It wouldn’t be a normal day in Zinave National Park without some element of adventure, but this morning, the team gets a little more than they had bargained for when their 4×4 vehicle gets stuck in very thick mud. Luckily, the Zinave team are no strangers to these kinds of situations, and the cars are well-equipped with recovery gear. The crew is able to jump into action by hooking a winch to a nearby tree, which helps to pull the heavy vehicle out.
It’s been an exciting and busy few days in Zinave as Peace Parks Foundations’ Johalize Koch, Siewert Groenewald, and Richard Davies have been on an important mission seeking out potential tourism development sites throughout the park. With Zinave set to become Mozambique’s first Big 5 national park, the interest from visitors wanting to see this spectacular place is rapidly increasing. Working together with Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC), the next phase of development within Zinave includes the planning and development of tourism infrastructure such as campsites, self-catering chalets and mobile fly camps.
One of the main challenges that both staff and visitors face is the lack of road access throughout the park. It is important that the quality of the roads is known when in the planning phase for these accommodation sites, as well as to make sure that the information that exists on available maps or navigation systems matches that in real life. Johalize points out that one of the ‘roads’ that they are driving on, which turns out to be less road and more bush, is indicated as being a naturally graded road on their navigation system.
Learning new information such as this is vital for Peace Parks mission in developing the park. The planned introduction of tourism infrastructure sites holds the promise of helping to make Zinave a self-sustainable park whilst supporting local communities and giving nature-lovers their fix of the outdoors.