In another victory for cross-border conservation, a recent series of successful wildlife translocations saw 27 Zebra and 62 blue wildebeest safely making the 1 250 km journey from Kruger National Park in South Africa to Zinave National Park in Mozambique. These new arrivals are welcome additions to the more than 2 400 reintroduced animals that are now thriving and multiplying under the restoration and management programmes being implemented in Zinave through a co-management agreement between Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC) and Peace Parks Foundation.
But translocations like these are just part of the story of rewilding and restoring Africa’s wild spaces for generations to come. Another huge part of the narrative involves the people that work on the ground in these remote locations; the people that do not feature as heavily in the films as zebra and wildebeest; the people that are content to work tirelessly behind the scenes to do their bit for a better, more sustainable future for southern Africa.
The past few days has seen Lesa (Communications Coordinator), Kate (Resource Development Coordinator) and Stefan (Project Systems and Compliance Manager) and others from the Peace Parks team fly into remote wilderness areas to meet the field staff, rangers and others that care for the well-being of the wildlife and people within these vast landscapes. It has been a whirlwind tour of Mozambique where they have spotted some wildlife themselves, adventured upriver on the Save River, and, importantly, accomplished their mission to train staff in the field how best to film their daily work-lives.
Unfortunately, due to bad weather, the planned trip to Banhine had to be called off, but they did manage to get about Limpopo and Zinave national parks, as well as Maputo Special Reserve, with flights that delivered spectacular scenery the whole way. They flew over the great wilderness of Limpopo, the ancient baobabs of Zinave and the lagoons of Maputo Special Reserve.
The team trained field staff, rangers and management on how best to tell their stories, how to find the narrative in days that many of them take for granted, but days nevertheless that enthrall and awe many around the world. Stories are, after all, at the heart of Africa’s history, and it is hearing and seeing the ongoing stories of a changing landscape that will continue to keep people connected to the unfolding story of conservation in southern Africa.
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