimed at improving the efficiency of park operations. Ongoing rewilding efforts by Peace Parks Foundation and Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC) have also yielded successful returns, with over 2300 animals already having been reintroduced.
With major wildlife protection and conservation efforts already in place, the next exciting step for one of Mozambique’s flagship national parks is the highly anticipated tourism infrastructure development which will include campsites, self-catering chalets and mobile fly camps.
For Peace Parks Conservation Planner Johalize Koch, it is also important to meet the people on the ground who serve as Zinave’s wildlife guardians. Being employed from the surrounding communities, these rangers work for long periods of time away from their families and it is important for them to switch off from their physically and mentally demanding jobs by having some downtime.
Peace Parks is very proud of the work and dedication these rangers show and aim to support inclusive and sustainable economic growth and create decent working opportunities for those who live on the land.
After visiting the rangers and wrapping up their meetings, the Peace Parks team heads back to camp for an afternoon on the deck, soaking in the incredible views along the Save River. The team gets so caught up in exploring the park’s exciting possibilities and the benefits that this could hold for the communities in the area that soon they find themselves under a starry sky with the campfire giving off just enough light to set the scene for grand plans in the making.