Communities, transfrontier conservation areas and wildlife all benefit from tourism. At the moment tourism in many of these areas appeals to the adventure traveller or the high-end tourist that can afford to fly in and out. The Peace Park Foundation’s aim is for these conservation areas to become self-sustainable over the long-term. It is therefore vital to develop high-standard tourism offerings with sufficient experiential value to attract more mainstream tourists as well as keep them coming back. Importantly, it is essential that tourism offerings are low-impact on the environment.

Areas like Mozambique’s Maputo Special Reserve and the adjacent Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve are just bursting with promise when it comes to the potential for high-value nature tourism. The stunning Montebelo Milibangalala Bay Resort at Ponta Milibangalala is nearing completion, planning to open early 2022. Situated in one of the world’s most biologically rich ecoregions, this spot will offer travellers the opportunity to reconnect with nature while experiencing the thrill of the best Africa has to offer.

On the other hand, bringing adventurous experiences like the Fish River Canyon hike to the attention of tourists, helps to put the spotlight on areas of southern Africa tourists might not previously have visited. This incredible hike takes you on a trek through Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park in Namibia.

The upgrading of tented lodges, is all part of tourism development across the region which creates jobs for local communities and revenue for the parks. In Mozambique, communities share in 20% of the revenue generated by protected areas so their lives are directly impacted and improved through investment in social infrastructure. As these areas develop, this income will grow taking pressure off the natural resources they currently rely on. The rest of the revenue is reinvested into the parks and helps protect the wildlife, develop management and tourism infrastructures which, in the long term, are huge factors in attracting tourists and associated incomes to the region.

Sadly, the past few years have been devastating for the region with the impact of Covid-19 and the travel restrictions it has caused. Places like Shackletons Lodge in Zambia is just one of many properties eager for tourists to return to southern Africa. Peace Parks actively supported communities to mitigate this impact by providing jobs until the world can once again visit.

Peace Parks is extremely proud of the dedication, hard work and passion of all who work in the tourism industry.