As one of earth’s 36 biologically richest and most endangered ecoregions, Maputo National Park is an essential component of the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area, offering some jaw-dropping scenery. Its wide variety of habitats range from white sandy beaches with the tropical azure waters of the Indian Ocean lapping up to meet it to grasslands, woodlands, lagoons and marshes, to name a few. With support from Peace Parks Foundation, Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC) started a wildlife translocation programme here in 2010.

This recent translocation project is seeing a herd of 95 eland, Africa’s second largest antelope, translocated from Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary to both Zinave and Maputo national parks. Of the 95 eland captured, 69 will be taken to Zinave and 26 to Maputo National Park. The translocation comes after The Sanctuary in Vilanculos exceeded its ideal carrying capacity for this specialised species. Fortunately, the climate and vegetation found in Vilanculos are very similar to that in Maputo, helping to make the eland’s transition as easy as possible.

The Rewilding of Maputo National Park

Since 2010, close to 5 000 animals from 11 different species have been brought to this park. All these animals, including the eland, were historically found in the area, but their populations dramatically declined or disappeared altogether due to factors such as illegal hunting. Reintroducing these species back into the area will enable the fast recovery and subsequent increase of the reserve’s wildlife populations. This is essential to keeping the ecosystem healthy while developing the reserve as a tourist destination.

Tourism in the Park

Peace Parks has been supporting the development of Maputo National Park through wildlife protection and counter-poaching training, community support and infrastructure development. With the park in its final stage of development, tourism is a core focus. With 20% of the revenue generated by conservation areas being shared with the local communities living near the park, this is a win-win for conservation and livelihoods.

Peace Parks Foundation is incredibly grateful to all partners who helped with the incredible transformation of Maputo National Park and is excited to watch it flourish as one of southern Mozambique’s flagship wilderness areas.