A bird’s-eye view is a wonderful way to get a feel for the land, but when it’s above an area as magnificent as Mozambique’s Zinave National Park, it can lead to some jaw-dropping moments!

Peace Parks Foundation’s Siewert Groenewald, Johalize Koch and Richard Davies are on their way to meet Peace Parks’ Senior Project Manager, Antony Alexander, and Zinave’s Project Manager, Bernard van Lente, to work on tourism development plans for the park. On their flight to Zinave, their pilot takes them east over the azure, inviting waters of the Indian Ocean with white sand spits dotted below before making their way inland to the more forested area of Zinave.

Getting a bird’s-eye view of this 408 000 ha park from the air is truly a once in a lifetime experience, especially when the rains have caused a flurry of activity around the Zinave Pan. These impressive aerial views of Zinave will assist the team in familiarising themselves with the area, which is an important task when planning tourism infrastructure development.

Situated in Inhambane Province, Zinave plays an important role in the Mozambique component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. To help restore this national park to its former glory, Peace Parks Foundation has been working closely with Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC) through a long-term co-management agreement that has seen more than 2300 animals reintroduced into the park.

As the landscape is slowly being restored to health, creating a haven for wildlife has also been a major focus in the park. This has been achieved thanks to increased ranger protection efforts which you can find out more about here. Zinave is now well on its way to becoming one of Mozambique’s flagship national parks and soon to be the first Big 5 national park with the planned reintroduction of rhino.

As Zinave’s wildlife populations flourish, there is increased interest from travellers who wish to see the park. To this end, a massive infrastructure development project was launched a few years ago, which saw the construction of tourism welcome centres at the three main entrance gates. It also saw the construction of staff housing, recreational facilities and an upgraded water treatment system and power supplies. These buildings were predominantly built using bricks made on-site and employing over 200 workers from nearby communities. This assisted Peace Parks in creating decent work opportunities and economic growth for the local people in the area.

Now, with decent infrastructure in place to efficiently manage the park and oversee the protection of its wildlife, the next phase of development is underway. Stay tuned to Peace Parks TV this week as Siewert, Johalize and Richard are on a mission to find potential tourism development sites that will help generate revenue and promote the self-sustainability of Zinave.

Let’s just say that their trip is nothing short of an adventure!