Whether you’ve come to the country specifically to go on a safari, or if you’re just relaxing at a beach resort like the Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort, you owe it to yourself to visit the Gorongosa National Park if you’re ever in Mozambique.
The Gorongosa was originally a hunting reserve; big game hunters would flock to the location to track and shoot legendary African game like the lion and cape buffalo. In 1960 however, hunting was prohibited, and the area was named a national park and was positioned as a tourist attraction.
Restoring the Park
The Mozambique Civil War which persisted throughout the late 20th century caused the park to be shut down, during this time most of the park’s large game was killed by poachers – especially elephants. After the war’s conclusion measures were taken to eliminate peaching and by 2004 the park’s infrastructure was redeveloped and many species were reintroduced. Following this, many Mozambique hotels began popping up around the park, and an indication of its recovery.
The park is situated in the Great African Rift Valley system and stretches along an area that’s around over 4000km2. The main biome in the park are savannahs, but there are a considerable amount of shrub forest and flood plains as well.
The Gorongosa is home to a spectacular array of wildlife – both big and small. You’ll find the quintessential African game animals here, such as lion, buffalo, wildebeest, and zebra. As of 2014, some of the continent’s more elusive animals were also spotted here, namely the African leopard and the painted dog.