Here in Zinave National Park, a party from Peace Parks Foundation is researching the best potential experiences to suit the luxury and adventure traveller. This is part of a new initiative called Peace Parks Exclusive Experiences, which is destined to attract capital, jobs and a healthy future to rural communities.

Colin Porteus and crew have stopped at this beautiful, ephemeral pan, which is an area of land that only fills temporarily with water, usually as a result of seasonal rains. In Zinave there is no perennial water except for the Save River, so when the rains come and streams fill up the dry pans, the land literally bursts into life. The crystal-clear water in the pan teems with fish. Dragonflies, butterflies, reed frogs and other wildlife emerge. This, in turn, attracts migrating birds and animals to the water and food source. So, biodiversity literally blossoms. This is fantastic both for the environment and also good news for future tourists as a vibrant landscape teeming with flora and fauna attracts more than the birds.

Travellers looking for an exclusive experience might love the idea of paddling out to the island in the middle of the pan, camping under the trees and watching the stars under an African sky in such a remote wilderness. And the good news is that this type of tourism is low impact, which is beneficial to the environment too.

Situated in the Inhambane Province of Mozambique, Zinave National Park is an outstanding example of what can be achieved through healthy partnerships between communities, conservationists and governments. After years of severe drought and unsustainable use of natural resources destroyed wildlife populations, very few could have imagined the Zinave of today. Thanks to some incredible rewilding and restoration efforts, the park has undergone an epic transformation — from a silent landscape, to a thriving wilderness area singing with the sounds of nature.

Zinave’s return to glory was given a major boost after the signing of a co-management agreement between Peace Parks Foundation and Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation in 2015 which unlocked significant investment into the park.

In the middle of the reserve, far away from any fencelines, a beautiful 18 600 hectare expanse of wilderness now provides a sanctuary for more than 2 200 translocated animals. Wildlife numbers in this protected environment are booming.

The platforms have now been laid for a thriving tourism economy, boosted by the development of tourism infrastructure and the employment of people from surrounding communities. Thanks to the dedication of Peace Parks Foundation and its Mozambican partners, the future of Zinave shines bright.