Banhine is a little-known park situated in the Mozambique. When landscapes are as vast as this one, there really is no better way to get a sense of them than from the air. From the ground it is hard to imagine what 700 000 hectares of conservation area looks like. From the sky, one can start to comprehend just how enormous this wilderness is, and how the flooded plains stretch off into the distance on all sides.
Despite its spectacular scenery Banhine has remained undeveloped due to its impenetrable landscape. However, situated in central southern Mozambique, the park is a critically important component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area and has a rosy future in nature tourism.
This recently completed airstrip in the heart of the park will improve accessibility to the region. Built with support from Peace Parks Foundation in partnership with the Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas ( ANAC), the new infrastructure will improve the park’s logistical management operations, reducing travel time from 15 hours by land to an hour and a half by air from Maputo city.
The runway will also help provide aerial support for the rangers engaged in counter-poaching activities and will soon support the translocation of wildlife to Banhine in the name of restoring its biodiversity and boosting tourism development in the park.
Banhine’s wetlands may be difficult for people to access but it attracts thousands of African birds to its crystal-clear lakes during the rainy season. This is when the wetlands burst into life, providing an important passage point for migratory birds. 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 and ANAC 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.