It’s another picture-perfect evening in Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park as the sun casts an orange glow across the spectacular Massingir Dam. Knowing this isn’t an opportunity to be missed, Peace Parks Foundation’s Chief Pilot and Aviation Manager, Hannes van Wyk, takes to the skies to capture the beauty of this incredible area from above.

Located on the Rio dos Elefantes, otherwise known as the Olifants River, Massingir Dam forms a vital part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, one of the first formally established peace parks in southern Africa which links the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Limpopo National Park in Mozambique and Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe.

Not only is the dam and the rivers that feed into it one of the largest breeding grounds for one of Africa’s most feared predators, the Nile crocodile, but it also has a significant socio-economic impact on the local communities who live in the park’s buffer zone. As they rely on water from the dam for domestic and irrigation purposes, Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas, with support from Peace Parks Foundation, has handed over several water pumps to the communities for them to use in agricultural activities.

Before these pumps were provided, farmers primarily relied on the seasonal rains to water their crops, but now with year-round access to water and irrigation schemes, farmers can grow a variety of crops throughout the year. Not only does this provide families with a balanced diet and additional sustenance, but excess harvests are also sold at the local markets, and the additional income is used for schooling, healthcare and improving their quality of life.

Home to more than 850 animal and 2 000 plant species and with over 1 million hectares to explore, Limpopo National Park is an incredible place for any nature-lover and outdoor enthusiast to come and visit.